Democrat Conor Lamb’s lead over Republican Rick Saccone grew slightly Tuesday as election staffers from the 18th Congressional District’s four counties continued counting batches of remaining votes.
Lamb had a 758-vote lead as of Tuesday afternoon, a week after a special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy in Congress, according to unofficial tallies.
That’s up from the 627-vote lead that Lamb, 33, of Mt. Lebanon, held the day after the special election.
The updated total includes absentee and provisional ballots, the latter of which are used to record votes when there are questions about a voter’s eligibility, along with ballots cast by residents overseas and in the military.
Lamb had 114,097 votes to Saccone’s 113,339 and Libertarian Drew Miller’s 1,381, unofficial tallies showed.
Elections boards in Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington and Greene counties are scheduled to certify results over the next two weeks.
Elections officials said the counties received few challenges during reviews of outstanding ballots, which drew observers from each candidate’s campaign and attorneys from the U.S. House Committee on House Administration.
Observers challenged 16 of 40 eligible provisional ballots in Allegheny County, according to county spokeswoman Amie Downs. Voters whose ballots were challenged may appear at 10 a.m. Friday in the county’s Elections Office to defend their votes or they will be tossed out.
Downs said Allegheny County’s updated tally Tuesday included 38 military and overseas ballots, a batch of Scott Township votes that weren’t added to electronic tabulations on Election Night and a Mt. Lebanon absentee ballot that hadn’t been counted.
In Washington County, observers said they wanted to challenge two of 65 eligible provisional ballots but didn’t follow up with any formal requests, so no action is being taken on them, Elections Director Larry Spahr said. Spahr said Washington County’s updated totals included 13 military ballots and seven overseas civilian ballots. Spahr didn’t expect any more military or overseas ballots to arrive in the mail Tuesday.
In Westmoreland County, observers didn’t challenge any of the four submitted provisional ballots, said Elections Director Beth Lechman.
Greene County didn’t have any provisional ballots, said Tina Kiger, director of the county’s Office of Elections and Voter Registration.
Kiger said one overseas ballot could still come in.
The Allegheny County Board of Elections is scheduled to meet April 2 to certify official results. Westmoreland County has a final certification meeting scheduled for March 29, Lechman said.
Washington and Greene counties will likely certify final results in the next week or two, according to the counties’ elections directors.