The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has scheduled a hearing on GOP Senate candidate David McCormick’s lawsuit seeking a hand recount of ballots in 12 Pennsylvania counties.
The hearing will take place Monday — just over 24 hours before all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties are required to complete the state-mandated recount in his tight primary race against Mehmet Oz. That means that if the court grants McCormick’s request and orders the labor-intensive process of recounting ballots by hand, it would almost certainly disrupt the tight timeline for reporting recount results and declaring a victor.
The state’s automatic recount — triggered by state law because the top two candidates are separated by less than 0.5% of the vote — began Friday and, under state law, must be completed by noon Tuesday. Counties have until Wednesday, June 8, to submit their official results to the state, and the results are published shortly thereafter.
McCormick, who trails Oz by fewer than 1,000 votes, or less than 0.1% of the total ballots cast, said in his lawsuit Monday that his campaign has identified data discrepancies in 150 precincts in the 12 counties that require a closer look.
The counties include Allegheny, Bucks, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Delaware, Erie, Lancaster, Monroe, Schuylkill, Westmoreland, and York.
The McCormick campaign has not specified what issues prompted them to home in on those specific precincts they have identified in their filings. Instead, it has pointed broadly to discrepancies between vote tallies listed on some county websites and those reported by the state and to what it has described as large gaps between the number of votes cast in the GOP gubernatorial and Senate primaries.
Discrepancies in public tallies issued before the results are finalized may result from several legitimate causes, including counties updating their websites at different times than they update the state.
Without a specific issue raised, there’s currently no reason to expect a hand recount would drastically shift McCormick’s vote margins.
The state’s automatic recount process currently underway is typically done via machines. And so far, those counties that have completed the process have reported only minor shifts.
In Philadelphia, which wrapped up its recount Tuesday night, Oz picked up one vote, going from 10,717 in the initial count to 10,718 in the recount. McCormick lost two — falling to 7,091 votes in the recount from his original count of 7,093.
Other counties which announced recount results Tuesday — including Forest, Fulton, Pike, and Wayne — reported candidate totals varying from the original count by no more than four votes.
Staff writer Tyler Jenkins-Wong contributed to this article.