In a highly-watched special election in western Pennsylvania, Democrat Conor Lamb is currently maintaining a slim lead over Republican Rick Saccone Wednesday morning.
With all precincts fully reporting and absentee ballots counted, Lamb holds a 627-vote lead over Saccone in Pennsylvania’s 18th district, a GOP stronghold that President Trump won by nearly 20 percentage points during the 2016 election. NBC News has declared Lamb the “apparent winner,” while the Associated Press has not yet declared a winner. Lamb has claimed victory in the race, but Saccone has not conceded, and the national Republican Party hasn’t ruled out a recount….
A Republican source familiar with the campaign said that the GOP planned to petition for the voting machines used in all four counties to be impounded, pending a recount.
It is not yet clear where such a petition would be filed. But Republicans are investigating a number of purported Election Day irregularities including problems with the machines, voters being told to go to the wrong polling places, and Republican attorneys being barred from overseeing the counting of absentee ballots in Allegheny County.
County spokeswoman Amie Downs said that on Election Day there had been discussions with Republican attorneys about their ability to oversee the vote-counting process. Under the state Election Code, she said, such observers must have a signed authorization from the chair of the county committee. “They didn’t produce that until the very end of the evening, when the ballots had already been scanned,” she said.
A recount is not mandatory in Tuesday’s special election for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, according to Pennsylvania Secretary of State spokesperson Wanda Murren.