Pennsylvania Supreme Court overrules order that observers can stand 6 feet from counting ballots – same room only is the law
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overruled a lower-court order that required election observers to watch ballot tabulations within six feet of the counting tables.
In a 5-2 decision, the Democrat-controlled court “said Pennsylvania law requires only that observers must be allowed ‘in the room’ where ballots are counted but does not set a minimum distance between them and the counting tables,” NBC News reported.
On Election Day and its aftermath, duly authorized GOP poll watchers and monitors say they have been denied meaningful access to keep an eye on what was going on, primarily in liberal Philadelphia where officials there ignored appropriate credentialing as well as court orders. Poll watches in Detroit have also complained that they were denied valid access.
Alluding to COVID-19, which formed the pretext for allowing mass mail-in ballots in the first place, the majority court opinion ruled that Philadelphia officials acted reasonably, which is a catch-all legal term, in that they “fashioned these rules based on its careful consideration of how it could best protect the security and privacy of voters’ ballots, as well as safeguard its employees and others who would be present during a pandemic.”
During the election season, the state’s highest court seemed to function as an arm of the Biden campaign by allowing mail-in ballot counting up to three days after the election and watering-down postmark checks even though such changes come under the purview of the state legislature.
President Donald Trump had a 600,000 vote lead on Election Night, but as it stands now, he is about 74,000 votes behind rival Joe Biden.
This is how poll observation was “allowed” in Philly until court order came through yest mandating 6 ft distance (went in effect from 10:30am Thurs but unclear when actually happened given the argument over enforcement that ensued). So for day & half give or take- zero oversight. pic.twitter.com/Aq6EzPrqcm
— Matthew Tyrmand (@MatthewTyrmand) November 6, 2020
“GOP observers have complained they were kept behind waist-high metal barriers too far away from the tables where votes were being tallied to actually inspect the ballots,” the Philadelphia Inquirer noted. Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Christine Fizzano Cannon had previously ordered a reduction in the 25-foot buffer (which in practice was probably even more distant from the action). In some instances, poll watchers were previously reduced to having to use binoculars.
An election law expert told NBC News that Pennsylvania law doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because it apparently prevents observers from challenging potentially illegal votes. “Pennsylvania’s rules on this point are bizarre and antiquated. If the state Supreme Court is correct that there is no right to challenge, then all you get to do is watch in the broad sense to look for obvious problems”
The corporate media, in its rush to anoint Biden as president-elect, has sought to discredit any claims of ballot shenanigans by insisting there is no “widespread” fraud, without providing a definition of widespread. In the meantime, the Trump campaign has lodged legal challenges in various jurisdictions across the country. It remains to be seen how those lawsuits will play out in the end. Allegations have also surfaced about the Dominion electronic voting software being vulnerable to manipulation.