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Smyth Leading, Suozzi Trailing in Election Returns

The voters of the north shore have spoken and there are some big upsets in the electoral landscape.

With 100% of the in-person voting counted, US Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) trails his Republican challenger, George Santos by nearly 4,000 votes. And freshman Democratic NYS Senator Jim Gaughran trails by a massive 14,000 votes behind his Republican challenger, Huntington Councilman Ed Smyth.

Similar upsets occurred across the area, as Republican Jamie Silvestri is narrowly beating Democratic Assemblyman Steve Stern in Huntington, and Republican Keith Brown is crushing his Democratic rival Mike Marcantonio by over 8,000 votes, in the Assembly seat vacated by Huntington Town Clerk Andy Raia.

One caveat to these numbers, however, are the huge volume of "mail-in ballots" that will not begin to be counted until this week. There are over 100,000 mail in ballots from across the north shore, and the tally from those ballots is expected to change some of the election day results.

In the Suozzi-Santos race, there are over 94,000 mail-in ballots, with only 4,000 in-person votes separating the candidates. The "paper" - as the mail-in ballots are called - is expected to go 2:1 or 3:1 for Suozzi, swamping Santos' narrow election day win.

The same can be said for the close Silvestri-Stern race, where fewer than 100 votes separate the candidates. Democrat Stern is expected to benefit most from the 13,119 paper ballots yet to be counted.

The same cannot be said about the Smyth-Gaughran NYS Senate contest. Smyth has an 11% vote lead of nearly 14,000 votes. The 35,804 paper ballots in that race are expected to favor Gaughran, but by nowhere near the margin necessary to upset Smyth's huge lead.

The same dynamics apply to the victories of Mario Mattera (R) in Senate District 2 (Northport and Smithtown); Keith Brown (R) in Assembly District 12 (Northport); and Mike Montesano in Assembly District 15 (Oyster Bay and Locust Valley). These Republican candidates have too large a lead to have them erased by Democratic gains from the paper ballots.

The counting of the mail-in ballots will start this week, and is expected to take at least three weeks to complete. Each one of the 100,000 ballots must be individually scrutinized to check whether the voter is registered, has or has not already voted, and whether the voter's signature matches the records.

New York has one of the oldest mail-in ballot systems, however, this year the Boards of Elections created a new system where anyone can click - anonymously- onto the County Boards' websites, order a ballot, and direct that it be mailed to any location. Those procedures have resulted in hundreds of complaints of impersonation - that someone falsely "clicked" and ordered other voters' ballots.

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