OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The Republican primary race for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat is officially headed for a recount.
During a news conference on Wednesday, Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Leigh Chapman announced the state will conduct a recount of the GOP primary race.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, who has been endorsed by Donald Trump, maintains a razor-thin margin of fewer than 1,000 votes over former hedge fund CEO David McCormick.
BREAKING: PA Sec of State announces a recount in GOP Senate Primary. Counties can begin the recount as early as Friday and no later than June 1.
Current vote totals:
419,365 – Oz
418,463 – McCormick
902 vote difference
— Dasha Burns (@DashaBurns) May 25, 2022
— Liz Kilmer (@LizKilmerWPXI) May 25, 2022
BREAKING: @PAStateDept ordered a recount of the Republican Senate Race – with 902 votes separating the top two candidates Mehmet Oz and David McCormick. 65/67 counted have reported the number of undated ballots that can be included including 860 Republican ballots. @CBSPhilly 1/2
— Alicia Roberts (@ARobertsCBS) May 25, 2022
“The race is close enough to trigger Pennsylvania’s automatic recount law, with the separation between the candidates inside the law’s 0.5% margin. The Associated Press will not declare a winner in the race until the recount is complete. That could take until June 8,” the Associated Press reported.
“The winner will face Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in November’s midterm elections in what Democrats see as their best opportunity to pick up a seat in the closely divided Senate. The incumbent, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, is retiring after serving two terms,” the report added.
The race is to fill the seat of GOP Sen. Pat Toomey, who is retiring after two terms in the Senate.
Earlier this week, former hedge fund manager David McCormick filed a lawsuit over mail-in ballots.
“U.S. Senate candidate David McCormick has filed a lawsuit in a Pennsylvania court to compel the counting of Republican mail-in ballots submitted without a handwritten date on the outside envelope in a bid to close the gap with primary opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump,” the Washington Examiner reported.
“The lawsuit, filed late Monday in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, asks the state to force all 67 counties’ boards of elections to count Republican mail-in ballots received on time but without a handwritten date on the outside envelope, as mandated by the statute. McCormick campaign lawyers are basing their case on a fresh decision by a federal appellate court that ruled such ballots should be counted in a dispute over a Pennsylvania election in 2021,” the Examiner continued.
“Both the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit have held that mail-in ballots should not be disqualified simply because the voters failed to handwrite a date on the exterior mailing envelope of their ballots,” McCormick campaign Chief Legal Counsel Chuck Cooper said.
“Because all ballots are time-stamped by the County Boards of Elections on receipt, a voter’s handwritten date is meaningless,” he added. “All timely ballots of qualified Republican voters should be counted.”
McCormick’s campaign argues the lawsuit presents a minimal risk because the goal is to ensure all Republica ballots are counted.
“Every Republican primary vote should be counted, including the votes of Pennsylvania’s active-duty military members who risk their lives to defend our constitutional right to vote. When every Republican vote is counted, Dave looks forward to uniting the party and defeating socialist John Fetterman in the fall,” said McCormick campaign spokeswoman Jess Szymanski.
The Oz campaign dismissed McCormick’s lawsuit, saying mail-in ballots would not change the outcome of the election.
“David McCormick has been a formidable opponent, but it is becoming obvious that he is likely going to come up short to Dr. Mehmet Oz. Unfortunately, the McCormick legal team is following the Democrats’ playbook, a tactic that could have long-term harmful consequences for elections in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Oz campaign manager Casey Contres said.
Reports last Tuesday also alleged an election “glitch” caused an issue for thousands of mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania.
“An error by a company that prints ballots for several Pennsylvania counties made thousands of mail-in ballots unreadable Tuesday as voters were deciding hotly contested primaries for governor and U.S. Senate in one of the nation’s most important battleground states,” PBS reported.