PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s not over, say attorneys for the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee (NRCC).
“In a race this close, anything can affect the outcome, and there are plenty of other irregularities to talk about as well,” NRCC chief counsel Chris Winkelman told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Wednesday afternoon.
Irregularities — that’s the key word from Winkelman in Washington.
“We have serious concerns about the lack of transparency in Allegheny County,” he said.
Winkelman says county election officials ignored a letter from D. Raja, chair of the Allegheny County Republican Party, to allow a particular attorney to observe the vote count Tuesday night.
“GOP lawyers who were authorized to be in the counting center when absentee ballots came in were kicked out and told they didn’t have the proper certification,” said Winkelman. “They did. While they were kicked out and held outside, CNN was permitted to come in and talk to the elections manager there, while our observers were outside and ballots were being counted.”
Allegheny County officials dispute this, saying when proper credentials were provided, full access was given.
It’s no surprise the focus is on Allegheny County.
That was the only county Lamb carried, losing Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland to Saccone.
But Lamb’s win in Allegheny County was so big that it gave him the lead.
Republicans also claim voting machines in all four counties were miscalibrated.
“These counties use touchscreen voting machines which can be miscalibrated at times. And we saw plenty of voters tell us about their attempt to vote for Rick Saccone and their vote showed up as a Conor Lamb vote,” Winkelman said.
Winkelman says other irregularities include a state website that misdirected residents of the old 18th district to voting districts in the new district.
“As you know, the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court recently drew new congressional maps, and voters who went to a Pennsylvania Department of State website to find out where to vote yesterday were told where they should vote under the new congressional maps,” he said.
“The problem with that is that this election was held under the old maps. So we had a high degree of voter confusion and plenty of complaints about that yesterday.”
To preserve the evidence for future lawsuits and court challenges.
“We’ve requested that all four counties impound their machines and ballots to make sure everything is preserved exactly as it was last night should we need to go back and visit these irregularities and bring some transparency to the process,” Winkelman said.
So where are we Wednesday night?
Well, Conor Lamb appears to be the unofficial winner because he has the lead with almost all the votes counted.
But it’s not official until election officials review all the ballots, look for errors in reporting the numbers on election night, and then certify the official count.
Allegheny County said Wednesday their Board of Elections would not meet until Monday, April 2, to certify the final result.
So in the meantime, watch for Republicans to build their case that “irregularities” affected the outcome.