Before automatic recount in Oz, McCormick U.S. senate primary, all Pennsylvania votes need to be counted

While the dust settles from Tuesday’s Republican US Senate primary in Pennsylvania, candidates Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick remain in a close fight that was too close to name on Wednesday. The remaining mail-in ballots will continue to be counted, and the race appears likely to trigger an automatic recount based on Pennsylvania electoral law.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, Oz was 0.2% ahead of McCormick — a margin of less than 2,000 votes, according to the Associated Press, which reported that by 5 p.m. 96.7% of the vote had been counted and concluded. An automatic recount is required if the top two voters in a race for Pennsylvania state office finish within 0.5%.

  • Pennsylvania Republican Primary for the US Senate
  • Mehmed Oz: 414,853 votes (31.3%)
  • David McCormick: 413,169 votes (31.1%)
  • Kathy Barnett: 328,213 votes (24.7%)
  • Carla Sands: 71,940 votes (5.4%)
  • Jeffrey Bartos: 65,237 votes (4.9%)
  • sean gale: 19,887 votes (1.5%)
  • George Bochetto: 13,951 votes (1.1%)
  • 96.7% of districts report

But first, all ballots must be counted.

The majority of Pennsylvania’s uncounted mail-in ballots in Tuesday’s Republican primary came from Allegheny and Lancaster counties, WGAL reported.

In Allegheny County, considered a McCormick stronghold, 33 counties out of 1,323 had not reported results as of Wednesday.

“There will be no further updates until the Return Board meets at 9 a.m. Friday, May 20,” said a note posted to the Allegheny County Board of Elections website used to display the election results was used.

And in Lancaster County, officials said a misprint caused delays in counting about 22,000 mail-in ballots. These ballots must be set aside, annotated and scanned. This process was expected to begin on Wednesday.

With all signs currently pointing to a recount to determine a winner, it may take until the second week of June to decide who will be the Republican nominee for the US Senate in one of the country’s most-watched races in November.

The Pennsylvania Secretary of State must order a recount by the second Thursday after the election — in this case, by 5 p.m. May 26. Candidates must be informed of the recount 24 hours in advance. If the spread between Oz and McCormick is 0.5% or less, a recount will only occur if the runner-up declines.

From there, a recount must be scheduled by June 1, the third Wednesday after the election. The recount should be completed by noon the following Tuesday, June 7th. All counties would then have until noon on Wednesday 8 June to present the findings, to be released by the Secretary of State.

Oz, a retired surgeon and TV personality, made a late push to overtake McCormick by Wednesday morning. Former President Donald Trump, who endorsed Oz in the race, claimed Wednesday that Oz won. Oz and McCormick, the former hedge fund CEO, admitted hours after polling closed on Tuesday that a solution was not imminent.

Speaking on Trump’s social media site Truth Social, the former president referenced conservative commentator Kathy Barnette’s impact on the primary, which had garnered about 24.7% of the vote as of Wednesday afternoon, putting her in third place.

“The Club For Growth nominee (Kathy Barnette) who lost took a lot of votes away from Oz,” Trump claimed. “Also, early mail-in ballots were sent out without my confirming them yet. Despite all that, Oz won!”

Trump also vilified Pennsylvania, a state that became a fixation for him during his false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

“Here we go again! In Pennsylvania, they can’t count mail-in ballots,” Trump said. “It’s a big mess. Our country should go to paper elections, with same-day votes. Just done in France, zero problems. Get Smart America!”

Later Wednesday, Trump said Oz should declare victory before each recount, although the initial vote count has not yet been completed, the New York Post reported.

“That makes it much harder for them to cheat with ballots they ‘found by accident,'” Trump said.

On Tuesday night, John Fetterman, Lt. gov. of Pennsylvania, the Democratic nomination for the US Senate race in November.

The fight for the seat vacated by Senator Pat Toomey could have significant implications for the balance of power in the Senate.

The Pennsylvania seat vacancy is one of seven seats left vacant in 2022 by incumbents — six of them Republicans — who chose not to seek re-election this year. The US Senate’s partisan balance is virtually nil — 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats, plus two independent senators who argue with the Democrats, and a casting vote from Vice President Kamala Harris.

A total of 35 seats in the US Senate are up for grabs in November. Among them, 15 seats will be held by Republicans and 13 by Democrats running for re-election, in addition to the open-run seats.

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