Trump campaign threatens to sue over Philly election offices

Marc Levy
The Associated Press
President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

HARRISBURG — President Donald Trump’s campaign is threatening to sue Wednesday over getting its campaign officials access to observe activity inside of newly opened satellite election offices in Philadelphia, where people can register to vote, apply for mail-in ballots and fill them out.

A letter, sent late Tuesday night by a lawyer representing the campaign, insisted that the campaign has a legal right to observe the voting process in the heavily Democratic city’s satellite election offices.

“If we have not satisfactorily resolved this matter by tomorrow at 5 p.m., the campaign will seek court intervention,” the lawyer, Linda Kerns, wrote.

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Election lawyers say there is no right in Pennsylvania law, even for a certified poll watcher, to observe inside an election office where someone is registering to vote, applying for a mail-in ballot or filling one out.

Gov. Tom Wolf’s top elections official, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, echoed that stance Wednesday, saying Trump campaign claims about a legal right are “absolutely inaccurate.”

Trump retweeted claims on Twitter on Tuesday by his son Eric and a campaign staffer that Trump campaign employees were being “blocked” or “kicked out” of the newly opened satellite election offices in Philadelphia.

In Tuesday night’s presidential debate with Democratic presidential nominee, Trump repeated that claim.