Low voter turnout in early hours of City Council District 31 special election

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Voters in City Council District 31 headed to the polls Tuesday morning to vote in New York City’s second test of ranked-choice voting. 

The special election to fill the seat left vacant by now-Queens Borough President Donovan Richards may be the city’s first true test of the new voting system. The first election to use RCV was the special election in District 24 earlier this month but it did not make use of the system’s run-off procedures because winner Councilman James Gennaro received over 60 percent of the vote. 

With nine candidates – Nancy J. Martinez, Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, LaToya R. Benjamin, Latanya Collins, Sherwyn A. James, Nicole S. Lee, Pesach Osina, Shawn Rux and Manuel Silva – running to represent the district, it’s possible one candidate doesn’t receive over 50 percent of the vote after the first round of counting is completed. If that happens, the election will go into a runoff. 

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