Trump Campaign Accused Of Monitoring The Activities Of Philadelphia’s Voters
According to The New York Times, The Trump campaign has been videotaping voters at ballot drop boxes in Philadelphia, which the Pennsylvania attorney general warned falls outside the scope of permitted poll watching and could amount to illegal voter intimidation.
- The campaign filed a formal complaint with city officials, claiming surveillance evidence shows voters dropping off two or three ballots at a time, rather than solely their own, and called this “blatant violations of the Pennsylvania election code.”
- Linda A. Kerns, a local attorney for the Trump campaign, said in a letter reviewed by The Times that these actions “undermine the integrity of the voting process” and “must be stopped.”
Ms. Kerns demanded that the names of all voters who had used a drop box in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall on Oct. 14 be turned over to the campaign, and insisted that the city station a staff member around every drop box “at all times.” She also asked for footage from municipal cameras around City Hall.
- City officials said the voters photographed by the campaign had not necessarily done anything wrong, because “Third party delivery is permitted in certain circumstances.”
- Benjamin H. Field, a deputy city solicitor and counsel to the city Board of Elections, responded that the Board cannot “ assume that an individual is violating the Election Code when that person can act as an agent for a voter who required assistance.”
- “Earlier this month, a Trump campaign official told The Times that the campaign would be videotaping drop boxes but was only interested in people who were dumping large numbers of ballots — not in those bringing an extra ballot or two," the newspaper reported, adding: “That assertion appears to have been false.”
- State Attorney General Josh Shapiro told The Times: “Pennsylvania law permits poll watchers to carry out very discrete and specific duties — videotaping voters at drop boxes is not one of them.”
- Shapiro added: “Depending on the circumstance, the act of photographing or recording a voter casting a ballot could be voter intimidation — which is illegal.”