Despite claims, Philadelphia shows no signs of voter fraud
As 100 additional officials were sent to the Philadelphia on election day to monitor voter suppression, fraud, and electioneering, the District Attorney’s office stated today that no reports out of the ordinary occurred during the day.
The push to watch Pennsylvania polls has escalated during the election, including lawsuits from both the Pennsylvania Republican Party and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. These suits include the Pennsylvania Republican Party’s suit to alter a rule that prohibits poll watchers from going to counties outside their jurisdiction as well as a lawsuit from Pennsylvania Democratic Party to prevent voter intimidation and voter suppression allegedly being enacted by the Pennsylvania GOP, Roger Stone and his organization “Stop the Steal.” The suit says that these behaviors are in direct violation of the Ku Klux Klan Act and the Voting Rights act, which prevent the right to vote from being denied to anyone regardless of race, class or gender, and prevent external parties from engaging in this behavior.
The laws in Pennsylvania that control electioneering and voter suppression currently state, “All persons, except election officers, clerks, machine inspectors, overseers, watchers, persons in the course of voting, persons lawfully giving assistance to voters, and peace and police officers, when permitted by the provisions of this act, must remain at least ten (10) feet distant from the polling place during the progress of the voting” (Pa. Consol. Stat. Ann. § 3060 (c); (d)).
“There have been no reports out of the ordinary. We’ve seen some instances of electioneering, but our task force has responded to it quickly,” a spokesperson from the District Attorney’s office, Cameron Kline stated. He also stated there were reports of long lines, polling machines not working, and difficulty with using the voting materials, but he stated that all of those issues were remedied after the early morning rush before regular working hours.
This information is in contrast to some reports from the Committee of Seventy that voters have had difficulty navigating polling places and the voting process once there. There have also been actual images of candidate paraphernalia directly outside of polling places throughout the city. As of 2 PM EST, a survey conducted by Committee of Seventy had 464 responses from voters throughout Philadelphia. While the reports do not include any actual voting intimidation or harassment, six percent of those surveyed reported partisan activity at or around polling places they decided could be illegal. And less than one percent of respondents (3 out of the 464) stated that they had actually been denied the right to vote for reasons they found insufficient.
The theme of voter suppression continues throughout the report as an enforcement of ID requests and requirement, “More voters (93) responded they were asked to supply identification in order to vote than voters (61) who responded they were voting in this polling place for the first time, suggesting confusion among poll workers about that requirement,” the report states.
Claims today came from Philadelphia and several surrounding counties where voters stated that their Trump vote was being casted as Clinton. Or that democratic officials were participating in voter education practices that could be deemed illegal. "’My name is Brittany Foreman... and today I witnessed Voter Fraud.’#VoterFraud ILLEGAL. Please SHARE,” is a tweet that came from the Philadelphia GOP twitter acount at 12:39 PM today. Representatives from the Pennsylvania GOP stated they would be investigating these claims deeper as the election continues. As this has been the most high profile case, they do not match reports from Committee of Seventy or the District Attorney’s office.
“People that have died 10 years ago are still voting,” Trump said in a Wisconsin speech early this election year. These claims in addition to the full speech at the Wisconsin event could have been the beginning of the nationwide investigation at cities across America, but especially in swing states such as Pennsylvania. As Philadelphia has proven in the past to be the democratic outlier in a state that typically votes republican, the fight over Philadelphia seems to be what could make or break the state of PA in conjunction Allentown and surrounding areas.