President Donald Trump’s campaign videotaped Philadelphia voters depositing their ballots to the city's drop-off boxes, a tactic Pennsylvania’s attorney general said may be illegal.
Trump’s campaign made a formal complaint on Oct. 16 to city officials, claiming that some voters on the surveillance video deposited multiple ballots to drop boxes, The New York Times reported. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro responded that photographing or videotaping a citizen privately casting their vote could be illegal voter intimidation.
The letter of complaint the campaign sent to the city of Philadelphia included physical descriptions of three voters who cast more than one ballot, The New York Times reported.
Linda Kerns, a lawyer representing the Trump campaign, wrote in the complaint that an individual casting a vote for another person will “undermine the integrity of the voting process” and described the video footage as the “tip of the iceberg.”
She requested that the Board of Elections stop the use of drop boxes without the presence of monitoring staff and demanded a list of all voters who deposited ballots to the City Hall drop box on the day the video was recorded.
The Board of Elections announced on Monday that the voters did not necessarily violate the Election Code, which allows voters who require assistance delivering their ballot to appoint another person to do so, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The Board rejected Kerns’ demands to eliminate drop off boxes.
In September, Trump campaign representatives attempted to enter and monitor a Philadelphia satellite elections office, where voters can fill out and deposit mail-in ballots, the Times reported. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania rejected a campaign lawsuit that sought to allow poll watchers into satellite elections offices.
In his rallies and speeches this election season, Trump has repeatedly challenged the credibility of this year’s voting system. During the first presidential candidate debate, he said that ‘bad things’ happen in Philadelphia polls in the absence of poll watchers.
Trump’s continuous legal conflict with Philadelphia is related to the importance of swing state Pennsylvania in the outcome of the election. Former Vice President Joe Biden currently leads Trump by more than five points in Pennsylvania.
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