Tallying of mail-in ballots in Philadelphia resumed Thursday after a brief pause, following a Commonwealth Court ruling allowing observers from President Donald Trump's campaign to watch the vote-counting.
Democrats in the state appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court, but at press time the court had not accepted or rejected the appeal, according to New York Times reporter Nick Corasaniti.
Jonathan Lai of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that election officials in the city had paused counting in order to accommodate Trump's team.
Philly elections officials paused their counting of mail ballots Thursday, according to a source familiar with the situation, as they scrambled to accommodate a state court order to allow representatives from President Donald Trump's campaign to more closely observe the process.
— Jonathan Lai (@Elaijuh) November 5, 2020
"Just don't let them touch anything," tweeted one observer.
The Trump campaign has spent much of the past 36 hours scrambling to undermine the democratic process in Pennsylvania and other states. The team sent Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to Pennsylvania on Wednesday to challenge the election results after Giuliani baselessly alleged "massive cheating" the state. The decision to send Giuliani to challenge the results, one journalist said, was clear evidence that the campaign was not making an attempt at a "serious legal challenge."
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was met with disbelief from Fox News anchors on Wednesday night when she told them the campaign plans to go to the U.S. Supreme Court if votes postmarked on Nov. 3 and received after Election Day—in accordance with rules put in place by the Pennsylvania legislature—are counted.
Kayleigh McEnany says if Trump loses PA they will go to the supreme court to get ballots mailed before or on election day thrown out pic.twitter.com/rNWA959Nwr
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) November 5, 2020
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In Georgia Thursday afternoon, a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign alleging election officials had improperly counted ballots.
Donald Trump’s attempts to stop votes from being counted are the actions of a desperate man trying to cling to power just a little longer.
It's undemocratic. It's pathetic.
And it won't work.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 4, 2020
It is striking how almost no elected Republic official is standing with Trump right now regarding this ridiculous, anti-democratic & desperate plea. He has to rely on his kids and Rudy. This ship is sinking. No one want to go down with him. https://t.co/MdSi2N3G9e
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) November 5, 2020
In Pennsylvania, there were more than 360,000 votes left to be counted as of noon on Thursday. Trump's lead over Democratic candidate Joe Biden had shrunk to 115,071. Earlier on Thursday the president had a lead of about 142,000 votes in the state.
"Let me be very clear: our data shows Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States," Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon told the press Thursday. "Donald Trump continues to push a flailing strategy designed to prevent people's votes from being counted."