Davis concedes her Senate race, but challenges to Pa. election policy

State Rep. Tina Davis, a Democrat, knocks on doors in Bucks County in her attempt to win Pennsylvania's 6th Senatorial District. (Jim Saksa/Keystone Crossroads)

State Rep. Tina Davis, a Democrat, knocks on doors in Bucks County in her attempt to win Pennsylvania's 6th Senatorial District. (Jim Saksa/Keystone Crossroads)

Three weeks after the midterm election, Pennsylvania’s last undecided race is over.

Democrat Tina Davis conceded her bid for the 6th state Senate district Tuesday, after unsuccessfully suing to have late-filed absentee ballots counted.

The race between Davis and incumbent Republican Tommy Tomlinson got more than 108,000 votes overall, but the margin was ultimately just 74.

216 absentee ballots weren’t counted because they arrived at the election office too late. Voters need to return them the Friday before Election Day, though they can request ballots up to just three days before that.

The Davis campaign filed a lawsuit arguing the turnaround is too tight, and those ballots should be counted. On Monday, a Bucks County Common Pleas judge ruled against it.

But though Davis’s case — and race — are over, the issue is still pending elsewhere.

The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a similar suit in Commonwealth Court this month. It’s on a longer timeline, and the group’s lawyers say they hope it helps reform what they see as an unusually-restrictive election policy.

That’s not the only way the elections code might eventually change. In her concession letter, Davis said she hopes to work on reforms when she returns to her position as a state representative.

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