“This is a historic day,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “After the darkness, division and hate of the past four years, America has spoken and rejected more of the same. Congratulations to my good friend President-elect Joe Biden and to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Today we go forward in hope and progress.”
Cuomo was among Democratic officials in Nassau County and New York reacting with joy to Biden’s defeat of Republican President Donald Trump, which became clear over the weekend.
Jay Jacobs, chairman of the state and county’s Democratic committees, said the “hard work” now begins to combat divisiveness that has been prominent in this year’s election campaign.
“Today isn’t about Democrats or Republicans, it’s about Americans coming together to unite our country,” Jacobs said. “We campaigned and voted for Joe Biden not because he was the Democratic candidate, but because he is the only candidate who can unite our country after four years of hatred and division.”
U.S. Reps. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) and Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) extended their congratulations to Biden and Harris and said they look forward to aiding them in recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and other issues facing New Yorkers.
“Congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden,” Suozzi said. “I look forward to working with you to bring our country together to crush the coronavirus, put people back to work, to make health care affordable, to address racial inequities, and to build back better while addressing climate change. We believe you have the character to heal the divide in our country and I will try and help you.”
“While the results are clear, our nation remains divided as we await the final tallies,” Rice said. “However, I am filled with hope. I believe the Biden-Harris Administration will lead with dignity and help unify our nation once again. I look forward to working with the new Administration to bring an end to this pandemic, rebuild our economy, and deliver on our promises to the American people.”
Rice also celebrated Harris’ being declared the first female vice president, a steppingstone for future generations, she said.
“For the first time, a woman will be the Vice President of the United States – sending a clear message to little girls in every corner of this country that they too can be anything they want to be,” Rice said.
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said it is time for the nation to heal “after the trauma of the past four years” and “outrageous behavior” from Trump.
“The NYS Senate Democratic Majority will work with the Biden/Harris administration to help New York recover from this pandemic and economic crisis. Now is the time to heal the deep divisions in our society and come together as New Yorkers and Americans to build a stronger, more respectful, and more just state and nation,” she said.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said: “It’s time we put the divisiveness of the campaign in the past and come together as Americans. Let’s take this opportunity now to move toward the goal of creating a more perfect union.”
Although Biden won New York, it was not yet clear whether he had carried Nassau County because tens of thousands of mail-in ballots were still being counted. The day after the election, Trump had more than a 6,000-vote lead in Nassau County, according to the county Board of Elections.
Trump had received 286,661 votes, or 49.6 percent of the 578,383 votes cast in Nassau County. Biden received 280,288, or 48.5 percent. More than 4,000 Nassau votes were deemed blank or void, according to the state Board of Elections.
Nassau Democratic Elections Commissioner James Scheuerman said 142,962 absentee ballots were cast in Nassau County this year, a figure that shatters the previous record of 48,000 in 2016.
According to early election figures, 1.4 million Long Islanders voted this year, compared with 1.33 million in 2016.
More than 350,000 Nassau residents cast their ballots on Election Day Tuesday, with others taking advantage of the county’s second year of early voting and use of absentee ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Early voting saw more than 223,000 Nassau County residents cast their ballots from Oct. 24 to Nov. 1, according to state figures.
In the last two elections, the Democratic presidential candidate finished first in Nassau County.
In 2016, Trump received 292,025 votes, or 44.7 percent, compared with Hillary Clinton’s 350,570, or 50.8 percent, according to Board of Elections figures. In 2012, President Barack Obama won Nassau County with 302,695 votes, or 53 percent, compared with Republican Mitt Romney’s 282,131, or 45.4 percent.
According to figures from the state Board of Elections, registered Nassau County Democrats outnumbered county Republicans 359,710 to 321,966 as of Nov. 1. An additional 248,017 registered voters do not identify with a specific party.