A Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court judge overturned a lower court ruling and ruled that election observers can stand “within six feet” of the vote-counting process after the Trump campaign sued the state for “hiding the ballot counting and processing from our Republican poll observers.”
The Trump campaign had bitterly complained that election officials had kept their observers hundreds of feet away from the ballot counting. The ruling requires election officials to allow Republican observers to stand six feet away.
Pam Bondi reports that officials are playing games.
Update: This is a JOKE. They moved the fence up but moved the ballot machines back!! This is offensive for the great people of Pennsylvania who voted and deserve a fair election. @realDonaldTrump @TeamTrump
— Pam Bondi (@PamBondi) November 5, 2020
The judge’s order demands that Philadelphia election officials allow “all candidates, watchers, or candidate representatives be permitted to be present for the canvassing process … and be permitted to observe all aspects of the canvassing process within 6 feet, while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols, including, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.”
The Trump campaign declared the decision “a major victory for election integrity [and] election transparency,” which came after they filed a lawsuit to stop the vote tallying until they were granted “meaningful access” to oversee the counting. The campaign filed a similar suit in Michigan, filed a separate lawsuit in Georgia, and plans to demand a recount in Wisconsin.
We are seeing this sort of nonsense all over the country. It’s a simple matter of fairness — something Democrats say they’re all about. But in a lot of jurisdictions, belittling and humiliating Republicans is more important than being fair.
“As a result of this incredible legal victory, the lower court’s order has been reversed. Now, according to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, ‘all candidates, watchers, or candidate representatives’ shall ‘be permitted to be present for the canvassing process’ and ‘be permitted to observe all aspects of the canvassing process within 6 feet, while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols, including, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing,'” he added. “For the good of the nation, every Pennsylvania county should follow the lead of this judge and provide access for observers to ensure transparency and integrity in Pennsylvania. That is the only way to ensure a fair, transparent election in which all Pennsylvania voters can have confidence their vote will count.”
The election officials are appealing the ruling of the Commonwealth judge to the state supreme court. They claim they’re not violating any laws by keeping Republican observers 100 feet away from the counting. And if it’s not illegal, it should be allowed. They say the observers will be a “danger” to election employees and the privacy rights of voters if they stand 6 feet away.
Getting to oversee the ballot-counting process is a good thing. But observers in Pennsylvania cannot challenge individual mail-in ballots. They can stand anywhere they want and it won’t make a difference if Democrats are cheating.