HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Republican primary for United States Senate between Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick is very close after the unofficial count and on Tuesday, the fight over undated mail-in ballots landed in Commonwealth court.
The official count continues and a recount is underway, but as of now, Oz leads McCormick by 922 votes. Should mail-in ballots that were turned in without the required date on the envelope be counter? That question is at the center of the court fight.
Pennsylvania law says they have to be dated. The federal court says that the dating of the envelope is immaterial as long as the ballot is otherwise received on time and from a qualified voter.
The McCormick team argues that those undated ballots should be counted, but the Oz campaign and statewide Republican party argue the rules are the rules, and if they are not followed, the ballots should be tossed. But, the Third Circuit said such a harsh interpretation could lead to disenfranchising voters on an irrelevant technicality.
“That three-judge panel said this is not a material error under the voting rights act. The prior courts that handled it hadn’t considered it under the federal law which basically errs in favor of letting people vote unless there is a material defect in the ballot,” said John Jones, Dickinson College president.
The McCormick team is arguing to let those ballots count. But, bottom line, it may not matter for him as it does not appear there are enough outstanding undated mail-in ballots that will help McCormick overcome Oz’s vote lead.