Pennsylvania Senate Race Still Close as Vote Counting Continues

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“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”  Psalms 95:6 (KJV) 

Suspense over who will win Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate primary lingered the day after the May 17 primary as mail-in ballots continued to be counted.

As they await the results, celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz and businessman David McCormick remain virtually deadlocked.

With 95 percent of the precincts reporting on May 18 at 12:30 a.m. ET, Oz received 31.2 percent of the vote (397,347), while McCormick tallied 31.1 percent (396,724) and Kathy Barnette received 24.7 percent (314,828), according to Decision Desk HQ.

On May 18 at 5 p.m. ET, Decision Desk HQ had Oz with 414,707 votes (31.19), McCormick with 412,983 (31.06 percent), and Barnette at 328,079 (24.68 percent).

Thousands of votes have yet to be counted. Most of these votes are absentee ballots.

The Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s Office said in a May 17 statement that it could take “a few days” to report unofficial results.

“Ahead of the primary, more than 900,000 applications for mail-in and absentee ballots were requested,” the statement reads. “We expect to have unofficial results within a few days. Given the possibility of recounts and the need for official certifications, it is unlikely that final results in all races will be available tonight.”

On May 18, the Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s Office told the Philadelphia Inquirer that more than 100,000 mail-in ballots had yet to be included in the results. Approximately 21 percent of the mail-in ballots already counted for the Senate race were in the Republican primary. There could be more than 20,000 outstanding Republican votes, the Inquirer reported.

To be counted, the majority of mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania must be returned no later than when the polls close on election night at 8 p.m.

Ballots from military and overseas voters can be counted as long as they’re mailed by Election Day. Those typically represent a tiny fraction of the total ballots cast.

Once all of the votes are tallied, the race will likely head to a recount.

Under Pennsylvania law, an automatic statewide recount is triggered if the top two candidates in a race are within half a percentage point of each other, which Oz and McCormick are as of May 18.

The secretary of state will determine if a recount will take place by “the second Thursday following the day of the election,” which is May 26.

The recount would be managed by the individual counties, start no later than June, and be finished by noon on June 7. Counties would submit results to the state by June 8.

According to real-time numbers offered by the Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s Office, McCormick is perf…

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