No media outlet has called the race in Pennsylvania and the state may not be able to provide full unofficial results until Friday.
The Trump campaign announced Wednesday it planned to file legal action in Pennsylvania to preemptively stop vote counts and challenge the state’s extended ballot deadline of Friday. The maneuver is seen by some as a last-ditch effort by the president to sow doubt over the state’s results.
In a press release, Trump’s deputy campaign manager Justin Clark leveled evidence-free accusations of impropriety against Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which in September issued a ruling extending the state’s ballot return deadline until Friday, Nov 6.
Pennsylvania Republicans previously filed a lawsuit seeking to throw out any votes returned after Election Day and the Trump campaign said it would now intervene in that litigation and ask the US Supreme Court to void any ballots received after Tuesday. The campaign also said it was filing a separate lawsuit seeking to force Pennsylvania election officials to allow Republican poll observers to more closely monitor the counting process and to halt further tabulation until that is granted.
While Clark misleadingly claimed that the campaign’s effort is intended to “ensure the integrity of this election,” Trump’s family and administration lied and prematurely claimed victory in the state on Wednesday in an effort to ignore the will of millions of Pennsylvanian voters.
In reality, not a single media outlet has called the race in Pennsylvania and the state may not be able to provide full unofficial results until Friday.
Gov. Tom Wolf was quick to blast the Trump campaign, accusing them of trying to disenfranchise voters
“Pennsylvania is going to count every vote and make sure that everyone has their voice heard,” Wolf said in a statement. “Our election officials at the state and local level should be free to do their jobs without intimidation or attacks. These attempts to subvert the democratic process are disgraceful.”
Experts have also pointed out that the votes currently being counted were all legally cast and arrived prior to Tuesday’s poll closings.
“These were votes that were validly cast and are being counted and it’s taking some time because a lot of them are mail ballots,” David Becker, executive director and founder of the nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation & Research, told reporters during a Wednesday press call. “All of the ballots that are being counted right now are being counted according to the rules.”
Clark argued in his statement that Democrats were trying to “bake in a backdoor to victory” for Democrat Joe Biden, who is expected to win a significant majority of the roughly 1 million remaining mail-in ballots. Those votes could put him over the top and help him win the state.
Why the delay in counting these ballots? Due to state law, election officials in the state were legally unable to even begin processing, let alone counting ballots until Election Day. Democrats in the state, including Gov. Tom Wolf tried to pass legislation that would allow counties to begin pre-canvassing ballots to verify their validity before Election Day, but were obstructed by the Republican-led legislature.
Due to the Pennsylvania GOP’s failure to approve pre-Election Day processing of ballots, the initial vote count in Pennsylvania is made up primarily of Election Day votes, which were disproportionately Republican. Consequently, election results from the state currently show Trump winning by about 350,000 votes. But as more and more votes come in, that margin could narrow dramatically and even flip, putting Biden in the lead.
As some reporters pointed out, the campaign’s effort to halt counting didn’t indicate optimism about its chances to hold onto Pennsylvania once all legally cast ballots are counted.
COURIER reached out to the offices of Marc Elias, Biden’s lead attorney, and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro for comment, but did not hear back before publication.