PA Election Recount Likely — Reports of Bizarre Voting Machine Behavior
by Randy DeSoto
The Pennsylvania special election for congressional district 18 may be heading to a recount, with just hundreds of votes separating the Republican and Democrat candidates and irregularities alleged in Democrat heavy Allegheny County.
As of Wednesday, 627 votes (0.2 percent) separate Republican Rick Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb, the New York Times reported.
With hundreds of absentee ballots and an undetermined number of military and provisional ballots yet to be counted, the race is still too close to call.
Lamb claimed victory early Wednesday morning, while Saccone stated, “We are still fighting the fight. It is not over.”
The Republican state representative noted many of his previous wins were by narrow margins, so he is prepared to go the distance until all the ballots are counted.
Fox News reported that Republican attorneys are planning to go to court on Wednesday to demand an impounding of all the ballots and voting machines used in the race, in preparation for a potential recount.
NEWS: A source tells @pdoocy GOP attorneys are planning to go to court Wednesday to demand the impounding of all ballots and machines that were used Tuesday night in all counties in the PA special election — as they plan for a possible recount. https://t.co/AOwgq3qVSS
— Alex Pappas (@AlexPappas) March 14, 2018
The lawyers plan to make multiple complaints that could form the basis of their recount. One involves allegations that touch screen machines used in heavily Democrat Allegheny County, bordering Pittsburgh, were not calibrated correctly, registering votes for Lamb that were meant for Saccone. Lamb carried the county, but not the other three counties found in the district, which trend moderate to conservative.
The GOP also claims that their representatives were blocked from observing the absentee ballot count in Allegheny County. Pennsylvania law makes provision for a recount, but it requires three voters in each precinct who can attest to error or fraud in the election.
Trump won the congressional district by 20 points in 2016; however, the blue collar coalition that supported the outsider candidate was split by Lamb. Labor unions, including the United Steelworkers and the United Mine Workers, campaigned heavily for the Democrat and against Saccone who has expressed support for right to work laws, according to CNN.
“The labor unions were very energized and were doing their best to organize the rank and file,” Pennsylvania-based Republican strategist Charlie Gerow told The Western Journal. He added, “How much of the rank and file fell in behind labor unions remains to be seen, but certainly organized labor played an important role in that special election because they were providing the energy and the organizational base for Conor Lamb.”
Lamb aligned himself with Trump on several issues including the Second Amendment, trade, and opposition to the Washington Democrat establishment. “If the Conor Lamb lead holds up, it’s proof that all politics is local, because here was a Democratic candidate that tailored himself to that district, making himself sound much more like Donald Trump than Nancy Pelosi,” said Gerow. “And in fact saying, he won’t vote for Nancy Pelosi when he gets to Washington.”
Republican National Committee spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany shares this assessment of Lamb’s candidacy. “He’s pro-gun. He says he’s personally pro-life. He says he’s pro-coal, he’s pro-tariff. He says he’s anti-Nancy Pelosi,” she told ABC News ahead of the election results Tuesday.
“Imagine that, a Democratic candidate who’s against Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader,” she said. “He has made himself into essentially a Republican. So you have a Republican in name and a Republican in truth running against one another.”