(NBC NEWS) – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the Trump campaign’s claim that Philadelphia violated state election law in the way it handled observers at a city ballot counting center.
The ruling is likely to undercut the Trump campaign’s case in federal court, where Rudy Giuliani joined a hearing Tuesday to argue on behalf of President Donald Trump’s effort to contest the election results in Pennsylvania, baselessly alleging “widespread national voter fraud.”
According to NBC News, President-elect Joe Biden won the state by more than 74,000 votes.
Giuliani claimed that one of the main problems in Pennsylvania is that Republican election observers weren’t allowed to get close enough to the vote counting tables in Philadelphia to get any meaningful idea of what was going on.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, however, said all state law requires is that observers must be allowed “in the room” where ballots are counted. The law does not set a minimum distance between them and the counting tables.
The legislature didn’t provide one, and the court can’t, either. The ruling says the legislature left it up to county election boards to make these decisions. And in the case of Philadelphia, the local board “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 and others who would be present during a pandemic.”
Observers are there to watch, it said, not to audit ballots.
The witness who testified in court said he could see the entire counting process, the court found.
The court’s vote was 5-2.