Trump campaign loses again in suit over Philly voter offices

Voters line up at Philadelphia City Hall to drop off their mail ballots

Voters line up at Philadelphia City Hall to drop off their mail ballots on Oct. 1, 2020. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

A Pennsylvania appeals court on Friday delivered another defeat to efforts by President Donald Trump’s campaign to let its campaign representatives monitor people registering to vote or filling out mail-in ballots in election offices in the battleground state.

A three-judge Commonwealth Court panel in 2-1 decision upheld a Philadelphia judge’s rejection of the Trump campaign’s lawsuit against the heavily Democratic city, which Trump has called for his supporters to watch closely.

Earlier this month, Judge Gary Glazer ruled that Pennsylvania law does not allow such representatives to observe in election offices, a stance echoed by election lawyers, city officials and the state’s top elections official.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Separately, two Pittsburgh-area Republican congressional candidates are advancing a similar legal effort as Trump’s campaign in Pittsburgh’s federal court, targeting satellite election offices in Allegheny County.

A wave of lawsuits have hit courts in Pennsylvania ahead of the Nov. 3 election. Some lawsuits have sought to clear up gray areas or unforeseen consequences of the state’s year-old law vastly expanding mail-in voting.

Satellite election offices are new creations to help absorb an avalanche of mail-in ballots. Already, 2.9 million voters have requested mail-in ballots, more than 10 times the number in 2016′s presidential election.

Trump claims he will lose to Democrat Joe Biden in Pennsylvania only if Democrats cheat. Democrats counter that Trump’s campaign is trying to suppress votes and intimidate voters.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Get daily updates from WHYY News!

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal