President Donald Trump wrongly said Tuesday that poll watchers were being improperly blocked from observing the first day of in-person early voting in Philadelphia.
He made the false claims on Twitter, first retweeting his son Eric and then going further to accuse city officials of corruption. “Wow. Won’t let Poll Watchers & Security into Philadelphia Voting Places,” he said. “There is only one reason why. Corruption!!! Must have a fair Election.”
But there were several reasons — none is corruption — why elections staff did not allow members of the public to arbitrarily enter their offices. The Trump campaign has no poll watchers approved to work in Philadelphia at the moment. There are no actual polling places open in the city right now. And elections officials are following coronavirus safety regulations such as those limiting the number of people indoors.
It’s true that voters were casting ballots Tuesday, but the locations where they were doing this are satellite elections offices where mail ballots can be requested, completed, and submitted. Poll watchers don’t have the same rights at such locations as they do at traditional polling places on Election Day, officials said.