GOP U.S. Senate candidate David McCormick has filed a lawsuit over mail-in ballots. But even though today’s Republican party demonizes mail-in ballots with mind-numbing frequency, McCormick is actually asking the court to allow him to count more of them, not less.
Pennsylvania Republicans now find themselves mired in the very swamp they created.
As of the most recent count, McCormick is down only 992 votes to TV doc Mehmet Oz, the Trump-endorsed candidate in the race. The present controversy over mail-in ballots could become a significant factor as the race goes to a recount in the coming weeks.
While the dispute amounts to a disagreement over technicalities, it is also an example of GOP voter suppression strategies coming home to roost. The attempts to disqualify mail-in ballots, seen as a way to suppress Democratic votes, are now backfiring on the party that created them.
The “technicality” in question has to do with whether or not absentee ballots are properly dated by the voters submitting them. McCormick is arguing that undated absentee ballots should be counted if they are received on time, and he is asking the courts to make it so.
Donald Trump reacted to the close race as any true authoritarian would – he simply told Dr. Oz to declare victory regardless of what the votes say.
While this may be the approach to future elections should Republicans win in November, for the moment, laws still exist, and even the two remaining multi-millionaires in the GOP Senate primary must follow them.
In the most recent and most predictable development in the race, the RNC has intervened on the side of not counting votes. “Pennsylvania law and our courts have been very clear that undated ballots are not to be counted.”
Meanwhile, third-place finisher Kathy Barnette is blaming Fox News host Sean Hannity and his “deep seeds of disinformation” after her late surge in the last weeks of the campaign ultimately fell short.
The result is a scenario that appears better suited for reality TV than the halls of Congress, and as long as the appetite for The Big Lie and other GOP conspiracy theories remains strong among Pennsylvania Republicans, we should expect more and swampier tactics in the general election to come.