President Donald Trump is ramping up efforts in the critical swing state of Pennsylvania to prevent Joe Biden from prematurely claiming victory.
Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit on Monday to block the state’s votes from being certified even as the president continues to litigate alleged voter fraud, as reported by the Associated Press.
“Two-tiered voting system”
The move came two days after the outlet — along with multiple mainstream media outlets — called the presidential race for Biden.
Trump, however, has refused to concede the race as he and key allies cite possible fraud or voter suppression at play in the hard-fought presidential race.
As argued in the new lawsuit, the Trump team contends that Democratic officials in the state received favorable treatment from a “two-tiered voting system” allowing mail-in ballots to be counted with insufficient transparency.
“The first, marked by voters appearing personally at the polls complied with transparency and verifiability requirements of Pennsylvania Election Code,” the suit maintains. “The second, marked by a mass of paper ballots received through the mail, was cloaked in darkness and complied with none of those transparency and verifiability requirements.”
Furthermore, the lawsuit asks for Pennsylvania to not certify its results, pointing to nearly 700,000 mail-in and absentee ballots in Philadelphia and Allegheny counties that were allegedly counted without proper oversight from Republicans.
“Protect the franchise”
The campaign specifically challenged ballots that had been “cured” after voters were given an opportunity to correct disqualifying errors.
“Our position is clear: we want to protect the franchise of the American people,” said White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. “We want an honest accurate lawful count. We want maximum sunlight. We want maximum transparency.”
For their parts, the state’s Democratic governor, attorney general, and secretary of state have all dismissed the legal challenges.
State Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who claimed that Trump had lost the election before voting even began, called the campaign’s lawsuit meritless. Pennsylvania’s GOP-controlled legislature, however, has gotten behind an audit of the vote as Republican lawmakers nationwide have vocally supported the president’s desire to let the process play out in court.
A total of 10 GOP attorneys general have also joined an effort by Pennsylvania Republicans, which predates the election, to challenge a decision from the state Supreme Court allowing ballots received until three days after Election Day to be counted.