McCormick campaign sues to have undated mail-in ballots counted in Pennsylvania, GOP opposes move
David McCormick is trailing Dr. Mehmet Oz by a razor-thin margin in the ongoing Senate GOP primary battle in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick is suing all 67 counties and the secretary of state to have undated mail-in ballots counted toward the final tally from last week's primary election. McCormick is currently trailing primary rival Mehmet Oz by a margin of less than 0.1%.
Some of the state's counties are currently holding undated mail-in ballots in "limbo," according to a McCormick campaign suit filed Monday in Commonwealth Court. Campaign attorneys are citing a federal court ruling from the last general election that states undated mail-in ballots that are date stamped by Election Day must counted toward final results.
"These ballots were indisputably submitted on time – they were date-stamped upon receipt – and no fraud or irregularity has been alleged. The (county election) Boards' only basis for disenfranchising these voters is a technical error that is immaterial under both state and federal law," reads the McCormick campaign suit.
A campaign spokesperson said that Oz is attempting to prevent counties from tallying undated ballots. A recount is automatically triggered in Pennsylvania if candidates finish with vote-tally gap of 0.5% or less. One will almost certainly occur in this race.
On Monday, the Pennsylvania Republican Party released a statement saying it does not support the suits from McCormick.
"While the Republican Party of Pennsylvania looks forward to supporting the Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate nominee, whoever it may be, we absolutely object to the counting of undated mail-in ballots. Pennsylvania law and our courts have been very clear that undated ballots are not to be counted," said the party.
The Republican National Committee also took a stance against McCormick's campaign suit.
Fox News reported Monday night that the RNC is intervening in the suit alongside the Pennsylvania GOP "because election laws are meant to be followed, and changing the rules when ballots are already being counted harms the integrity of our elections," said committee Chief Counsel Matt Raymer.
"Either of Pennsylvania’s leading Republican Senate candidates would represent the Keystone State better than a Democrat, but Pennsylvania law is clear that undated absentee ballots may not be counted. This is another example of the RNC’s ironclad commitment to ensuring that the highest standards of transparency and security are upheld throughout the election process," he also said.
The eventual winner of the GOP primary will go on to face Democrat nominee LT. Gov.John Fetterman.
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