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Election Day on LI

Steve Bellone at the Ronkonkoma train station. (Nov.

Steve Bellone at the Ronkonkoma train station. (Nov. 8, 2011) Credit: James Carbone

Newsday reporters and community journalists were out and about at polling places, talking to voters about the issues that affect their decisions. Follow election updates using #livote on Twitter.

1:20 a.m.: Wrap-up

Turns out, most incumbents won, while the big seat in Suffolk went to Steve Bellone. In Nassau,  control of the legislature is still in doubt. And in Islip, Supervisor Phil Nolan is in a heated race with Republican challenger Thomas Croci.

Get all the details with our complete coverage.


. Embattled Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, scorned by critics by what they saw as her opposition to Charles Wang's Lighthouse development at the Uniondale Hub, held onto her seat.

12:20 a.m.: Re-elections in Nassau Legislature

And we’re back to re-elections, this time in Nassau:
Kevan M. Abrahams, Democrat, Nassau Legislator (1st District)
Robert J. Troiano, Democrat, Nassau Legislator (2nd District)
Francis X. Becker Jr., Republican, Nassau Legislator (6th District)
Vincent T. Muscarella, Republican, Nassau Legislator (8th District)
Wayne H. Wink Jr., Democrat, Nassau Legislator (11th District)
Peter J. Schmitt, Republican, Nassau Legislator (12th District)
Dennis Dunne Sr., Republican, Nassau Legislator (15th District)

12:05 a.m.: Nolan 'disappointed' in tight race so far.

Islip Supervisor Phil Nolan just took the stage, saying he’s disappointed in the results in his race thus far, where he is behind by a few hundreds votes. But he added that it has been “a great night” for many Democrats throughout Suffolk, especially with Steve Bellone’s big win.

11:55 p.m.: Republican Suffolk County executive candidate Angie Carpenter conceded the race to Democrat Steve Bellone, but told supporters that they were all winners for their efforts throughout the campaign.

11:45 p.m.: With the big race for Suffolk County executive decided, eyes now turn to Islip and North Hempstead, where the Democratic incumbent supervisors are in tight races.

11:30: Bellone wins

Democrat Steve Bellone is claiming victory in the race for Suffolk County executive. With more than 89 percent of the precincts reporting, Bellone is leading Republican Angie Carpenter 57-43 percent.

Calling it a mandate, Bellone said in his acceptance speech that he will work to make the county more efficient and turn it into an economic powerhouse.

11:15 p.m. A dead heat in Islip supervisor race

This could be the other big story: Islip Supervisor Phil Nolan is in a dead heat with Republican challenger Thomas Croci, trailing by a hair, 50-49 percent.

11:09 p.m. More re-elections:

William J. Lindsay, Democrat, Suffolk Legislator (8th District)
Thomas Cilmi, Republican, Suffolk Legislator (10th District)
John M. Kennedy Jr., Republican, Suffolk Legislator (12th District)

10:45 p.m.: The following candidates have won re-election:

Anna Throne-Holst, supervisor of the Town of Southampton
Ricardo Montano, Democrat, Suffolk Legislator (9th District)
Lynne C. Nowick, Republican, Suffolk Legislator (13th District)
Du Wayne Gregory, Democrat, Suffolk Legislator (15th District)

10:15 p.m. -- Bellone ahead; Cardinale concedes.

Early returns show Democrat Steve Bellone has a double-digit lead over Republican Angie Carpenter in the race or Suffolk County Executive. 

With 26 precent of precincts reporting, Bellone had 55 percent of the vote to Carpenter's 44 percent.

In Riverehead, Democrat Phil Cardiinale conceded the seat to Republican Supervisor Sean Walter.

Talking to News 12, Walter said he's "pumped up" and will "deliver" when it comes to the development of Riverhead's downtown district and the Enterprise Park at Celverton.

10:10 p.m.: We're still waiting for resluts to come. Meantime, have you checked out News 12 Long Island's live coverage?

9 p.m.: Poll have closed; we'll be posting results updates throughout the night. For the complete list, head to our elections page.

8:30 p.m: In West Babylon, Bellone country?

A slow but steady stream of mostly older voters on Tuesday afternoon visited the polling station at West Babylon Senior High School — home ground for Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone, a Democrat. Bellone is running against Republican Angie Carpenter in the Suffolk County Executive’s race.

Lorraine De Louis, 65 and retired from the Suffolk County police, said she’d voted for Bellone.

Her reasoning was simple, she said, gesturing toward the shops along Route 109: “This area was a dead zone for 30 years. What Steve Bellone did, what he’s done for this town — he revitalized an area that was basically dead.”

She credited him with doing the same in Venetian Shores, a waterfront neighborhood in Lindenhurst, south of Montauk Highway.

She hoped he could do something similar for the rest of Long Island.

