More than 130,000 ballots used for pre-election testing made it into the city’s ranked choice voting numbers released Tuesday that showed a shrinking lead for mayoral contender Eric Adams, the board announced hours after it released and deleted the data. Officials acknowledged a discrepancy in the ballot count Tuesday afternoon; later in the evening, it finally explained what went wrong after hours of questions. “The Board of Elections conducts rigorous and mandatory pre-qualification testing for every election. It has been determined that ballot images used for testing were not cleared from the Election Management System (EMS),” officials said in a statement. The board went on to say that about 135,000 test ballots were included in Tuesday’s ranked choice voting data, in addition to the in-person ballots it used to conduct the ranked choice voting simulation, which would have been about the same total as election night ballots if done properly. “Board staff has removed all test ballot images from the system and will upload election night results, cross-referencing against election night reporting software for verification,” the board said. “The cast vote record will be re-generated and the RCV rounds will be re-tabulated.
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