HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate primary election has come and gone, but a winner has yet to be projected for the Republican race with Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick within a few thousand votes of each other.
With more than 1.2 million votes cast, Oz and McCormick traded places back and forth atop the vote count on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
Trailing in a distant third place in the seven-person GOP primary field was conservative activist Kathy Barnette.
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The Associated Press has not yet called the race as some counties have yet to tabulate all of their mail-in ballots, as well as provisional, overseas and military absentee ballots.
There is no runoff law in Pennsylvania. But the race could be close enough to trigger Pennsylvania’s automatic recount law Tuesday night, with the separation between Oz and McCormick inside the 0.5% margin.
So what happens next?
While the unofficial count is ongoing as of Wednesday in each county, the official count for a certified winner does not begin across the state until Friday, May 20, at 9 a.m.
The unofficial count will come to an end with counties reporting their numbers by Tuesday, May 24, which is much sooner than the official count that goes on for 20 days from its starting point.
If the unofficial count reveals that the margin between Oz and McCormick remains inside 0.5%, then the recount process will begin. However, according to Jonathan Marks, Deputy Secretary for Elections and Commissions, all six defeated candidates have the opportunity to unanimously waive the recount altogether.
If all of the candidates do not waive the recount, the process moves forward beginning June 1 and coming to an end six days later on June 7 with the announcement of a winner on June 8 at the latest.
Here is a full timeline of events in the race:
- May 17 – Primary Election Night, unofficial vote count begins
- May 20 – Official vote count begins
- May 24 – Unofficial vote count due by counties
- May 26 – Recount must be ordered by the Department of State by this date
- June 1 – Recount must start by June 1
- June 7 – Recount must be complete
- June 8 – Department of State announces a winner of the party nomination
“I think it is important to remind folks that this is a process. It’s a process, it’s unofficial and all of these mechanisms are in place to protect the rights of voters and the rights of candidates, as well,” Marks emphasized.
According to Marks, the recount could cost Pennsylvania taxpayers $1 million.
To see results according to Associated Press, click here.