Despite election officials declaring former Vice President Joe Biden victorious in New York, President Donald Trump had more than a 6,000-vote lead in Nassau County as of Wednesday morning, according to the county Board of Elections.
Trump, a Republican, received 286,661 votes, or 49.6 percent of the 578,383 votes cast in Nassau County as of Wednesday morning. Biden, a Democrat, received 280,288, or 48.5 percent.
Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen received 2,823 votes, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins received 1,439 votes, Independent candidate Brock Pierce received 1,495 votes, and 1,476 write-in votes were submitted in Nassau County. More than 4,000 Nassau votes were deemed blank or void, according to the state Board of Elections.
The vote tally did not include a large number of write-in ballots which will be counted in the next week.
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.
Though the absentee ballots have yet to be counted in Nassau, Trump’s lead as of Wednesday does not correlate with two previous presidential elections. In 2016, Trump received 292,025, or 44.7 percent, of Nassau County votes, 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.
Lawrence Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, said he believes those general figures will hold true this year.
“Right now, [Biden’s] behind by literally a few thousand votes out of more than half a million and we have 130-170,000 ballots that haven’t been counted,” Levy said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “And they are going to skew Democratic. So Biden will take it in roughly the amount that Hillary took it.”
In a Blank Slate Media forum before the election, Levy said that the country’s suburbs “have determined the winner of every presidential race, with the possible exception of one in 2012.”
“The winner in the suburbs has gone on to win the White House and the party that has won more suburban seats in Congress goes out to control the gavel there,” Levy said. “So this race is really about who can take the suburbs.”
He added that although Long Island was “the quintessential United States suburb,” its votes don’t count like other suburbs, due to New York’s status as a blue state.
“[The Trump campaign is] looking for voters who are similar demographically, ideologically, politically to those in rural areas where he did very, very well,” Levy said. “So I’m keeping my eye on the suburbs. People like Long Islanders all over the country are going to decide this pretty much in about five states. And unfortunately, our votes won’t count in terms of who goes to the White House.”
Bruce Blakeman, Republican councilman for District 3 of the Town of Hempstead, said at the forum that the Democratic Party had turned into a “far-left socialist party that is going to destroy the American economy.”
“Socialism hasn’t worked anywhere throughout the world throughout history, and yet [the Democrats] have been constantly moving in that direction with respect to Donald Trump,” Blakeman said.
Levy said that voters should allow the process to play out.
“I think that [voters] need to be patient, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, and they should have confidence in the Nassau Board of Elections,” Levy said. “It’s one of the few areas where Republicans and Democrats watch each other with equal resources. And both have a lot of stake in maintaining the integrity of the process.”
Rose Weldon contributed reporting.