A Pennsylvania judge made the decision following a Trump team’s complaint.
Judge Christine Fizzano Cannon reversed the lower court’s decision and concluded that “all candidates, followers, or candidate representatives are allowed to be present for the pass process… and be All aspects of the pass process are observed within 6 feet, while complying with all COVID-19 protocols, including, masking and maintaining social detachment. “
Trump’s campaign officials praised the decision, calling it a “huge” victory “for everyone who legally voted in Pennsylvania.”
“Massive victory? Are not. We don’t care if your observers are 18 feet or 15 feet or 6 feet away – as long as election officials can do their job, ”a Biden official tweeted Thursday. , ”Biden spokesman Bill Russo.
The court’s decision is not expected to have any impact on the counting of votes, a Democrat lawyer involved in the case told ABC News. Whether it will affect later counting will depend on the behavior of the observers and whether they do anything to try and interrupt the process. Lawyers said city officials are pondering over whether to appeal.
The ruling seems to settle, at least for the moment, one of the legal actions Trump’s campaign has filed in Pennsylvania, where Trump and Biden appear to be in a very close race. . Trump’s team argues that designated campaign observers have been forced to step back too far as poll workers process mail-based ballots.
Observers see whether the postal ballot papers were properly sent – in a secret envelope, with no signs of error, and whose signature matches the one that election officials have in profile. By keeping their distance, Trump’s campaign assumed they could not see the ballots.
Trump’s campaign representatives quoted testimony from a Trump observer, attorney Jeremy Mercer, who said he “could not distinguish whether, if there was a secret envelope, whether the secret envelope was there. any signs on it or not … [or] What, if anything, is being pulled out ”because of his distance from the boards. In some cases, mail ballot may be rejected if there is false identification on the outer envelope.
The City of Philadelphia objected that a Philadelphia electoral tribunal decided the case, which was based solely on Mercer’s account and dismissed the Trump campaign’s complaint on Nov. 3. motivated observers to return further to ensure security and to comply with COVID-19 protocol, still under Pennsylvania regulations.
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party, which also signed the lawsuit, agreed it was decided on November 3 and Mercer, the sole observer, was unable to present the challenge regardless of what he saw.