June Harkrider, who turned 18 in March, places her ballot in the scanner as she votes for the first time during early voting in…
FILE - June Harkrider, who turned 18 in March, places her ballot in the scanner as she votes for the first time during early voting in the primary election, at the Church of St. Anthony of Padua in the Soho neighborhood of New York, June 14, 2021.

New York City is preparing for primary elections Tuesday, with residents voting to replace term-limited Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has been in power since 2014. 

Democrats in New York City will choose between former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia, former de Blasio administration attorney Maya Wiley, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. 

Policing and crime have been topics of great debate among the Democratic candidates, as protests against the New York Police Department have been held consistently over the past year. 

Adams currently leads in the polls, according to The Associated Press, but he is running on his public safety record as a former police captain — a platform that may alienate some voters. 

Republican candidates include Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, a nonprofit street patrol group, and businessman Fernando Mateo. 

For the first time in the city’s history, New York residents will use a ranked-choice voting system for the mayoral primary. Instead of picking one candidate, voters will rank up to five candidates in order of preference. 

Officials expect it could be weeks before the results of the primary are known. As in the U.S. presidential election, many absentee ballots will have to be counted before the results are finalized.

Additionally, ranked-choice voting could make early predictions of the front-runner less reliable. While initially only the first-choice votes will be counted, second- and third- choice votes will be counted as well, leaving room for a trailing candidate to catch up later in the count.  

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 8.3 million people live across the five boroughs of New York City.