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Acting Secretary of State Degraffenreid Orders Mandatory Automatic Recount in Commonwealth Court Race

11/11/2021

Harrisburg, PA – Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid today ordered a recount in the Commonwealth Court race for two open seats on Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court.

Stacy Marie Wallace (R) finished with 26.61 percent of the total votes, securing one of the open seats.

Lori A. Dumas (D) and Drew Crompton (R), the second- and third-place finishers respectively, have vote totals within the one-half of one percent margin that triggers a mandatory recount under state law.

As of Tuesday's deadline for counties to submit unofficial returns, the unofficial returns for the Commonwealth Court race submitted by all 67 counties showed the following results:

  • Stacy Marie Wallace (R) – 1,352,365 (26.61 percent)
  • Lori A. Dumas (D) – 1,288,936 (25.36 percent)
  • Drew Crompton (R) – 1,272,132 (25.03 percent)
  • David Lee Spurgeon (D) – 1,168,314 (22.99 percent)

The recount will begin on Nov. 17 and must be completed by noon on Nov. 23. Counties must submit results of the recount to the Department of State by noon on Nov. 24. Results will be published on electionreturns.pa.gov after information from the counties is received. Department staff will provide procedural guidance to the counties to ensure a smooth and uniform recount.

The department estimates that the recount will cost at least $1.3 million of taxpayer funds.

This is the fifth time the automatic recount provision under Act 97 of 2004 has been triggered, with two recounts carried out.

The first recount was conducted in the Superior Court race in November 2009, where nine candidates were competing for four vacancies. In that election, there was a difference of 3,330 votes between the fourth- and sixth-place candidates, and a margin of 2,006 votes between the fourth- and fifth-place finishers. The recount affirmed the initial results.

The second recount was ordered in May 2011 in the Democratic primary contest for a seat on the Commonwealth Court, when the margin between the two candidates was 2,116 votes. The recount affirmed the initial results.

A recount in the 2010 Democratic primary race for lieutenant governor was averted when the trailing candidate waived his right to a recount. In 2017, three candidates for Superior Court, all of whose vote totals fell within the recount margin, waived their right to a recount. And in 2019, the third-place finisher in the race for two open seats on the Superior Court waived her right to a recount.

The Commonwealth Court is an intermediate appellate court that primarily handles matters involving state and local governments. It also acts as a trial court when lawsuits are filed against the Commonwealth.

Unofficial returns for the Nov. 2 election can be found at electionreturns.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT:   Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621

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