Philadelphia election officials: ‘Upwards’ of 40K ballots left to be counted, could take ‘several days’
Philadelphia election officials on Friday said they have “upwards” of 40,000 ballots left to be counted as the 2020 presidential race remains uncalled, saying it will take “several days” to complete reporting.
Election officials in the city on Friday held a press conference and said they are going to wait for election staff “to count every single vote,” while urging residents to “stay calm and above the fray.”
“This is not about a victory for a single candidate or a single political party, but a victory for our democracy,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said. “The votes will continue to be counted.”
Kenney addressed claims made by President Trump of “fraud” in the city, but he said there is “not one iota of evidence” to support those claims.
“What we have seen in Philadelphia is democracy,” he said.
When asked whether he believed Democratic nominee Joe Biden would, eventually, be declared president-elect, Kenney said: “Yes.”
Philadelphia City Commissioner Lisa Deeley, though, said that there are “upwards of 40,000 ballots remaining to be counted,” while noting that it would take “several days to complete reporting of that.”
Deeley noted that U.S. military ballots and ballots from overseas are not included in that figure, saying that those voters have until Nov. 10 to have their ballots received by the city’s election offices to be counted.
“We are counting ballots, and we will continue to do that as quickly as possible without sacrificing accuracy,” she said. “We are going to continue to count the ballots until they are done.”
She added: “It is a process that has been working for the past few days, and we are going to keep counting.”
The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits in several states throughout the nation this week, seeking access for poll watching. In Pennsylvania, an appellate court judge cleared the way for the Trump campaign to more closely observe the canvassing of ballots by the Philadelphia County Board of Elections.
Poll watchers were initially required to remain at least 25 feet away from tables where people were carrying on the task of scanning mail and absentee ballots inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center, but Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Christine Fizzano Cannon issued an order requiring “all candidates, watchers, or candidate representatives be permitted to be present for the canvassing process” and “be permitted to observe all aspects of the canvassing process within 6 feet, while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols, including wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.”
The order was to go into effect immediately, or no later than 10:30 a.m. EST on Nov. 5.
The city of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party appealed the ruling to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which will decide whether to grant or deny the appeal.
“They’re appealing — I wonder why they’re appealing,” Trump said. “All we want is to have people watch while they do the tabulation.”
The president added that places like “Detroit and Philadelphia cannot be responsible for engineering the outcome of a very important presidential race.”
The president said that “it’s not a question of who wins, Republican or Democrat. Joe, myself. We can’t let that happen to our country.”
He added: “We can’t be disgraced by having something like this happen.”