Democratic primary contenders, from left, John Avlon and Nancy Goroff, who...

Democratic primary contenders, from left, John Avlon and Nancy Goroff, who are running in the 1st Congressional District, and Nassau County Legis. Siela Bynoe and Assemb. Taylor Darling, who are running in the State Senate's 6th District. Credit: Lynsey Addario; James Escher

Early voting ends Sunday in congressional, state and local Democratic primary races that have seen turnout only in the single digits percentage-wise, according to Nassau County and Suffolk County elections data.

Voters are casting ballots in the 1st Congressional District race between John Avlon, a former CNN anchor, and Nancy Goroff, a former chair of the Stony Brook University chemistry department.

There also are five primary races for State Senate and Assembly in Nassau and Suffolk counties, along with two town races, in Riverhead and on Shelter Island. There are no Republican primaries.

Early voting began June 15, and Election Day is Tuesday. There is no voting on Monday.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Voters are casting ballots in one Democratic congressional race along with five Democratic races for State Senate and Assembly in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Town Democratic primaries are also underway in Riverhead and on Shelter Island. There are no Republican primaries.
  • Voters may cast a ballot at any polling place in their county for early voting. But on Tuesday, primary day, voters must cast ballots at their designated polling site. 
  • Early voting began June 15. Election Day is set for Tuesday. There is no voting on the Monday before Election Day.
recommendedLatest results: June 25 primaries 

Through Thursday, just 1.7% of Suffolk Democratic voters in locations with primaries had cast ballots, data show. Throughout the 1st Congressional District, 3,189 registered Democrats — 1.7% — had voted early, according to John Alberts, Democratic commissioner for the Suffolk County Board of Elections. 

The 1st District had 185,043 registered Democrats as of November, according to the most recent state Board of Elections figures available. The primary winner will face first-term Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Amityville) in November.

At the Dix Hills Fire Department on Saturday, voters sporadically arrived throughout the morning and sweltering early afternoon.

Signs direct Long Islanders to the polling place at the...

Signs direct Long Islanders to the polling place at the Dix Hills Fire Department on Saturday. Credit: Joseph Sperber

Sheetal Sharma, 48, of Dix Hills, said she had just voted for the first time since receiving American citizenship in 2021. An Australian native, she called it “liberating” to vote in her first U.S. election.

She said women’s reproductive rights was a key issue for her and she voted for Goroff.

“I couldn’t have children of my own, but I think everybody has a right to say what they want to do with themselves,” she said.

Alissa Wexler, 48, of Commack, said she voted for Avlon and added she appreciates the convenience of early voting.

“Even though I work from home it’s sometimes hard in the middle of the day to come out to vote,” she said. “It’s easier on the weekends.”

After casting a ballot in the 1st Congressional District primary at the Rose Caracappa Senior Center in Mount Sinai, Marsha Belford, 68, of Sound Beach, said she has never missed an election, including primaries, since she was old enough to vote.

“Voting is the key to our democracy and our democracy right now is in trouble,” she said.

She said she made her decision based on which candidate she believed had the best chance to win the general election.

Similar turnout in other races

In Nassau, turnout in state Assembly and Senate primaries was a little more than 1% as of Thursday, according to election data. The figure is closer to 3% considering mail-in ballots that are trickling in, Democratic Commissioner for the Nassau County Board of Elections James Scheuerman said Friday. 

“Turnout is definitely light for a beautiful week in June with a heat wave,” Scheuerman said Friday.

In the 4th Assembly District race, 468 Democrats had voted early as of Thursday, according to Alberts. The district has 33,449 registered Democratic voters. There, Skyler Johnson, of Port Jefferson Station, is running against Port Jefferson Village Deputy Mayor Rebecca Kassay. 

In the 6th Senate District, 1,335 of 100,499 registered district Democrats, or 1.3%, had voted early as of Thursday. Nassau County Legis. Siela Bynoe (D-Westbury) and Assemb. Taylor Darling, of Hempstead, are the candidates. 

In the 7th Senate District, 1.5% of registered district Democrats — 1,270 of 83,520 voters — had voted early as of Thursday. In that race, Port Washington resident Kimberly G. Keiserman faces Brad Schwartz of Roslyn. 

In the 18th Assembly District, 1.3% of registered Democrats had cast ballots by Thursday in the race between Lisa Ortiz, of Lakeview,  and Noah Burroughs, of Hempstead. 

As of Thursday in the 21st Assembly District, 1% of the district's 41,239 Democrats had cast ballots in the race between Judy A. Griffin, of Rockville Centre, who represented the district in the Assembly from 2019 to 2022, and Patricia Maher, of Baldwin, an advertising executive. 

The Democratic primaries in Nassau and Suffolk are restricted to registered party members.

Polling hours Sunday

Any eligible voter may vote at any early polling place in their county. Wherever in the county a voter seeks to cast an early ballot, the voter will be provided a ballot that contains only the races for which they are eligible to vote, based on their residence.

In Nassau, early voting sites will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday.

In Suffolk, early voting sites are open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Sunday.

On Tuesday, primary day, voters must cast ballots at their designated polling site. Voters may look up their voting sites at voterlookup.elections.ny.gov.

Nassau County voters with questions also may visit https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/566/Board-of-Elections or call 516-571-8683.

Suffolk County voters may visit https://suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/BOE or call 631-852-4500.

With Joe Werkmeister

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