GOP officials are looking for voting irregularities in Tuesday night's 18th Congressional District special election after Democrat Conor Lamb declared victory in a race decided by a few hundred votes.
As of Wednesday afternoon, both candidates stand at 50 percent of the vote, with less than 700 votes putting Lamb ahead of Rick Saccone.
The Republican Party hasn't released any information, but Channel 11 spoke with Saccone's attorney and he confirmed that Republicans are in the process of examining the election data for a potential election challenge, including hiring an independent firm to investigate the election.
“I'm told there were a number of people that weren't allowed to vote,” said Sean Logue. “I'm told that the machines did not have backup paper balloting. I'm told there was vote-flipping in certain areas –people tried to vote for Saccone and it flipped to Lamb.”
A spokeswoman for Allegheny County said Wednesday there were no reports of calibration issues or issue with machines flipping votes, and she said GOP observers were allowed to watch election workers count the ballots.
The county’s election review process will begin Friday, according to elections director Mark Wolosik, and is expected to take several days. Workers will closely examine the validity of provisional and absentee ballots and review voter rolls across all 253 precincts.
After that process ends, there is a five-day period for court challenges to be filed. The Board of Elections is scheduled to meet April 2 to certify the official results.
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Logue said the Saccone campaign is examining all options, including a potential court challenge.
“With any free and fair election, you want to get the data look at it and explore all options,” he said.
Logue says they're also taking a close look at Upper St. Clair because it's typically a Republican stronghold, but Tuesday it went to Lamb, who was still energized hours after declaring an early-morning victory.
“I'm honored to have performed so well, and people placed that kind of trust in us,” he said.
In a one-on-one interview today with Channel 11, Lamb said he hadn't talked to Saccone, but he's not surprised Republicans are considering challenging the election results.
“This is close and we all know that. And I'm sure he's looking at his options,” Lamb said.
Lamb told Channel 11 he' s confident in the process.
“I hadn't heard (the allegations), but I guess I'm not surprised,” he said. “We feel pretty confident in everything, based on people from all over this district who've been doing this a long time. It looks good for us and we really believe in the integrity of this election.”
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