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NYC Board of Elections to Begin Counting Absentee Ballots Tuesday

Nov. 9, 2020 By Allie Griffin

The New York City Board of Elections (BOE) will start counting the hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots Tuesday that were cast in the Nov. 3 general election.

More than 175,000 Queens voters cast their votes via an absentee ballot amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to BOE figures

The BOE will continue to accept and count absentee ballots as long as they are postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 3.

The absentee ballots are likely to have no material impact on the presidential race given Joe Biden’s lead across the state. However, on a local level, they are likely to affect the outcome of a handful of races across the city.

For instance, the ballots are likely to determine the winner of a close State Assembly race in Northeast Queen– as well as a Congressional race in the area.

Incumbent Assembly Member Edward Braunstein, a Democrat, is fighting to hold onto his 26th Assembly seat that covers Auburndale, Bayside, Whitestone and adjacent neighborhoods. He is behind his Republican challenger, John-Alexander Sakelos, by 1,791 votes, according to the unofficial Election Night results.

However, some 15,325 absentee ballots were submitted by voters in the district — 9,660 by Democrats and 1,914 by Republicans, according to the BOE.

If the absentee voters cast their ballots in tune with their political parties, Braunstein should easily make up the difference and win another term.

Meanwhile, Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Democrat who represents the 3rd Congressional district that covers parts of eastern Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, is also fighting to keep his seat.

Suozzi is down about 4,000 votes from his Republican challenger George A. D. Santos. The Democrat remains confident that he will win, noting on Twitter that there are still 90,000 absentee ballots to be counted in the Queens-Long Island district.

The BOE is unlikely to release the results anytime soon. It could take days or even weeks to count the high volume of absentee ballots New Yorkers cast.

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