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25 again: why new elections in New York are held just two years after the previous ones


Lyudmila Balabay

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Just two years ago—in 2021—we elected New York City's mayor, city comptroller, and 16 City Council members. The usual election cycle in New York is 4 years, meaning the next election was expected in 2025. But no! Now all the seats on the City Council are up for re-election again – there are 51 of them. The reason for the early elections was explained on October 31 at a round table at the mayor’s office.

The 2020 census is to blame. After analyzing the results, New York officials redid the electoral district map to maintain balance and ensure an equal number of voters in each district. After this, re-elections have to be held.

“Instead of the usual 4 years, we are electing the city council after 2 years due to the change in the district map. After the Census, we found out where and how New York's population lived, and based on this we changed the boundaries of the districts. Therefore, the City Council needs to be re-elected - since the districts in which the current members of the City Council won no longer exist, they have changed. And some of the candidates you voted for in your district now - after the census - find themselves representing another district. So we need everyone in the city to vote again and elect representatives for their new districts. Because of the redistricting, you may have to vote in a new location, for a new candidate, etc.,” explained Kathleen Daniel, the New York City Mayor's Director of Democracy.

New York City Hall Roundtable on Elections. Photo: ForumDaily New York

Members of the New York City Council, who will be elected on November 7, 2023, will also receive a mandate of only two years. This is being done in order to return to a normal electoral schedule in 2025.

In 2023, only the city council is elected, without the mayor, controller and other positions. And in 2025, all positions will be united again in general elections, and the 4-year electoral cycle will be restored.

For information on how and where to vote in New York's local elections on November 7, read our material.

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