Pennsylvania Senate runoff: RNC intervenes to block McCormick absentee ballot move as Dr. Oz leads

The Republican National Committee is intervening in the lawsuit brought by the David McCormick campaign seeking to force the counting of undated absentee ballots in the Pennsylvania Senate primary because his opponent, famed cardiac surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, leading by a tiny fraction of a percent.
An RNC official confirmed reports of the intervention to Fox News Digital on Monday night, insisting the move did not signal support for Oz or opposition to McCormick, but rather an attempt to protect the integrity of the election.
"The RNC is intervening in this lawsuit alongside the Pennsylvania GOP because of the intent to obey electoral laws and changing the rules when ballots are already being counted compromises the integrity of our elections," said Matt Raymer, chief counsel of the RNC, in an explanation.
dr Mehmet Oz and David McCormick Getty Images
"None of Pennsylvania's leading Republican Senate candidates would represent Keystone State better than a Democrat, but Pennsylvania law is clear that undated absentee ballots are not counted," Raymer added. "This is another example of the RNC's ironclad commitment to ensuring the highest standards of transparency and security are maintained throughout the election process."
The Pennsylvania GOP also condemned the move. "While the Pennsylvania Republican Party looks forward to supporting the nominee for the Republican United States Senate from Pennsylvania, whoever it may be, we absolutely oppose the counting of undated mail-in ballots," the party said in a statement. "Pennsylvania law and our courts have made it very clear that undated ballots are not to be counted."
McCormick's campaign filed the lawsuit in a Pennsylvania court after hours Monday to ensure that counties comply with a federal Circuit Court ruling ordering the state's Commonwealth Court to require counties to issue absentee ballots that meet the required handwritten date missing on return, immediately count envelope.
Dave McCormick shakes hands with supporters at a rally to rally support for his Senate nomination. (Photo by Aimee Dilger/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
In the lawsuit, McCormick's campaign claimed that at least two counties -- Blair and Allegheny -- suggested not counting ballots as part of their unofficial result, which each county must report to the state on Tuesday.
As of 6 p.m. Monday, Oz, who was backed by former President Donald Trump, led McCormick by 992 votes (0.07%) from 1,341,037 ballots. The race is likely close enough to trigger Pennsylvania's automatic recount law, which operates within the law's 0.5% margin.
The number of absentee ballots without a handwritten note remains unclear. While McCormick, a former hedge fund CEO and ex-Treasury official in the George W. Bush administration, lags behind in the overall vote, he has outperformed Oz in absentee ballots.
McCormick said Monday while appearing on a Conservative talk show in Philadelphia that "every Republican vote should count."
"I think the premise that we should have as Republicans is that all Republican votes count, and that's something I think we all hold as a principle," McCormick said. “And that is the principle that we stand for here. We have defended this principle before this court ruling. This court decision just shed more light on it.”
The story goes on

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