A 2021 New York City Election Day Guide

People visit an early-voting site at a YMCA in Brooklyn. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Though a lot of attention has been given to who will be the next occupant of Gracie Mansion, New York City voters will also be casting their votes in an election that will change over most of the city’s leadership for the first time in years: district attorney, comptroller, borough president, and the entire City Council. Then there are five ballot proposals that would make several amendments to the state constitution, from nonpartisan/independent redistricting to a right to a clean environment. Here, a guide to some of the major races on the Election Day ballot. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.


The marquee showdown on Tuesday is the mayoral race between Eric Adams, Brooklyn’s current borough president, and Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels. But the general-election ballot will also list several other candidates running on third-party lines. (Sliwa, who is the Republican nominee, is also running on the independent line and will be listed twice as a result.)

The mayoral candidates are:

  • Democratic: Eric Adams
  • Republican: Curtis Sliwa
  • Conservative: William A. Pepitone
  • Socialism & Lib: Catherine Rojas
  • Libertarian: Stacey H. Prussman
  • Save Our City: Fernando Mateo
  • Independent: Curtis Sliwa
  • Humanity United: Raja Michael Flores
  • Out Lawbreaker: Skiboky Stora
  • Empowerment: Quanda S. Francis

Borough President

All five boroughs will be voting for borough president, with Queens’ Donovan Richards as the only incumbent seeking reelection. The candidates are as follows:


  • Democratic: Antonio Reynoso
  • Republican: Menachem M. Raitport
  • Conservative: Menachem M. Raitport
  • Voices for Change: Shanduke L. McPhatter
  • Rent Is 2 Damn High: Anthony T. Jones


  • Democratic: Vanessa L. Gibson
  • Republican: Janelle King
  • Conservative: Sammy Ravelo


  • Democratic: Mark D. Levine
  • Republican: Louis Puliafito
  • Libertarian: Michael Lewyn


  • Democratic: Donovan J. Richards Jr.
  • Republican/Save Our City: Thomas J. Zmich
  • Conservative: Thomas J. Zmich

Staten Island

  • Democratic: Mark S. Murphy
  • Republican: Vito Fossella
  • Conservative: Leticia M. Remauro
  • Staten Island 1st: Mark S. Murphy

City Council

There is an election in all 51 City Council districts this year, which means every voter will have a council race on their ballot. A list of all the candidates running, including those for City Council, can be found on the New York City Board of Elections’ website.


Brad Lander, a Democratic City Council member from Brooklyn, and Daby Carreras, a money manager running on the Republican and Save Our City party lines, will face off in the race to be comptroller.

District Attorney

There are two district-attorney races on the ballot this year: Brooklyn district attorney and Manhattan district attorney. In Brooklyn, Eric Gonzalez, the Democratic incumbent, is running unopposed. Democrat Alvin Bragg, a former chief deputy attorney general for the state, will face Thomas Kenniff, a Republican former prosecutor, in Manhattan.

Public Advocate

Jumaane Williams, the Democratic incumbent, is running for a full term as public advocate after winning a 2019 special election to replace the outgoing Letitia James, who vacated her seat to become state attorney general. He is running against Devi Nampiaparampil, a doctor running on both the Republican and Save Our City party lines.

Ballot Proposals

In this election, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to vote on five ballot proposals that address potential policy changes in areas ranging from the environment to absentee ballots to the courts. The exact wording of each of the ballot proposals can be found at the state Board of Elections website.

Proposal 1
If passed, Proposal 1 would result in several changes to the state constitution’s redistricting process, including keeping the number of state senators at 63; requiring district lines to be based on New York’s entire population, including noncitizens; and allowing incarcerated individuals to be counted at their last listed residence rather than where they’re incarcerated.

Proposal 2
Proposal 2 would amend Article 1 of the constitution, establishing “the right of each person to clean air and water and a healthful environment.”

Proposal 3
Proposal 3 would remove the requirement that a person must be registered to vote a minimum of ten days prior to an election, opening the door for future legislation that could allow prospective voters to register closer to Election Day or even same-day registration.

Proposal 4
If a majority votes in favor, Proposal 4 would get rid of the current requirement that an absentee voter has to be unable to go to their polling place due to illness or physical limitations or because they’re out of town. Removing that provision could set the stage for lawmakers to allow absentee voting without needing an excuse.

Proposal 5
Proposal 5 would allow the city’s civil court to hear and rule on claims for up to $50,000. Currently, the limit for that jurisdiction stands at $25,000.

A 2021 New York City Election Day Guide