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Long Island

LI races to watch as absentee ballots eventually are counted

Newsday political experts — Yancey Roy and Laura Figueroa Hernandez — spoke with Newsday's Chelsea Irizarry about some of the Long Island elections that are still undecided. Credit: Newsday / Ed Buccio

In some Long Island races, the Election Day leader still could be defeated.

That’s because Nassau and Suffolk county residents submitted more than 300,00 absentee ballots that have yet to be tabulated. The pandemic-driven explosion in absentee ballots means some contests are still in question.

In some cases, the Election Day leader has a razor-thin margin that might not hold. In others, one candidate has a substantial lead that would be hard to overcome.

Here is a look at races where absentees will be a factor. In every contest, more ballots have been mailed-in by enrolled Democrats than enrolled Republicans.

Congress

Santos vs. Suozzi

After election night totals were finalized, challenger George Santos leads Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) by 4,171 votes in the 3rd Congressional District.

But 102,337 absentee ballots had been received as of Wednesday. Of those, 53,214 came from enrolled Democrats, 19,883 from Republicans and 29,240 from independent or minor-party voters.

If most absentee Democrats voted along party lines, it would be enough to tilt the race to Suozzi.

State Assembly

Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick vs. Griffin

Republican challenger Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick led Assemb. Judy Griffin (D-Rockville Centre) by 447 on election night.

But 14,270 absentee votes had been received by Wednesday. Of those, 6,874 came from enrolled Democrats, 3,801 from Republicans.

Srivastava vs. Sillitti

In a North Hempstead race with no incumbent, Republican Ragini Srivastava led Democrat Gina Sillitti by 3,488 votes on election night.

But 21,306 absentee ballots had been received by Wednesday. Of those, 11,425 came from Democrats; 3,777 from Republicans.

Silvestri vs. Stern

Republican challenger Jamie Silvestri led Assemb. Steve Stern (D-Huntington) by 56 votes after election night totals were finalized.

But 17,869 absentee ballots had been received by Wednesday. Of those, 8,940 came from Democrats; 3,582 from Republicans.

Ross vs. Englebright

Republican challenger Michael Ross led Assemb. Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) by 1,966 votes after election night.

But 17,706 absentee ballots had been received by Wednesday. Of those, 8,825 came from enrolled Democrats; 3,638 from Republicans.

State Senate

Dunne vs. Thomas

Republican challenger Dennis Dunne Sr. led Sen. Kevin Thomas (D-Levittown) by 7,837 after election night totals were finalized.

But 30,872 absentee ballots had been received by Wednesday. Of those, 14,750 came from Democrats; 8,065 from Republicans.

That gives Democrats a 6,685-vote edge in absentees, which they say gives them a chance. To win, Thomas would need not only to secure that margin but also win 57% of the 8,010 absentee ballots from minor-party voters and those not registered in any political party.

Smyth vs. Gaughran

Republican challenger Edmund Smyth led Sen. James Gaughran (R-Northport) by 13,844 after election night totals were finalized.

But 43,700 absentee ballots had been received by Wednesday. Of those, 21,237 came from Democrats; 9,368 from Republicans.

That gives Democrats a 11,869 edge in absentees, which they say gives them a chance. To win, Gaughran would need to not only to secure that margin but also take 58% of the 13,095 absentee ballots from unaffiliated and minor-party voters.

Weik vs. Martinez

Republican challenger Alexis Weik led Sen. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood) by 13,751 after election night totals were finalized.

About 27,600 absentee ballots had been received by Wednesday. Of those, 12,808 came from Democrats; 6,626 from Republicans.

To win, Martinez would have to collect 75% of the absentees from all voters – a tall task.

Palumbo vs. Ahearn

In a race with no incumbent at the eastern end of the Island, Republican Anthony Palumbo had a significant lead over Democrat Laura Ahearn after election night: 18,736 votes.

About 42,000 absentee ballots had been received by Wednesday. Of those, 19,136 came from Democrats; 9,904 from Republicans - a 9,232 difference.

But even if Ahearn picked up that many party-line votes, she'd still need to capture about 86% of the 13,047 absentee ballots cast by unaffiliated and minor-party voters -- a highly unlikely outcome.

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