The count of absentee ballots sent by voters in New York's First Congressional District is expected to begin Thursday, an official at the Suffolk County Board of Elections said on Tuesday.
But a timeline for completing that count, as well as the absentee-ballot count for other races, including the First Districts of both the State Senate and State Assembly, was impossible to predict, another official said.
"There are many lawyers and it is a slow process," that official said. There are 169,000 ballots to be counted, she said, and board of elections officials started with those from New York's Third Congressional District, which stretches from northwestern Suffolk across northern Nassau County and into Queens.
The board of elections' unofficial count of votes cast in person on Election Day or during the early voting period has Representative Lee Zeldin comfortably ahead of his challenger, Nancy Goroff, 176,323 votes to 111,203 votes, or 61.3 percent to 38.7 percent. Mr. Zeldin declared victory in his campaign for a fourth term late on Nov. 3, Election Day. Ms. Goroff has yet to concede, pending the count of absentee votes.
In the First Senatorial District, Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo leads Laura Ahearn, 74,293 votes to 55,557 votes, or 57.2 percent to 42.8 percent. Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. leads his challenger, Heather Collins, in the First Assembly District by 28,187 votes to 24,666 votes, or 53.3 percent to 46.7 percent.
Suffolk voters supported President Trump's re-election campaign by 55.5 percent to 43.2 percent for his challenger, President-elect Joe Biden, though the absentee-ballot count is likely to narrow that lead. The unofficial count remains 333,617 for Mr. Trump to 259,463 for Mr. Biden. As of yesterday Mr. Trump had yet to concede the election, his campaign claiming, without evidence, that there had been electoral fraud and turning to courts in an effort to change the result in some of the states he apparently lost.
A fund-raising email from the Suffolk County Republican Committee last Thursday included the messages "Stop the Steal" and "The people of Suffolk County need your help to fight the nonsense that has been going on during this election cycle!" Jesse Garcia, the committee's chairman, did not respond to an email seeking details of those allegations.
Mr. Zeldin's communications director did not respond to an email seeking the congressman's position with respect to the presidential election result. On Saturday, when supporters of the Mr. Trump rallied in Washington, D.C., some of them skirmishing with opponents, Mr. Zeldin said on Twitter, "The President's supporters have a right to peacefully rally supporting [him] just like his opponents have that same right. The physical assaults today by violent leftists targeting his supporters is abhorrent."