“We used to be self-sufficient,” she said. “Not anymore — we’ve exported too many jobs. I’m worried about the next generation. A McDonald’s job does not support a car, a home, a family.”

Katherine Smith, 64, a retired nursing home worker, was voting for the first time in years, she said. “It seems like the whole country’s falling apart.” She did not say for whom she was voting. But the very act would do some good, she hoped.

“Anything you can do might help.”

Len Gutterman, 63, retired from a job in sales, said he too had voted for Bellone — partly because of his “fiscal conservatism” and partly because “the other party scares me too much.” — NICHOLAS SPANGLER

7:45 p.m.: In Baldwin, agreeing with incumbent Scannell

Pam Jaffe, a social worker from Baldwin, was among the voters who turned out in the afternoon at the Baldwin school district office polling place.

Jaffe, like many others there, said she voted for Democratic County Legis. Joseph K. Scannell.

“I supported the incumbent. I feel he has done a good job and will continue to do a good job,” Jaffe, 54, said. “He’s experienced.”

Helaine Savoca, 60, of Baldwin, a retired teacher, said the debate over the Town of Hempstead’s zoning approval of the Billy Dean cabaret in Wantagh — owned by the same man who runs a strip club in North Bellmore — couldn’t sway her vote. Savoca declined to say who she voted for.

“I don’t know what to believe,” Savoca said. “I was going to vote the way I was anyway. It didn’t change my mind.”

Erroll Sharpe, 50, of Baldwin, a registered nurse, said he voted for Scannell.

“I voted for Joe Scannell because of familiarity,” Sharpe said. “I agree with him on the issues of property taxes and education.”

Lee Kaplan, 33, of Baldwin, an engineer, provided this rationale for voting for Scannell: “I voted for Scannell mostly because he is the incumbent,” Kaplan said. “The strip club issue is low on my totem pole.” — AISHA AL-MUSLIM

7:15 p.m.: Concern about infrastructure in Smithtown

Dawn Lott, of Smithtown, voted Democratic across the board.

She said locally, she thought the town board needs to pay more attention to infrastructure, and she hoped a change of hands would help that.

"From the construction, the design, the condition, our roads need to be looked at," she said. "There have been several small accidents and a fatality in the area."

But on a larger scale, Lott was dissatisfied with the candidates on the ballot because there was no representation of the African American community.

Lott, a past president if the Amistad Black Bar Association of Long Island, said it's a persistent problem the association is working to fix.

"There are qualified candidates out there," she said. "We thought that we were making some progress, but clearly not enough." — Erin Geismar

6:45 p.m.: Bethpage brothers angered over apathy

Brothers George and John Sumakis of Bethpage voted at the Central Boulevard School in Bethpage just after 4 p.m. They vote every year, every time an election comes, whether local, state or national.

“This country is pathetic,” said George Sumakis, 60, a musician. “Half the people who can register don’t vote. Half the people who are registered don’t vote.”

George Sumakis voted a straight Democratic ticket and had choice words for non-voters. “Shut up if you’re not going to vote,” he said. “Your complaints are supposed to be registered at the polls.”

John Sumakis, 58, a writer, agreed. “People who don’t vote don’t deserve any of the benefits of those who do vote.” — EMILY C. DOOLEY

6:30 p.m.: Low turnout at Bay Shore polling station

At Oak Park Elementary School on Wisconsin Avenue in Bay Shore — a school that is part of the Brentwood Union Free School District — board of elections coordinator Angela Pisano said she was surprised by low turnout after more than 10 hours of voting.

The polling station takes votes for three Islip town election districts, with total registered voters at 1,805.

A little after 4 p.m., just 160 people had voted — 8.86 percent.

“Compared with when I started working this polling station, that’s low, even for a so-called off-election year,” said Pisano, a Brentwood school district clerk and polling station worker for 25 years.

“We have to hope it picks up now that the workers will be stopping by, but I’m surprised,” she added.

The school held a conference day for parents and teachers on Election Day so voters through the day were mainly school parents, said Pisano.

“I just think it’s surprising given the largest amount of robocalls, mailouts and TV ads I’ve seen — we’ve been inundated,” she said. — SARAH CRICHTON

6:11 p.m: There's a long line to get into the polling station at Smithtown Elementary School — Erin Geismar

5:37 p.m.: In Patchogue, it’s about the economy

Kevin Burke, 51, of Holtsville, had one clear priority when voting at Canaan Elementary School in Patchogue today: to secure a future on Long Island for his daughters, who are in their early 20s.

“I’m worried about their future,” he said. “We need to find jobs for them.”

Burke supported Republican Angie Carpenter for county executive because she is a businesswoman who he says has a clear job creation plan.

“I think she has good ideas,” he said. “I don’t know that much about Steve Bellone.”

Like Burke, John Pietzik, 51, from Holtsville, is a Republican who is concerned about jobs and the economy.

