The close race in the First Congressional District on Long Island’s East End may begin to become clearer Tuesday when the Suffolk County Board of Elections begins counting the approximately 11,000 absentee and affidavit ballots.
Incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop had initially been reported ahead of Republican challenger Randy Altschuler by 3,461 votes.
But after a miscount was discovered, Altschuler took the lead by nearly 400 votes. Should he retain that lead, Altschuler would become only the second Jewish Republican in the House.
The Suffolk County Board of Elections began an audit last week of a randomly selected 3 percent of the voting machines to ensure the integrity of the results. The check of the 43 machines being examined is expected to take several days and if more discrepancies are discovered, the check would be expanded to 5 percent of the 460 machines in the district.
If additional problems were still discovered, the recount would be expanded to 12 percent of the machines. Authorities have reportedly said that only if more discrepancies were discovered would a full district paper ballot recount be conducted.
Bishop has already called for a full recount, something Altschuler’s spokesman has said is too soon to seriously consider.