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 still too close to call as of Wednesday morning.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, and former Treasury Department official David McCormick both secured just over 31% with over 95% of votes tallied.
Conservative commentator Kathy Barnette is sitting around 24%, meaning the race is essentially between Oz and McCormick for the right to face Democrat John Fetterman in November’s general election.
The race is to fill the seat of GOP Sen. Pat Toomey, who is retiring after two terms in the Senate. The battle for the U.S. Senate seat has already become one of the most-watched races heading into November’s general election.
Reports on 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.
“Officials in Lancaster County, the state’s sixth most populous, said the problem involved at least 21,000 mailed ballots, only a third of which were scanning properly,” the report stated. “The glitch will force election workers to redo ballots that can’t be read by the machine, a laborious process expected to take several days. Officials in the GOP-controlled county pledged that all the ballots will be counted eventually.”
The Associated Press also published a report on the “error”:
Printing mistakes will force local election officials in Pennsylvania and Oregon to redo thousands of mailed ballots, a laborious process that could delay results for some closely contested races in Tuesday’s primaries.
In Pennsylvania, where GOP primaries for governor and U.S. Senate are drawing national attention, officials in Republican-leaning Lancaster County said the company that printed its mailed ballots included the wrong ID code, preventing scanning machines from being able to read them. The problem involved at least 21,000 mailed ballots, only a third of which were scanning properly.
The glitch will force election workers to hand-mark fresh ballots, a process expected to take several days. Officials in the county, the state’s sixth-most populous, pledged that all the ballots will be counted eventually.
The Pennsylvania Department of State released a statement on the race, saying the results may not be immediately available.
“We know voters want results on Primary Election Night, but the priority must be to make sure every vote is accurately and securely counted,” the statement read. “Ahead of the primary, more than 900,000 applications for mail-in and absentee ballots were requested. Pennsylvania election law does not permit pre-canvassing of ballots before Election Day — counties cannot begin counting mail ballots until 7 a.m. on Election Day.”
“We expect to have unofficial results within a few days,” the statement continued. “Given the possibility of recounts and the need for official certifications, it is unlikely that final results in all races will be available tonight.”
DDHQ Race Update (est. >95% in): PA Senate GOP
Mehmet Oz 397,347 (31.22%)
David McCormick 396,724 (31.17%)
Kathy Barnette 314,828 (24.74%)
Follow results here: https://t.co/4prVQOLzzB
— Decision Desk HQ (@DecisionDeskHQ) May 18, 2022
Oz and McCormick locked in tight race in high-stakes Pennsylvania GOP primary that could shape control of the Senatehttps://t.co/gkwjJMJ3LN
— Saheem Saidu (@saheemsaidu2006) May 18, 2022
Daily News | David McCormick and Mehmet Oz locked in tight race for GOP Senate nomination; how recounts work in Pennsylvania https://t.co/jN26Djnt6z
— Philly Daily News (@PhillyDailyNews) May 18, 2022
Some races, however, were decisively concluded on Tuesday night.
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul won the GOP primary. He will now face former Democrat state lawmaker Charles Booker, who won the Democratic primary on Tuesday night, in November’s general election.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 17, 2022
Paul, who is seeking his third term in the Senate, is running a campaign on a message of limited government and curbed spending.
“I think most people instinctively know that nothing really in life is free. You’re going to have to pay for it with hard work. Right now we’re paying for it through inflation and it could get much worse,” said Paul.
He added, “People come from government and they say, we will give you checks. Here’s $1,400, here’s a check. You know we’re going to take care of you. But what they don’t tell you is the penalty for that or the price for that is inflation.”