Tuesday was the last day the Suffolk County Board of Elections would accept absentee ballots for the June 23 Democratic primary elections.
But it will likely take more than two weeks until winners are declared, according to Board of Elections Commissioner Anita Katz.
In an executive order earlier this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo required that absentee ballots be sent to all voters to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 at polling places. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 70,000 absentee ballots had been received for races across Suffolk County. Those will all need to be counted.
“It will be weeks,” Ms. Katz said. “More than two weeks for the whole county. This is new territory for us, having this many absentee ballots. Once we get started, we’ll have a better idea.”
In addition, more than 14,500 ballots were cast by machine last Tuesday and by early voters the previous week. The BOE did release unofficial results from those votes.
And there are also “hundreds” of affidavit votes, Ms. Katz said. That’s when someone comes in to vote but is not listed in the voter rolls. The BOE will let those people vote and fill out an affidavit, and the BOE will look up the registration after the vote.
Along with the presidential primary vote, two other Democratic primaries took place on Shelter Island on June 23.
In the 1st Congressional District, the unofficial results had Perry Gershon in first place with 5,166 votes, followed by Nancy Goroff (5002), County Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac) (4,062) and Greg Fischer (322).
The winner will take on incumbent Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin in November.
In the state Senate primary, Laura Ahearn had the preliminary lead, with 2,360 votes, followed by Valerie Cartright (2,120), Tommy John Schiavoni (1,812), Skyler Johnson (945) and Nora Higgins (356).
In November, the winner of this primary will face current Republican Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo of New Suffolk, who was chosen to run for state Senate to fill the seat of Sen. Ken LaValle, who is not seeking reelection.