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Pennsylvania state has been one of the focuses in the U.S. election. Here's what we know about the results and the court ruling.

Pennsylvania’s election results: Delve into details about the new court ruling

After The Associated Press called the election for former Vice President Joe Biden, current U.S. president & incumbent Donald Trump took to Twitter claiming that he actually won the election. He tweeted accusations of voter fraud by Democrats and demanded a recount. 

Then, the President hired attorney & former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani to conduct lawsuits against various states claiming voter wrongdoing. If Trump’s claims are true, and enough votes are proven fraudulent, especially in key swing states like Pennsylvania, the results could change, earning Trump a second term in office.

Guiliani’s claims 

Giuliani declared the 2020 presidential election was enmeshed with “widespread nationwide voter fraud,” especially in Pennsylvania, a state that was crucial to Biden’s projected win. Giuliani insisted corruption was at its worst in Philadelphia & Pittsburgh. He backed up his claim by arguing both cities are operated by “Democratic machines… well known for voter fraud”.  

In the lawsuit Giuliani filed, he claimed Commonwealth Secretary Kathy Boockvar had convinced election officials in the cities to rig the election tally in favor of Biden. Despite Giuliani’s assertions, state & federal officials, and even a number of Republicans, have disputed his claims. 

One of the most serious election scams, according to Giuliani, was a product of mail-in voting. Voters mailed in their ballots this year at an unprecedented rate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Giuliani claims Pittsburgh & Philadelphia election officials, under Boockvar’s instruction, illegally fixed certain Republican ballots with mistakes so as to invalidate them.

The hearing

On Tuesday, a hearing looked into the Trump campaign’s claims of this illegal activity. During the hearing, Giuliani insisted Republican poll-watchers were, in some instances, barred from getting close to the action. “You’d have to be a fool to believe this was an accident,” he insisted. 

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court disputed this claim, ruling Pennsylvania’s law only requires that observers must be allowed in the room where ballots are being counted. According to this legal interpretation, there’s no minimum distance between observers & the counting tables.

Giuliani argued each state has a provision for ballot observers, and that the Pennsylvania court did not uphold their state’s requirement, therefore the unwatched ballots should be tossed. However, the Supreme Court determined that even if observers couldn’t watch in the way they wanted to, that doesn’t mean ballots should be disqualified.

Misinterpretation? 

In response to the ruling, Giuliani claimed to believe the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling went beyond the scope of their duties, possibly legislating from the bench rather than merely interpreting what’s written. 

“I think the [Pennsylvania] Supreme Court has created a new equal protection claim,” Giuliani explained. “They essentially ruled presence is enough, you don’t have to see them. … While we’re sitting here a new equal protection claim emerged.”

However, The Supreme Court asserted they made their ruling based on local rules: “(Local election boards) fashioned these rules based on its careful consideration of how it could best protect the security and privacy of voters’ ballots, as well as safeguard its employees.” Ultimately, based on these policies, they determined observers are there simply to watch, not to audit ballots. 

On top of these findings, a witness who testified in court said he could see the entire counting process. When left to a vote, the court ruled 5-2. 

Next steps

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor commented on the outcome, stating: “Short of demonstrated fraud, the notion that presumptively valid ballots cast by the Pennsylvania electorate would be disregarded based on isolated procedural irregularities that have been redressed — thus disenfranchising potentially thousands of voters — is misguided.” 

Trump made statements alleging he was confident he’d win the suit, using the incidents in Pennsylvania to support a narrative of election fraud. He tweeted on Saturday: “They wouldn’t let our Poll Watchers and Observers into the Counting Rooms. We win on that alone!” 

Do you think the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on their laws correctly? Do you think it was a fair ruling, or do you believe they were “legislating from the bench”? Let us know in the comments!

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