PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A local civil rights organization has joined the court fight over the election, petitioning the court to allow the counting of all mail-in ballots.
Black voters in Allegheny and Philadelphia counties played a major role in putting Joe Biden ahead in Pennsylvania by turning out on mass at ballot drop-off centers or simply voting through the mail.
But with the Trump campaign challenging the legitimacy of some 700,000 mail-in votes in those two counties, Tim Stevens and the Black Political Empowerment Project have joined the legal fight against them.
“We are aiming to make sure that our votes count. And we don’t need any political shenanigans that are going to disenfranchise that opportunity and that right we have as citizens,” Stevens said
In a case that could decide the election in Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign maintains its observers could not see the processing of ballots in Allegheny and Philadelphia counties, opening the door to fraud.
It also alleges Democratically-controlled counties allowed mail-in voters to correct their ballots if they were filed incorrectly, creating a two-tiered system that treated voters differently, favoring mail-in over in-person voters.
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“And right now, it’s pretty clear that some issues have arisen that cast serious doubt on that idea of election integrity,” said Trump campaign spokesperson Hogan Gidley.
But Vic Walczak of the ACLU countered by saying:
“They have zero evidence, zero evidence that is admissible in court that they have produced to justify this outrageous request. They’re basically just trying to steal the election.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing B-PEP, the NAACP, and the League of Women Voters in petitioning the court, says there is no evidence of fraud.
Stevens says disallowing these votes would harken the return of the days when African Americans did not have the vote.
“It would be a new day of disenfranchisement of Black people, which has occurred across this nation for centuries. Twenty-twenty is the year it needs to end, not begin,” he said.
The court case promises to be the main event in this fight over the election here in Pennsylvania. All court filings are due Thursday and oral arguments will be heard in Williamsport next Tuesday.