NYC Campaign Finance Board Releases 2022-23 Voter Analysis Report
Today, the New York City Campaign Finance Board released the 2022-2023 Voter Analysis Report examining New York City's 2022 elections. The report includes:
A breakdown of voter turnout in the June and August primaries and November general election, and a special spotlight on special election voters:
- An in-depth look at the public testimony submitted to the NYC Districting Commission using sophisticated text and sentiment analysis, which ultimately found that the voices of New Yorkers hugely impacted how 2023 City Council district lines were drawn.
- Two detailed policy and legislative recommendations to increase voter turnout by holding local elections in even-numbered years, and make ballot proposals more accessible, by requiring them to be written in plain language.
"This year’s Voter Analysis Report provides us with a comprehensive review of the 2022 election year," said Allie Swatek, Director of Policy and Research at the New York City Campaign Finance Board. "2022 had its own unique challenges and showed us the importance of engaging community members in democratic processes--particularly the value of providing public testimony in response to redistricting. The report's policy recommendations also aim to make it easier for more New Yorkers to participate in elections and weigh in on ballot proposals."
The New York City Campaign Finance Board’s 2022-23 Voter Analysis Report provides us with a comprehensive analysis of the 2022 midterm elections in New York City. Headlined by the New York State Gubernatorial election, New Yorkers took to the polls to vote in U.S. House, State Senate, and State Assembly races alongside various ballot proposals. The year began with yet another COVID-19 scare as the rapid spread of the omicron variant reignited conversations about economic shutdowns and the City’s response to the pandemic.
While voters had to cast ballots in two separate primary elections because of successful legal challenges to the redrawn state and federal legislative maps, the City's redistricting process went smoothly. The CFB's analysis demonstrates how and where testimony from the general public impacted the final shape of the districts approved by the NYC Districting Commission. The analysis has implications for government processes of all sorts that require public input and demonstrates the impact of civic engagement by New Yorkers across the City.
Even though there were two primaries and several hotly contested congressional races, voter turnout in both June and August remained relatively consistent with turnout from comparable prior years. The total number of registered voters, in New York City, eligible at the time of the 2022 general election was 4,723,497. In the general election, 1,809,732 of all registered eligible voters in NYC voted for a turnout of 38.3%. This is a lower turnout percentage than in the 2018 general election but significantly higher than the 24.7% turnout of the 2014 general election.
The report also includes policy recommendations designed to make voting easier for all New Yorkers with a focus on improving turnout and accessibility. This year's recommendations include a proposal for holding elections in New York City and other New York State municipalities in even years and writing ballot proposals in plain language to improve voter accessibility. The 2022-2023 Voter Analysis Report also provides a comprehensive review of the 2022 ballot proposals, youth voter turnout, language expansion, the June primary, the August primary, and the November general election.
Legislative & Policy Recommendations
- Changing the Timing of City Elections
- Aligning local elections with gubernatorial or presidential races could increase the number of New Yorkers casting ballots for their local representatives and issues.
- The average turnout in the City for mayoral elections from 2001 to the present is 29.5%, while turnout for gubernatorial and presidential elections in the same time period is 35.6% and 60.8%, respectively.
- Plain Language Ballot Proposals
- Many voters have difficulty understanding ballot proposals. To address this issue, lawmakers should pass legislation that requires all State and local ballot proposals to be written in plain language.
NYC Votes is the nonpartisan voter engagement initiative of the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) and its Voter Assistance Advisory Committee (VAAC). In addition to promoting voter registration, participation, and civic engagement in New York City through its many programs and partnerships, NYC Votes sponsors the City’s official Debate Program and produces the citywide Voter Guide.