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Trump, GOP sharpen legal attacks as count continues


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Your Postmaster: Spotlight PA Staff
November 5, 2020
Mail ballot challenges, not a victory, York 'deep dive,' fading hopes, Ford recall, vote meditation and the kids in Pittsburgh are all right. It's Thursday.

As election workers across Pennsylvania tediously processed more than 1 million mail ballots, President Donald Trump launched lawsuits seeking to invalidate some of the results and temporarily halt the count.

Trump and Republicans made clear they intend to target ballots cast after voters were notified of problems with their original mail ballot, as well as mail ballots postmarked by Election Day but received in the days following.

The challenges came as Trump on Twitter "claimed" the state's electoral votes — even though the vote isn't finished — and simultaneously leveled unfounded claims of fraud and efforts to disenfranchise GOP voters.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania officials denounced the allegations and said they would not yield to political pressure as they seek to count every vote.

THE CONTEXT: Trump's impatience with the vote counting process and dislike for the fact that his lead has been dwindling because far more Democrats voted by mail than Republicans was foreseen before the election.

County leaders across the state — Democrats and Republicans — pleaded with the GOP-controlled legislature to take action to prevent the slow vote count, but lawmakers refused, claiming Wolf would not agree to other election-related concessions.

It's still unclear how many ballots would be affected should Trump prevail in his challenges, or if it would ultimately make a difference based on the final margin of victory for either candidate.

To top it all off, it's possible Pennsylvania won't be the deciding factor. With Wisconsin and Michigan in Biden's column, he could gain enough Electoral College votes to win if he maintains his leads in Arizona and Nevada.


“This isn’t a race. We’re not in competition.”

— Lehigh County Executive Phil Armstrong on political pressure to count votes fast

POST IT: Thanks Lynne E., for this throw back to Halloween's Blue Moon. Send us your hidden gems, use the hashtag #PAGems, or tag us on Instagram at @spotlightpennsylvania.
NOT A VICTORY: As Biden moved to the verge of clinching the presidency Wednesday, Trump’s campaign prematurely, and against all available evidence, declared it had won Pennsylvania. Fun fact: Candidates do not decide who wins, voters do.

'DEEP DIVE': York County elections officials will review what problems caused some people to wait more than four hours to vote at Northeastern Middle School on Tuesday. As of poll closing at 8 p.m., more than 300 people were still waiting outside of the school.

PHILLY IN FOCUS: Already in the election spotlight, Philadelphia was also grappling Wednesday with the release of police bodycam footage of the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. “It will elicit anger, rage, distress, evoke more questions — and rightfully so," the mayor said.

FADING AWAY: Democratic hopes of taking one or both chambers of the state legislature faded as the vote continued Wednesday. The Senate appeared out of reach, while too many House races were still unclear. The controlling party will be in the driver's seat to redraw congressional districts next year, potentially shaping state politics for years to come.

FORD RECALL: Six people have been hurt in 13 collisions with Ford Explorer SUVs because the rear toe links can fracture and reduce steering control. The company recalled more than 375,000 of them sold or registered in 22 states, including Pennsylvania.
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ASIAN ELECTORATE: Asian Americans are among the fastest growing electorate. So an Asian reporter and a photographer profiled 12 of them in Pennsylvania — from a high school student to a small business owner — and asked them about voting.

FACE OR FAKE: You can tell the difference between a real picture of a person and a fabricated one, right? The University of Washington, under a program working to squash disinformation online, made a game that pits a computer-generated photo against a real photograph. Try your luck! 

LONGEST WALK: Linda Harris is 65. Inspired by her childhood book, “Runaway Slave: The Story of Harriet Tubman,” she wanted to emulate Tubman’s path. And she did. She and seven other women walked 116 miles, along the Underground Railroad, from Cambridge, Md., to Kennett Square, Pa.  

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT: Pittsburgh-area kids were asked what they think about the 2020 presidential election, and have their own ideas about campaign slogans. 

VOTE MEDITATION: Thousands of people in Pennsylvania tuned into a live stream of election workers in Philadelphia counting ballots in their yellow vests, saying it provided a soothing sense of relief. The livestream doubles as a great example of transparency amid false claims of funny business.
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