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Long IslandPolitics

More than 97,000 Long Islanders chose mail-in, early voting before Tuesday's primary

An application for an absentee ballot for Nassau

An application for an absentee ballot for Nassau County on May 26. Credit: Newsday/William Perlman

ALBANY — More than 97,000 Long Islanders will have voted by mail or through early voting before the polls open Tuesday for the state’s presidential and local primaries, all of which have been affected by the COVID-19 virus, state and county officials said Monday.

In Nassau County, 42,753 mail-in votes were received by Monday morning, said James P. Scheuerman, Democratic commissioner of the Nassau County Board of Elections. Monday’s total is still half of the 83,912 mail-in ballots requested by voters, so the total number of mail-in or absentee ballots could grow substantially.

In addition, 4,157 voters in Nassau County had taken advantage of early voting from June 13 through Sunday at special polling places, according to state Board of Elections statistics released Monday.

In Suffolk, County, 20 postal containers of ballots were received Monday morning — a huge increase over the norm, said Anita S. Katz, Democratic commissioner of the Suffolk County Board of Elections. No update of vote totals was available Monday, but by late last week 48,818 mail-in votes were received from among 117,357 voters in Suffolk County who had requested them.

There were also 2,142 early voters in Suffolk County.

In all, more than 201,000 Long Islanders are among the more than 1.7 million New Yorkers who have requested mail-in ballots, which must be postmarked by Tuesday and received at local boards of election by July 1. Because of the large number of absentees, no final results will be available Tuesday night.

Officials say mail-in voting and early voting has increased because voters are taking advantage of state actions to try to limit crowds at polls on Election Day during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the Democratic presidential primary, former Vice President Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee. His name will appear on the ballot with 10 other Democrats who have suspended their campaigns. Democrats also will vote to allocate New York’s 320 delegates to the nominating convention expected to be held in August. 

The Republican presidential primary was canceled. President Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee.

There are also Republican and Democratic primaries on Long Island to choose candidates who hope to succeed Rep. Pete King (R-Seaford), who isn’t running for reelection; and four Democrats are vying to take on Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley).

On Long Island, Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians also will be able to choose nominees for some state legislative races as well.

Tuesday's primaries

  • Voting will be from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • The number of polling places has been consolidated in part because of a large number of poll workers who chose not to work Tuesday out of fear of contracting the COVID-19 virus. Registered voters may check their poll site at
  • Voters must wear protective masks. If they don’t have one, a mask will be provided. If a voter refuses to wear a mask, he or she will be escorted to another area to cast a ballot safely.
  • Poll workers will be sanitizing stations and pens or providing new pens between votes.

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