People cast their vote at Setauket Elementary School in Setauket...

People cast their vote at Setauket Elementary School in Setauket on Tuesday. Credit: James Carbone

Suffolk County election officials who anticipated Tuesday night’s election results would be “on time” and “faster” than Nassau County’s had a little explaining to do Wednesday, after delays pushed Suffolk’s postings until after Nassau’s.

Tuesday night's delay of less than an hour followed an even longer delay in 2022 that pushed back the release of preliminary results for more than two hours, until after midnight.

This week, Suffolk County’s Board of Elections didn’t release the first wave of election results until around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night, more than a half hour after Nassau County did, according to a Newsday analysis. Prior to 2022, results were typically released sometime after 9:40 p.m., the board said. Polls close at 9 p.m.

Complete Nassau election results were available around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, more than an hour before complete Suffolk results were, according to the review.

Suffolk County Republican Board of Elections Commissioner Betty Manzella in a Newsday article Nov. 2 had said the agency didn’t anticipate “any delays” after implementing upgrades and testing in the weeks leading up to the vote. Suffolk’s chief deputy county executive Lisa Black went further, saying Suffolk “will be faster at reporting the numbers than Nassau this year.”  

In a statement in response to Newsday questions Wednesday, Manzella said Suffolk “did not experience any problems in posting the unofficial results.”

Rather, she said, the county’s new election management software system “took slightly longer to upload the unofficial results from the field than we are used to …” The system was recently certified by New York State after being installed by Suffolk in September.

Suffolk has 326 poll locations that close at 9 p.m.  After the machines are officially closed, poll workers from those sites transport data cards to secure locations throughout Suffolk, from Melville to Montauk. “At the secure sites we must upload 1,258 data cards,” Manzella said, adding that one hour is “not an unusually long time to accomplish this task.”

She noted election results in prior years would begin at 9:40 or later, but that “significant changes” have been put in place since then, including tallying pre-scanned absentee ballots, extra security measures and the updated software. 

“No one outside of a Board of Elections understands what goes into running elections and providing timely but accurate results, which is what we strive to do,” she wrote. Suffolk Republican Party Chairman Jesse Garcia said he has full confidence in Manzella.

A spokesman for the Suffolk County Executive’s Office referred questions about the tally and Black’s promise to outdo Nassau County to the Board of Elections. Manzella said the Board of Elections “appreciate(s) the confidence she [Black] has in our abilities” but noted the county executive’s office has “no role in running the county elections by design through New York State Election Law.”

A Nassau County spokesman didn't return a message seeking comment.

Suffolk’s late posting of initial results in 2022 was tied to a slowdown in electronic processing of results from field upload locations, Newsday reported. The board at the time blamed the problem on an “overtaxed” reporting system burdened by “additional features coupled with additional processing functions,” which slowed the board’s “older operating system.”

Manzella in her Wednesday email said the Board of Elections will “continue to look into how to fine tune the system. We are currently working on ways to increase the speed of the data transmission.”

Suffolk County election officials who anticipated Tuesday night’s election results would be “on time” and “faster” than Nassau County’s had a little explaining to do Wednesday, after delays pushed Suffolk’s postings until after Nassau’s.

Tuesday night's delay of less than an hour followed an even longer delay in 2022 that pushed back the release of preliminary results for more than two hours, until after midnight.

This week, Suffolk County’s Board of Elections didn’t release the first wave of election results until around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night, more than a half hour after Nassau County did, according to a Newsday analysis. Prior to 2022, results were typically released sometime after 9:40 p.m., the board said. Polls close at 9 p.m.

Complete Nassau election results were available around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, more than an hour before complete Suffolk results were, according to the review.

Suffolk County Republican Board of Elections Commissioner Betty Manzella in a Newsday article Nov. 2 had said the agency didn’t anticipate “any delays” after implementing upgrades and testing in the weeks leading up to the vote. Suffolk’s chief deputy county executive Lisa Black went further, saying Suffolk “will be faster at reporting the numbers than Nassau this year.”  

In a statement in response to Newsday questions Wednesday, Manzella said Suffolk “did not experience any problems in posting the unofficial results.”

Rather, she said, the county’s new election management software system “took slightly longer to upload the unofficial results from the field than we are used to …” The system was recently certified by New York State after being installed by Suffolk in September.

Suffolk has 326 poll locations that close at 9 p.m.  After the machines are officially closed, poll workers from those sites transport data cards to secure locations throughout Suffolk, from Melville to Montauk. “At the secure sites we must upload 1,258 data cards,” Manzella said, adding that one hour is “not an unusually long time to accomplish this task.”

She noted election results in prior years would begin at 9:40 or later, but that “significant changes” have been put in place since then, including tallying pre-scanned absentee ballots, extra security measures and the updated software. 

“No one outside of a Board of Elections understands what goes into running elections and providing timely but accurate results, which is what we strive to do,” she wrote. Suffolk Republican Party Chairman Jesse Garcia said he has full confidence in Manzella.

A spokesman for the Suffolk County Executive’s Office referred questions about the tally and Black’s promise to outdo Nassau County to the Board of Elections. Manzella said the Board of Elections “appreciate(s) the confidence she [Black] has in our abilities” but noted the county executive’s office has “no role in running the county elections by design through New York State Election Law.”

A Nassau County spokesman didn't return a message seeking comment.

Suffolk’s late posting of initial results in 2022 was tied to a slowdown in electronic processing of results from field upload locations, Newsday reported. The board at the time blamed the problem on an “overtaxed” reporting system burdened by “additional features coupled with additional processing functions,” which slowed the board’s “older operating system.”

Manzella in her Wednesday email said the Board of Elections will “continue to look into how to fine tune the system. We are currently working on ways to increase the speed of the data transmission.”

Oak Beach Osprey nest … New tax breaks for struggling Port Washington development … Paralympic gold medalist Credit: Newsday

Primary: Voters take to the polls ... Nassau homebuying event ... Hampton Bays man drowns ... Paralympic gold medalist

Oak Beach Osprey nest … New tax breaks for struggling Port Washington development … Paralympic gold medalist Credit: Newsday

Primary: Voters take to the polls ... Nassau homebuying event ... Hampton Bays man drowns ... Paralympic gold medalist

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME