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BOE to Begin Counting Absentee Ballots Wednesday

Polling site in Queens Village (QueensPost)

July 7, 2020 By Allie Griffin

The Board of Elections will begin counting the tens of thousands of absentee ballots Queens voters mailed in for the June primary election tomorrow.

The board received a historic amount of absentee ballots after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order allowing all New York voters to vote via absentee due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Queens voters sent 83,712 absentee ballots ahead of the primary election on June 23, according to BOE data as of July 2. The sheer amount of mail-in votes is unprecedented. By comparison, Queens voters cast 5,936 absentee ballots in the June 2016 Congressional primary.

The BOE will also be counting absentee ballots in the other four boroughs starting tomorrow.
The huge number of absentee votes has left several close races in limbo.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who has represented the 12th Congressional District since 2013, is in an extremely tight race against insurgent Suraj Patel to keep her seat. The district covers Astoria, Long Island City as well as the east side of Manhattan and Greenpoint in Brooklyn.
Maloney leads Patel, a first-generation American attorney and adjunct lecturer at NYU, by just 684 votes — but Patel said his campaign ran an aggressive absentee ballot effort.

“We are proud to have run the best absentee ballot field program in this race, and now the energy and momentum is on our side,” he said.

Another tight race in Queens could be swayed by absentee ballots.

Progressive newcomer Zohran Mamdani is leading incumbent Aravella Simotas in a close race to represent Astoria in the state Assembly.

Mamdani has taken roughly 54 percent of in-person votes, while Simotas has secured 46 percent, in the race to represent the 36th District in the Assembly, according to the BOE unofficial results. The difference is 589 votes.

Mamdani, a housing counselor and Indian-Ugandan New Yorker, remained more cautious.

“We’ll have to see if our lead holds,” he tweeted on election night.

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