by Marley Parish, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
June 6, 2022

Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate ended with Dave McCormick conceding to Mehmet Oz, but the taxpayer-funded statewide recount — triggered by the tight margin — continues.

Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman said in a social media post over the weekend that no provision in the state’s Election Code authorizes the Department of State, which has election oversight, to stop an automatic recount once it’s started.

“Counties will continue their efforts,” Chapman said in a tweet Sunday morning.

Pennsylvania law requires an automatic statewide recount if 0.5 percent or less of the vote separates the two leading candidates. 

McCormick, the candidate with fewer votes in the race, could have waived the recount but did not. He also went to court, with attorneys arguing that undated — but timely — mail ballots should count toward final totals. 

However, McCormick announced his concession last week after realizing there were not enough ballots to beat Oz, who’s endorsed by former President Donald Trump, for the Republican nomination.

The Department of State estimated that the recount could cost Pennsylvania taxpayers at least $1 million. Counties had to begin the review no later than June 1, using a different method than the initial tabulation. Local election officials also could tabulate by hand.

Counties have until Tuesday to complete the recount, with final results due to the Department of State by noon on Wednesday.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor John Micek for questions: Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

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