Trump Campaign Records Voters Dropping Off Ballots in Philadelphia. AG Says It May Be “Illegal”

The Trump campaign has been openly videotaping voters submitting ballots at drop boxes in Philadelphia, which the state’s attorney general said may be illegal, according to The New York Times.

The Trump campaign began to record voters earlier this month. A Trump campaign official told the Times that the campaign was worried only about voters submitting large numbers of ballots but the outlet noted that the “assertion appears to have been false.”

The Trump campaign submitted a complaint to city officials last week claiming that voters depositing two to three ballots instead of only their own were “blatant violations of the Pennsylvania election code.”

“This must be stopped,” wrote Trump campaign lawyer Linda Kerns, arguing that the voters “undermine the integrity of the voting process.”

City officials reject claims:

“Third party delivery is permitted in certain circumstances,” Benjamin Field, a deputy city solicitor and counsel to the city Board of Elections, said in response to the letter. “The Board cannot agree with your conclusion on the basis of the information you provided. Nor can the Board, in exercising its duties, assume that an individual is violating the Election Code when that person can act as an agent for a voter who required assistance.”

The Times added that “Under Pennsylvania law, voters are allowed to deliver only their own ballots to drop boxes, unless they are assisting a voter with a disability or who otherwise needs assistance. But voting has been upended by the pandemic and many voters are unfamiliar with the rules around drop boxes, which they may be using for the first time.”

AG: Effort may be illegal

“Pennsylvania law permits poll watchers to carry out very discrete and specific duties — videotaping voters at drop boxes is not one of them,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, told the Times. “Our entire system of voting is built on your ballot being private and your choice to vote being a personal one. Depending on the circumstance, the act of photographing or recording a voter casting a ballot could be voter intimidation — which is illegal.”

A spokesperson for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner added that the office “is committed to investigating any and all allegations of voter intimidation and harassment,” and expected “that any organized efforts from campaigns will fully comport with Pennsylvania law.”


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