HARRISBURG -- A photo finish among four candidates for state Superior Court appears likely to trigger an automatic ballot recount.
Lawyers with the Pennsylvania State Department today were studying the law to determine how it should be applied in a close race for at least one of the four seats up for grabs in yesterday's statewide election.
State law says an automatic recount is triggered whenever the victory margin is less than one half of 1 percent of the votes cast. But officials say it's unclear how the law should be applied to results involving more than two candidates.
Four candidates appear to be within the margin covered by the automatic recount law: Democrats Anne Lazarus, Robert Colville and Kevin McCarthy, and Republican Temp Smith.
The state posted updated vote tallies at 1:30 p.m. today with about 100 precincts around the state still to be counted.
They show Judge Lazarus leading Judge Colville for the fourth seat, 714,531 to 713,019. Mr. Smith has 710,111, and Mr. McCarthy has 702,212.
Judge Judy Olson, Sallie Mundy and Judge Paula Ott have aparently won the other three seats.