Tag: Pennsylvanias

Judge throws out Trump campaign’s challenge to Pennsylvania’s poll-watching law | National politics

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Election 2020 Lawsuits Glance

In this Sept. 29, 2020, file photo Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke fills out an application for a mail-in ballot before voting at the opening of a satellite election office at Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania has seen a frenzy of election-related lawsuits as state officials prepare for some 3 million people, about half the expected turnout, to cast mail-in ballots. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Saturday threw out a lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump’s campaign, dismissing its challenges to the battleground state’s poll-watching law and its efforts to limit how mail-in ballots can be collected and which of them can be counted.

Elements of the ruling by U.S. District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan could be appealed by Trump’s campaign, with barely three weeks to go until Election Day in a state hotly contested by Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Trump’s campaign wanted the court to free county election officials to disqualify mail-in ballots where the voter’s signature may not match their signature on file and to remove a county residency requirement in state law on certified poll watchers.

It also wanted the court to bar counties from using drop boxes or mobile sites to collect mail-in ballots that are not “staffed, secured, and employed consistently within and across all 67 of Pennsylvania’s counties.”

The lawsuit was opposed by the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, and the state Democratic Party.

The decision comes as Trump claims he can only lose the state if Democrats cheat and, as he did in 2016′s campaign, suggests that the Democratic bastion of Philadelphia needs to be watched closely for election fraud.

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Talks to update Pennsylvania’s mail-in voting law show life

MARC LEVY, Associated Press
Published 9:56 a.m. MT Oct. 8, 2020


Many states are planning on drastically different elections this year and mail-in ballots could be a big game changer.


HARRISBURG — Closed-door talks on updating Pennsylvania’s fledgling mail-in voting law showed signs of life Wednesday amid warnings that doing nothing will risk a dragged-out vote count in the high-stakes presidential election in the battleground state.

House Republicans held an internal conference call to discuss the idea of giving counties four or five days to process mail-in ballots before Election Day and to set down security requirements for the drop boxes that some counties are using to help collect mail-in ballots.

More: Purple haze Pa.: Why the Keystone State is always a presidential battleground

Leaders of the House and Senate Republican majorities declined interviews. Through a spokesperson, House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre, said the House Republican priority continues to be legislation that passed a month ago, nearly along party lines, and was met with a veto threat by Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat.

Wednesday’s House Republican discussion did not involve elements of that month-old legislation opposed by many Democratic lawmakers and Wolf, such as lifting the county residency restriction on party or campaign representatives who observe inside polling places.

Lawmakers in Harrisburg say it’s too early to discuss the budget. (Photo: KALIM BHATTI / The Philadelphia Inquirer)

More: Monmouth poll: Biden lead over Trump balloons in Pennsylvania over last month

Another sticking point of that legislation is a provision outlawing the drop boxes and satellite election offices that are being used by many of the most heavily populated counties to help collect mail-in ballots, Democrats said.

Meanwhile, the top priority of counties is to get the ability to process mail-in ballots before Election Day — called pre-canvassing — as they face the prospect of digging into 3 million envelopes or more when polls open on Nov. 3.

Processing ballots before Election Day would speed up the vote count and give it more public credibility, county officials say, warning that a presidential election result otherwise could hang in limbo for days on a drawn-out vote count in Pennsylvania. 

“We are in the position where the best thing we could do right now is to allow for four or five days of pre-canvassing, and some security stuff that can be put in there,” said Rep. Garth Everett, R-Lycoming. “But we just need to get it done.”

The talks are happening in the shadow of President Donald Trump’s claims at a recent rally near Harrisburg that the only way he can lose Pennsylvania to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is if Democrats cheat, a claim he also made in 2016’s election.

In last week’s debate with Biden, Trump suggested that widespread election fraud is afoot in Philadelphia as he urged his supporters to serve as poll watchers and said he would not go along with an election result if he sees “tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated.”


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