Pa. secretary of state orders recount in GOP primary between Oz, McCormick

  
Via:  Nerm_L  •  4 weeks ago  •  31 comments

By:   Donna Cassata and Felicia Sonmez (The Washington Post)

Pa. secretary of state orders recount in GOP primary between Oz, McCormick
In a statement, acting secretary of state Leigh M. Chapman said she would “order a statutorily required statewide recount in the May 17 Republican primary race for a U.S. Senate seat.

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Why is the Pennsylvania state government even involved in a political party primary?  Political parties are not part of government.  But apparently government has become an extension of political parties.  Sec. State Chapman is invoking a statutorily required recount for the specific benefit of a political party; not for the people of Pennsylvania.

Things like this are the real danger to our democracy.  All the intellectual grifters bloviating about Fascism completely ignore the role of political parties in establishing autocratic governments.  Political parties are how dictators obtain power.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T




The race between celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick is headed to a recount after Pennsylvania’s top election official said Wednesday that the margin between the top two Republican candidates was thin enough to trigger one.

In a statement, acting secretary of state Leigh M. Chapman said she would “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.”

The move pushes the outcome of the race into June as counties have until June 7 to recount the ballots and inform the secretary of state of their findings by June 8.

According to the latest vote count Oz leads McCormick by 947 votes, out of more than 1.3 million cast.

Oz has the backing of former president Donald Trump, who has railed against the vote and urged the surgeon to simply declare himself the winner.

In a statement, McCormick said “we are proud that our campaign received nearly 418,000 votes, won 37 of 67 counties, and contributed to a historic turnout with a razor-thin difference between myself and Mehmet Oz.” He said the campaign looked forward to a “swift resolution” of the recount so “we can unite to defeat socialist John Fetterman in the fall.”

Oz’s campaign did not immediately respond to news of the recount.

The winner of the GOP primary will face Lt. Gov. Fetterman (D) in a contest considered crucial to control of the Senate. The seat is currently held by Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R), who is retiring after 11 years in office.

Democrats seized on news of the recount Wednesday, with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee arguing that the eventual GOP winner will be damaged by the “never-ending intra-party fight.”

“The recount will ensure Republicans remain divided, disorganized and in chaos — and that whichever GOP candidate ultimately emerges will limp into the general election at an even greater disadvantage,” DSCC spokesperson David Bergstein said in a statement.

The primary has also turned a spotlight on Republicans’ views toward mail-in voting, after McCormick filed a lawsuit this week to ensure that mail-in ballots lacking handwritten dates aren’t discarded. Oz’s campaign has rejected the move as a bid to count “legally rejected ballots.”

It’s unclear how many ballots lack handwritten dates — but McCormick might edge closer to Oz if those ballots are counted. While Oz has fared better with in-person voting, mail-in ballots slightly favor McCormick, who has captured 32 percent of the state’s mail votes versus Oz’s 23 percent, according to Pennsylvania Department of State data.



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Nerm_L
PhD Principal
1  seeder  Nerm_L    4 weeks ago

Who is Sec. State Chapman representing?  Why is the government even involved in the internal business of a political party?

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Senior Silent
1.1  SteevieGee  replied to  Nerm_L @1    4 weeks ago

The state pays for the election.  They have a right, and an obligation to assure that the ballots are counted correctly.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  SteevieGee @1.1    4 weeks ago
The state pays for the election.  They have a right, and an obligation to assure that the ballots are counted correctly.

Why are we using public money to specifically benefit political parties?  Political parties are not a function of government.  And political parties are not necessary for government to function.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Senior Silent
1.1.2  SteevieGee  replied to  Nerm_L @1.1.1    4 weeks ago

The government, and the people, have a vested interest in making sure that the elections are fair and accurate. 

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
1.1.3  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  SteevieGee @1.1.2    4 weeks ago
The government, and the people, have a vested interest in making sure that the elections are fair and accurate. 

When did a party primary become a government election?  If primaries were government elections then every voter could vote in every primary.  If voters are being disenfranchised because of party affiliation then its not a public election run by government.

A primary is internal business of a private institution.  It's like voting stock shares.  The private institution makes the rules for who can participate, when the vote is taken, and how the winner is determined.  A primary by a political party is not a function of government.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.4  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Nerm_L @1.1.3    4 weeks ago
When did a party primary become a government election? 

In the early 20th century.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Senior Silent
1.1.5  SteevieGee  replied to  Nerm_L @1.1.3    4 weeks ago

The U.S. Constitution  gives state legislatures the power to regulate elections, and election problems in any corner of the state make the whole state look bad. In other words, states have a stake in ensuring that elections are well-run. That takes money.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
1.1.6  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  SteevieGee @1.1.5    4 weeks ago
The U.S. Constitution  gives state legislatures the power to regulate elections, and election problems in any corner of the state make the whole state look bad. In other words, states have a stake in ensuring that elections are well-run. That takes money.

Then why isn't public resources made available to the Green Party or Libertarian Party to conduct primaries?  The obvious (and valid) argument is that these parties are too small to warrant government involvement.  Yet these smaller parties select candidates to represent the party and do place those candidates on the ballot in general elections.

