Provisional ballots unlikely to change outcome in Pa. special election

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 14, 2018 12:57 PM

Conor Lamb, the Democratic candidate for the March 13 special election in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, center, celebrates with his supporters at his election night party in Canonsburg, Pa., early Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(Mount Lebanon) -- Big changes are not expected in Democrat Conor Lamb's narrow lead in a western Pennsylvania congressional race as provisional and military ballots are added to the totals.

Lamb leads Republican Rick Saccone by 627 votes after the final absentee ballots cast within the district were counted today. Saccone has not conceded.

The Associated Press has not called the race. 

A Westmoreland County elections official says provisional ballots, military ballots and any recount in her county would yield only marginal changes.

Beth Lechman says the GOP-leaning county expects to review about 20 provisional ballots on Friday.

She is expecting no more than 23 additional military overseas ballots to arrive by next Tuesday's deadline.

Lechman says she has not heard any complaints from the Saccone campaign or Republican officials about voting or counting in Westmoreland.

With the last batch of absentee ballots counted, Republicans consider their legal options for a recount in the special congressional election.

Greene County elections officials counted 201 absentee votes this morning with Republican Rick Saccone notching a net gain of 14 votes. But that's only good enough to trim Lamb's lead.

Provisional ballots will be reviewed in the coming days.

The race is being watched nationally as an indicator of Democratic enthusiasm and Republican vulnerability in the November midterm elections.

President Trump -- who campaigned twice with Saccone  -- carried the district by 20 points in the 2016 election.

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