But unlike Burke, Pietzik voted outside of his party line — for Democrat Steve Bellone.

“There were really no negatives about either candidate,” he said. “I voted for Bellone. He seems like a leader for our government. I think he has the experience for stepping up to the next level.”

He also said Bellone felt more relatable to him personally.

“I’m kind of in his age group and he has a couple of kids,” he said. “So I think we’ll care about the same things.” — Erin Geismar


Maureen Dansky, 61, of Holtsville, was “outraged” — not by any of the campaign issues or by any of the names she saw on the ballot, but by who she didn’t see on the ballot.

“Some of these people are running unopposed,” she said, referring specifically to the Brookhaven Town superintendent of highways and receiver of taxes races.

Dansky, who works for the receiver of taxes, said more young people should step up to the plate and take an interest in running for office.

Dansky voted for incumbent Supervisor Mark Lesko because she’s been happy with the way he has run the town and felt confident with him as a leader for the future.

“I don’t know him,” she said, “but he’s young, fresh, vibrant. He seems fair and he listens to your concerns. I wish there were more young candidates.” — Erin Geismar


Nick Permiceo, 25, of Holtsville, wasn’t at the polling station to vote on Tuesday — he was driving the elderly there as part of his job as a recreational aide at The Medford Hamlet assisted living home.

He spent a half-hour in the voting booth with Jacqueline Poepplein, 74, who lives at the facility.

He said he’s concerned about the new voting machines.

“This is the second time we’ve seen them,” he said. “It’s more confusing for them. It could be a problem.” Poepplein, who used a walker, said she made the commitment to get to the polls because she wanted to see honest people in government.

“I’m looking for someone whose going to help the people,” she said.

Permiceo said he is politically active but not as concerned about local elections.

In 2012, he said he’ll be at the polls himself to cast a vote for Ron Paul.

“He’s the man we need,” he said. — Erin Geismar and Lane Blackmer

Nick Vecchio, 49, of Holtsville, showed up at the polls to represent Republicans. He said he isn’t happy with heavy Democratic representation in politics since Obama came into office.

Vecchio also said his main concern was the creation of a better economic climate.

“My dollar is worth a nickel nowadays,” he said. — Lane Blackmer


Karen Craig of Holtsville, who is in her late 40s, was among many concerned with the economy this election.

“With taxes, gas [and] the expense just to live, it’s out of control,” she said. Craig said she voted Republican across the board. — Lane Blackmer

4:55 p.m. Islip Town: Dems, GOP hopeful
Around midafternoon at Islip Town Democratic Party headquarters, campaign manager Kevin Faivre was upbeat.

“I’m very pleased with how turnout was looking midday across the 9th [county legislative district], Legislator [Ricardo] Montano’s seat,” Faivre said.

The district, home to the most densely populated minority areas in the county, was showing 5.7 percent turnout by midday, Board of Election officials said, with the expectation that it could more than double between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. when working people traditionally vote, election board officials said.

Islip Town GOP chairman Frank Tantone said he, too, was feeling confident as election day passed the halfway mark. Polling stations opened at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.

Tantone said early reports were showing solid turnout in the traditional Republican-voting hamlets of East Islip and West Islip.

“The only reports returned seem favorable and I'm cautiously optimistic,” he said shortly before 3 p.m.

Party officials from both sides are watching closely how the hamlet of Islip splits. Traditionally a GOP stronghold, it went largely Democratic in the 2006 special election which saw Democrat Phil Nolan elected.

It again went Democrat when Nolan ran with Democrat town council candidate John Edwards in 2007 — both men reside in the hamlet. But this year, Edwards is retiring. Nolan is accompanied on the ticket by Councilman Gene Parrington and newcomer for town board, Renee Ortiz.

Tom Croci is the GOP candidate for supervisor, accompanied by John Cochrane and Anthony Senft. — Sarah Crichton

4:41 p.m. Shirley: Browning still campaigning

Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning was still going door-to-door campaigning in Shirley on Tuesday and said she feels positive. Her campaign has been polling the areas of Brookhaven, Yaphank, Bellport and believed that they’re doing well. She plans to continue knocking on doors for a couple more hours. Carl Corry

4:34 p.m. North Patchogue: Uninspired, but voting anyway

Ann Marie Sullivan, of Holtsville, showed up at Canaan Elementary School in North Patchogue to vote today because she considers it her civic duty — even though she didn’t feel strongly about any of her options on the ballot.

“I’m not particularly excited about anyone,” she said. “I voted my party line — Republican.”

Sullivan, who is in her late 40s, said she wished politicians were more direct when campaigning. She’d like to hear straight answers to simple questions about how they intend to solve problems.

