David McCormick, a former CEO of a hedge fund, went to Pennsylvania's highest courts Tuesday to try to close the gap between him and Dr. Mehmet O in Pennsylvania's neckand-neck Republican primary race for the U.S. Senate.
McCormick's request to the state Supreme Court intervened less than four hours prior to Tuesday's 5 pm deadline for counties reporting their unofficial results to state elections office.
The U.S. Supreme Court could have a separate court battle, with candidates separated by less than 1,000 votes.
However, hundreds of ballots will be counted by counties after the deadline. This includes provisional and military ballots, and there is a good chance that the contest will go into June for a recount.
McCormick requested that justices order counties to follow a new federal appeals court ruling and immediately count mail-in ballots without a handwritten date.
As McCormick tries to win enough votes to take over Oz, there are hundreds, if not thousands of such ballots in state county offices. The justices required counties to respond by Thursday at 4 p.m.
Both the national Republican and state parties have indicated that they, like Oz, oppose counting the ballots in question.
Matt Raymer, chief counsel of the Republican National Committee, stated that election laws were meant to be respected and that changing rules after ballots have been counted is detrimental to the integrity of our elections.
McCormick is doing better in mail-in ballots than Oz and has repeatedly insisted that "every Republican voter should be counted." James Schultz, McCormick’s campaign chair, lashed out against Lawrence Tabas as he said Tabas "cares so much" about Republicans who voted McCormick.
Schultz stated that Tabas is meant to "grow GOP voters" and bring the party together, and not drive wedges.
Meanwhile, Tuesday, Gov. The administration of Tom Wolf issued guidance to counties stating that all ballots without dates must count, citing the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision from Friday.
It also stated that counties should keep these ballots separate -- acknowledging that attorneys for defendants in federal appeals court cases said they would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
McCormick's lawsuit represents the first, but not the last, court battle in the contest between Oz und McCormick.
Out of 1,341,395 ballots, Oz was ahead by 987 votes or 0.07 percentage points.
The race is close enough that Pennsylvania's automatic recount law can be activated. Separation between candidates will take place within the law's 0.5% margin. Until the likely recount is completed, the Associated Press won't declare a winner. This could take up to June 8.
McCormick and Oz are competing for the nomination to face John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee in a presidential battleground race that is expected be one of the most competitive this fall. Two-term Republican Senator Pat Toomey has retired, making this the Democrats' best chance to win a seat in the tightly divided Senate.