Election officials in New York City shockingly admitted Tuesday that 135,000 test ballots in the mayoral race were mistakenly counted as real ones.
The discovery came after election frontrunner Eric Adams questioned the ranked-choice results because his lead in the democratic primary went down to two points over his rival, Kathryn Garcia, according to the Daily Mail.
After 11 rounds of vote tallying, Adams, a former police officer and Brooklyn borough president, was declared as leading former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia 51.1 percent to 48.9 percent.
According to election officials, the difference was 15,908 votes without counting absentee ballots.
However, hours later, the board explained that it failed to remove sample ballot images used to test voting software. It counted “both test and election night results, producing approximately 135,000 additional records,” the statement said.
Many of the test ballots were for candidates who’ve since dropped out of the race, but Adams also received a large amount.
941,832 votes have been tallied thus far, with 124,000 absentee ballots remaining.
In a statement, Adams said he and his team “appreciate the Board’s transparency and acknowledgement of their error.”
“Today’s mistake by the Board of Elections was unfortunate,” he said. “It is critical that New Yorkers are confident in their electoral system, especially as we rank votes in a citywide election for the first time.”
Garcia, on the other hand, said it was “deeply troubling and requires a much more transparent and complete explanation.”
Prior to the results on Tuesday, Adams held a lead with 31.7 percent of first place votes.