Skip to main content

Paper Ballot Count Resumes After Covid Forced a Pause

Wed, 11/25/2020 - 12:11

With approximately 100,000 paper ballots remaining to be counted, work came to a halt at the Suffolk County Board of Elections on Saturday after a worker tested positive for Covid-19.

The count of absentee, affidavit, and unscanned ballots began last Thursday. Newsday reported on Saturday that the part-time employee had shown symptoms of the virus before the positive test, and that the County Health Department had ordered seven other employees into quarantine.

Nick LaLota, the board of elections' Republican commissioner, told The Star on Monday that the board of elections' building in Yaphank had undergone a "deep cleaning" on Sunday and that all employees were tested for the virus on Monday. The count of absentee, affidavit, and unscanned ballots was scheduled to resume on Tuesday, he said.

The unofficial count of races including in New York's First Congressional District and the First District in the State Senate and Assembly remained unchanged since shortly after Election Day, and given the margins in favor of the unofficial victors, the results in Suffolk County are unlikely to change.

Representative Lee Zeldin led his Democratic challenger, Nancy Goroff, by a seemingly insurmountable 22.6 percent margin, winning 61.3 percent of votes already counted to her 38.7 percent. Mr. Zeldin, one of President Trump's most ardent supporters in Congress, led by more than 65,000 votes in his quest for a fourth term, with his biggest showing in more heavily populated election districts in the western part of the county.

Before absentee, affidavit, and unscanned ballots were counted, Mr. Zeldin had carried 23 of Southampton Town's 42 election districts, but only one of East Hampton's 19 districts and none of Shelter Island's four districts. Ms. Goroff has yet to concede.

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, in the race to succeed Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, who is retiring. Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele leads his challenger, Heather Collins, in the First Assembly District, 28,187 votes to 24,666 votes, or 53.3 percent to 46.7 percent.

Suffolk voters supported President Trump's re-election campaign 55.5 percent to 43.2 percent, though the absentee ballot count is likely to narrow his lead over President-elect Joseph Biden. The unofficial count remains 333,617 for Mr. Trump to 259,463 for Mr. Biden. In the unofficial tally not including the absentee, affidavit, or unscanned ballots, President-elect Biden bested Mr. Trump in all 19 of East Hampton's election districts, all four on Shelter Island, and 25 of 42 in Southampton Town.

Although he had yet to concede the election that the Associated Press and major networks called for Mr. Biden on Nov. 7, Mr. Trump's administration authorized a formal transition process on Monday after Michigan certified Mr. Biden as the winner of that state's 16 electoral votes. That certification further narrowed the president's path to overturning the election.

Villages

Powerful Storm Claims Yet Another Historic Elm

The mighty storm that blew through East Hampton Thursday morning felled a large limb from a historic elm tree — one of a dwindling number of such trees that help give East Hampton Village its character.

May 23, 2024

Students ‘Carry the Load’ for the Fallen

The local chapter of Whiskey Bravo, a nationwide youth organization that raises awareness of the kinds of support needed by veterans and active military personnel, took on the somber task this year of placing flags at the gravesites of East Hampton soldiers, and also walked a symbolic lap around the field at the American Legion to show their support.

May 23, 2024

Gaza War Draws Rival Protesters

Competing protests over the Israel-Hamas war on Sunday afternoon on Long Wharf in Sag Harbor were peaceful, if loud, when East End for Ceasefire encountered Long Island MAGA Patriots and the Setauket Patriots.

May 23, 2024

Your support for The East Hampton Star helps us deliver the news, arts, and community information you need. Whether you are an online subscriber, get the paper in the mail, delivered to your door in Manhattan, or are just passing through, every reader counts. We value you for being part of The Star family.

Your subscription to The Star does more than get you great arts, news, sports, and outdoors stories. It makes everything we do possible.