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Monday, October 24, 2016

GOP Sues Pennsylvania Over "Poll Watcher" Restrictions

Pennsylvania has become ground zero for "election rigging" concerns over the past two election cycles. In 2012, Romney's performance in Philadelphia drew a huge amount of suspicion when he received exactly 0 votes in 59 voting divisionswithin the city. In fact, the vote count within those 59 divisions was an astonishing 19,605 to 0. While no one would argue that many Philadelphia neighborhoods tend to skew democratic, it certainly seems incredibly unlikely that, out of nearly 20,000 voters, not a single person preferred Mitt Romney.

Of course, the city also drew heavy criticism after the Black Panthers sent "security" to stand outside numerous polling stations with clubs. Sure, no voter intimidation there.

So it should come as little surprise that the GOP recently filed a lawsuit seeking additional oversight of polling stations in Pennsylvania. According to the Washington Examiner, the GOP is specifically looking to lift restrictions that prevent poll watchers from serving in any county outside of their specific county of residence.

Pennsylvania's Republican Party wants to overturn a court order that restricts who can volunteer as poll watchers.

The GOP wants to overturn a declaratory judgment that would restrict poll watchers from serving only in their county of residence, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit comes as GOP nominee Donald Trump has pushed for poll watchers in Pennsylvania, saying that his supporters need to go to "certain areas and watch."

The suit also takes aim at the Democratic stronghold of Philadelphia County, where Republicans are "not a majority of registered voters."

The lawsuit charges the order made by a lower court judge violates the U.S. Constitution, specifically the rights to due process and equal protection as voting is a fundamental right.

"The Pennsylvania poll watcher statute arbitrarily and unreasonably distinguishes between voters within the same electoral district by allowing some, but not others, to serve as poll watchers," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also questions the integrity of the vote, and says Philadelphia County routinely handicaps the party from "fully and fairly staff polling places with poll watchers."

Of course, many districts in Philadelphia enjoyed unprecedented voter turnout in 2008 and 2012 in support of President Obama. That said, the real question is whether the Hillary political machine will be able to drive the same level of enthusiasm in the 2016 election.


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