Here We Go: Trump Campaign Slaps PA Officials with Ballot-Related Lawsuit

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Posted: Nov 09, 2020 6:15 PM
Here We Go: Trump Campaign Slaps PA Officials with Ballot-Related Lawsuit

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The Trump campaign on Monday filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and Elections officials in Allegheny, Centre, Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Northampton Counties. The lawsuit is taking place in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and alleges a "two-tiered" voting system for the 2020 presidential election. According to the campaign, voters were held to different standards depending on if they decided to vote in-person or by mail. 

Those who chose to vote in-person at the polls had to register to vote, have their signature compared to voter rolls, vote in a monitored polling place where authorized poll observers took place, and their votes were counted in a transparent and observed manner.

According to the campaign, the state's roughly 2.65 million mail-in ballots "lacked all the hallmarks of transparency and verifiability" that in-person voters faced. In particular, Trump's team took issue with the lack of voter identification and ballots being received up to three days after Election Day. Those ballots were allegedly counted "without any evidence of timely mailings, such as a postmark, and denying sufficient monitoring over the reviewing and counting of mail-in ballots."

The lawsuit specifically calls out Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties for not "engaging in an open and transparent process to give credibility to Pennsylvania’s brand-new voting system, the processes were hidden during the receipt, review, opening, and tabulation" of 682,479 votes.

The Trump campaign's lawsuit accuses election officials in Allegheny and Pennsylvania Counties – two Democratic strongholds – of pre-canvassing ahead of Election Day, meaning they contacted voters for things like missing signatures. The ballots were allegedly allowed to be cured by voting provisionally on Election Day or canceling a previously mailed out ballot for a new one, despite state election rules not allowing ballot curing to take place.

"In other words, those counties provided their mail-in voters with the opportunity to cure mail-in and absentee ballot deficiencies, while Republican-heavy counties followed the law and did not provide a notice and cure process, disenfranchising those that themselves complied with the Election Code to case legal votes," the lawsuit read.

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Election officials are also accused of "mailing unsolicited mail-in ballots to voters despite the fact that they had not applied for a mail-in ballot for the General Election, thus resulting in voters who received two ballots. The offending counties also failed to undertake any effort to ensure destruction of the duplicate ballots."

The other issue called into question whether or not ballots were received by the deadline because some ballots were allegedly "counted without any evidence of timely mailing, such as a postmark."

The Trump campaign believes these alleged actions violate the Equal Protection Clause and Elections and Electors Clause. They are asking for an injunction that would require the defendants to verify and confirm all mail-in ballots that were counted.