POLLS CLOSED: Bronx residents finish casting votes, but absentee ballots lie in wait

P.S 85 in Fordham Heights.
Photo by Jason Cohen

The polls have closed in New York’s primary Tuesday in the presidential, Congressional, state and local legislative races.

Most contest winners, however, may not be known for some time, as thousands upon thousands of absentee ballots have yet to be counted.

New Yorkers were encouraged to vote by absentee ballot this election cycle due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the city’s Board of Elections won’t begin tallying these ballots until June 30.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Board of Elections reported that more than 700,000 ballots absentee have been distributed to registered Democrats alone, but just over 77,000 of them had been returned, or 11% of the total.

Absentee ballots had to be received by the Board of Elections, or at least postmarked, by June 23. It figures that the board will receive additional completed ballots mailed in over the next several days.

Early voting took place across the city this month, but turnout was sparse; by all accounts, traffic was also light at the normal polling sites that were open across the city Tuesday.

The city Board of Elections results is scheduled to post on their website returns that reflect the ballots received on June 23 and during early voting. The preliminary results could change dramatically once the absentee ballots are counted, so we will forego reporting any projections in contests considered too close to call. Visit vote.nyc to view the returns.

Among the races to watch as the vote count begins are the following:

  • The 14th Congressional District primary in the Bronx/northwestern Queens pitting freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez against three challengers: Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Samuel Sloan and Badrun Khan.
  • The 15th Congressional District primary in the Bronx, which has 12 candidates on the ballot seeking to replace retiring Congressman Jose Serrano.
  • The 16th Congressional District primary in the Bronx/Westchester in which veteran Congressman Eliot Engel is getting a serious challenge from Jamaal Bowman.
  • The 32nd State Senate District primary, in which Senator Luis Sepulveda is defending his position against Pamela Stewart-Martinez and John Perez.
  • The 34th State Senate District primary in Westchester county and the Bronx against incumbent Senator Alessandra Biaggi and challenger James Gisondi.
  • The 78th State Assembly District primary pitting veteran Assemblyman Jose Rivera against his challenger Francisco Spies.
  • The 79th State Assembly District primary, where six newcomers, George Alvarez, Cynthia Cox, Chantel Jackson, Dion Powell, Elvis Santana and Eric Stevenson, are hoping to fill the seat vacated by Assemblyman Michael Blake.
  • The 81st State Assembly District primary where 25-year incumbent Jeffrey Dinowitz is being challenged by George Diaz.
  • The 82nd State Assembly District primary pitting Assemblyman Michael Benedetto against Egidio Sementilli.
  • The 85th State Assembly District primary, in which challengers Kenny Burgos and William Moore are looking to fill the seat vacated by Bronx Democratic Chair Marcos Crespo.
  • The 87th State Assembly District primary putting Assemblywoman Karines Reyes against Garfield Holland.

Check with bxtimes.com in the days ahead for further coverage of the primary.

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