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As First-Ever Citywide Ranked Choice Voting Election Approaches, Mayor de Blasio Announces 'Rank Your Pizza' Challenge

June 10, 2021

NEW YORK––As New Yorkers prepare to vote in the first-ever citywide Ranked Choice Voting election, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chief Democracy Officer Laura Wood today announced ‘Rank Your Pizza,’ an interactive challenge that educates New Yorkers on the new system by encouraging voters to rank their favorite pizza toppings in a ranked choice system. The mayor demonstrated the new system by ranking his own favorite toppings:

  1. Green peppers
  2. Olives
  3. Sausage
  4. Mushrooms
  5. Pepperoni

New Yorkers can participate in the challenge, and preview the new voting system, at Early Voting for the June Primary Election begins on Saturday, June 12th. New Yorkers interested in voting by absentee ballot must request their ballots at by Tuesday, June 15th. Election Day will be Tuesday, June 22nd.

“This year, democracy gets an upgrade in New York City. But any new system takes time and practice to get it right. That’s why we’re calling on every New Yorker to rank their pizza toppings this week – it’s a fun, interactive way to demonstrate Ranked Choice Voting and get New Yorkers excited to cast their ballot this year,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Ranked Choice Voting will make New York City elections fairer and more inclusive, and I’m proud to support fun, engaging ways to educate New Yorkers about this new system,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives J. Phillip Thompson.

"Ranked Choice Voting will give New Yorkers more of a say in elections," said Chief Democracy Officer Laura Wood. "This year, as you are making your voting plan, make sure you are prepared to vote by practicing Ranked Choice Voting with our Pizza Topping Challenge, and help spread the word by sharing the ballot with your family, friends, and neighbors. And don't forget: Early Voting starts this Saturday."

Ranked Choice Voting is a new system of voting that allows voters to rank up to five candidates in order of preference. With so much at stake in local elections and the implementation of a new system of voting, public education is even more important than ever this year, which is why Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $15 million voter education campaign in April. With support from this funding, DemocracyNYC is educating New Yorkers through multilingual workshops, Get Out the Vote programming, community engagement, phone banking, tech tools, print and digital media campaigns, and more.

"If there's one thing that brings New Yorkers together it's that our City has the world's greatest pizza! But which toppings are the best? We encourage all New Yorkers to get prepared for the upcoming election, learn how to use Ranked Choice Voting, and make their voices heard, by practicing with the Rank Your Pizza Challenge,” said Dr. Sarah Sayeed, Chair & Executive Director of The New York City Civic Engagement Commission.

“Early voting is a critical tool for overcoming obstacles that can keep people from exercising their democratic rights," said May Malik, Deputy Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. "All New Yorkers have a right to vote early, and have a right to bring an interpreter with them to the ballot box. MOIA is proud to work closely with our agency and community-based partners to educate communities and ensure that New Yorkers' voices are fully represented in our democracy.”

"Ranked Choice Voting is a simple, proven election reform that empowers voters, encourages positive campaigning, and is more inclusive and representative. In implementing Ranked Choice Voting, New Yorkers can vote independently, confidently, and securely," said Community Affairs Unit Commissioner Roberto Perez.

"Personally, my ranking is as follows: 1. Sausage 2. Peppers 3. Onions 4. Mushrooms 5. Canadian Bacon. Democracy NYC has developed fun, creative ways to engage and educate New Yorkers on our new form of voting.  This contest, along with our investments in hyper-local Ranked Choice Voting education, will ensure that New Yorkers from Coney Island to Baychester understand how to rank their votes," said Jordan Stockdale, Executive Director, the Young Men's Initiative.

"Ranked Choice Voting is important because gives more opportunities for our communities to share our preferences. Bridge Philanthropic Consulting (BPC) is pleased and proud to support the City of New York DemocracyNYC's dedicated efforts to educate voters in every borough across our great city. In partnership with our diverse network of community-based organizations, we are on the front lines every day, conducting much needed outreach and education. Supporting the City of New York's efforts to allow consensus to emerge through Ranked Choice Voting is one of the most meaningful initiatives affecting our communities today," said Dwayne Ashley, Chief Executive Officer, Bridge Philanthropic Consulting.

"Ranked Choice Voting gives you the chance to rank your candidates from who you like the most to least, giving candidates who may not be able to raise the most money a chance to win. We are proud to partner with DemocracyNYC to educate our neighbors and peers who live on over policed blocks about the importance of voting and how to vote. Through our partnership we are able to bring the information and knowledge directly to the block - ensuring ALL New Yorkers are part of the democratic process," said Jahlil Allah, Crew Count founder.

“In the last year, we’ve partnered with over 750 organizations and conducted nearly 500 trainings, reaching almost 1 million New Yorkers in our education efforts.” said Sean Dugar, Rank the Vote NYC's Education Campaign Program Director. “Ranked choice voting gives voters more opportunities to have a say in who represents them. I have no doubt New Yorkers are ready to rank.”

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