As required by state law, Lebanon County election officials have completed a recount of votes cast for U.S. Senate in the May 17 Republican primary election, and the preliminary election night totals, but not the order of finish, have changed slightly.

Mehmet Oz, the top finisher statewide, lost 11 votes in the county while his nearest opponent, David McCormick, gained one.

Oz leads McCormick statewide by less than 1,000 votes, and recounts are underway or complete in all 67 counties.

Pennsylvania requires automatic recounts if the margin of victory for a statewide office in every election district is less than or equal to 0.5% of all votes cast for the office.

The local recount was finished on June 2. Sean Drashler, director of the county’s Voter Registration/Election Department, released the following numbers for the top five vote getters:

CandidateElection night totalRecount total
Mehmet Oz6,1136,102
David McCormick5,9585,959
Kathy Barnette5,2445,244
Carla Sands2,1732,180
Jeff Bartos1,3931,395
Comparison of initial and recount primary votes in Lebanon County Republican U.S. Senate primary election of May 17

Two other Republican hopefuls, Sean Gale and George Bochetto, each received less than 200 votes, and 68 write-in votes for the Republican nomination were cast on May 17.

The eventual Republican winner will face Democrat John Fetterman in the Nov. 8 general election.

Drasher said 29,610 votes, Democratic and Republican, were cast in Lebanon County on May 17, breaking down as follows:

PartyElection DayMail-inTotal
Breakdown of votes cast in the May 17, 2022 Lebanon County primary elections

Lebanon County has about 87,000 registered voters.

Drashler also said that about 100 mail-in votes were not physically received by the county board of elections by 8 p.m. on election night, as required by Pennsylvania law. This is a hard-and-fast deadline, he said, and those ballots cannot be counted.

While he did not have exact numbers available, Drashler noted that late-arriving ballots have occurred at every election held since mail-in voting was allowed, and that the latest number was comparable to earlier totals.

A final result in the Oz-McCormick contest could be delayed further due to lawsuits over otherwise legally cast mail-in ballots that have undated signatures. McCormick has filed one of those lawsuits, seeking to have them counted.

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Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...