Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has increased his lead over President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania by 19,500 votes, while the counting of ballots continues in the hotly contested state, the Associated Press said.
On Thursday afternoon, Trump led Biden in Pennsylvania with about 114,000 votes. By early Friday evening, the Pennsylvania State Department reported that an estimated 124,000 absentee ballots and up to 100,000 provisional ballots were still to be counted nationwide.
Another recent development: On Friday night, the Supreme Court ordered Pennsylvania’s counties to separate all ballots received by mail after the polls close on election day from the rest of the ballots being counted. Pennsylvania officials must respond by Saturday afternoon.
Pennsylvania is essential to Trump’s possible victory. As such, its 20 votes are sought by both parties, with the counting of votes being subject to Trump campaign complaints.
On Thursday, Judge Christine Fizzano Cannon, a Republican in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, overturned a lower court’s rejection of the Trump campaign’s motion to have Philadelphia election observers closely observe the vote count. The Trump campaign proposed a six-foot separation and stated that its observers could not see what the workers were doing without binoculars.
The Election Committee lawyers appealed the decision of Judge Fizzano to the state Supreme Court. The complaint stated that the election observers at the Philadelphia Convention Center were allowed to stand in an observation area where they would not interfere with the work of the counters or possibly spread the coronavirus.
While the Trump campaign has claimed to have evidence of election fraud that is not yet publicly known, Pennsylvania State Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman told Fox News on Friday: “I have no evidence of any wrongdoing,” although he raised questions about the transparency of the vote count.
Asked about the integrity of the Pennsylvania election process, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, the state’s chief election official, said on Thursday: “The strength of the integrity of this vote is truly unprecedented.
She pointed to “very strong” processes on the ground – such as double-checking to ensure that all voters are registered and submitting only one ballot – “to ensure that the integrity and security of voters is constantly followed by every county in the state.
When word spread on Friday morning that Biden had taken over Trump’s leadership, some Philadelphia residents were caught on video dancing in the streets.
But if Trump wins in Pennsylvania, he will have won a total of 234 votes and remain in the presidential race.