“I wish things were just spelled out,” she said. “One person can’t do everything on their own, but I’d just like to know exactly how they plan on getting things done.” — Erin Geismar

3:56 p.m. Stony Brook: Sticking with fiscal conservatives

Richard Rugen, of Stony Brook, said he cared more about the people than the issues while voting at North Country Learning Center in Stony Brook. He voted mostly conservative, with the exception of John Rouse, who is running unopposed for Brookhaven superintendent of highways.

“He’s Republican but not a conservative,” Rugen said.

He said he sticks to conservatives because he’s hoping government will take a turn toward fiscal conservatism. — Erin Geismar

3:46 p.m. Hicksville: Former Democrat changes his mind

Hicksville's Joseph Bargiuk, 71, has lived in the hamlet since 1950. A lot has changed for him in the last 61 years, including his political views.

When asked why he came to vote at Old Country Road Middle School, he answered, "Well, basically they [pundits] talk about Obamacare and property taxes. I voted all Republican. I used to be a Democrat; I’ll never vote Democrat again." T.C. McCarthy

2:52 p.m. Stony Brook: Candidate harvested vote with visit to gardener
Bob Sternlieb, 65, of Stony Brook, voted completely Democratic in Tuesday’s elections at North Country Learning Center in Stony Brook. Though he had already made up his mind to stay with his party line, 11th-hour campaigning from Kara Hahn, who is running for Suffolk County legislator, sealed the deal.

“I was outside gardening, it was getting dark and there she was,” he said. “She was great, very nice. We had a good conversation.”

Sternlieb said he told Hahn he was firmly against “religious fanaticism” and hoped to keep it far away from government.

“She seemed sensible, nice, responsible,” he said. “She’s a terrific person.” — Erin Geismar

2:30 p.m.  Port Jefferson: Lunchtime voters
A lunchtime swell of voters came to cast their ballots at First United Methodist Church on Main Street in Port Jefferson.

Sarah Cordova was flanked by her two children, Anna, 3, and Sam, 6, who was quite disappointed in the advances in voting machine technology.

"No more switches," he said with a frown.

Cordova said she was motivated to vote Democrat across the board and "not letting the tea party take over this country."

Elyn Keppie, 56, didn't reveal who she voted for aside from wanting to "make sure to back who my union supported," she said.

Registered Republican Tim Shea, 71, also wouldn't reveal how he cast his vote besides saying he voted for "a couple Democrats."

John Breuer, 50, said he always votes but this time voted for only one specific candidate: John Rouse, Brookhaven highway superintendent.

"He got my vote, then I found out he was running unopposed," Breuer said. "I voted for him anyway."

None of several voters interviewed had problems with the ballots or having their votes recorded.

"It was relatively simple," said Sheila Garafola. "I, being an old-timer, [am] used to pushing the levers, I got nervous when they handed me the sheet."

Garafola said she voted Democratic all the way, and was already anticipating next year's races. "Go Obama," she said. Sophia Chang

1:47 p.m. Stony Brook: Carpenter's negative ads turned off voter
Locksley Wade, of Stony Brook, voted for Steve Bellone for county executive at North Country Learning Center in Stony Brook. He said he made up his mind when Bellone’s opponent Angie Carpenter began running negative campaign ads against him.

“That didn’t really serve any purpose,” he said. “I think it was stupid.”

But Wade said even without a strong opinion on that particular race, he would have exercised his right to vote.

“It’s not so much about the issues,” he said. “This is just something I normally do.”  Erin Geismar

1:34 p.m. Stony Brook: Dem convert votes for candidates she met
Ruth Regan, 79, of Stony Brook, cast her ballot at North Country Learning Center in Stony Brook. She said she votes in every election and for a long time was a registered Republican. But not since 2000, when she changed parties.

“I hate George W. Bush so much that I swore I would never vote Republican again,” she said.

On Tuesday, she said she felt strongly about two Democratic candidates she had met at a League of Women’s Voters forum — Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko and town board candidate Susan Gonzalez — and voted for both. — Lane Blackmer

1:10 p.m. in Hicksville: Resident shares thinking on his vote
Joseph Reinhardt Jr., 69, has lived in Hicksville more on than off since 1941. The registered Republican stopped by Old Country Road Middle School to cast his vote for Oyster Bay’s future leaders:

What issues are you thinking about in the voting booth today?
Reinhardt: Obviously I guess everybody would say property taxes. The other is the revitalization of downtown Hicksville. It has really become a primary parking spot since they widened Broadway and never finished the job.

What’s one change you’d like to undo here in Hicksville?
Reinhardt: There’s not enough empty land. I don’t know how the water stays clean with all of the concrete.

How did you vote today?
Reinhardt: I am a registered Republican but I vote Independent. I voted for Rose Walker because — it's funny — revitalization is a primary thing, but also if I see her walking down the street I know I can approach her. She has the people of Hicksville at heart.  T.C. McCarthy

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