Source: Horn News
A razor’s edge separated Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone early Wednesday in their closely watched special election in Pennsylvania — and rumors have swirled on social media that the results may have been rigged.
But is there any truth to the allegations?
Lamb claimed victory before exuberant supporters early Wednesday as the number of votes still to be counted dwindled in a contest that has drawn national attention as a bellwether for the midterm elections in November when the Republican Party’s House and Senate majorities are at risk.
The Marine veteran told his crowd that voters had directed him to “do your job” in Washington. “Mission accepted,” he declared. Earlier, Saccone told his own supporters, “It’s not over yet, we’re going to fight all the way, all the way to the end, we’ll never give up.”
Lamb told CNN Wednesday he hadn’t yet heard from Saccone, but added, “I congratulate him on fighting hard the whole way.”
Regardless of the outcome — a recount remains possible — Lamb’s showing in a district President Donald Trump won by 20 points in the presidential race was sure to stoke anxiety among Republicans nationwide and renew enthusiasm among Democrats.
Wednesday morning, Lamb’s lead stood at a razor-thin 641 votes — out of more than 224,000 votes cast, according to unofficial results. Election officials said there are about 200 absentee votes and an unknown number of provisional ballots still to be counted.
The four counties in the western Pennsylvania district have seven days to count provisional ballots.
In a race this close, either candidate’s supporters can ask for a recount. However there are stiff requirements, including requiring three voters in the same precinct who can attest that error or fraud was committed.
That shouldn’t be a problem for Saccone. Rumors began swirling early Tuesday night of possible voter fraud, and social media users took to Twitter to discuss possible fake or illegal voters rigging the election —
Kathy Zhu shared a screenshot of messages she received from Pennsylvania residents she claims went to vote and were allegedly turned away… or forced to vote for Lamb —
GunLovinTrumpGirl hinted that Democrats are hiding a secret — and that secret would be that they rigged the election with absentee votes —
The rumors are unconfirmed, but are worth noting after such a high stakes special election — the results of which are more political than practical.
The ultimate winner will face re-election in just eight months, and the congressional district as currently shaped will likely vanish next year because of a court-ordered redrawing of the state’s district maps.
Yet President Donald Trump and his chief allies invested tremendous time and resources in keeping the seat in Republican hands, mindful the contest could be used to measure Trump’s lasting appeal among working-class voters and Democrats’ anti-Trump fervor.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.