Pennsylvania Supreme Court to hear appeal over granting Trump campaign closer access to count

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday said it would hear an appeal from the Philadelphia County Board of Elections following a lower court's ruling granting Trump campaign observers closer access to inspect the counting process.

The lower court's ruling does not halt counting in the county, which has already posted more than 98 percent of its ballots, according to The New York Times. It's also likely to have little effect on the outcome of the election in the battleground state.

The state's high court said it would review whether the case is moot and if it poses legal questions with implications for future elections.


Elections officials for Philadelphia had argued that the lower court's order granting observers closer access to the canvassing process will make it more difficult to "accurately, safely, and securely count hundreds of thousands of mail-in and absentee ballots, under intense time pressure and pandemic conditions."

The counting is largely complete in Pennsylvania, where President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Obama: Republican Party members believe 'white males are victims' MORE is projected to win and was leading President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE by nearly 50,000 votes as of Monday afternoon.

Lawyers for the Trump campaign told the state supreme court earlier this week, "This is a participatory process that requires the 'observer' to be able to see the same thing the election worker is observing."

"Any other interpretation of the statute would essentially eviscerate its intent," they added in their filing. "Candidates have the absolute right to observe the process being undertaken by the City of Philadelphia Board of Elections."

The case is one of the many legal challenges brought by Trump against the counting process in battleground states, alleging election fraud but without offering supporting evidence.