President Donald Trump’s campaign says it is taking “critical legal actions” against the state of Pennsylvania and suggests the state’s Democratic leadership is “scheming to disenfranchise and dilute” Republican votes as the state continues to count ballots.
Upwards of three million mail-in absentee ballots were cast in the Keystone State – a 10-fold increase over previous elections, according to Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar.
In September, Pennsylvania’s supreme court granted a three-day extension period after Election Day for mail-in ballots to be returned.
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request from the state GOP to expedite a review of the state court’s decision, but left open the door to a review of the segregated ballots after the election.
Trump’s campaign suggested actions as such by Boockvar and the state’s supreme court aims to give Joe Biden a “backdoor to victory”.
“The United States Constitution is clear on this issue: the legislature sets the time, place, and manner of elections in America, not state courts or executive officials,” the campaign statement reads. The law is on President Trump’s side: as the Eighth Circuit just said, to change the ballot receipt deadline is in fact a change of the time, place, and manner of the election—and only a state legislature or the United States Congress can do that under the Constitution.”
Trump’s campaign says it is also “suing to temporarily halt counting until there is meaningful transparency and Republicans can ensure all counting is done above board and by the law”.
“Secretary Boockvar—three days ago—re-wrote Pennsylvania Election Code to abuse her unilateral executive fiat and move the deadline for absentee and mail-in voters to provide missing proof of identification well past the deadline. Without our action, Pennsylvanians, and possibly all Americans, may be forced to wait yet another several days for the outcome of the election – all because of the Secretary’s ridiculous eleventh-hour guidance that directly violates the Election Code,” the statement reads.
Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes would be a boon to either candidate in the race to 270 electoral votes.
Trump claimed victory in several key states in stunning remarks divorced from the current vote tally during the early hours of Wednesday.
Trump addressed the media and supporters in the White House’s East Room after 2 a.m. He first applauded those who voted for him, then falsely claimed early victory in states such as Georgia, North Carolina and others, claiming that “we were winning everything and all of a sudden it was called off.”
Midway through the address, Trump could be seen taking a note with prepared remarks out of his pocket before accusing his opponent of wanting to “go to court” to win the election. The president said with no evidence that the election results were “a fraud on the American public.”
“We want all voting to stop,” Trump said, vowing to go to the Supreme Court. “As far as I’m concerned we have already won.”
Earlier in the evening Trump tweeted with no evidence of wrongdoing:
“We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Poles (sic) are closed!”
Twitter quickly added a warning to the president’s tweet that read: “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.
Trump’s tweet came minutes after former Vice President Joe Biden spoke in Delaware, saying, “I’m here to tell you tonight we believe we’re on track to win this election.”
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