Federal court case could have profound effect on PA GOP Senate primary race

Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick, two of the top Pennsylvania Republican candidates for an open U.S. Senate seat, both eagerly anticipated a win last week on election night, only to come up with margins so thin that a clear winner would be impossible to call.

Now, the results could become slightly more complicated than anticipated, as a federal court case regarding the counting of certain mail-in ballots, as Politico described the situation, could “upend” the Republican race altogether.

“On Friday afternoon, a three-judge panel for the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals issued a judgment saying election officials should count several hundred mail ballots that were submitted without a date written on their mailing envelopes in a Nov. 2021 county judgeship election, as long as they were otherwise received on time,” the outlet reported.

That decision has yet to be formalized, but if it’s adopted, the ruling “could introduce into the pool an as-yet-unknown number of similarly-situated ballots that would not have initially been counted,” Politico noted.

The two candidates are separated currently by razor-thin margins, which will likely result in a statewide recount if the margin is under 0.5%.

However, Politico noted that it’s not known “how many ballots that were otherwise received in a timely fashion by county election officials were rejected because of a missing date,” opening up the possibility, depending on where the votes originated from, for one candidate to take a stronger lead.

Many on social media criticized Pennsylvania election officials, raising questions as to why the state always seems to have controversial issues during and after an election that almost always result in delayed counts.