Election Day on Tuesday will bring to a head a presidential campaign that began more than 18 months ago, while campaigns will return legislative representation to communities that have had none for months.
Over the last week, thousands of people have stood in lines for hours, sometimes pelted by a cold rain and buffeted by wind, to cast their ballot in the second year of early voting in New York State. Dozens of patient poll workers, security personnel, library workers, firefighters, volunteers from Common Cause and others tackled problems new to them or worsened by the Covid-19 epidemic–long lines, absentee ballot dropoffs, elderly or disabled voters trying to make their way in the lines, and vehicles frequently traversing nearly the same spaces where voters waited.
Newsday reported Sunday that from last Saturday, when early voting began, throughThursday, 82,203 people had voted in Suffolk County, a number that should grow considerably once the last three days are included. The effect on that early turnout is unknown–the question is whether those early voters represent an increase in total number of voters, or just shifts the date that most people will have voted. On Tuesday, voting locations and hours return to normal: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; voters can find their polling spot here.
Political experts are warning that, because of the novelty of massive early voting and a huge increase in absentee votes, final numbers for many races might not be known until a few days after Election Day. In the past, boards of election often issued unofficial numbers by late evening. Because states have different ways and deadlines for counting votes, results of the competition between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden could take longer. In New York State, boards of elections can start counting early votes at 8 p.m., taking care not to release results until 9 p.m. when voting closes. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday and received no later than seven days later.
All Suffolk voters will be able to vote on two propositions:
- Proposition one, which would extend the terms of Suffolk County legislators from two years to four. Approval would not change the 12-year limit on terms.
- Proposition 2, which would allow Suffolk County to use funds that were set aside for sewer projects to instead reduce the county budget deficit. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and public employee unions have been advocating for the proposition. Bellone has warned that the budget deficit would lead to layoffs, and signs have popped up in recent days arguing for its passage. But environmentalists argue that the county had previously been ordered not to touch the funds, and say that sewer projects and taxes rely on the funds.
On the ballot in Huntington
The 10th district includes parts of Huntington, Greenlawn, Huntington Station, Lloyd Harbor, Melville and Dix Hills.
Challenger Jamie Silvestri, Republican
Silvestri works as an office manager at RSA Financial Group in Melville and is active in the Huntington Young Republicans organization.
Incumbent Steve Stern, Democrat
Stern was elected to the State Assembly in a special election in April 2018. Previously, he served six terms as Suffolk County legislator representing the 16th District. He is an attorney specializing in elder law.
12th Assembly District
Includes Asharoken, Eatons Neck, Northport, East Northport and Commack. This seat has been open since January when Andrew Raia, a Republican, became Huntington town clerk.
Keith Brown, Republican, Conservative and Independence parties, is running to fill the seat left vacant last year when Andrew Raia was elected town clerk. Brown, a Northport resident, is a lawyer and a former state assistant attorney general. He is 52.
Michael Marcantonio, Endorsed by Democratic and Working Families parties. He was a major figure in an attempt to prevent the town from accepting a tax settlement offered by the Long Island Power Authority, speaking out at rallies and lobbying against the retroactive taxes LIPA was proposing. He is 33.
State Senate 5th District
The 5th District encompasses the North Shore, including Glen Cove, Syosset, Jericho, Oyster Bay, Plainview, Huntington, Northport, Dix Hills, Melville and a part of Commack.
Challenger Ed Smyth is a member of the Huntington Town Boar,backed by the Republican and Conservative parties. He is a lawyer and formerly served on the Lloyd Harbor Zoning Board of Appeals and as president of the Huntington Lawyers Club. He also served as a sergeant in the US Marine Corps Reserve.
Incumbent Jim Gaughran, Democrat, Serve America Movement
Gaughran took office in January 2019, after defeating long-serving Republican Carl Marcellino. He previously served on the Huntington Town Board, in the Suffolk County Legislature and as chair of the Suffolk County Water Authority. He chairs the Committee on Local Government and serves on committees dealing with Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Commerce, Development and Small Business, Higher Education, and Racing, Gaming, and Wagering.
Barbara Wagner, Green Party
The Huntington resident is 57 and works in marketing. This is her first run for elected office.
State Senate 2nd District
The seat has been vacant since June when John Flanagan retired from office. It includes parts of Smithtown and Huntington, includding Greenlawn, Dix Hills, Northport, Melville and Ft. Salonga.
Mario Mattera, Republican. He is a business agent for Plumbers Local Union 200, and has been a member for 39 years. He also serves on the Suffolk County Water Authority and with the Community Association of Greater St. James.
Michael Siderakis, Democratic Party. He retired in December after 28 years as a state trooper where he served at Ground Zero and TWA Flight 800 response efforts, and as Troop L union delegate, Secretary and 2nd Vice President/Legislative Director. He lives in Nesconset.
George A.D. Santos, Republican, Conservative parties. He’s the regional director for Private Wealth at Harbor City Capital Corp. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Baruch College in 2010. He lives in Queens.
Incumbent Tom Suozzi, Democratic, Working Families and Independence parties. He is seeking his third term in Congress. He previously served as mayor of Glen Cove and as Nassau County executive. In Congress, he serves on the Ways and Means Committee and is vice chair of the Congressional Problem Solvers Caucus.
Howard Rabin, Libertarian. He is running for the first time for Congress; he previously ran for the Oyster Bay Town Board. He also ran the Suffolk County Marathon to support veterans in 2015.
2016 Suffolk County results