Later this year, the midterm elections will take place, pitting the president’s party against Democrats around the country, who are seeking to become the majority party in at least one, if not both houses of Congress.
This past Tuesday, in the lead up to the midterms, there was a special Congressional election in Pennsylvania to fill the House seat vacated by Republican Congressman Tim Murphy, after it came out that he’d sought to pressure a woman with whom he was having an affair into getting an abortion. Publicly, Murphy espoused anti-abortion viewpoints.
That election ended in a striking fashion, with Democrat Conor Lamb beating Republican Rick Saccone by two-tenths of one percent. Saccone allied himself closely with the Trumps, appearing first alongside Donald Trump and then alongside Donald Trump Jr. in the final days before the election, but that was hardly enough to save his candidacy.
The GOP isn’t done with the race yet, however. The National Republican Campaign Committee is now, in conjunction with claims about “irregularities” in the electoral process, filing suit in an effort to pressure the four counties included in the district into impounding “all ballots and machines used in the election.” These moves would be taken in preparation for a “likely recount,” in the description of the NRCC, with impounding accomplishing the aim of ensuring that nothing is “altered.”
Allegheny County — one of those in the 18th Congressional District — did not experience widespread problems with its machines. The ones it did experience included, in the description of The Philadelphia Inquirer, “isolated” instances like a machine with low power and another with a weak display.
“Irregularities” reported to be under scrutiny by the GOP include, besides alleged issues with the voting machines, Republican attorneys supposedly being unfairly kept from overseeing the counting of absentee ballots in Allegheny County and voters allegedly being told to go to the wrong polling place.
As for the first issue, it hardly seems to have anything to do with elections officials themselves. County spokeswoman Amie Downs said that the two Republican lawyers in question “didn’t produce [their required signed authorization from the chair of their county committee] until the very end of the evening, when the ballots had already been scanned.”
Leader of the county elections office Mark Wolosik added that the county received a call about the lawyers coming late in the game on Tuesday morning. The timing of that call itself is out of the ordinary, he explained, because normally “people ask ahead of time.”
Allegheny County’s Board of Elections, which is responsible for certifying the results of the election, will be meeting April 2.
This election is not the first recent one in which the GOP side has claimed voting irregularities to make up for their loss. For instance, late last year Alabamians elected Democrat Doug Jones to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore — who has never conceded the race.
Instead, he has stuck to peddling conspiracy theories about the election, claiming voter fraud.
In doing so, he takes after the president himself, who, although he won the electoral college, lost the popular vote.
In the face of that loss, the president has at times made wild, completely unsubstantiated claims about millions of people voting illegally.
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