More Than Ever
After a year like no other, we find ourselves at a defining moment in our city’s history. Our voices matter in a local election more than they have in quite some time. As New Yorkers grapple with social inequities, economic hardship, building back our city, and retaining its creative capital, now is the moment to recommit ourselves to our community, to help shape the city we want to see.
As the largest Jewish population outside of Israel, we have both a responsibility and a moral obligation to use our voices and our vote to make a positive impact on our community. In fact, many rabbis and sages see voting as a mitzvah — a Jewish imperative. The future of our city and our community depends on it.
Voting has always been a civic responsibility; this year it’s a communal responsibility as well. Whoever your preferred candidate – or this year, candidates – make sure your voice is heard.
New York City is introducing a new system, known as ranked choice voting, which gives voters more say in choosing which elected officials will lead the city and its recovery. This mayoral primary is the first citywide election to use ranked choice voting, which allows voters to choose up to five candidates based on order of preference. It dramatically changes the voter system from one where the candidate with the most votes wins to one where, based on how voters rank their choices, the candidate with the most top-ranked votes wins.
Because you’re a stakeholder in our community’s future, your vote matters. By the same token, because everyone is a stakeholder, every vote matters.
With ranked choice voting, if a candidate achieves a majority (more than 50%) of first-choice votes, they win outright. If, however, no candidate reaches a majority of first-choice votes, a new counting process is triggered. So, even if your first-choice candidate doesn’t initially prevail, the votes you cast for your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or even 5th choice can still help choose who ends up winning. Which means you have more chances to be heard.
On top of making sure your voice is heard, studies show that ranked choice voting actually leads to more diverse candidates winning office. Cities that have implemented this system have elected more women and more women of color, making their elected officials more representative of their communities.
(With thanks to NYC Campaign Finance Board)
Before anything else, make sure you’re registered to vote! The deadline to submit your application to vote in this year’s New York City primary election is May 28, 2021 — and the application must be received by The Board of Elections no later than June 2, 2021, to be eligible to vote in the primary.
Visit NYC Votes for an easy way to register to vote — it should take just 5 minutes!
The mayoral candidates participating in UJA-Federation's Meet the Mayoral Candidates forum were offered the opportunity to answer a series of questions and share their viewpoints on issues that matter to the Jewish community. The following represents their responses.*
Watch the full Meet the Mayoral Candidates forum here.
As a tax-exempt organization, UJA does not endorse or oppose any candidate for elected office, not does it intervene or participate in any political campaign. Opinions expressed by the candidates in tonight’s mayoral forum are entirely their own, and do not represent UJA’s views or positions on the matters discussed.
Looking for more information on ranked choice voting? Check out these helpful sites:
CLC: Advancing Democracy Through Law: This site offers an easy-to-understand infographic explaining ranked choice voting.
New York City Campaign Finance Board: This site covers all the basics and offers helpful visuals and infographics to explain ranked choice voting.
Rank the Vote: This site offers a helpful mock ballot and an extensive FAQ section.
Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center: This site offers an especially easy, step-by-step section on filling out a ballot.
*List in formation.