The Suffolk County Board of Elections has 502 absentee ballots that it will review and tally next week to determine the winner in the 18th Legislative District.
After polls closed Tuesday night, Elizabeth Black trailed William Spencer by 179 votes in the race to succeed Majority Leader Jon Cooper, who is term limited.
Absentee ballots had to be postmarked by Nov. 7, the day before the election.
Black wasn't available for comment, but Spencer said Tuesday night, "I'm not claiming victory. I’m very optimistic but not claiming until the absentees come in. It’s close."
The Suffolk County Board of Elections reported that Spencer had 7,885 votes to 7,706 after balloting ended Tuesday, giving him 50.56 percent of the vote to Black's 49.41 percent.
Spencer, 44, is chief of otolaryngology at ; Black, 58, is a retired teacher who serves as a trustee of the Huntington Board of Education.