The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Pennsylvania banded together on Tuesday to file an application to intervene in a lawsuit from Republican Senate candidate David McCormick challenging the Coal State’s mail-in voting authenticity laws.
“The RNC has a substantial and particularized interest in ensuring that Pennsylvania carries out free and fair elections. In particular, the legislature in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has statutorily required that mail-in ballots be dated by the elector,” the application states. “…The RNC has an interest in assuring that elections involving Republican candidates are conducted in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and as affirmed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.”
Pennsylvania law explicitly states that mail-in and absentee ballots must have a handwritten signature and date on the voter’s declaration portion of the return envelope. Ballots lacking any of the mandatory elements including the date will not be counted.
McCormick, however, asked the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania to make every Pennsylvania county accept mail-in ballots received on time, even if they lacked the compulsory date.
He cited a ruling from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which came two days after the primary election began, hoping that the primary tally could soon turn in his favor. In the ruling, a three-judge panel favored the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union and the Democrats who pushed to count unqualified ballots in Lehigh County in a 2021 election, despite state law dictating otherwise.
The results for the Senate Republican primary in Pennsylvania have yet to be called as the state scrambles to deliver final tallies more than a week after election day. As of Wednesday morning, McCormick’s opponent, Mehmet Oz, was ahead by 0.1 percent.
According to the RNC, this drastic, last-minute 3rd Circuit decision carries strong implications for the future of election integrity and the state’s ability to deliver secure results swiftly. By allowing unlawful ballots to be counted, the RNC says Pennsylvania could easily be opening up future elections to manipulation.
“Were these validly enacted laws to be cast aside—and the recent decisions of this Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court turned on their head—the current competitive electoral environment in Pennsylvania, in which the Republican Committees invest substantial resources in support of Republican candidates to try to win elections, would be altered or impaired,” the application states.
Corporate media is framing the RNC’s intervention as “siding” with Oz, who still has a narrow lead on McCormick. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, however, said her organization is following through on its commitment to free and fair elections, not picking favorites.
“Pennsylvania law is clear: undated absentee ballots may not be counted. Changing the rules while votes are being counted undermines the integrity of our elections and sets a terrible precedent for future elections,” she wrote.