New York City

Candidates Crisscross NYC in Countdown Push on 1st Day of Early Voting

The start of early voting around the state marks the homestretch to primary election day on June 22

A sticker is displayed a voting station at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) during the mayoral election process in New York on June 12, 2021. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP) (Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)
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Candidates in New York City's heavily contested Democratic mayoral primary on Saturday urged people to go to the polls in the coming days as early voting kicked off.

The start of early voting around the state marks the homestretch to primary election day on June 22. As some city mayoral candidates voted, others spoke at a get-out-the-vote rally hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton, who is remaining neutral in the race.

“Why on earth would you wait until the last day?” candidate Andrew Yang asked at the event. “You can vote right now. You can vote tomorrow. You can vote Monday. You can vote Tuesday. I don’t know about you all, but I would feel great having gotten it out of the way.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has topped some recent polls, though the 13-candidate race remains tight. Other top contenders include 2020 presidential candidate Yang, former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia, city Comptroller Scott Stringer and civil rights attorney Maya Wiley.

Voters can start heading to the polls on Saturday to make their top choices for the Democratic and Republican nominees for mayor. With ranked choice voting, voters can pick their top five candidates. NBC New York's Melissa Russo breaks down how it works.

This primary is especially hard to predict because the city is debuting ranked choice voting, with voters ranking up to five candidates.

Garcia was among those who voted Saturday morning in Brooklyn.

“It was a challenge to rank all five,” Garcia said, according to the New York Post. “It was very easy for number one.”

Wiley told attendees at the Sharpton event that with early voting, New York is one of the few states expanding voting rights rather than curtailing them.

Democrats dominate in New York City, and the winner of the party's primary is considered highly likely to win the general election in November and succeed Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The Republican primary features Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa and Fernando Mateo, a restaurant owner and advocate for taxi drivers.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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