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Opinion

On your mark, get set ... early vote

A voter marks a ballot at Great Hollow

A voter marks a ballot at Great Hollow Middle School in Nesconset on Tuesday morning, April 19, 2016 for New York State's presidential primary day. Credit: Ed Betz

Daily Point

Early voting kicks off

Nassau led the way in New York after the state’s first two days of early voting. 

The county ranked first in turnout with 5,273 early voting ballots, and Suffolk County wasn’t far behind, coming in sixth in the state just behind Brooklyn, according to state figures over that time period. 

Long Island is home to some of this election cycle’s more interesting races, including a Suffolk County executive contest and hot Nassau town races, as well as party efforts to test the possibilities of early voting. State and Nassau Democratic leader Jay Jacobs told The Point last week that the county party’s work will be “a bit of a pilot program.” 

In Nassau, the highest turnouts came in some of the Hempstead districts featuring legislative races that could determine control of the county legislature, plus the Hempstead Town supervisor contest.

Monday afternoon, Democrats held just a 66-vote early turnout advantage over Republicans in Nassau, a gap outweighed by 81 Conservative votes.     

Interpreting the results fully will be difficult until it becomes clear where the blanks fall and whether new voters were coming out thanks to the early vote opportunity, or just the party faithful. 

But there are interesting suggestions in the Suffolk results as well, where Democratic turnout was 2,546 vs. Republicans’ 1,655 through day three on Monday afternoon. 

The highest turnout numbers were in the 2nd Legislative District, where Democrat Bridget Fleming faces Republican Linda Kabot. That race is followed by the far less competitive contest in the 1st Legislative District, where Democrat Albert Krupski Jr. faces Republican Remy Bell, who is not actively campaigning. 

Suffolk Republican Board of Elections Commissioner Nick LaLota had a potential explanation that didn’t have to do with parties’ GOTV efforts: “It’s easy to infer that city-ites, who are registered at their Hamptons and North Fork summer homes, were weekend-ing and took advantage of Saturday’s good weather and Early Voting,” he wrote in an email to The Point Monday. 

Krupski’s district includes the North Fork and Fleming’s contains Shelter Island, home to many weekend residents.  As of Monday afternoon more than 8 percent of the island’s approximately 2,500 registered voters had voted. 

There may be some lessons in the low-turnout sectors, too. After the 9th District which includes part of Brentwood, sometimes a low-turnout area, the lowest was the 3rd District. That’s the race that includes Republican Rudy Sunderman, who was indicted on charges including perjury and faces a not-particularly-active opponent. 

Only 111 voters roused themselves there. 

— Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano and Michael Dobie @mwdobie

Talking Point

All politics is Isles

It’s been a decade – but New York Islanders fans don’t forget.

That might explain the energy many fans are putting behind getting Sylvia Cabana reelected as Hempstead Town clerk in next week’s election.

Cabana’s opponent? Former Hempstead Town supervisor Kate Murray.

It’s been 10 years since the late Charles Wang, former Islanders owner, came before Murray and the Hempstead Town board with plans for a gut renovation to the Coliseum and development around it. Murray and the board ultimately rejected those plans as being too dense, and approved zoning that wouldn’t have made a gut renovation possible. Shortly thereafter, the team announced it was moving to Brooklyn.

The story has taken plenty of turns since then. But even now that ground has been broken on a new arena for the Islanders at Belmont Park, fans still blame Murray for their team’s arena-related woes.

And so, much like they did when Murray, a Republican, launched an unsuccessful bid to become district attorney in 2015, fans are mobilizing on social media to encourage a vote for incumbent Cabana, a Democrat.

A Facebook page entitled “Islanders Fans Against Kate Murray for Town Clerk” has nearly 500 members, and has had a pretty steady stream of posts from fans encouraging one another to vote for Cabana. Fans have taken to Twitter, too. 

As one wrote: “We will ALWAYS HOLD KATE MURRAY ACCOUNTABLE at the polls.” 

Four years ago, now-District Attorney Madeline Singas courted Islanders fans, and then thanked them during her victory speech. 

It remains to be seen whether fans will score another game-winning goal this time around.

— Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Pencil Point

Ramming through

For more cartoons, visit www.newsday.com/opinion

Quick Points

  • Former White House chief of staff John Kelly says he could have helped stop the impeachment inquiry now threatening Donald Trump’s presidency and regrets leaving the job. Who knew Kelly was such a delusionist?
  • Voters in Argentina, reacting to a slumping economy, rejected president Mauricio Macri and voted in a ticket that included former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who is the target of nearly a dozen corruption cases — thereby becoming yet another example of the willingness to overlook a politician’s bad behavior when one’s personal finances are at stake.
  • Republicans call the Democratic-led House impeachment inquiry a clown show. Democrats call the Republicans storming a secure hearing room brandishing cellphones that are banned there a clown show. So why is no one laughing?
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden dropped his longtime opposition to super PACs that can raise unlimited amounts of money, in the wake of news that his presidential campaign is sagging badly in the fundraising race — the latest proof that purity also has a price.
  • A spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, commenting on reports that the United States had informed Russia about the raid that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before it took place, said his ministry has “no reliable information” about the raid. Which was unnecessary since little information emanating from Russia is ever reliable.
  • Trey Gowdy, former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, says public House hearings are a “circus” and a “freak show.” As the man who ran the Benghazi hearings, he would know.
  • Rep. Lee Zeldin says that in his role on the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the impeachment inquiry he has not heard “a single thing” President Donald Trump could be impeached for. Give Zeldin the benefit of the doubt: Perhaps he’s saying he has heard two things, or more.
    —Michael Dobie @mwdobie

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