The Nassau County Board of Elections has exactly one job.

Run elections.

And here we are, all these days since Tuesday, and they still can't figure out how to count the votes. No one even seemed to know how many votes remained uncounted.

Poll workers were so confused by the new electronic voting systems, they refused to run the emergency ballots through the optical scanning machines.

Election boards are the last bastion of governmentally sanctioned patronage. They are controlled without apology by the political parties.

This is no academic exercise. This is our political process.

Nassau Democratic Elections Commissioner William Biamonte said that most of these uncounted ballots probably fall in the 7th State Senate District, where Mineola Mayor Jack Martins seems to be leading incumbent Craig Johnson by about 415 votes. Thirty-three hundred absentee ballots have yet to be counted. Or maybe more. Or maybe less.

You have to say "maybe" and "seems to be" because nobody really knows.

Including the Nassau County Board of Elections, which has just that one job - running elections.

And when will they get around to, you know, doing the job? Maybe in three weeks or so. Or maybe not.

In the meantime, neither of the two candidates can be sure which of them HAS a job.

Neither of the two parties knows which controls the state Senate.

And the voters will have time to reflect on why the Board of Elections can't do their one job.

ASKED AND UNANSWERED: How 'bout they just change their name to 'Bad Moody's'? Isn't that how the credit agency's "negative outlook" has Nassau politicians feeling this weekend . . . Really? It's New York Marathon weekend? Again? And I forgot to train? Again? . . . If CT scans reduce lung cancer deaths by 20 percent, should we all be getting CT scans every year? . . . Number one in the NEC women's basketball coaches' preseason pick? Isn't that a lot of pressure on the Long Island Blackbirds? . . . Been enjoying the weekend? That means you have nowhere to go on the LIRR . . . Ripping off catalytic converters from train-station parking lots? Why not just steal the whole car? Finally a thief with mechanical skills! . . . It took campaign contributions to show NBC that Keith Olbermann had opinions? Do they ever watch "Countdown"? . . . Have you seen Megan Waterman? The 22-year-old Craigslist escort was last spotted at the Holiday Inn Express in Hauppauge in June. Her family in Maine is worried sick and raising money for a reward . . . Strange, isn't it, that L.I. schools keep coming on and off the "needs improvement" list? Don't all schools "need improvement"? By definition, right? . . . Headlines Improvement program: "Lil Wayne's Big Day"? "David Cassidy's Come-On-Get-Happy Hour"?


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