Candidates say they're expecting higher turnout for Election Day

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HUNTINGTON -

Candidates running in local, state and national races made their final pushes on the campaign trail Monday on the eve of Election Day.

Jim Leonick is running for Huntington Town Council. The Republican also ran last year and says he definitely sees voters much more anxious this year to get to the polls.

"I feel there are a lot of people from both sides of the aisle that are interested in coming out this year," he says. "A lot of people are upset and angry. They're upset with divisiveness and they hope that elected officials will help change that in the coming year."

MORE: Island Vote 2018 Complete Coverage

Democratic candidate Joan Cergol, who was appointed to the board last year and is running for a full term this year, agrees.

"Definitely anxious to vote -- on both sides," she says. "People are very passionate and I think that's good. We want to get people out to vote. I'm hoping their passion is leaning toward my direction, but we're about to find out."

It's always difficult trying to predict voter turnout, but one indicator is absentee ballots. According to the Suffolk Board of Elections, more than 39,000 voters have requested absentee ballots for Tuesday's election. They say that's more than twice the amount in a normal gubernatorial year. Of the two major parties, about 17,000 registered Democrats requested ballots compared to about 12,000 for Republicans.

Tom, of Seaford, says he's upset at all the angry political rancor going on. Doreen, of Bethpage, blames President Donald Trump.

"It doesn't represent us as the country that we are -- or that we're proud to be," she says.

But Melville's John Lucas is hoping a lot of Trump supporters turn out to vote.

"I believe in strong borders, I believe in lower taxes," Lucas says. "He's doing what I believe is right for this country."

Other Long Island voters say they just want the bickering to end.

Statewide, elections officials say absentee ballot requests are much higher than normal, almost approaching levels seen in presidential election years when voter turnout is at its highest.

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