The Republican Party takes Oz’s side in a Senate counting lawsuit State and region
HARISBURG, Pennsylvania – The National Republican Party is taking the side of renowned heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz in the Republican Party’s primary competition in the U.S. Senate and opposes a lawsuit that could help former Hedge Fund CEO David McCormick eliminate.
McCormick’s lawsuit was filed late Monday, less than 24 hours before Tuesday’s deadline for counties to report their unofficial results to the state.
In it, McCormick asks the Commonwealth Court to require counties to comply with a new decision of the Federal Court of Appeals and immediately count the ballots by mail, which do not have the required date by hand on the return envelope.
Oz, who was approved by former President Donald Trump, has pressured counties not to count ballots, and the National Committee of the Republican Party has said it will go to court to oppose McCormick.
In a statement, RNC Attorney General Matt Reimer said that “electoral law must be enforced, and changing the rules, if the ballots are already being counted, harms the integrity of our election.”
McCormick’s lawsuit is the first – but probably not the last – lawsuit in a lawsuit between Oz and McCormick.
Oz topped McCormick with 992 votes, or 0.07 percentage points, from 1,341,037 ballots reported by the state on Tuesday morning.
The race is close enough to trigger the Pennsylvania Automatic Voice Count Act with a division between candidates within 0.5% of the law. The Associated Press will not announce the winner of the race until the probable list of votes is completed. It may take until June 8.
It is unclear how many ballot papers by mail, which do not have a handwritten date, were received by the constituencies. Although he lags behind the vote count, McCormick was better than Oz among the ballot papers in the mail.
Speaking on Monday in a conservative talk show on a radio in Philadelphia, McCormick insisted that “every Republican vote should count” and said his campaign believes a federal court decision is binding on counties.
A ruling in a separate case Friday night, the U.S. District Court of Appeals said the state election law requirement regarding the date next to the voter’s signature on the outside of the back envelopes was “irrelevant.” The lawsuit came as a result of last year’s district election, and a panel of three judges said it found no reason to refuse to count the ballots in that race.
The ruling contradicted a position that Republicans in Pennsylvania have repeatedly appealed to the courts in the past to try to reject legitimate votes cast in a timely manner by voters because of technical details such as the lack of a handwritten date.
State law requires someone to write the date on the envelope in which they send their ballots. However, the envelope has a postmark of the post offices and a county stamp when they receive it.
Meanwhile, state law does not provide grounds for a voter to put a date on an envelope, and does not require a county to discard it in the absence of a date.