Trump-backed Oz’ lead shrinks as McCormick complains about mail-in ballots

GOP Senate Candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz on primary opponent Dave McCormick was reduced to fewer than 1,000 votes on Monday as McCormick filed a lawsuit to force the counting of certain disputed ballots. Above, Oz is shown alongside ex-President Donald Trump, who endorsed his candidacy, at a rally in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, on May 6, 2022.
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The modest lead of Dr. Mehmet Oz on Dave McCormick, the primary enemy of his Pennsylvania GOP Senate, is shrinking as McCormick has filed suit for forcing the counting of some contested ballots.

McCormick received a small number of votes, with Oz having a diminished lead of 992 votes on Monday night. McCormick filed a lawsuit that same night, demanding that ballots with no handwritten date be counted on outer envelopes. The developments come after former President Donald Trump, who endorsed Oz and previously claimed without evidence that mass ballot fraud was committed, suggested the election could be “rigged” and encouraged Oz to “declare victory” prematurely.

“Every Republican primary vote must be counted, including the votes of active Pennsylvania military members who risk their lives to defend our constitutional voting rights,” McCormick campaign spokesman Jess Szymanski said in a statement obtained by news week† “As every Republican vote is counted, Dave is looking forward to uniting the party and defeating socialist John Fetterman in the fall.”

The McCormick campaign cited two recent lawsuits that found that Pennsylvania ballots cannot be excluded on the sole basis that there are no dates on the outside of envelopes.

The complaint, which was obtained by news weekstates that the ballots in question were “undeniably returned on time” and that multiple provincial election commissions that refused to count them “probably deprived thousands of voters of the right to vote.”

Chuck Cooper, McCormick’s chief legal counsel, said in a statement that “because all ballots upon receipt are time-stamped by the County Boards of Elections, a voter’s handwritten date is meaningless,” adding that “all qualified Republican ballots in a timely manner voters should be counted.”

The Oz campaign pointed news week to a statement shared on Twitter on Saturday, when campaign manager Casey Contres claimed it “became clear that” [McCormick] will probably come up short for Dr. Mehmet Oz.” Contres accused that “McCormick’s legal team is following the Democrats’ playbook, a tactic that could have long-term damaging effects on the Pennsylvania Commonwealth of Nations elections.”

Trump, who has continued to falsely claim that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from him in Pennsylvania and several other states he lost, declined to consider the possibility that Oz could lose to McCormick shortly after the election took place last week.

In a post on his Truth Social platform, Trump argued that Oz, who declared victory before all the votes were counted, as he did in 2020, would “make it much harder for them to cheat with the ballots they ‘coincidentally’ found’.”

The former president also said in a separate post that the entire US should use only “paper ballots, with same-day votes,” despite the fact that he has repeatedly used mailed ballots when voting.

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