The Republican National Committee is intervening to try and stop David McCormick campaign’s lawsuit to require counting undated absentee ballots in Pennsylvania’s Senate primary.
McCormick is currently trailing by just a fraction of a percentage to television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, who was endorsed by Donald Trump, a week after the election.
The former hedge fund CEO filed the lawsuit on Monday evening, asserting that Blair and Allegheny counties had said they will not be counting mail in ballots that lack the proper handwritten date on the return envelope.
RNC chief counsel Matt Raymer confirmed the effort to block counting the improper ballots to Fox News.
“The RNC is intervening in this lawsuit alongside the Pennsylvania GOP because election laws are meant to be followed, and changing the rules when ballots are already being counted harms the integrity of our elections,” Raymer said in a statement provided to the network.
“Either of Pennsylvania’s leading Republican Senate candidates would represent the Keystone State better than a Democrat, but Pennsylvania law is clear that undated absentee ballots may not be counted,” Raymer added. “This is another example of the RNC’s ironclad commitment to ensuring that the highest standards of transparency and security are upheld throughout the election process.”
The Pennsylvania GOP has also condemned McCormick’s lawsuit.
“While the Republican Party of Pennsylvania looks forward to supporting the Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate nominee, whoever it may be, we absolutely object ot the counting of undated mail-in ballots,” the party said in a statement. “Pennsylvania law and our courts have been very clear that undated ballots are not to be counted.”
Oz tweeted a condemnation of the efforts from his campaign manager Casey Contres on Saturday.
“Dr. Mehmet Oz continues to respectfully allow Pennsylvania’s vote-counting process to take place and puts his faith in the Republican voters who we believe have chosen him as their nominee,” Contres added. “That is why our campaign will oppose the McCormick legal team’s request that election boards ignore both Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court and state election law and accept legally rejected ballots.”
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) May 21, 2022
Trump has heavily endorsed Oz in the race, despite criticism that he is a “carpetbagger” with minimal ties to the state of Pennsylvania.
“People love him, otherwise he wouldn’t have been on air for 18 years,” Trump said in a robocall being sent to Pennsylvania Republicans prior to election day. “I’ve just spent a lot of time with him. I did endorse him, and the reason is he’s tough, he’s smart and he really loves our country and he wants to do a great job for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
During the campaign, McCormick leaned heavily into promoting that the state is where he was born, raised, and lives.
Oz held dual citizenship in Turkey until it became a campaign issue and previously fought for the Turkish Army. He did not vote in the last presidential election in the US, but did vote in Turkey.
Fox reports, “as of 6 p.m. Monday, Oz, whom former President Donald Trump endorsed, led McCormick by 992 votes (0.07%) out of 1,341,037 ballots. The race is likely close enough to trigger Pennsylvania’s automatic recount law, which applies inside the law’s 0.5% margin.”