The reelection campaign of President Donald Trump appears ready to bring a lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia, Fox News reports.
The target of the lawsuit would be Philadelphia’s Commissioners office. The allegation is that officials stopped poll watchers from observing the voting process.
Mike Roman, a member of President Trump’s campaign, released a video on Twitter of a poll watcher being removed from a voting station. “Philly Election Official says City Hall is NOT a public building!! TRUMP observer thrown out of City Hall! what are they doing??” Roman wrote.
The Trump campaign is now threatening to bring a lawsuit against the city for this disallowance of poll watchers.
“To the extent that your office prohibits the campaign from monitoring the casting of ballots, the campaign will seek court intervention,” a letter from a Trump campaign lawyer reads.
Thea McDonald, the Trump campaign’s deputy national press secretary, also released a statement on the matter, arguing that election officials in Philadelphia are “intentionally avoiding accountability and hiding their voting system.”
“The Trump Campaign—and of course, the Biden Campaign as well—has a statutory right to have watchers observe the voting process to ensure voting locations are being run properly and all rules are applied equally,” McDonald said.
Under Pennsylvania law, poll watchers are allowed. In fact, political candidates are allowed to appoint two watchers per district and political parties, three.
Philadephia election lawyers, however, “say there is no right under Pennsylvania law, even for a certified poll watcher, to observe inside an election office where someone is registering to vote, applying for a mail-in ballot or filling one out,” Fox reports.
This all comes after the first presidential debate, in which President Trump recommended poll-watching as a way to increase election legitimacy, given the myriad of problems we have already seen with mail-in voting.
I’m urging my supporters to go in to the polls and watch very carefully, because that’s what has to happen. I am urging them to do it. As you know, today there was a big problem. In Philadelphia, they went in to watch. They’re called poll watchers, a very safe, very nice thing. They were thrown out. They weren’t allowed to watch. You know why? Because bad things happen in Philadelphia. Bad things. And I am urging my people. I hope it’s going to be a fair election.
We hope so too. But, with what is going on in places like Philadelphia, fairness doesn’t seem likely.