Eric Adams pitched himself to New York City residents as a centrist. Of the many Democratic candidates for mayor, he was arguably the most unique: a former Republican, a former NYPD officer. He knew the other side intimately, and promised he wouldn’t pull any of their crap. But a week after the primary election, he did something surprising: After his once-commanding lead narrowed as more votes were counted, he dared question the legitimacy of the still-in-progress count, giving off strong vibes of You Know Who.
The primary saw the nation’s most populated city experimenting with something new: Rather than pick one favorite, voters would rank as many as five. It’s a first for the city, and it promised to delay the outcome not for days but weeks. The initial tally put Adams well ahead of his closest competitor, former Sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia. But a week later, as more votes trickled in, that lead shrank, from several percentage points to just a few. Rather than accept a conclusion everyone knew was likely, Adams played a Trump card.
“The vote total just released by the Board of Elections is 100,000-plus more than the total announced on election night, raising serious questions,” read a statement from Adams’ team. “We have asked the Board of Elections to explain such a massive increase and other irregularities before we comment on the Rank Choice Voting projection.”
Not long after Adams’ statement was made public, the city’s Board of Elections put out their own, admitting there “is a discrepancy in the unofficial RCV round by round elimination report.” Though they didn’t go into details, they said they “are working with our RCV technical staff to identify where the discrepancy occurred. We ask the public, elected officials and candidates to have patience,”
To many, Adams’ statement was triggering, summoning up memories of the aftermath to the 2020 election, in which the 45th president aggressively contested a free and fair election, even after it was clear his accusations were baseless (and often convoluted). And they were not happy to be back in that nightmare headspace.
here we go…Eric Adams in a statement here is baffled that when the vote counting process plays out, the vote totals change from what they were on election night…this is the argument Trump used to declare election fraud https://t.co/Ex3QVzkLVV
— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) June 29, 2021
Naturally, his campaign wades back into this in the Trumpiest way possible https://t.co/Gl5y3x4Y8Q
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) June 29, 2021
Democrats questioning election results. Literally shaking. https://t.co/TR8disbuPg
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) June 29, 2021
Eric Adams going full Trump on the election results when Kathryn Garcia defeats him is gonna be really annoying https://t.co/RVuU1pebOI
— Cam (@cameron_kasky) June 29, 2021
Scratch the surface and a staggering number of politicians are actually just Trump, especially when it comes to New York "Democrats." https://t.co/glPlsYvTru
— Louis Peitzman (@LouisPeitzman) June 29, 2021
Eric Adams gave us every reason to worry he'd go Trump-style on the RCV results, and here we are https://t.co/idPOjdIOXm
— Daily Kos Elections (@DKElections) June 29, 2021
The Trump vibes were so strong even Don Jr. tweeted about it. But others were not that surprised that Adams would pull this.
Don jr https://twitter.com/DonaldJTrumpJr/status/1409998713708240901
Big shout out to the pundits who celebrated Adams as a "normie" and the sensible centrist. https://t.co/WE6C4JZ5uZ
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) June 29, 2021
Others put the blame on the decision to try out a new form of voting so soon after an election that inspired grifters to take advantage of a degree of uncertainty.
I recognize that hindsight is 20/20 but it sure seems like using a novel voting method in a primary for the dominant party in America's largest city mere months after an election where, like, half of the country believes something nefarious happened with voting wasn't wise. https://t.co/ZufdDL9NL2
— Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) June 29, 2021
And others were worried that this — questionable, if not baseless, questioning of election results — were now the new normal, if even a Democratic candidate was willing to go there.
This is honestly gonna be more elections than not from now on. https://t.co/TkTMefmSj0
— fka ☕️ (@coopercooperco) June 29, 2021
In other words, fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be another bumpy election.
(Via Yahoo! News)