Voting booths at West Babylon Junior High School on Nov. 3,...

Voting booths at West Babylon Junior High School on Nov. 3, 2015.  Credit: Barry Sloan

Daily Point

Primary day on LI —but don't expect immediate results

It’s primary day on Long Island but don’t hold your breath for results. The possibility of winners of the big primaries being declared Tuesday night is unlikely given the sheer amount of paper ballots coming in, according to local election officials.

In Nassau, where the elections board borrowed a high-speed scanner in addition to a previously purchased one, more than 34,000 absentee ballots for state and local primaries have been returned. More than 46,000 have come in for the Democratic presidential primary.

In Suffolk, more than 80,000 absentee ballots are in. Tens of thousands more Long Island ballots were requested and many are likely en route to the board of elections. 

Early voting at select locations was in effect during the pandemic, but in-person voting was outnumbered by those using the U.S. Postal Service: Nassau logged just 4,157 early voters, with Suffolk coming in only at 2,142. 

It’s possible that some contests could be over Tuesday night, suggests Nassau Democratic Elections Commissioner James P. Scheuerman. Take the Libertarian primary for State Senate District 6, which has relatively few eligible voters (though even there, paper outnumbered in-person voting as of 4 pm Tuesday). Or the Republican primary for the 4th Congressional District, which is wholly contained in one county. 

But Scheuerman said it all depends on how many people show up physically on Tuesday. 

That’s a big question mark in a bizarre election season marked by pandemic, protest, and mostly online campaigning. Yet these primaries will decide the candidates for key congressional and Albany races across Long Island. 

The counting of absentee ballots won’t begin until July 1. (Patiently) start your engines.

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Talking Point

Exploring how COVID-19 affected Long Island

As the coronavirus struck Long Island, it ignited a lot of cultural and scientific questions. In response, researchers in the business, medical, science and social work communities went to work to investigate the virus’ impact on the region. 

At Stony Brook University alone, more than 180 studies launched from 45 academic departments since the start of the pandemic. The research explores what local businesses are worried about, examines sewage to see whether the virus can be detected earlier there, and studies how family dynamics changed amid our experiments with social distancing. 

But there’s a lot more going on. Read all about it here.

Also look for results from a survey nextLI commissioned about the influence the pandemic had on Long Island life coming soon.

nextLI is a platform for participating in civic life on Long Island. It features data analysis and independent research. It is a project of the Newsday Opinion department funded by a charitable grant from The Rauch Foundation.

—Amanda Fiscina @adfiscina

Pencil Point

A deadly plague

Gary Markstein

Gary Markstein

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

Final Point

What’s happening in the Hamptons during COVID-19?

Hear about how the other half is living on the East End during a pandemic: Lots of canceled events, and lots of eating. 

For Episode 30 of Newsday Opinion’s “Life Under Coronavirus,” we caught up with Joan Hamburg of WABC about what she’s seeing in the Hamptons, from delivery Blue Hill boxes to Sagaponack drive-thru rosé. Those have their charms, but it’s a “brave new world” this year: cooking, porch visits, crowded beaches, ordering in from New York City, all to replace the usually vibrant society calendar. 

“If you're a social person, and you love the Hamptons for your social life, this may be not your season,” said the veteran radio host. 

Listen here.

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

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