In a move sure to delight the Kremlin, Donald Trump has decided that his 2020 presidential campaign strategy will be focused on undermining the legitimacy of the U.S. election system just in case he loses. During the only presidential debate of 2020, Trump said that “bad things happen in Philadelphia” that require Trump-supporting poll watchers to ensure that poll workers aren’t allowing anyone to commit crimes, although those poll watchers had been turned away from polling locations. A judge in Philadelphia set the record straight.
A local judge has rejected an effort by the Trump campaign to send poll watchers to voting sites in Philadelphia, ruling that the campaign's attempted poll-watching isn't allowed under state law. https://t.co/BxpeY2vmhq
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 10, 2020
Apparently, to what will surely be Trump’s surprise, allowing unregistered poll watchers to come in an intimidate voters is not allowed under the law. It’s not, as Trump insists, that Philadelphia election officials are worried about someone catching them biasing the election for Biden in Pennsylvania. Instead, the rejection of these unregistered pro-Trump poll watchers is disallowed under Pennsylvania law.
CNN reports that:
‘A local judge on Friday rejected an effort by the Trump campaign to send poll watchers to voting sites in Philadelphia, ruling that the campaign’s attempted poll-watching sn’t allowed under state law.
‘The ruling from Judge Gary Glazer was a victory for Philadelphia officials and a loss for the Trump campaign. The dispute revolved around “satellite election offices,” where election officials register voters, process applications for mail-in ballots, and allow voters to fill out and submit their mail ballots.’
A Philadelphia judge ruled state law doesn't allow poll watchers in election offices. https://t.co/QeI4711chV
— USA TODAY Politics (@usatodayDC) October 9, 2020
Trump stirred up controversy when a group of random Trump supporters who claimed to be poll watchers were turned away from a Philadelphia polling site, although it turns out that sending random people to watch people vote as if registered poll workers might all be Democrats bent on cheating the president out of reelection is just illegal and has been long before Trump ever decided to run for office.
‘The Trump campaign sent unauthorized poll watchers into some of these locations last month, but they were kicked out by local officials. President Donald Trump used this incident to spread false claims about anti-Trump bias at the polls, saying at last week’s debate that “bad things happen in Philadelphia.”
‘The Trump campaign argued in court that these sites are tantamount to Election Day polling places, and therefore its poll watchers should be allowed. The bipartisan Philadelphia City Commission said that while some ballots are being cast in the “satellite” locations, they don’t qualify as polling places under state laws that allow for partisan poll watchers. The judge on Friday sided with the city officials.’
#BREAKING: A Philadelphia judge ruled Friday that President Donald Trump’s campaign does not have the right for poll watchers to observe activities inside the city’s new satellite election offices. https://t.co/PPXo6opnlH
— The Philadelphia Inquirer (@PhillyInquirer) October 9, 2020
Despite a mountain of lawsuits brought by Trump administration attorneys meant to thwart the election process, very few have had any success. The case in Philadelphia is just one in a long list of rejected lawsuits in cases where Trump is trying his best to cast doubt over the legitimacy of the democratic system.
‘”The very detailed Election Code contains no provision that expressly grants the (Trump) Campaign and its representatives a right to serve as watchers at ‘satellite offices’ of the Board of Elections,” Glazer wrote in a 15-page ruling.
‘He later added, “given their scope, timing, and purpose, the satellite offices do not constitute polling places where watchers have a right to be present under the Election Code.”‘
— CBS Philly (@CBSPhilly) October 9, 2020