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Election 2020: All Eyes On Heated Congressional Races On Long Island

BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- All eyes are on two heated Congressional races on Long Island.

The energy for the top of the ticket has translated into a big Long Island turnout. In Babylon and several other villages and towns, there were sporadic machine breakdowns, ballot scanner issues and instances where poll inspectors didn't show.

"My ballot wouldn't go through three times because I apparently had the wrong district voting sheet," Suffolk voter Maria Maiorino said.

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There was relief on the faces of voters across Suffolk and Nassau as they finally cast their ballots.

Viewers sent videos of lines, most manageable and not contentious, and even when confronting ballot issues, voters said poll workers were helpful.

"You come, you sign your name, you get ballot, you go fill it. Extraordinary, excellent," Nassau County voter Joseph Valcourt said.

Suburban races are up for grabs.

"Well, I think the Peter King seat is an open seat and right away, it becomes very competitive," New York State Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs said.

ELECTION 2020: Republican Andrew Garbarino, Democrat Jackie Gordon In Neck-And-Neck Race To Replace Retiring Congressman Peter King On Long Island

Among the key Long Island races is the contest for the 2nd Congressional District, long held by Republican King, who is retiring.

"It's been a great run in Congress, a great district to represent, but Andrew Garbarino is going to do a terrific job," King told CBS2's Jennifer McLogan.

"They are very big shoes to fill, I hear it every day," Garbarino said.

King is so respected in his district that Democratic candidate Jackie Gordon pledges to continue King's moderate platform of reaching out if she wins.

She says she will "not only walk across the aisle, but sit at the table together with Democrats and Republicans alike."

LATEST RESULTS: 2nd Congressional District 2020 General – Andrew Garbarino (R) vs. Jackie Gordon (D)

Out east, Republican Lee Zeldin wants to capitalize on the president's popularity in his district and put a check on what he calls big-spending liberal Democrats.

"Voters want law and order. They want safety and security, peace and prosperity," Zeldin said.

His opponent, scientist Nancy Goroff, hopes to flip Trump supporters her way, frustrated over his COVID-19 response.

"We need policies that are based on facts and reality," she said.

LATEST RESULTS: 1st Congressional District 2020 General – Lee Zeldin (R-Inc.) vs. Nancy Goroff (D)

The red suburbs could lean blue.

"People moving, driven out of New York City by the pandemic, for the more spacious suburban communities. In close elections, and we've got a real close one in Long Island's 1st Congressional District, those voters could make a tremendous difference," said Lawrence Levy, with Hofstra University's National Center for Suburban Studies.

Those districts went Trump in 2016, and Tuesday, political pundits say both races are too close to call.

"So many people have voted absentee that we have far more paper -- that's what we call the absentee -- than we've ever had before, so it's really very hard to project in any way what the outcome of any one of these races is with absolute certainty," Jacobs said.

It could be many days until we know the results for sure.


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