PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled Thursday morning that Trump campaign observers are allowed to watch the ballot-counting process in Philadelphia “within 6 feet.”
On Wednesday, the Trump campaign filed suit to “temporarily halt” the ballot count due to what it called a lack of transparency.
The campaign claims Republican observers were forced to stay 25 feet or more away from the counting process in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where Philadelphia’s ballot count is still ongoing.
The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ordered the Philadelphia County Board of Elections and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party to permit the Trump camp “closer observation of the canvassing of ballots.”
“All candidates, watchers, or candidate representatives … (are) permitted to observe all aspects of the canvassing process within 6 feet, while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols, including, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing,” the decision reads, in part.
Fifteen observers from the Trump campaign have already been permitted inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center Thursday, getting much closer to the ballot counters.
“For the good of the nation, every Pennsylvania county should follow the lead of this judge and provide access for observers to ensure transparency and integrity in Pennsylvania,” said Justin Clark, deputy Trump campaign manager, in a statement.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued a statement before the court ruling, emphasizing what he’s been saying throughout the ballot-counting process: “Pennsylvania is going to count every vote and no amount of intimidation will stop our dedicated election officials in our municipalities. As a country and a commonwealth, we must reject efforts to intimidate election workers and prevent votes from being counted. The planned attacks on our elections this morning are undemocratic and all elected officials must denounce them. Pennsylvania will be prepared to protect our election workers and our votes.”
Philadelphia has tallied just over 50% of the ballots, as of the City Commissioners’ latest update. The public has been able to watch the count via livestream.