The example of smaller parties demonstrates that there isn't a need for government involvement in selection of candidates to represent a political party.  Political party primaries are not a function of government and are unnecessary for the conduct of a general election.

Political party primaries are a selection for party support and not an election.  

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Senior Silent
1.1.7  SteevieGee  replied to  Nerm_L @1.1.6    4 weeks ago
Then why isn't public resources made available to the Green Party or Libertarian Party to conduct primaries? 

They are.  They use the same state owned voting machines, the same paid election workers, the same locations, etc.   You realize that, in most states, their primaries are held on the same days don't you?  Usually, these smaller parties don't have primary elections because they don't have more than one candidate but sometimes they do.  Either way, while they may not have someone to vote for for some seats because of uncontested candidates, they still get to vote on other non-partisan issues.  Here in Cali we have open primaries where anybody can vote.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Senior Silent
1.1.8  SteevieGee  replied to  Nerm_L @1.1.6    4 weeks ago

There are also smaller elections that are run and paid for solely by the political parties themselves.  These are not for government offices though.  They are for things like party chairmen and other offices within the party itself and not for state assemblies or other state or federal jobs.  If you've never learned about these special smaller elections it's probably because you're not involved with your political party.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
1.2  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @1    4 weeks ago
Who is Sec. State Chapman representing?  Why is the government even involved in the internal business of a political party?

It does not seem wrong for government to ensure the votes of the people (even in a primary) are properly counted.    This is not simply the internal business of a political party;  this is the determination of who the people want (via democratic vote) as their candidate.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
1.2.1  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @1.2    4 weeks ago
It does not seem wrong for government to ensure the votes of the people (even in a primary) are properly counted.    This is not simply the internal business of a political party;  this is the determination of who the people want (via democratic vote) as their candidate.

Voters are being disenfranchised according to party affiliation.  A Republican primary is only for Republicans; not all voters are allowed to participate.  

How is a requirement to declare a party affiliation any different than some of the old Jim Crow laws and poll taxes?  How is this a democratic vote?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
1.2.2  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @1.2.1    4 weeks ago
A Republican primary is only for Republicans; not all voters are allowed to participate.  

Not strictly true but it does not matter;  GOP voters are still voters and their legal voting rights are secured by the government.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
1.2.3  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @1.2.2    4 weeks ago
Not strictly true but it does not matter;  GOP voters are still voters and their legal voting rights are secured by the government.

But the GOP is not the government.  Primary voters are not selecting someone for an elected government office that represents the people and is accountable to the people.  GOP primary voters are selecting someone that will represent the Republican Party.  The same is true for a Democrat primary.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.2.4  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Nerm_L @1.2.3    4 weeks ago

You could save the same in November.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
1.2.5  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.2.4    4 weeks ago
You could save the same in November.

How so?  I am not aware of any requirements for general elections that limits voter participation to only one political party as is the case with party primaries. 

Party primaries are quite different than general elections.  The purpose of a primary is to select candidates that represent a political party and not the public.  The government is not involved in party caucuses to select party candidates.  Why should the government be involved in primaries to select party candidates?

Instead of trying to treat party primaries as elections, perhaps there should be a requirement that political parties use a caucus process to select their candidates and leave the government out of the process.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.2.6  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Nerm_L @1.2.5    4 weeks ago
How so? 

You wrote, “GOP primary voters are selecting someone that will represent the Republican Party.  The same is true for a Democrat primary.”

Does the politician selected suddenly change his spots after Nov?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
1.2.7  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.2.6    4 weeks ago
Does the politician selected suddenly change his spots after Nov?

No, the party candidates don't suddenly change their spots for the general election or after the election.  That's the point. 

The candidate is a party candidate, representing a political party.  So, a party primary does not serve a public interest; the party primary serves the special interests of a political party.  Why should public funds be used to support limited special interests of a political party?  Why should the government be involved in the selection of candidates that represent a political party?

There are processes and mechanisms political parties can use to select candidates representing their party that does not require expenditure of public funds or involvement of government.  A political party can use internet voting or mail voting if the party chooses.  There isn't any need for the government to be involved.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.2.8  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Nerm_L @1.2.7    4 weeks ago
Why should the government be involved in the selection of candidates that represent a political party?

Do you want to eliminate all elected positions?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
1.2.9  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.2.8    4 weeks ago
Do you want to eliminate all elected positions?

The Pennsylvania Sec. State is invoking an automatic recount to determine if Oz or McCormick won a primary.  Which elected government position will either Oz or McCormick occupy after the recount?

How is your question relevant for what the Pennsylvania government is doing?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.2.10  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Nerm_L @1.2.9    4 weeks ago
Which elected government position will either Oz or McCormick occupy after the recount?

US Senator if one wins in November.

How is your question relevant for what the Pennsylvania government is doing?

My comment is relevant to your replies, not the PA government.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
1.2.11  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.2.10    4 weeks ago
US Senator if one wins in November.

After a general election conducted by the government - and - not before the general election.  

My comment is relevant to your replies, not the PA government.

Really?  My comments are questioning the need for the PA government to be involved in political party primaries.  So, your claim of relevance misses the point of my comments.

