GOP starts online campaign in search of people who had voting problems in PA-18 special election

03.16.18 | Bob Price

New political ads running after the election's over? Yes, that's now something that's happening in the advertising-heavy 18th congressional district special race. They launched online Thursday afternoon.

If you're a Republican and you live in the 18th district, you'll see the ad popping up in your timeline on Facebook. It's a message marked "Urgent" from the National Republican Congressional Committee Legal Defense. The NRCC is asking if you faced problems at your polling place in Tuesday's special election.

"We're looking for folks who were either given the wrong location to show up to, (or) turned away from the polls, (or were) told they were in the wrong congressional district with this new map that was drawn. We've also received reports of sporadic issues with the actual voting machines, the calibration of those machines. We're looking at all those instances very carefully," Chris Martin, a regional spokesman for the NRCC, told Pittsburgh's Action News 4.

"When voters see this ad served to them in Facebook, they're able to message us directly and get in touch with a lawyer. They can then kind of talk about what they experienced and we can document those cases and then we can investigate those and ensure that nothing was done incorrectly or improperly on election day," Martin said.

They're following up with phone calls to anyone who notifies them of their election day complaints.

Democrat Conor Lamb leads Republican Rick Saccone by under 1,000 votes and Lamb declared victory after midnight on Tuesday.

The ad campaign is gathering complaints that Republicans may include as evidence if they officially go to court to demand a vote recount. The NRCC says that using Facebook in this way lets them target 200,000 Republican voters in the 18th congressional district.

Martin said their goal is to make sure every legal vote is counted.

"Obviously, if there are more serious issues, we're keeping all options on the table. That could mean a recount. That's just part of what we're considering in this process but we're keeping all options on the table."