Philadelphia Seeks Reversal of Trump’s 6ft Ballot Watch Win
(Bloomberg) -- Republicans are trying to illegally scrap 6.75 million votes in Pennsylvania because President Donald Trump is “upset” about his loss in the state, the Democratic National Committee told a federal judge.
A lawsuit filed this week by Trump’s campaign seeking to block Pennsylvania from certifying the election result “not only violates state law, it obliterates the constitutional rights of voters and candidates and improperly inserts this court into issues of state law and election administration minutia,” the DNC said in a filing Wednesday evening seeking to intervene in the case.
The campaign argues Pennsylvania should set aside every vote statewide -- or only be allowed to certify the result if it doesn’t count more than 680,000 mail-in and absentee ballots from a pair of counties, including Democratic-leaning Philadelphia, that allegedly failed to allow observers to get close enough to the ballot-counting process.
Trump and his GOP allies have made the ballot observation process a central element of their unsubstantiated claim that rampant fraud involving mail-in ballots went unnoticed because observers weren’t allowed to watch properly in Pennsylvania and Michigan. It’s all part of a legal effort to reverse President-elect Joe Biden’s election win.
Pennsylvania’s top election official is expected to ask the judge to dismiss the suit on Thursday, and oral arguments in the case are set for Nov. 17.
In a related lawsuit filed earlier by Trump’s campaign in state court, lawyers for Philadelphia asked Pennsylvania’s top court to reverse a ruling allowing observers to get within six feet of the ballot-counting process, arguing a state law designed for transparency includes no such requirement. The campaign had touted the ruling as a major victory.
The state’s election code only requires that party and candidate representatives “be permitted to remain in the room” where mail-in and absentee ballots are processed, lawyers for the heavily Democratic city said in a filing Wednesday evening in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
“The election code does not say that representatives have the right to be able to read the language written on each ballot declaration or otherwise to make their own determinations of declaration sufficiency with respect to individual ballots,” the city said in the filing. “No such right exists.”
A ruling favoring the city would hurt Trump’s chances in that case. During a hearing this week, a judge told lawyers to provide him a copy of the appeals court decision “the moment it issues.”
Trump’s campaign on Wednesday evening also filed a series of targeted appeals in Pennsylvania challenging decisions by Philadelphia’s elections board to count sets of ballots that Republicans argue shouldn’t be tallied. They include more than 4,466 ballots signed and dated by voters but missing printed names and addresses; 1,259 ballots that are missing the date next to the signature; and 860 ballots that have all information except the voter’s printed name.
Biden is ahead in the state by more than 50,000 votes.
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