Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

A voter arrives to drop off he ballot during early voting in Allentown, Pennsylvania on October 29, 2020.

A voter arrives to drop off he ballot during early voting in Allentown, Pennsylvania on October 29, 2020. (Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

As Trump Spouts Last-Minute Lies, Top Pennsylvania Officials Make Clear: 'Election Will Not End' Until All Ballots Are Counted

"Donald Trump can tweet, and he can pout, and he can make whatever statements he wants to make. But this election will not be over here in Pennsylvania until we can deduce the will of the people."

Jake Johnson

Pushing back against President Donald Trump's baseless claim on the eve of Election Day that Pennsylvania's vote-tallying process is vulnerable to "unchecked cheating," top officials in the crucial battleground state made clear in media appearances late Monday that neither the president's incendiary rhetoric nor his campaign's legal interventions will deter the counting of all lawfully cast ballots.

"This election will not end until all of the legal, eligible votes are counted," Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, said on MSNBC Monday night.

"That will take a few days, and Donald Trump can tweet, and he can pout, and he can make whatever statements he wants to make," Shapiro continued. "But this election will not be over here in Pennsylvania, a winner will not be declared, until we can deduce the will of the people. And that will happen after all of those ballots are counted."

Because of its status as a potentially decisive swing state, Pennsylvania has been at the center of tense election disputes in recent weeks as Republican operatives and the Trump campaign have carried out what one voting rights attorney described as the "most blatant, open attempt at mass disenfranchisement" that he has "ever witnessed."

Late last month, as Common Dreams reported, a deadlocked U.S. Supreme Court rejected Pennsylvania Republicans' effort to roll back a three-day extension of the state's absentee ballot deadline. The extension, approved by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in September, allows the counting of ballots that arrive by 5:00 pm on November 6 as long as they are postmarked by Election Day.

While the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to let the state court's ruling stand was applauded as a victory for voting rights, analysts warned the legal battle may not be over; newly confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett was not yet on the bench for the decision, and the right-wing judge could tip the balance toward the GOP in a future case.

In the final stretch of the campaign, Trump has repeatedly zeroed in on the high court's ruling in Pennsylvania as part of his flailing effort to delegitimize ballots counted after Election Day—a normal and legal practice the president has attempted to cast as unprecedented and fraudulent.

"We're going to go in the night of, as soon as that election is over, we're going in with our lawyers," Trump told reporters Sunday, threatening to try to stop the counting of absentee ballots.

During a rally in Scranton on Monday, Trump—who has openly said that he's "counting on the federal court system" to declare an election winner before all legally submitted ballots are counted—vaguely warned that "when the Supreme Court gave [Pennsylvania] an extension, they made a very dangerous situation. And I mean dangerous, physically dangerous."

The president clarified in a tweet later Monday that he meant the high court's decision would "induce violence in the streets"—a warning observers characterized as open incitement at a time when fears of mass election-related chaos and violence by right-wing militias are running high.

Twitter appended a safety warning to Trump's tweet shortly after it was sent out to his 87 million followers.

Kathy Boockvar, secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, said in an interview on MSNBC Monday that the president's tweet was "completely inappropriate" and added that she is working to ensure that "every qualified voter has the right and opportunity to vote."

"We've been fighting disinformation for years, right, but this year it's just incredibly rampant," Boockvar said, referring to Trump's lies about mail-in voting fraud. "Pennsylvania has such strong processes in place, it would be incredibly hard to do any kind of fraud or cheating. And the president knows that."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Political Malpractice': House Democrats' Bill Wouldn't Add Dental to Medicare Until 2028

"I don't want to see it drawn out to as far as the House has proposed," Sen. Bernie Sanders said during a recent press call.

Jake Johnson ·


'How Many More Deaths Must It Take?' Barbados Leader Rips Rich Nations in Fierce UN Speech

"How many more variants of Covid-19 must arrive, how many more, before a worldwide plan for vaccinations will be implemented?"

Jake Johnson ·


To Avert Debt Ceiling Calamity, Democrats Urged to Finally Kill the Filibuster

"The solution is to blow up the filibuster at least for debt limit votes, just as Mitch blew it up to pack the Supreme Court for his big donors."

Jake Johnson ·


Biden Decries 'Outrageous' Treatment of Haitians at Border—But Keeps Deporting Them

"I'm glad to see President Biden speak out about the mistreatment of Haitian asylum-seekers. But his administration's use of Title 42 to deny them the right to make an asylum claim is a much bigger issue."

Jessica Corbett ·


Global Peace Activists Warn of Dangers of US-Led Anti-China Pacts

"No to military alliances and preparation for catastrophic wars," anti-war campaigners from over a dozen nations write in a letter decrying the new AUKUS agreement. "Yes to peace, disarmament, justice, and the climate."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo