Trump’s campaign made an exuberant statement heralding a gradual improvement in access as a triumph.
“In a great victory for electoral integrity, electoral transparency, all Pennsylvania voters and the rule of law, the Trump campaign prevailed in our lawsuit, challenging the utter lack of meaningful access by our Republican election observers to the voting and counting process.” Deputy Campaign Manager Justin Clark said.
Clark urged other Pennsylvania counties to allow similar access to GOP monitors. The ruling apparently caused a brief delay in the Philadelphia vote. Officials there quickly appealed the ruling to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, arguing that the verdict “jeopardizes both the security of the city’s accused and the privacy of voters.”
In another battlefield state, Georgia, Trump campaign lawyers argued with lawyers for local electoral officials over 53 postal ballots in Chatham County, home of Savannah, Thursday morning.
Two witnesses called by Trump attorneys said they saw election officials postpone ballot papers after the 7 p.m. deadline for receipt. Tuesday. However, the two men said they did not really know when the ballot papers were received.
However, district officials said they were certain that all 53 ballot papers had arrived before the deadline.
“I asked the county annex to look at these ballots to make sure they were received on time,” said Colin McRae, chairman of the board of registrars. “I looked at all 53 and all 53 of those ballots were received on time … the timestamps were all – all showed that they were received on time.”
“These ballots came in before 7pm. on election day, ”said the district’s voter registration manager, Sabrina German, to the court.
She said the batch was put aside because of issues like voters spoiling ballots or using an envelope with the wrong barcode. But everyone was verified as valid and the officials confirmed that the voter did not vote twice, stressed Deutsch.
McRae told the court that ballot papers received after the deadline would be placed in a box and voters would be informed that their ballot papers were late.
As the hearing ended, Trump campaign lawyers appeared to be stepping down on their original claims. Rather than requesting the disqualification of 53 ballots, Attorney Jonathan Crumly Sr. questioned the security of ballots received after the deadline and described the circumstances as “somewhat worrying”.
“As you heard from the two election observers, there has been considerable confusion and confusion about these 53 ballots,” said Crumly. “The Trump campaign wants everyone properly and legally submitted ballots – by mail and otherwise – to be counted.”
Chatham County’s attorney Benjamin Perkins said there was no evidence of campaign misconduct and dismissed the Trump campaign’s claims of a lack of security for late-arriving ballots as “red herring”. “There is no evidence of non-compliance with the law,” said Perkins.
Jeffrey Harris, Georgia Democratic Party attorney, said the Trump campaign case was “very unconvincing”.
After an hour and 15 minute video hearing, Judge James Bass Jr. did a quick job on the Trump campaign suit and took about 10 seconds to kick it out.
“Given the comments made and the points that need to be taken, after hearing the evidence, I decline the application and decline the petition,” said Bass. “Thank you gentlemen.”
Meanwhile, Trump campaign officials across the country in Nevada said they wanted to file a federal lawsuit over alleged voting irregularities. Officials said they had evidence that votes were cast on behalf of deceased voters and others who had not lived in the state for 30 days, as required by law.
Anita Kumar contributed to this report.