Vote Counts in PA Senate Race Come to a Screeching Halt

Alito order may impact upcoming November election.
oz and mccormick

If you’re scratching your head wondering how the Pennsylvania primary race between Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick reached the Supreme Court of the United States so quickly, you’re not alone.

Of significance is a 2021 judicial race for a seat on the Court of Common Pleas in Lehigh County between Republican David Ritter and Democrat Zachary Cohen. With fewer than 75 votes separating the candidates, the question as to whether 257 mail-in ballots – without handwritten dates on the exterior envelope – should or should not be counted.  

The 3rd Circuit Court (a federal appeals court) set aside Pennsylvania law that disqualifies the counting of undated ballots and ruled that they may be counted if they were received on time. 

Ritter has contested the court’s ruling and the Supreme Court of the United States has intervened with a stay that temporarily blocks the counting of undated ballots.

The SCOTUS decision could ultimately have a tremendous impact on who will win the Republican primary and run for the Senate in November especially since some counties have, based on the 3rd Circuit’s decision, already included undated ballots in their tallies.

The order to pause the vote count, issued by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, could create a potential hurdle for Democrats in the November general election should a decision be made that undated Vote By Mail (VBM) ballots be disqualified.

A look at early VBM statistics in the 2020 presidential election revealed that Democrats used mail in ballots more than any other party. Democrats had returned 1.6 million ballots versus 586,000 from Republicans and 278,000 from Independents and third party voters.

Furthermore, these statistics reveal the scheme behind the PA-GOP’s intention to disenfranchise Democrats via their attempt to nullify Pennsylvania’s Act 77 Vote By Mail law.

Needless to say, the future of Pennsylvania is now more tenuous than ever and until several scenarios play out – including whether undated ballots will or will not be counted, along with the survival of the VBM law – Democrats must prepare for the worst and be organized and ready to do whatever is necessary to cast their votes in November.

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Jenny Stephens

Jenny Stephens

Jenny Stephens is a freelance journalist who has written for a variety of publications, including The Reporter. An avid collector of all things vintage, she resides in Lansdale, PA.

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