Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State has the state could return an election result on Thursday – a day earlier than expected – that could put an end to the agonizing wait for the next President.
Trump is still leading in Pennsylvania by 115,000, a two point lead, that has been gradually shrinking while Biden collects more votes from urban areas. Pennsylvania holds 20 electoral college votes.
If Biden wins it, he wins the election. Currently, he has 264 votes – including Arizona despite that coming slightly back into play.
Even without Arizona, if he won Pennsylvania, he would take the White House.
Trump cannot win on Pennsylvania alone; with 214 electoral college votes, he’d still need to pick up either Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona or Nevada – the four other states where a result is yet to be officially confirmed.
‘I think we definitely could. I think there’s about 550,000 some odd — you know, plus or minus — ballots that are still in the process of being counted today.
‘Some of those may have already been counted but are not yet uploaded. But yeah, they’re coming in. We’re getting 10,000 here, 20,000 here, counties are furiously at work.
Pennsylvania ‘s Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told CNN on Thursday afternoon that the state could report an election result tonight – a day early
‘I think no matter what happens, I don’t think it’s going to be a tremendous impact on this race,’ Kathy Boockvar told CNN’s Jape Tapper on Thursday afternoon.
Trump is already suing in Pennsylvania to undermine whatever election result is returned.
Voting was temporarily halted in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on Thursday as a result of the legal row.
A judge intervened and allowed it to continue; there are still 550,000 votes left to count there.
In Nevada, there are only around 51,000 left to call before tomorrow and they say they need that much time Arizona also says they need until tomorrow to deliver a result on their remaining 450,000 votes.
Pennsylvania said it would continue counting mail-in ballots until Friday so long as they were post-marked from November 3.
The Trump campaign had a brief legal victory in Pennsylvania on Thursday when a judge ruled ballot observers can watch officials count ballots within six feet. Representatives of both campaigns were in the room to watch the counts but at a further distance because of the coronavirus. A county judge agreed with the Trump campaign, but the state Supreme Court rejected it.
The situation in Pittsburgh is complicated by about 30,000 outstanding ballots, where a vendor sent the wrong ballots to voters and had to reissue new ballots with the correct races.
Poll workers now have to examine these ballots to make sure that people don’t vote twice, or, if they sent in the wrong ballot, they didn’t vote in races they aren’t eligible for.
They cannot legally be counted until Friday when Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh sits, swears in a special board to examine these ballots, as required by law
Trump’s team of lawyers have filed lawsuits on multiple fronts – to try to stem the flow of presumably pro-Biden mail ballots into the system, and to try to force greater access for observers so they presumably can challenge more individual ballots.
They scored an initial win Thursday morning, which former Florida Secretary of State Pam Bondi, a Trump backer, brandished at a press conference.
The ruling, by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, reverses a decision by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia. It lets Trumps observers ‘be permitted to observe all aspects of the canvassing process, within 6 feet, while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols, including wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.’
Trump touted the ‘Big legal win in Pennsylvania!’ on Twitter. But then the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania almost instantly struck it down when Democrats appealed.
The reason of the appeal was not concern over the watching itself, experts said, but because Democrats say Republicans accepted the rules on watching before they went into effect.
Conceding that the rules could be changed after they had been agreed would open the way to more rules being changed, they argue.
That is not the end of the road for the Trump campaign.
The big battle, with a greater potential to affect the count, could come in an effort to challenge an earlier Supreme Court decision allowing the state to count mail-in ballots that come in three days after Election Day.
Conservative justices had indicated that it could get another hearing should these ballots that get counted later prove decisive.
But a decisive win by Biden with votes that came in before Election Day would undercut the need for the suit – and Biden was chipping away at Trump’s lead with hundreds of thousands of ballots outstanding.
Pennsylvania Democrats, mindful of potential challenges and alarmed by reports the Republican-controlled legislature might seek to intervene, have been segregating mail-ballots that come in later to prevent the state’s entire result from being thrown out.
Pennsylvania’s Attorney General blasted the move on Thursday.
‘That question is a question of state law,’ he said, noting it was decided by the state supreme court. ‘It was decided that those ballots and they will be counted,’ he told CNN.
‘We’re following the law here in Pennsylvania here. We’re counting these legal votes,’ he said.