Elections

Pennsylvania GOP Loses Poll Watching Lawsuit

Reuters

Kerry Picket Political Reporter

The Pennsylvania Republican Party lost in court Thursday when a U.S. district judge ruled that party volunteers could not go to other cities and monitor poll activity, The Hill reported.

U.S. District Judge Gerald Pappert decided Thursday that permitting this type of poll observation would mean that “poll watchers would be allowed to roam the commonwealth on election day for the first time in the Election Code’s seventy-nine year history.”

“There is good reason to avoid last-minute intervention in a state’s election process,” the judge wrote, Bloomberg News reports.

Additionally, Pappert criticized the state Republican Party for filing the lawsuit 18 days prior before voters go to the polls.

However, the GOP argued that the law unfairly restricts “candidates, political parties and political bodies are unjustifiably burdened in their attempts to locate available, qualified registered electors who can serve as poll watchers.”

In 2012, the New Black Panther Party stood outside of polling sites in Philadelphia and, according to The Washington Times, 75 election monitors from the Republican Party were turned away from the sites.  
Four years earlier, the same organization stood outside of polling places in the city while armed with batons and intimidated voters.

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