In McCormick-Oz race, Supreme Court action on undated ballots is closely watched

In a move that could reverberate throughout Pennsylvania’s election, including its indecisive Republican Senate primary between Dr Mehme...


In a move that could reverberate throughout Pennsylvania’s election, including its indecisive Republican Senate primary between Dr Mehmet Oz and David McCormick, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended the counting of some ballots by correspondence in a county court race.

Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. granted “administrative stay” which temporarily prevented election officials in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania from accepting mail-in ballots without handwritten dates, which is required by state law.

The machinations in the Lehigh County case have been watched intensely by Mr. McCormick and Dr. Oz, who are separated by less than 1,000 votes with a statewide recount underway in their race, which could ultimately determine control of the divided Senate.

Undated ballots are also at issue in this contest: Mr. McCormick filed a trial last week trying to make those ballots count. His case is pending in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.

The Supreme Court’s interim order came after a Republican judiciary candidate from Lehigh County submitted a emergency request Friday, asking Judge Alito to overturn a recent ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that allowed undated ballots to be counted.

Mr. McCormick, a former hedge fund executive who followed less than 0.1% against Dr. Oz, the famed Trump-backed doctor, had focused on Lehigh County’s decision in his lawsuit. Oral arguments in the McCormick trial took place on Tuesday, hours before Judge Alito issued the administrative stay.

Jess Szymanski, spokesperson for Mr McCormick’s campaign, said the temporary suspension of Judge Alito had no bearing on the proceedings in Mr McCormick’s trial.

McCormick wants all 67 counties in Pennsylvania to accept mail-in ballots from voters who turned them in by the May 17 deadline but didn’t write the date on the outside return envelopes.

This step is required by state lawthe one Republicans fought to preserve.

In the Lehigh County case, a unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia, ruled that the handwritten date requirement violated A provision of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. The provision prohibits government officials from denying the right to vote “by reason of an error or omission” if it “is not material in determining whether such person is qualified under state law to vote”.

“The opinion of the Third Circuit remains the persuasive authority on the issue of federal civil rights law before the Commonwealth Court,” Ms. Syzmanski said. “The Commonwealth Court has every right to side with Republican voters across the Commonwealth who voted in a timely manner for reasons rooted in the Pennsylvania Constitution.”

The campaign of Dr Oz, which proclaimed himself the presumptive Republican nominee in a campaign video on Friday, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. Dr. Oz’s campaign had filed a brief yard friend with the Supreme Court supporting the urgent request for a stay.

“Dr. Oz’s chief competitor, David McCormick, invoked the judgment of the panel in an effort by Hail Mary to overturn the apparent outcome of this election,” Dr. Oz’s attorneys wrote in the brief. Mr. McCormick asked the Pennsylvania courts to change the rules for the primary election once voting is complete.” The brief argued that ballots without a handwritten date are “invalid under Pennsylvania law.”

Justice Alito agreed on Tuesday to issue the administrative stay to give the Supreme Court time to consider the legality of requiring voters who use such ballots to write a date next to their signature on the envelope. exterior.

Voters challenging the requirement said it serves no purpose.

It was undisputed that the undated ballots at issue in the case were received on Election Day and that the Local Elections Board had accepted ballots with incorrect dates, including dates of birth .

Judge Alito’s suspension was tentative, and the full Supreme Court could decide whether or not to suspend the Third Circuit’s ruling in the coming days.

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Newsrust - US Top News: In McCormick-Oz race, Supreme Court action on undated ballots is closely watched
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