Manhattan Caucus: A Rundown of Tuesday’s Elections

By, Kyla Guilfoil, Asst. News Editor

Last Tuesday’s elections gave insight to how constituents are feeling across the country. The results of this Election Day give our leaders an indication of what Americans are looking for in the 2022 midterm elections and beyond.

For New York City residents, election day included votes for mayor, comptroller and public advocate. Overall, the city unsurprisingly upheld its majority support of the democratic party.

Eric Adams gained mayorship with 66.5 percent of the vote, comfortably beating his Republican counterpart Curtis Silwa, who received 28.8 percent of the vote. In the Bronx, Adams won 76% of the vote. For Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, he sustained 71 percent, 59 percent and 81 percent, respectively. Silwa did take Staten Island with 68 percent.

Brad Lander added to the Democrat’s successes, winning New York City Comptroller with 68.8 percent of the votes and a similar margin of victory to Adams. Democrat Jumaane Williams also won in similar terms against the Republican candidate, taking 67.7 percent of the vote.

New York City residents also voted on five ballot measures, with only two successfully passing. Proposal 1, calling to make various changes to the redistricting process, did not pass, with a 56 percent majority voting against it. Proposal 2 called for an established right to clean air, water and healthful environment, and was passed by a majority vote of 69 percent. Proposal 3 and 4 did not pass, with a majority vote of “no” for allowing legislature to pass same-day voter registration, and allowing legislature to pass no-excuse absentee voting, respectively. Proposal 5 did pass with 62 percent voting “yes” for raising the NYC civil court limit to claims up to $50,000.

Proposal 4 points to the major changes that have affected voters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With a record amount of Americans voting by absentee ballot last fall for the Presidential Election, there was much debate about the verifiability of mail-in ballots. However, no major discrepancies were found due to mail-in voting during the 2020 election, with dozens of lawsuits failing to prove false voting in court.

Proposal 5 would enable faster proceedings for New Yorkers undertaking civil lawsuits, since now they won’t be required to be heard by a supreme court when suits exceed the previous claim limit of $25,000, which had stood as the limit since 1983.

While the proposals did not find radical support by constituents, democrats did do well in the additional New York races. Democrats Gibson, Reynoso, Levine and Richards comfortably won their Borough presidencies in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. Richards had the smallest window of victory in his election in Queens where he won by a 66 to 34 ratio. Staten Island predictably stayed red with Republican Fosella winning its Borough presidency.

Not all of Tuesday’s elections were as predictable as New York’s. In Virginia and New Jersey, governor elections sparked national interest.

As a swing state, Virginia voted blue in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. However, Democratic support seems to be slipping as republican Glenn Youngkin defeated democrat Terry McAuliffe in the state’s election of governor. Concerns over taxes and schools seemed to be the biggest driving factors behind Youngkin’s win. Youngkin specifically targeted Critical Race Theory and upheld a parent’s right to withdraw their children from materials discussing race, such as Toni Morrison’s acclaimed novel, “Beloved”. With President Biden’s approval rate currently sinking consistently over the last few months, Youngkin’s win symbolizes a weakening of the Democratic party that may contribute to Republican wins in next year’s midterm elections.

Criticism of Democratic leaders also pursued in New Jersey, where Democrat Phil Murphy barely won reelection after a tight governor’s race. While the Democrats sustained power over the governor’s office, the win was not nearly as secure as polls predicted. His opponent, Jack Ciattarelli, prioritized taxes and schools as did Youngkin in Virginia, which strengthened his votes.

This year’s elections give indication to what politicians will focus on during next year’s midterm elections, and likely, the 2024 presidential election. For New York, democratic power holds strong, but divisions arise over issues such as voter registration protocols and absentee ballot accessibility.