The Pennyslvania Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Philadelphia Board of Elections acted within its authority in regulating the positioning of election observers, striking another blow to the Trump campaign’s post-election legal challenges.
The campaign had complained that the city’s original distancing prevented them from meaningfully monitoring the counting process.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s majority opinion, written by Justice Debra Todd, however, ruled that the election code grants counties discretion on the issue.
“[W]e conclude the Board did not act contrary to law in fashioning its regulations governing the positioning of candidate representatives during the pre-canvassing and canvassing process, as the Election Code does not specify minimum distance parameters for the location of such representatives,” the 5-2 decision read.
“Critically, we find the Board’s regulations as applied herein were reasonable in that they allowed candidate representatives to observe the Board conducting its activities as prescribed under the Election Code.”
The Trump campaign responded by blasting the ruling as “contrary to the clear purpose of the law.”
“The lower court rightly recognized that the intent and purpose of the Pennsylvania law is to allow election watchers from both parties to actually see the ballots close enough to inspect them, and thus prevent partisan ballot counting in secret,” said Jenna Ellis, a senior legal adviser.
She added that “there is no other reason except fraud to exclude Republicans from actually seeing the ballots close up. It’s inexplicable that five justices on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would conclude that watchers observing from distances up to 100 feet away is reasonable. We are keeping all legal options open to fight for election integrity and the rule of law.”
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