Heavy turnout in Lattingtown election

Left, Lattingtown Mayor Clarence F. Michalis, who will Left, Lattingtown Mayor Clarence F. Michalis, who will face his first challenger in four decades, Nicholas DellaFera, right. (June 4, 2013) Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

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In the first contested mayoral race in four decades in the village of Lattingtown, turnout was extremely heavy when the polls opened Tuesday at noon.

About a dozen people already were waiting to vote a few minutes after an initial problem with the two voting machines was resolved. Within the first half-hour about 40 people had voted -- about the average for the entire nine hours of voting in a typical uncontested election.

Several voters said they were voting for the incumbent, 91-year-old Clarence Michalis, who has been mayor for 44 years and is the longest-serving mayor in New York State history.

But everybody who agreed to be interviewed by a reporter said they liked the fact that there was competition and that the election was generating interest in village affairs.

Many were first-time voters.

Mayoral challenger Nicholas DellaFera, 23, voted early and was thrilled with heavy turnout.

"I've done my job" of overcoming apathy, he said.

The election in Lattingtown is one of dozens of village elections being contested across Long Island on Tuesday. Other villages holding contested elections include: Bellport, Brightwaters, Lawrence, Manorhaven, North Haven, Rockville Centre, Sag Harbor and Woodsburgh.

Most polls close at 9 p.m.

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