McDaniel’s comments came as U.S. Senate candidate David McCormick filed a lawsuit this week seeking the counting of undated ballots in the Altoona and Pittsburgh areas in his primary battle with Dr. Mehmet Oz, who leads by a razor-thin margin.
McDaniel said the fact the RNC is siding with Oz on the argument is not a sign they favor him over McCormick. However, she said, the lawsuit – which the campaign argues cites a recent court ruling that mail-in ballots should not be disqualified based simply on lack of dating – goes against current Pennsylvania state law.
“We saw many state laws abandoned in 2020, and we’re saying to every state, just uphold the laws that you have on their books,” she told “The Story.”
The lawsuit in question centers on a 2021 court election in Allentown where Republican David Ritter battled Democrat Zachary Cohen for the final of a handful of Lehigh County bench seats.
Ritter currently leads Cohen in that months-delayed race, but 257 ballots-in-dispute could swing the race to the Democrat, according to WFMZ-69.
The ruling and suit from McCormick are also potentially key to another unresolved Lehigh contest where conservative Parkland School Board member Jarrett Coleman holds a 30-vote lead in the State Senate primary against longtime Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne.
The order from a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals said the dating policy is “immaterial” to federal voting rights laws, and “there is no basis… to refuse to count undated ballots” in the Ritter-Cohen race.
On “The Story,” McDaniel reiterated the RNC simply wants established state laws to be followed:
“We don’t want them changing the rules after the game has been played,” she said. “And [the law] says that undated ballots should not be counted. Our concern is… if we start changing and cherry-picking pieces of the law, then what happens in November?”
McDaniel added those favoring McCormick’s suit should be suspicious because Hillary Clinton-linked attorney Marc Elias, who has pursued redistricting filings nationwide, is praising the candidate’s new lawsuit.
A McCormick source said the campaign’s litigation aims to compel counties to follow the Third Circuit ruling, while Ritter filed a motion Monday seeking a stay of that same ruling – so he could consider filing to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to WFMZ.