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Allegheny County begins review of votes from 18th district race

The election review process for the closely watched 18th Congressional District race began Friday in Allegheny County.

The Return Board started to examine the county’s results from Tuesday’s election, which appears to have been won by Democrat Conor Lamb by several hundred votes.

"This is a razor-thin race," said Chris Martin of the National Republican Campaign Committee. "I mean, you are talking 600 votes out of 220,000, so absolutely, this is a real concern for us."

The board reviewed 128 provisional ballots submitted by voters and determined 40 of them will be counted. Of those 40, 11 voted for Lamb and 13 voted for Republican Rick Saccone.

Observers from both campaigns, both political parties and the U.S. House of Representatives challenged the remaining 16.

Those 16 voters will be notified that their votes were challenged and hearings will be held March 23 in the Elections office.

Thirteen other challenges were made to ballots the Elections Division determined should not be counted. Five of those were not in envelopes identifying the voter, so no notice can be provided. The remaining eight challenges will result in notices being sent to the voters advising them of the challenges, and the hearing date and time.


The board also went through all 114 absentee ballots which were not scanned into the system on election night. There were no challenges. The vote tally for those were 66 for Lamb and 48 for Saccone.

With the valid ballots added in, the vote tallies are now 58,732 for Lamb, 43,350 for Saccone, 524 for Libertarian Drew Gray Miller and 45 write-ins.

The board is now reviewing 3,133 absentee ballots that were scanned in the county's 253 precincts on Tuesday night; the board made it through 111 of the precincts before breaking for the weekend. The number of absentee ballots sent to the polling place will be compared to the number of absentee ballots returned and the number of absentee ballots scanned. If the numbers do not reconcile, that precinct will be reviewed.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who supported Lamb, said he has complete confidence in the election process.

"Elections are always difficult from both sides, but the confidence we have in Mr. (Mark) Wolosik, who's been running elections here in Allegheny County for years and years, has done a great job and Iwas really proud of the work they've done," he said.

The ten observers participating in the process are:

  • Kathleen A. Gallagher, Rick for Congress
  • Russell D. Giancola, Rick Saccone/Republican Party
  • Terri L. Kuhn, Republican Party
  • Marco S. Attisano, Conor Lamb
  • Michael Healey, Democratic Party
  • Jessel Costa, Democratic Party
  • Albert P. Veverka, Democratic Party
  • Nick Hawatmeh, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Tanya Sehgal, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Cole Felder, U.S. House of Representatives
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