On Wednesday, Broadway dancers, rappers, drummers, stilt performers and more gathered in Union Square for the City’s ‘Countdown to Vote’ event, raising awareness about the current primary elections.

The free community event, held by DemocracyNYC and NYC Civic Engagement Commission, also included The People’s Bus — a retired NYC Department of Correction vehicle that has been transformed into a community-led, mobile civic engagement center. 

Rank Choice Voting event in Union Square. Photo: Supplied.

Designed by Colombian-American artist Yazmany Arboleda, the bus gave New Yorkers of all ages the chance to learn about voting and to provide feedback for the bus’ development. The event also included a large-scale illumination installed by The Illuminator, a NYC-based artist-activist collective, and featured Ranked Choice Voting-focused artwork by a range of local artists.

DemocracyNYC Chief Democracy Officer Laura Wood said the event was about telling New Yorkers loud and clear: “Ranked Choice Voting is here — and it can be fun and engaging, too.”

“DemocracyNYC is thrilled to work with so many wonderful artists from this great City to get out the vote in the final stretch before the June 22 Primary Election,” she said, adding that partnering with local artists and community leaders was the best way to build a campaign that was truly by and for New Yorkers.

Rank Choice Voting event in Union Square. Photo: Supplied.

A key part of the event was informing voters about the new Ranked Choice Voting system, where voters can rank up to five candidates in order of preference. The City has spent $15 million on  an education campaign for Ranked Choice Voting, which is being used in the current primary elections for citywide positions, including mayor, borough president and city council.

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