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NYC had an abysmally low voter turnout in Tuesday's election

Written by
Clayton Guse

Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected to a second term on Tuesday, ending a race that he was widely expected to win. According to unofficial election night results from the New York City Board of Elections, the incumbent mayor secured about 66 percent of the vote, handily besting Republican challenger and State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who received roughly 24 percent of the vote. 

But while Tuesday marked big wins for Democrats in New York (and the rest of the country), it also marked a pretty dismal milestone in the city’s history. Initial data shows that the city had its lowest voter turnout since at least the mid-20th century. According to voter enrollment tallies from November 1, there are 4,596,813 active registered voters in New York City. On Tuesday, 1,097,846 of them cast a vote for mayor.

That’s a turnout rate of just 23.88 percent. 

In 2013, the Times noted that the city’s general municipal election garnered a voter turnout of just 24 percent (data shows that it was precisely 24.74 percent), sliding under the previous record low of 28 percent in 2009. 

These numbers are still unofficial, so we can’t definitively say that Tuesday’s turnout hit a record low, but the current numbers teeter on the edge of that record. 

The poor turnout comes on the heels of another dismal showing in September’s municipal primary election in which just 14 percent of active registered Democrats showed up to the polls

Interestingly enough, the highest turnout rate in NYC this year came in Staten Island (where Malliotakis hails). The 62nd and 64th State Assembly districts there saw turnouts of 37 and 33 percent, respectively—the highest in the city.  

Check out a full map of turnout rates citywide below. 

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