President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is threatening to sue Pennsylvania City Commissioners after the Philadelphia County Board of Elections allegedly denied poll watchers the opportunity to watch the voting process.
Trump first raised the concern Tuesday in a tweet, saying the satellite stations were rife with “corruption.”
“Wow. Won’t let Poll Watchers & Security into Philadelphia Voting Places. There is only one reason why. Corruption!!! Must have a fair election.”
Wow. Won’t let Poll Watchers & Security into Philadelphia Voting Places. There is only one reason why. Corruption!!! Must have a fair Election.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 29, 2020
Trump also raised concerns over the allegations during Tuesday’s presidential debate. (RELATED: ‘Sh*t Show’: Fox News’ Chris Wallace Completely Loses Control Of Trump, Biden In First Debate)
“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.”
Philadelphia announced seven satellite election offices would be open in Philadelphia county where voters could register to vote, request a mail-in ballot in-person, receive it, vote and return it, according to Philadelphia Votes.
Trump poll watchers were allegedly denied admission to watch voters, according to an unverified video posted to Twitter by Mike Roman.
Vid from Philly satellite voting place. TRUMP observer told to step outside, no reason given – just leave and call the Commissioners Office. pic.twitter.com/0Or9yihKlv
— Mike Roman (@mikeroman) September 29, 2020
Pennsylvania law allows candidates to appoint poll watchers to observe the process.
Linda A. Kerns, a lawyer for Trump’s reelection campaign alleged Trump Campaign officials reportedly visited multiple Pennsylvania satellite sites and were denied admission, according to an official letter sent to Philadelphia City Commissioners.
When Trump officials pressed election workers about admittance, they were allegedly told the sites were not polling sites but board of election offices and therefore were not allowed access.
At another satellite office located at The Liacouras Center, a Trump Campaign official was allegedly told that voters were voting inside but that poll watchers were not permitted to enter.
Kerns said the campaign should be allowed entry to all sites.
“If these satellite election offices are not polling places, then they are public places and the Campaign should not be denied access.”
“The entire debacle that played out in Philadelphia today should concern everyone who promotes election integrity,” the letter read. “Why would a Philadelphia City Commissioner defer to lawyers from the City Law Department regarding the definition of voting? Commissioner Schmidt played semantic games while denying that he was doing so. Pennsylvania deserves better.”
Kerns said if the issue isn’t resolved by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, legal action will be taken.
Deputy National Press Secretary Thea McDonald said Philadelphia was not transparent about voting in an official statement to The Daily Caller.
“Free, fair elections require transparency and accountability. Philadelphia’s election officials are going out of their way to keep this system from being transparent,” McDonald said. “Philadelphia’s voters deserve better – they deserve a system that protects every single valid ballot and ensure their election system is transparent and fair.”
However, the Trump campaign’s poll watchers were reportedly not approved to work in Philadelphia, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Further, the satellite sites are not considered the same as polling places and election officials said they were limiting the number of people indoors due to the coronavirus, per the same report.
Philadelphia city commissioner Al Schmidt told The Philadelphia Inquirer that poll watchers don’t have the same rights at satellite sites.
“We don’t give someone a poll watcher certificate to … watch somebody fill out their ballot at their kitchen table,” Schmidt said, per the report.
Further, Trump Campaign appointed poll watchers have not been certified, Nick Custodio, a deputy city commissioner said, per the same report.
Custodio denied that the satellite stations were the same as polling stations, despite voters being able to cast their votes.
“These are not polling places,” Custodio said, per The Philadelphia Inquirer. “The only people who are there are those who are working or those who are availing themselves.”
The Daily Caller has reached out to Philadelphia City Commissioners for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.