The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled 5-2 Tuesday that the Trump campaign’s election observers were not entitled to observe Philadelphia’s ballot counting at close range.
Throughout the ballot counting process, Trump campaign observers were allowed to stand within 20 feet of election workers processing ballots. However, campaign lawyers claimed that this was not sufficient to allow “meaningful observation.”
The Trump campaign has used their “meaningful observation” argument in a number of post-election and mid-election filings, including in other battleground states such as Nevada. Pennsylvania’s law does not require “meaningful observation” and only requires that observers be allowed to be “present” while election workers process mail-in ballots.
The Trump campaign has argued that presence during ballot processing is insufficient unless their observers are allowed to be closer to the ballot processing. A Trump attorney who observed ballot processing in Philadelphia complained of not being close enough to read the writing on the ballots, according to the court’s ruling. Ultimately, the court ruled that the law did not require observation to require specific activities, such as reading ballots. Philadelphia’s ballot processing observation procedures were sufficient and complied with Pennsylvania law.
This lawsuit is another in a string of defeats for the Trump campaign, after failures in Michigan, Arizona and Nevada, among others. The US Department of Homeland Security has said that the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history.”