Who set the requirement that there can only be one Republican candidate for the general election?  Is that a statutory requirement that the government must enforce?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.2.12  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Nerm_L @1.2.11    4 weeks ago
So, your claim of relevance misses the point of my comments.

You got that right Nerm, I’ve completely missed your point on this.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
1.2.13  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @1.2.12    4 weeks ago
You got that right Nerm, I’ve completely missed your point on this.

That only states the glaringly oblivious.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
1.2.14  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @1.2.3    4 weeks ago
But the GOP is not the government.  Primary voters are not selecting someone for an elected government office that represents the people and is accountable to the people.  GOP primary voters are selecting someone that will represent the Republican Party.  The same is true for a Democrat primary.

Apparently you disagree with the federal and state governments overseeing primary elections.    In your world do you see the parties overseeing their own primaries?  

The concept of oversight is, ideally, to have a relatively objective third-party authority which ensures the integrity of an interested party.   Having each party govern themselves would obviously be a disaster.

The principle of government overseeing elections to protect the voters seems both necessary and obvious.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
1.2.15  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @1.2.14    4 weeks ago
Apparently you disagree with the federal and state governments overseeing primary elections.    In your world do you see the parties overseeing their own primaries?  

That is correct.  Political party primaries serve the interests of the party and not the interests of the public.  Political party primaries are not a function of government.  And political party primaries are unnecessary for conducting government sponsored elections.    

The concept of oversight is, ideally, to have a relatively objective third-party authority which ensures the integrity of an interested party.   Having each party govern themselves would obviously be a disaster.

Oversight of what?  In the specific case of the Oz/McCormick primary the candidates are not competing to be on the general election ballot.  The candidates are competing for the endorsement of the Republican Party and access to the resources of the Republican Party.  That endorsement and access to party resources have been determined by the Republican Party.  And no matter the outcome of the recount, the Republican Party can choose not to endorse and support the winner of the primary.

Party affiliation is unnecessary to be a candidate for office in a general election.  And there are other small political parties who have had their own candidates on the ballot in general elections.  These smaller political parties rarely have access to the apparatus of government for the conduct of primaries so must adopt a different process to select party candidates.  And government rarely provides oversight for selection of candidates by smaller political parties.

The Republican Party can certainly utilize the same sort of process for selection of candidates as does the Libertarian Party or the Green Party.  And those processes do not require utilizing government resources or oversight by government.  Primary candidates are competing for an endorsement and support of a political party and not competing for a spot on the general election ballot.  That's why primaries are not a function of government and should not involve government resources.

The principle of government overseeing elections to protect the voters seems both necessary and obvious.

Primaries are not an election.  Primaries are a process to select candidates that represent a political party and will receive the endorsement and support of a political party.  Primaries are a selection and not an election.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.2.16  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Nerm_L @1.2.15    4 weeks ago
political party primaries are unnecessary for conducting government sponsored elections.    

Yes PA could elect a write-in candidate in Nov. or an independent that got enough signatures to get on the ballet.  I don't think that has ever happened but it could.

Primaries are a selection and not an election.

PA law calls them an election, not a selection.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
1.2.17  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @1.2.15    4 weeks ago
Political party primaries serve the interests of the party and not the interests of the public.  Political party primaries are not a function of government.  And political party primaries are unnecessary for conducting government sponsored elections.    

The reality, Nerm, is that primaries absolutely and directly affect who the public can elect into office.   You are attempting to deny reality by arguing a technicality.    While political parties (in particular, D and R) are not part of government, a role of government is to ensure the election of representatives is conducted fairly.   Since primaries winnow the field down to 1 R and 1 D (essentially the only realistic choices) the primaries are a critical part of the election process.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
1.2.18  seeder  Nerm_L  replied to  TᵢG @1.2.17    4 weeks ago
The reality, Nerm, is that primaries absolutely and directly affect who the public can elect into office.

Well, duh.

While political parties (in particular, D and R) are not part of government, a role of government is to ensure the election of representatives is conducted fairly.   Since primaries winnow the field down to 1 R and 1 D (essentially the only realistic choices) the primaries are acriticalpart of the election process.

Explicit government favoritism toward two political parties is not fairness.  Favoring political candidates who have been specifically selected to represent a political party is not a function of government and is not necessary for the functioning of government.  

Party affiliation is not a requisite for serving in government and is a superfluous encumbrance for representing the electorate.  Using government favoritism toward party affiliation as a means to winnow the field arbitrarily imposes a limitation on democracy that benefits special interests. 

How political parties select candidates to represent the party is strictly a function of the political party.  The government doesn't need to be involved and shouldn't be involved.  The government is not an extension of political parties.  There should be a separation between political parties and government in the same manner as there is a separation between religion and government.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
1.2.19  TᵢG  replied to  Nerm_L @1.2.18    4 weeks ago
Well, duh.

Indeed.  

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
2  Drinker of the Wry    4 weeks ago
Voters are being disenfranchised according to party affiliation.  A Republican primary is only for Republicans; not all voters are allowed to participate. 

In some state but not in all.  I can voter in either primary in VA.

 
 

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