On Twitter and in interviews, President Trump and his supporters have alleged that his campaign observers have been blocked from counting rooms, hampering their ability to testify and report multiple cases of what the groundless Trump campaign has claimed to be a widespread electoral fraud that marred the results.
“OBSERVERS HAVE NOT BEEN PERMITTED IN COUNTING ROOMS,” Trump said in a tweet on Saturday. “BAD THINGS HAPPENED THAT OUR OBSERVERS DID NOT ALLOW TO SEE.”
The accusation was unfounded in fact and was, in fact, contradicted by several of Mr. Trump’s own legal filings.
In the cases his campaign brought to Nevada and Pennsylvania – one rejected, the other pending – he admitted that his observers were indeed present in the counting rooms. Rather, his lawyers have asked the courts to force election officials to allow Mr. Trump’s watchers to gain an even more precise view of the counting activity.
A judge in the Nevada case rejected the offer, ruling that Trump’s lawyers “had failed to prove” that local election officials “had interfered with any rights that they or anyone else had. another had an observer. In the case of Philadelphia, the Trump campaign was successful in forcing municipal election officials to allow observers to be up to six feet from the count tables, as opposed to the roughly 20-foot observation line that the officials had previously established. But during a hearing for a federal version of that lawsuit Thursday, Judge Paul Diamond of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania asked a lawyer for Mr. Trump whether campaign observers actually had access to the installation. . The lawyer said, reluctantly, that there was “a non-zero number” of people in the room. (In the interest of speeding up the case, Judge Diamond pushed the Philadelphia board of directors to accept more observers.)
A case the Trump campaign brought in Chatham County, Georgia was actually based on an allegation by a Trump watcher that he saw workers count 53 ballots that were invalid – a small accusation that the observer could not support in court. ; the judge dismissed the trial on Thursday.
Mr Trump and his allies seized photographs of election workers at one point using cardboard to block the windows of a large counting room inside the TFC center in Detroit, alleging workers were covering up nefarious activity there .
In fact, according to The Detroit Free Press, the cardboard was intended to block the view of loud protesters outside the hall who were trying to photograph and film workers handling ballots with sensitive personal information about the preferences of the people. voters. At the time, The Free Press reported, there were 134 Republican observers inside the counting area, along with a similar number of Democratic observers.