Poll inspectors helping voters.

Poll inspectors helping voters. Credit: Newsday Staff / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

There is one election result we can tell you about right now: Suffolk will beat Nassau in posting vote returns Tuesday night.

The Suffolk County Board of Elections, long considered one of the best in the state, posts returns early and often, starting soon after the polls close. That’s because poll workers use that newfangled creation, the internet, to upload returns from laptops to the Board of Election servers so commissioners in Yaphank can certify the results.

However, Nassau County’s reputation as a notorious laggard even in the days of lever-voting machines continues. County police take custody of the flash drives from each polling location and drive them to a designated police precinct for safe keeping. When 100 percent of all the election districts’ results assigned to that police precinct have arrived, officers will drive the digital counters to Board of Election headquarters in Mineola for uploading.

This year, the Board of Elections is attempting to speed things up by requesting that the police take the “suitcases” containing the digital sticks when about 90 percent of them are in hand at the precinct. Police would take the laggard sticks over in a second run when all are in hand.

In one way, however, this last-century practice makes Nassau a winner. There is 100 percent certainty that the Russians, or a kid in a basement in Hicksville, will have not hacked the results.


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