HARRISBURG — Acting Secretary of State Leigh M. Chapman has issued notice that she will order a statutorily required statewide recount in the May 17 Republican primary race for a U.S. Senate seat.
Mehmet C. Oz and David H. McCormick, the first- and second-place finishers respectively, have vote totals within the one-half of one percent margin that triggers a mandatory recount under state law.
As of today, the unofficial returns for the U.S. Senate race submitted by all 67 counties show the following results:
Mehmet C. Oz – 419,365 (31.21%)
David H. McCormick – 418,463 (31.14%)
Kathy J. Barnette – 331,398 (24.66%)
Carla Herd Sands – 73,213 (5.45%)
Jeffrey A. Bartos – 66,548 (4.95%)
Sean Peter Gale – 20,220 (1.50%)
George A. Bochetto – 14,406 (1.07%)
Counties may begin their recount as early as Friday but must begin no later than June 1. They must complete the recount by noon on June 7, and they must submit the recount results to the Department of State by noon on June 8.
The department estimates that the recount cost will exceed $1 million of taxpayer funds.
This is the seventh time the automatic recount provision has been triggered since the passage of Act 97 of 2004, with three recounts carried out and three recounts waived by the second-place finisher. In all three cases in which the recount was carried out, the initial results of the election were affirmed.
The first recount was conducted in the Superior Court race in November 2009, where nine candidates were competing for four vacancies. In that election, there was a difference of 3,330 votes between the fourth- and sixth-place candidates, and a margin of 2,006 votes between the fourth- and fifth-place finishers.
The second recount was ordered in May 2011 in the Democratic primary contest for a seat on the Commonwealth Court, when the margin between the two candidates was 2,116 votes.
The third recount was ordered in November 2021 in the Commonwealth Court race for two open seats when the margin between the second- and third-place candidates was 16,804 votes.
A recount in the 2010 Democratic primary race for lieutenant governor was averted when the trailing candidate waived his right to a recount. In 2017, three candidates for Superior Court, all of whose vote totals fell within the recount margin, waived their right to a recount. And in 2019, the third-place finisher in the race for two open seats on the Superior Court waived her right to a recount.
The law provides that, before the recount is ordered, the secretary must give 24 hours’ notice by press release or other means to the candidates and to county party chairs of each party or political body affected by the recount.
Unofficial returns for the May 17 primary election can be found at electionreturns.pa.gov.