Friday's close-to-call Republican primary election for the U.S. Senate began with a recount. Only 900 votes separated former CEO of a hedge fund David McCormick and celebrity heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Montour County started the recount Friday. It was one of seven counties who said they would begin immediately. The majority of Pennsylvania's 67 counties said that they would begin next week with a Wednesday deadline.
The process may take up to a day for less populous counties. For more densely populated areas, it could take several days.
The recount started as a court battle that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the state Supreme Court could have an impact on which ballots are counted.
Counties have until June 7, to complete a recount, and another day to report the results to the state.
It is still unclear what the initial results of last week's primary election were, as some counties were still adding up hundreds to thousands of ballots Friday, which included provisional and write-in ballots from overseas voters and military personnel.
Pennsylvania's automatic recount law has been activated by the race. The law allows for the seperation of the candidates within the 0.5% margin. Associated Press won't declare a winner until June 8, when the recount will be complete.
The Republican winner will face the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor. John Fetterman in November's midterm election. Democrats view it as their best chance to win a seat in the tightly divided Senate. After two terms, Republican Senator Pat Toomey has decided to retire.
McCormick's campaign has, in the meantime, been fighting in court to get votes that could help him close the gap to Oz.
Oz, the Republican National Committee, and the state Republican Party are against McCormick’s attempt to force counties to count mail-in ballots without the voter's handwritten dates on the envelope. This could lead to the ballots being thrown out for technicalities.
Some countries have accepted to count them while others have not.
On Friday, a separate case regarding the ballots used in last November's election was brought to the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court. This was just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court's 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion for stay of its earlier decision that such ballots should not be counted despite state election law requiring that voters put a date on their return envelopes.