The presidential race in Pennsylvania is tight, with Biden leading Trump across an average of polls by just 3.5 points, well within the amargin of error. Trump won Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral college votes over Hillary Clinton in 2016 by just a bare 0.7 points, or less than 45,000 votes. Trump’s plan to prevent that in 2020 seems to be sending illegal poll watchers to the state’s one solid blue district, Philadelphia County.
"We are not having it. This is the cradle of democracy and I do in fact have something for the President if he wants to send people here to break the law … I have criminal laws." – Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner warns Pres. Trump over his call for uncertified poll watchers pic.twitter.com/EskHCg2ou5
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) October 29, 2020
District Attorney Larry Krasner, however, does not appear to be pleased by the idea of a horde of gun-toting, voter intimidating Trump fans hanging out at polling places on Election Day. On Friday, Krasner told CNN that he “has something” for Trump and his poll watchers if they attempt to meddle in the election.
‘We are not having it. This is the cradle of democracy and I do in fact have something for the President if he wants to send people here to break the law … I have criminal laws.’
"Keep your Proud Boys, goon squads, and uncertified ‘poll watchers’ out of our city, Mr. President. Break the law here, and I’ve got something for you.” pic.twitter.com/RkpFnZEQvX
— Nick Corasaniti (@NYTnickc) October 28, 2020
Trump has pushed his fear-mongering over Philadelphia for nothing more than partisan reasons. No widespread election fraud has ever been reported in Philadelphia, or any other city or county in the United States. It is simply the biggest county and the one Trump knows he won’t beat in the crucial state. Trump has pushed a narrative about distrusting election results from Philadelphia County even during debates.
During the first presidential debate, Trump said:
‘In Philadelphia, they went in to watch. They’re called poll watchers, a very safe, very nice thing. They were thrown out. They weren’t allowed to watch. You know why? Because bad things happen in Philadelphia. Bad things.’
President Trump repeatedly lies on national television about how elections are run in Philadelphia, because he knows that here in the Cradle of Liberty we will not stand for the continued degradation of our democracy. #PhillyVoteshttps://t.co/zgXHFbrfOt
— DA Larry Krasner (@DA_LarryKrasner) October 7, 2020
Krasner has reminded Trump that he may have fans willing to do his bidding, but he has “jail cells” for anyone attempting to intimidate voters or break the law. Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia County, already allow for registered poll watchers, but impersonating one is illegal, and Trump’s “army” hasn’t been approved to enter any polling site in 2020.
DA Krasner tweeted that.
‘Philadelphians from a diversity of political opinions believe strongly in the rule of law, in fair and free elections, and in a democratic system of government. We will not be cowed or ruled by a lawless, power-hungry despot.’
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2020