Dan Janison has been a reporter at Newsday since 1997.
Data whips around the planet at lightning speed, yet it seems that after every election, some results elude certainty for weeks.
In New York City, the count in veteran Rep. Charles Rangel's re-election run is due to be certified next week. Rangel's top challenger in the multicandidate Democratic primary, Assemb. Adriano Espaillat, conceded late Tuesday. Suddenly, however, with 94 percent of precincts now preliminarily tallied, a 50-to-33 percent margin for Rangel shrinks to 44 percent to 41 percent.
In Nassau, at least part of the contest to face Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) may not be over. The preliminary count in the GOP primary, posted on the county's website, has Legis. Francis X. Becker Jr. beating insurgent Frank Scaturro by 55 percent to 45 percent.
Presuming that margin holds, Republican Scaturro could still win the Conservative line, for which he staged a write-in campaign. The total number of Conservative write-in ballots exceeded the number of machine votes for Becker, according to early counts.
Voters get ballots that offer the choice of "other." They are instructed to fill out an oval next to that choice, then legibly fill in the full name of the desired candidate. Scaturro said Friday his campaign instructed supporters on the proper write-in procedure, but added that if technical flaws appear, the law still deems the voter's "intent" key.
Officials are due to begin examining ballots Monday to determine a winner.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: Nassau Comptroller George Maragos drew only 11 percent in last week's three-way Republican Senate primary, numbers show so far. At least he appears to have won his home county, with an uncertified 7,345 votes, or 45 percent, to 34 percent for Rep. Robert Turner (R-Rockaway Point) and 21 percent for Wendy Long, the statewide winner. In Suffolk, where GOP chairman John Jay LaValle endorsed Maragos, Long won 5,404 votes, or 45 percent, to Turner's 35 percent, and Maragos' 20 percent.
NASTY NOTES: Last week Carl Paladino, the 2010 GOP candidate for governor, sent email calling U.S. Senator-turned-lobbyist Alfonse D'Amato a "low life parasite" and claiming he's in a "cabal" with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) involving enactment of same-sex marriage. A D'Amato ally noted that allies of Paladino are trying to oust State Sen. Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo), who voted for the bill, and whose adviser Joel Giambra is in D'Amato's Park Strategies firm. "It's Paladino being Paladino, a madman," the ally said.