Working Families Party Woes: Wiley Nixes Ballot Line, BOE Kicks Others off Ballot

Voters in District 24 cast their ballots in the city's first-ever ranked-choice voting election on Feb. 2, 2021. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Maya Wiley Spokesperson Eric Koch confirmed to PoliticsNY on Wednesday, July 14, that she won’t run on the Working Families Party line in the November General Election, despite getting the political party’s support in the recent primary.

It’s the second time Wiley’s campaign has said she wouldn’t accept the ballot line as a WFP candidate if it were offered to her. 

Thanks to a new statewide vote threshold rule, the WFP along with the Democratic, Republican and Conservative Parties have guaranteed slots on the New York ballots. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has the Democratic Party line, Guardian Angel Founder Curtis Sliwa has the Republican line and former police detective Bill Pepitone has the Concertaive Party Line.

The WFP currently has Make the Road nonprofit leader Deborah Axt as a placeholder candidate for the line.a placeholder candidate. The WFP will be choosing a replacement candidate in a meeting next month. 

“As far as the mayoral race goes, we haven’t made any decisions with what we’re going to be doing for the November election,” said Ravi Mangla, a WFP spokesperson. 

The WFP is also facing a different problem. Nearly all WFP candidates have been kicked off the down-ballot lines in the upcoming general election because of a technicality. The City’s Board of Elections (BOE) removed almost two dozen candidates from ballot lines because they failed to submit manual signatures to accompany the electronic ones they had submitted.

The BOE ruling also affects Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and candidate for comptroller, Brad Lander to be on the WFP ballot line, although both remain on the Democratic Party line.

The WFP is arguing that the BOE accepted electronic signatures just last year, but the WFP botched an attempt to take legal action as they failed to properly serve the BOE. The WFP is now hoping that a previous state Supreme Court ruling that favored WFP candidates running in upstate counties by allowing the electronic notarizations will get the BOE to change its mind.  

“We urge the NYC Board of Elections to restore our Working Families slate to the ballot for the general election. Our party fully complied with election law, as was confirmed by the State Supreme Court. Seeing the Commissioners take the extraordinary step of throwing our candidates off the ballot, without careful examination of the law and their own rules, is deeply concerning,” said Sharon Cromwell, Deputy Director of the WFP in a statement. 

“It shakes our faith in the ability of the BOE leadership to administer elections in a fair, impartial, and consistent way,” Cromwell added.

More from Around New York