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Officials say County cyber attack won’t have impact on upcoming election

Suffolk County’s elections will not be impacted by the Sept. 8 cyber attack that has shut down many county functions, officials said. 

However, the way the county reports election results will be different.

“At this point, everything is as it was,” said Board of Elections deputy commissioner Gail Lolis. “And in terms of operating the election, there’s absolutely no impact whatsoever. The only potential impact may be how we post results on our webpage on election night.” 

The county Board of Elections traditionally posts up-to-the minute elections results that are hosted by the County’s website. But that site may not be up and running by Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8.

The BOE is now working on an alternate plan, whereby New York State will provide web space for the County’s election results. The county BOE’s own site, suffolkvotes.com, also remained down as of early this week. 

County Executive Steve Bellone states on the county’s current one-page website that officials believe the Sept. 8 hackers accessed and/or acquired certain personal information from one or more county agency servers.

The County has since hired multiple cybersecurity firms to conduct an examination to protect employees and residents as well as restore online services, according to Mr. Bellone.

The county’s website currently devotes several paragraphs to the Board of Elections, most of which include links to the state Board of Elections for information on topics like early voting and absentee voting.

Voters statewide can begin casting ballots Saturday, Oct. 29. Early voting, which the state implemented in 2019, will run through Sunday, Nov. 6.

There are 27 early voting locations throughout Suffolk County and registered voters can cast a ballot at any of them, regardless of where they live.

If you haven’t applied for an absentee ballot or aren’t planning to vote in person on Tuesday, Nov. 8, you can vote early at the Community Center on Shelter Island or any of the locations listed above.

Early voting is on  Saturday, Oct. 29; Sunday, Oct. 30 and Monday, Oct. 31 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. It continues on Tuesday, Nov. 1, and Wednesday, Nov. 2, between 7 a.m. an 3 p.m.

On Thursday, Nov. 3, and Friday, Nov. 4, you can cast your early ballot between noon and 8 p.m.

Early voting winds up on Saturday, Nov. 5, and Sunday, Nov. 6, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, polls open at 6 p.m. and voting ends at 9 p.m. On Election Day you can only vote at your local polling location.

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