State Board of Elections releases certified primary results nearly two months late

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), left, and Town of Hempstead engineering commissioner Douglas Tuman, right, won their respective third and fourth congressional district primaries. (Photos courtesy of the candidates)

The state Board of Elections has released the certified results for primary races held on June 23, nearly two months after the election.

The final results showed that U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) and Republican Douglas Tuman won the primary races for the 3rd and 4th congressional districts, respectively.

In June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended the deadline to submit absentee ballots for the Congressional primary races until the day of the election on June 23. To be counted, the absentee ballots for the primary had to be postmarked by June 23, state officials said.

The state Board of Elections posted the certified results on Aug. 5, after adding results from the New York City races, highlighted by more than 84,000 ballots being invalidated or not counted, according to the results.

The city’s Board of Elections received 403,103 mail-in ballots, but the certified results showed that 318,995 were counted.  The 84,108 that were not counted made up 21 percent of the total submitted.

According to a report from the New York Post, roughly 30,000 mail-in ballots were invalidated in Brooklyn.

Arthur Schwartz, a Manhattan-based attorney who represented one of Suozzi’s primary opponents, Melanie D’Arrigo, in a case against another opponent, Michael Weinstock, regarding petitions during the height of the pandemic, told the Post that the invalidation rate was “astounding” and “very troubling.”

Efforts to reach a representative from the state Board of Elections for comment were unavailing.

Judge Analisa Torres ruled on Aug. 3 that all mail-in votes throughout the state that were received up to two days after the election must be counted as long as they were postmarked by the June 23 election date.

John Conklin, a representative from the state Board of Elections, said in an email to Just the News, that Torres’ ruling had not been enforced as of this past weekend, and that the Board of Elections is appealing the decision.

“If we lose the appeal then all affected boards will have to conduct additional canvassing for absentee ballots received on June 24th and 25th without a postmark,” Conklin told Just the News.  “The local boards would then submit amended certifications of their primary results.”

Conklin also told the outlet that the outcomes in the races are not expected to change.

The only aspect of the 3rd and 4th congressional district races that changed since July was the total number of votes submitted.

Suozzi won in the 3rd Congressional District primary race over challengers Melanie D’Arrigo and Michael Weinstock.  According to the results, Suozzi received 36,811 votes, D’Arrigo received 14,269 votes and Weinstock received 4,283 votes.  Of the 57,684 ballots cast, 1,790 were blank and 436 were void.

The district includes Manhasset, Roslyn, Port Washington, Great Neck and Floral Park, among other areas, and stretches from Whitestone, Queens, to Kings Park in Suffolk County.

Suozzi declared victory on July 17, when he said his campaign had received nearly 70 percent of the vote in the entire district at that point.

“I am overwhelmed by the support I received in this record-high turnout primary,” Suozzi said in a statement. “With coronavirus, it was challenging to vote, but people came out in droves. I am honored that nearly 70 percent of Democrats said they want me to keep fighting for them. There is so much work to do.”

In the 4th Congressional District, Republican Douglas Tuman defeated Cindy Grosz and will take on incumbent Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) in November’s general election.  According to the state figures, Tuman received 10,898 votes while Grosz received 4,292.  Of the 15,938 ballots cast, 153 were ruled blank and 359 were ruled void.

The district is situated in central and southern Nassau County, including Floral Park, Garden City, Hempstead, Mineola, Carle Place, New Hyde Park and Westbury.

Efforts to reach either candidate for comment were unavailing.

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Robert Pelaez

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