PENNSYLVANIA, Pa. (WHTM) — With Mehmet Oz leading Dave McCormick by less than 1,000 votes in the primary general election, a recount to decide the Republican nominee in the race for Pennsylvania’s soon-to-be-open United States seat has begun and is nearly complete in the Midstate.
With most of the counties starting their recount on Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of ballots were or are being counted in the Midstate’s ten counties. Lancaster and York counties expect to finish on Friday. Lancaster says they had about 6,200 left to count out of the original 112,000 they started with.
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Cumberland, Dauphin and Lebanon counties finished Thursday night. In Cumberland County, Oz added one vote and McCormick added two. It increasingly appears to be Oz with more votes.
The McCormick campaign asked that some counties do a hand recount to ensure the numbers are correct, which will be argued in state court next week Monday.
This won’t be the McCormick campaign’s first visit to Commonwealth Court. Last week, the campaign argued that undated mail-in ballots should be counted, arguing that tossing a ballot from an otherwise legal voter is disenfranchising them.
The judge agreed and said counties should count but separate from those that were correctly dated.
The United States Supreme Court has also been involved with this race, saying to hold those undated mail-ins aside until it takes a full look at the case. Oz’s team and statewide Republicans say the law is clear — if it does not have a date, it does not count.
Lebanon County Elections Director Sean Drasher says they deliberately went extremely slow and very methodical in their recount. “We brought in some great people to help us out on that recount. They were fantastic, professional. They stayed on their game a real, real varsity squad,” Drasher said.
The Senate recount was their highest-profile task, but there is still plenty more work to do including more than 3,000 write-in votes in Lebanon County alone.
According to Jonathan Marks, Deputy Secretary for Elections and Commissions, the recount must be complete by June 7 with the Department of State announcing the winner of the party nomination by June 8 at the latest.