The Lead

What to know about the Pa. GOP U.S. Senate race recount

By: - May 26, 2022 1:38 pm

(c) Scott Van Blarcom –

Pennsylvania’s top election official announced this week that the Republican U.S. Senate primary race is in for a recount.

“The recount will be conducted transparently as dictated by law,” acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman told reporters during a press conference on Wednesday. “The affected candidates or their attorney representatives are entitled to be present and observe the proceedings.”

The margin between GOP candidates Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick is enough to trigger an automatic statewide recount, with less than 0.5 percent of the vote separating them as of Thursday afternoon.

Both candidates have expressed confidence in the race and facing Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic U.S. Senate nominee, in November.

While Oz maintains a narrow lead, McCormick has filed a lawsuit to ensure that undated and incorrectly dated mail ballots still returned by 8 p.m. on Election Day count toward final totals. Earlier this week, the Department of State issued guidance to counties, telling them to segregate and tabulate the undated ballots separately.

Here’s what to know about recounts and what comes next:

Who carries out a recount?

Counties carry out the recount process.

Local election officials must recount all ballots with a different method than the initial tabulation, or they can tabulate by hand. 

When does the recount start?

Chapman said she plans to issue the formal declaration of a recount by 5 p.m. on Thursday. Counties could start the process as soon as Friday.

The law requires that counties begin the recount no later than June 1.

How long does a recount take?

Counties must finish the recount by noon on June 7, with final results due to the Department of State by noon on June 8. 

How much will a recount cost?

The Department of State estimates that the recount will cost taxpayers more than $1 million.

Is a recount required?

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

The candidate with the second-highest number of votes could waive the recount requirement, but McCormick has not.

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