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October 01, 2020

Trump Campaign Files Suit Challenging Philadelphia Democrats’ Illegal Refusal to Keep Election Transparent

Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. today filed suit against the Philadelphia County Board of Elections in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County challenging the Democrat election officials’ illegal refusal to allow watchers at its early voting sites and their total disregard for the election integrity principles of transparency and accountability. The Campaign’s lawsuit demands that the Board of Elections allow watchers to do their jobs in Philadelphia’s voting centers, provide watcher certifications, and allow watchers to remain in the public areas of voting centers during all open hours.

“Bad things are happening in Philadelphia. While transparency and accountability are hallmarks of election integrity, the actions of Philadelphia election officials to date have undermined election integrity by shrouding the casting of ballots in secrecy,” the lawsuit states. “The absence of poll watchers at polling places where registration and voting are occurring threatens the integrity of the vote in elections and denies voters the constitutional right to free and fair public elections under the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions.”

Matthew Morgan, Trump 2020 general counsel: “President Trump is taking the fight for a fair, transparent election to Philadelphia’s Democrat election officials, who would apparently prefer to check transparency and accountability at the door. These Democrat officials have repeatedly denied Trump Campaign observers access to several voting locations across the city in violation of state law. The Trump Campaign—and any campaign—has a statutory right to have watchers observe the voting process and ensure voting sites are being run properly and all rules are applied equally. What are these officials hiding? We will not stand by while Democrats skirt the rules and illegally hide the voting process from the public.”

Philadelphia election officials have undermined election integrity by keeping the voting process secret.

  • The Philadelphia City Commissioners are responsible for overseeing the conduct of elections in Philadelphia, including the conduct of election personnel at polling locations, at the County Board of Elections, and satellite election offices.
     
  • On September 29, the first seven of Philadelphia’s 15 satellite election offices opened. 
     
  • The start of early voting in Philadelphia was riddled with technical issues.
     
  • The City Commissioners allowed the press access to these sites to observe, ask questions, take pictures and shoot videos—but denied the Campaign the same courtesy.
     
  • On September 29, qualified registered electors of Philadelphia County appeared at the satellite election offices on behalf of the Campaign to observe voters casting their ballots and to observe the operations of these satellite election offices as the business conducted appears to essentially be a public session of the county board of elections. 
     
  • Representatives of the County Board of Elections denied admission to all representatives of the Campaign who sought to observe the operations of the satellite election offices.
     
  • On September 29, in response to this denial, the Campaign sent a letter to the Philadelphia City Commissioners, requesting watcher certificates for duly qualified electors under Pennsylvania law and the right to have watchers in the satellite election offices.
     
  • On September 30, the Philadelphia Law Department responded to the Campaign’s request, refusing entry except for a single tour of the satellite offices “to see how they operate.”
     
  • On September 30, in response to the Law Department’s insufficient reply, the Campaign again requested the opportunity for watchers or access to the public offices.
     
  • On October 1, after no meaningful response from the Law Department, the Campaign filed suit.
     
  • The suit will receive a docket number after the court offices open on October 2.

The Trump Campaign is committed to a transparent election process where every eligible voter can cast a ballot and have that ballot counted once.  

  • The campaign is recruiting tens of thousands of volunteer poll watchers to assist with getting out the vote and ensuring that all laws are applied equally.
     
  • Poll watchers provide confidence in an election when they can say that all rules and laws were applied equally.
     
  • Poll watchers assist with increasing voter participation.
     
  • Poll watchers are trained in the proper conduct of a polling location or other election facility.  
     
  • The Trump campaign is recruiting poll watchers across its vast and diverse base of dedicated supporters.  
     
  • Interested individuals can register at DefendYourBallot.com

To view the Trump Campaign’s complaint, click here.

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