Federal judge throws out Trump challenge to Pennsylvania voting
A federal judge in Pittsburgh has dismissed the challenges of the Trump campaign against the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rulings in favor of ballot boxes and against election monitors outside the county.
The judge ruled on Saturday that the campaign did not provide "concrete" evidence of impending election fraud, only speculation about what might happen. The Trump campaign argued that they didn't really need to prove that there was fraud, just that it could easily occur.
"While plaintiffs may not be required to demonstrate actual electoral fraud, they must at least demonstrate that such fraud is 'definitely imminent'. They did not bear that burden," wrote Judge Nicholas Ranjan of the Western District of Pennsylvania in his ruling.
The Trump campaign claimed that election fraud would inevitably occur if they were not given security measures, such as: B. Guards stationed around Dropboxes, comparison of signatures from postal ballot papers and election observers. They pointed out that Philadelphia election officials intercepted 40 cases of voters who cast ballots both by mail and in person, a mobile "Voteswagon" that drove around town with election workers, and "illegally harvested" ballots and cases of election fraud the past the state before him had no excuse mail-in-vote.
Ranjan called the allegations at most "a consequence of uncertain assumptions".
"They believe that potential fraudsters may attempt to commit election fraud through the use of drop boxes, counterfeit ballot papers, or a potential shortage of election observers. (2) They believe that the numerous election security measures implemented by county electoral officials may not work. " and (3) they believe their own security measures may have prevented this fraud, "he wrote.
"All of these assumptions could come true, and these events could theoretically occur. But also many things," wrote Ranjan in his decision. He agreed with the state's Supreme Court that it cannot endorse "theories based on speculation about the decisions of independent actors".
Rajan also denied the campaign's motion that the court found the Commonwealth Secretary of the Commonwealth's leadership unconstitutional that postal ballot papers should not be rejected for signature mismatches.
The campaign has already appealed the Supreme Court decision to count the ballots received by the US Supreme Court three days after election day, and may appeal elements of Rajan's decision to the Third Circuit.
US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event on September 26, 2020 at Harrisburg International Airport in Middletown, Pennsylvania, USA. / Photo credit: Joshua Roberts / REUTERS
A poll by CBS News Battleground Tracker, conducted after the initial presidential debate, but before Mr Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19, found Joe Biden in Pennsylvania, a key state that the president narrowly won in 2016, 51 to 44% ahead. The poll also found that the coronavirus is a major contributing factor for two-thirds of Pennsylvania voters.
The state's strict COVID-19 restrictions may have kept per capita cases lower than many other densely populated states, but unemployment is just over 10%, above the national rate. Nearly 750,000 more Democrats than Republicans are registered in Pennsylvania, but Republicans have gained ground since 2016, narrowing the gap by nearly 200,000.
Despite his recent diagnosis of COVID-19, the Trump campaign announced on Saturday that the president would speak at rallies in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, October 13.
Zak Hudak contributed to the coverage.
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