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McCormick Sues to Count Undated Mail-In Ballots, Trailing Oz

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“Every Republican primary vote must be counted, including the votes of Pennsylvania’s active-duty military members who risk their lives to defend our constitutional right to vote,” Jess Szymanski, a spokeswoman for Mr. McCormick’s campaign, said in an email on Monday night.

Understand the Battle Over U.S. Voting Rights

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Why are voting rights a difficulty now? In 2020, because of this of the pandemic, tens of millions embraced voting early in person or by mail, especially amongst Democrats. Spurred on by Donald Trump’s false claims about mail ballots in hopes of overturning the election, the G.O.P. has pursued a number of latest voting restrictions.

Why are these legislative efforts essential? The Republican push to tighten voting rules has fueled doubts in regards to the integrity of the democratic process within the U.S. Most of the restrictions are prone to affect voters of color disproportionately.

Which states have modified their voting laws? Nineteen states passed 34 laws restricting voting in 2021. A number of the most important laws was enacted in battleground states like Texas, Georgia and Florida. Republican lawmakers are planning a recent wave of election laws in 2022.

Will these recent laws swing elections? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Some laws will make voting harder for certain groups, cause confusion or create longer wait times at polling places. But the brand new restrictions could backfire on Republicans, especially in rural areas that after preferred to vote by mail.

Dr. Oz on Monday posted on Twitter a press release by his campaign manager, Casey Contres, criticizing Mr. McCormick’s move, saying that while he had been a formidable opponent, “he is probably going going to return up short.”

“Unfortunately, the McCormick legal team is following the Democrats’ playbook, a tactic that might have long-term harmful consequences for elections within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Mr. Contres said. “Dr. Mehmet Oz continues to respectfully allow Pennsylvania’s vote-counting process to happen and puts his faith within the Republican voters who we consider have chosen him as their nominee.”

Mr. McCormick’s argument that undated mail-in ballots were still valid received a rocky reception on Monday from the Pennsylvania Republican Party. And the Republican National Committee and the Pennsylvania G.O.P. are planning to formally intervene against Mr. McCormick within the suit he filed, two Republicans said on Monday.

“We absolutely object to the counting of undated mail-in ballots,” the party said on Twitter. “Pennsylvania law and our courts have been very clear that undated ballots usually are not to be counted. We have now worked hard towards restoring confidence in our elections, and we call upon everyone to respect, uphold and follow the clear law on this issue.”

The party’s statement echoed comments that Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, made on Fox News on Sunday.

“Well,” Ms. McDaniel said, “the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled this 12 months, and the R.N.C. very much supports, that ballots shouldn’t be counted and not using a date. I believe that’s the law in Pennsylvania. I believe that must be followed, and we actually don’t think that ballots without dates must be counted because how do you understand once they got here in? I believe that’s common sense, and that is unquestionably where the R.N.C. and the G.O.P. is.”

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

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