President Donald Trump and his supporters have claimed that Joe Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania, currently at nearly 30,000 votes, is the result of fraud in Philadelphia and its deep-blue suburbs. Despite a court order, Republican observers have allegedly been barred from count centers in the city, and Trump has accused the tally staff of making “big changes” to the vote.
Against this backdrop, social media users began sharing videos from a count center in Delaware County, in the suburbs of Philadelphia. The videos show poll workers filling out blank ballots by hand, and have been held up by some of Trump’s supporters as proof of fraud.
Delaware County, PA.
Two workers literally filling out ballots.
This thing is so crooked….
— Michael Welling (@WellingMichael) November 7, 2020
usa , PENN, delaware county poll counters , why are they filling in ballots ??? pic.twitter.com/Xp86u3poqI
— based england (@based_england) November 6, 2020
Delaware County officials have called these videos “manipulated.” In a press release on Friday, county officials said that while the videos are genuine, and taken from a live stream of the counting room, they are zoomed in and don’t show the “bipartisan observers a few feet away at each end of the table.”
According to the press release, the staff were transcribing ballots damaged by an extracting machine, as instructed by the Delaware County Bureau of Elections. The social media footage, officials said, attacks the “completely transparent process by which votes are being counted in Delaware County.”
The statement is unlikely to quell rumors of fraud. As well as demanding access to polling locations, the Trump campaign won a Supreme Court ruling on Friday ordering elections staff in Pennsylvania to segregate mail-in ballots received after election day. Though the Supreme Court already declined to exclude these late-arriving ballots from the count, Republicans will likely ask the court again to rule them invalid.
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