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Turnout low in primary race to succeed King

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Results in Tuesday's primaries held few surprises yesterday, as former Vice-President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump cruised to easy leads in the presidential contest.

In the Second Congressional District race to succeed Rep. Peter King, a longtime Republican powerbroker and Trump ally, Democrat Jackie Gordon, a former Town of Babylon supervisor and retired U.S. Army lieutenant-colonel, and Bayport Republican Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino — their parties’ designated candidates — held comfortable margins over their respective challengers, Patricia Maher, the Democratic nominee in 2014, and Massapequa Assemblyman Mike LiPetri.

The race, which has drawn substantial national attention, saw King endorsing Garbarino, while Gordon secured the backing of such Democratic luminaries as New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and California Sen. Kamala Harris, as well as a number of powerful labor unions and progressive organizations.

No results were available in the 4th Congressional District race. Three-term incumbent Rep. Kathleen Rice, a former Nassau County district attorney, ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination, while Douglas Truman and Cindy Grosz vied for the Republican standard.

Turnout at the polls was low because of the Covid-19 virus, according to election workers in Seaford, Wantagh and Levittown. At press time, only 20,500 had voted in person, out of a total of more than 315,000 —or roughly 6.5 percent — of eligible voters in the district.

Nassau County election officials had not released any results by 10 a.m. on Wednesday, for reasons that were unclear.

By state law, counting of absentee ballots could not begin until seven days after June 23, the last date by which the ballots could be postmarked to count in the election. The state was waiting a week to ensure that all absentee ballots were returned and counted, said Bonnie Garone, counsel to the Nassau Democratic election commissioner.

It was unclear at press time what percentage of the electorate voted by absentee ballot, and how many such ballots were mailed in on Tuesday. Because many people were concerned about the coronavirus pandemic, however, in-person voting was expected to be lighter than normal. Many people, officials said, would likely cast absentee ballots, which all voters were permitted to do, provided they had requested them.

Garrone noted that counting of absentee ballots should be faster than in past years, as the Board of Elections now has a set of high-speed tabulation machines that should expedite the process