No one is supposed to know who Dante de Blasio or anyone else ranked first on their mayoral primary ballots unless they announce it, but that information has now been made public thanks to the bungling Board of Elections.
According to a newly released report, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s son was one of nearly 400 New Yorkers whose votes in the June Democratic primary were disclosed in publicly available data because he was the only person to vote in the election district that includes Gracie Mansion.
Researchers discovered that Dante ranked Maya Wiley first, followed by Eric Adams, Kathryn Garcia, Ray McGuire, and Shaun Donovan, thanks to the Board of Elections’ privacy-protection failure.
Only one person in a precinct voted in the June 22 mayoral primary, according to Princeton University and Stevens Institute of Technology researchers, meaning Board of Elections data revealed exactly who an individual voter ranked on their ballot.
“In voter file lists, we have found that in 378 of these precincts, exactly one person was reported as having voted. In these cases, we can match the person with the vote cast, thus re-identifying their secret ballot,” reads a summary of the report released Monday, titled “Privacy Concerns in New York City Elections.”
Only one voter was identified in the precinct that covers Gracie Mansion, where the mayor lives with his wife, Chirlane McCray, and their son, according to authors Jesse T. Clark, Lindsey Cormack, and Sam Wang. Dante De Blasio, the mayor’s son who is best known for a game-changing television commercial during the 2013 Democratic mayoral primary, is a registered Democrat in the city.
The violation of Dante’s right to a secret ballot left him “appalled.”
“I am appalled by this violation of my privacy,” Dante de Blasio said in a statement provided by a mayoral spokesman to the New York Times. “My main concern is not that people will know who I voted for, but rather that the BOE has repeatedly shown complete incompetence and still hasn’t been reformed by the state.”
“Hundreds of my fellow voters have had their right to a private ballot violated by the B.O.E.’s blatant carelessness,” he added. “Enough is enough.”
The authors of the report recommend that the beleaguered, patronage-ridden BOE combine voting information from low-turnout precincts in publicly disclosed data in future elections to avoid releasing individual New Yorkers’ votes.