Pandemic Primary | Bronx Free Press

New York’s pandemic primary day is at a close, but several races are far from decided.

Tuesday marked an unusual day in New York’s election history, as COVID-19 reduced the number of polling sites and necessitated the use of absentee ballots.

Due to coronavirus fears, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order allowing all registered voters to apply for an absentee ballot, which needed to be postmarked by June 23 in order to be counted.

On the ballot this time were Democratic candidates for U.S. president, New York Congressional races, state legislature and Queens Borough President.

Election results are not yet official, as absentee ballots must still be counted. The process of reviewing absentee ballots is not slated to begin until July 1, meaning it could be some time before close races are decided.

The city’s Board of Elections said it mailed about 750,000 absentee ballots to registered voters.

A hotly contested race for Congressional District 16 in the Bronx has already been called as upstart challenger Jamaal Bowman declared victory over Eliott Engel, who has been in Congress since 1989.

After the polls closed on Tuesday, Bowman had amassed 61.8 percent of the vote compared to 34.9 percent for Engel.

“Many doubted that we could overcome the power and money of a 31-year incumbent,” said Bowman in a statement. “But the results show that the people of NY-16 aren’t just ready for change – they’re demanding it.”

Read more: Pandemic Primary | Bronx Free Press

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