Democrat New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio used a pizza-toppings chart to explain the city’s ranked-choice voting system ahead of its primary elections this month.
De Blasio showed the chart during a Thursday media appearance.
New York City voters in the June 2021 Primary election will be able to rank up to 5 candidates by order of preference, according to information from the city’s Board of Elections. This election will be the first time eligible voters in the city will be using ranked-choice voting, Pix11 reported. (RELATED: De Blasio Calls For Investigation Into Cuomo Sexual Harassment Claims)
The system, which eliminates the need for run-off elections, according to the New York Post, will be used for choosing the city’s next mayor, public advocate, comptroller, and borough presidents. Ranked-choice voting will also be used in city council elections, the NYC Board of Elections website states.
Months of education and awareness initiatives have been conducted in the city to ready residents for the new system, Pix11 reported.
In ranked choice voting, voters can choose up to five candidates they’d like. Each column in the ballot represents a ranking—first choice, second choice, and so on. The rows represent the candidates contesting in the election.
Voters can then choose where they want to place their five candidates in the ranking system by filling out the columns in order of preference.
When the votes are counted, and no candidate gets a majority of the first-place votes, a run-off round is triggered. The candidate having the least amount of first-place votes in each round gets eliminated, Pix11 reported. The voters who voted for that candidate will then get their second-place votes counted.
According to a PIX11/NewsNation/Emerson College poll, voters in the city are slowly beginning to comprehend the system, the outlet reported, with 64% of those surveyed saying they’ve “heard a lot about it.”
In the Thursday media appearance, De Blasio tried his hand at helping his constituents comprehend the system.
Pulling up a large mock ballot to vote for “Best NYC Pizza Topping,” the mayor tries to rank his choice of top pizza toppings by order of preference to illustrate how ranked-choice voting would work. The possible choices in the ballot are olives, pineapples, vegan cheese, clams, sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, and pepperoni.
One thing that the “bizarre” pizza chart missed, according to New York Daily News, was common toppings such as spinach, anchovies, onions and extra cheese.
“A lot of people don’t appreciate green peppers enough,” de Blasio says as he ranked green peppers as his first choice. “I have southern Italian roots. Green peppers are a very big, important part of our life.”
He then selects olives as his second choice, saying he “had very good experiences with olives,” before ranking sausage third, mushrooms fourth, and pepperoni in fifth place.
For the choices he didn’t choose, he says vegan cheese is something he’s “not ready for.” As for clams, he says “We’re not New Haven.”
When referring to pineapple, he says, “We’re not in California, OK? This is sacrilegious in Italy to put pineapple on a pizza. No way.”