When a well-known 20-year-old New Yorker cast his Democratic primary vote? in June, he had every reason to assume that no one would know his choice for mayor — a point of interest for many, since his father was it current mayor.
As it runs out, Dante de Blasio, de son of Mayor Bill de Blasio got die privacy not.
In a report released Monday by the Stevens Institute of Technology and Princeton University’s Electoral Innovation Lab, researchers said the New York City Board’s missteps of Elections had the lab unintentionally in allowed to votes of 378 New Yorkers in the mayor’s first. Those voters include the mayor son and a former New York Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel.
Because that information should be secret, in agreement with state law, the report’s findings suggest a violation of one of America’s Most Valued Guarantees, the secret vote, and represent another blemish for the city Plate of elections.
“I am shocked by this violation” of my privacy,” said Dante de Blasio, a registered Democrat, via a spokesperson for to be father, the major. “Mine main concern is not people shall know who i voted for, but that the BOE has repeatedly shown complete incompetence and has still not been reformed by the state. hundreds of my fellow voters were entitled to a private ballot violated by the blatant carelessness of the BOE. Enough is enough.”
The researchers were able to identify the voting data of the individual voters in New York City by cross-referencing the New York State voter base — a list of any registered voter, of they voted and their address – with the boarded cast-vote records, die hundreds of polling stations where just one ballot was issued.
Those areas include that: of Mr de Blasio, who is registered with Gracie Mansion, and that: of mr. Steel, a registered Republican who lives in NoHo, a heavily democratic part of Manhattan.
Dante de Blasio ranked Maya Wiley as his first choise for mayor in the June Democratic primaries, followed by Eric Adams, Kathryn Garcia, Raymond McGuire and Shaun Donovan, according to the researchers.
When reached by phone, Mr Steel described himself as alarmed and disappointed over his recording in the list of identifiable voters, but declined until comment further.
It was easier for researchers to identify Republican voting records, like Mr Steel’s, then Democratic voting records, because there are fewer Republicans in New York City. Democratic registration surpasses Republican registration here met almost seven to one. At the polling station of Mr. Steel there were only 19 registered Republicans, as… of August.
The problem of eliminating the anonymity of data through cross-references to datasets is reasonable common, and there is a whole area of math committed to finding ways to share data while protecting privacy.
New York City Council of Elections are not considered one of the most advanced managers of data. In June, the board accidentally released an incorrect vote adding up for the most important mayor primaries in a generation, and then had to die revoke count and the vote all over again.
This was the first mayor primaries in city history until use vote met ranked choice, in die city voters could rank up up to five choices for mayor in order of preference. Below the system, if no candidate won a majority, the last-place winner was eliminated. The second-choise votes of die who would have preferred last-place candidate were counted instead. The process continued until a winner.
The winner was Mr Adams, who shall face Curtis Sliwa, the Republican nominee, in the november general election.
The new vote system turned out to be a challenge for the board, die repeatedly declined technical assistance from the supplier of the software die it used to select the ranked choice in to bring tabular form votes.
On September 13 board officials discussed the report’s findings with Lindsey Cormack, an assistant professor of politics science at the Stevens Institute of Technology, who wrote the report with Professor Sam Wang, who leads the Electoral Innovation Lab and Jesse T. Clark, a postdoctoral researcher in Princeton.
In that conversation, board officials said they believe their legal reporting requirements forced them to release the voting data in a certain format.
“The way in which election? results are reported is required by law,” a board spokeswoman, Valerie Vazquez-Diaz, said: via e-mail.
The researchers advised the board group districts met one voter with adjacent, larger areas avoid such an easy identification, a practice the board states that an amendment to the City Charter is necessary.
The researchers say that whatever the legal solution, the board should chase it.
“We’re going to the polls” box think our votes to be private, that our choices are private’, said professor Cormac.
Good government groups took comfort in the limited nature of the problem.
About one million New York City residents voted in the primary June, and only 378 votes were revealed.
“This is a minimal problemsays Susan Lerner, director director of Common Cause/New York. “This is a very bad small fraction of the total number of voters. And they’re absolutely right, it’s easy to solve this problem.”
Kate Conger contributed coverage.
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