Pictured Above: The race between Stony Brook chemist Nancy Goroff and Congressman Lee Zeldin has been among the most-watched local races. Mr. Zeldin has declared victory, but Dr. Goroff has not conceded.

The Suffolk County Board of Elections will begin counting the more than 168,000 absentee ballots it has received to date after the Nov. 16 deadline to receive overseas military ballots.

Regular absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day were accepted through yesterday, Nov. 10.

No East End candidate for state or federal office has yet conceded their races after Election Night results saw Republicans with broad leads in in-person voting. In a pattern that echoed this Election Day across the country, Democrats here were far more likely to vote by absentee ballot than Republicans.

Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin is the only local candidate to declare victory to date, though his opponent, Stony Brook chemistry professor Nancy Goroff, has not conceded.

“Even with election lawyers doing their diligence and providing scrutiny over the ballots and process, we expect to complete our work before Thanksgiving,” said Republican Election Commissioner Nick LaLota of the absentee ballot counting process on Wednesday.

His Democrat counterpart, Commissioner Anita Katz, sounded a less optimistic tune.

“Timeline is unknowable since there are 167,000 absentees and many candidates have attorneys,” she wrote in an email to The Beacon Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, Nov. 11, the Suffolk County Board of Elections reported 168,002 absentee ballots had been received, out of 209,686 requested by voters.

Of the ballots received, 77,855 were requested by registered Democrats, 39,210 were requested by registered Republicans, and 50,937 were requested by people either not registered with a party or registered with a third party.

In the First Congressional District, 88,967 absentee ballots were received by the county as of Nov. 11, with 40,174 ballots returned by Democrats, 21,366 returned by Republicans and 27,427 returned by voters not registered with a party or registered with a third party.

There was a 65,129-vote spread between Mr. Zeldin and Ms. Goroff on Election Night, with 176,317 in-person votes cast for Mr. Zeldin and 111,188 cast for Ms. Goroff.

In the First Senate District race to replace longtime State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, 42,340 absentee ballots had been received as of Nov. 11. Of those ballots, 19,226 were turned in by registered Democrats, 9,966 were turned in by registered Republicans and 13,148 were returned by people either affiliated with a third party or not affiliated with a party.

Republican State Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo had a lead over Democrat Laura Ahearn, the executive director of the Crime Victims Center in Election Night in-person vote tallies, with 57.2 percent of the vote to Ms. Ahearn’s 42.78 percent. 74,289 votes had been cast for Mr. Palumbo and 55,554 for Ms. Ahearn, an 18,735-vote spread.

In the race to fill Mr. Palumbo’s current seat in the Second Assembly District, the Board of Elections received 16,904 absentee ballots — 6,981 from registered Democrats, 4,476 from registered Republicans and 5477 ballots from people either registered with a third party or not affiliated with a party.

In the Election Night in-person tally, Republican Riverhead Town Councilwoman Jodi Giglio has 62.39 percent of the vote in the Second Assembly District race, ahead of former Democratic Riverhead Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith, who has 36.27 percent of the vote. Ms. Giglio had racked up 34,289 votes, while Ms. Jens-Smith had won 19,935, a 14,354-vote spread.

In the South Fork’s First Assembly District, 17,704 ballots had been received by the Board of Elections as of Nov. 11, including 8,432 from registered Democrats, 3,864 from registered Republicans and 5,408 ballots from people either registered with a third party or not affiliated with a party.

Longtime South Fork State Assemblyman Fred Thiele, an Independent who has been in office since 1992, was in the lead in in-person voting on Election Night, with 53.32 percent of the vote over Republican Heather Collins, who has 46.66 percent. Mr. Thiele received 28,186 in=person votes to Ms. Collins’ 24,663 votes — a 3,523-vote spread.

We will have more information on these races as it becomes available.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

One thought on “Counting of Suffolk’s 168,000+ Absentee Ballots to Begin Next Week

  1. I want Laura Ahearn to lose so badly. She’s a corrupt victim advocate and would bring the same culture of corruption that we’ve seen from James Burke, Dean Skelos, and Tom Spota, all of whom were close allies of Ahearn.

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