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Trump files lawsuit against Pennsylvania's 'two-tier' voting system

Trump files lawsuit against Pennsylvania's 'two-tier' voting system
The Trump campaign sued Pennsylvania on Monday, accusing it of conducting a "two-tier" election. Cases of ballots wait to be counted at a North Side warehouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 3, 2020. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 9 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump's re-election campaign filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania on Monday against the state's use of mail-in ballots, alleging it created a "two-tier" voting system for the general election -- a claim the state vehemently denies.

The lawsuit filed in the Middle District of Pennsylvania names Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and the election boards of seven counties as defendants, accusing them of treating in-person voters to a different standard than those who submitted their ballots by mail.

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The Trump campaign accuses the defendants in the complaint of removing "all the hallmarks of transparency and verifiability" for those who cast ballots by the mail compared to those who cast theirs in person.

The complaint also accused the defendants of keeping the election "shrouded in secrecy" by providing candidates "no meaningful access or actual opportunity to review and assess mail-ballots."

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"Rather than engaging in an open and transparent process to give credibility to Pennsylvania's brand-new voting system, the processes were hidden during the receipt, review, opening and tabulation of those 682,479 votes," the complaint said in reference to the number of received mail-in and absentee ballots in Allegheny and Philadelphia counties.

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The Trump campaign said observers were placed "far away from the action" of counting and canvassing ballots in convention center rooms and that officials in predominantly Democratic counties reviewed mail-in ballots prior to Election Day for deficiencies and would notify those voters to "cure" the issues by either voting in-person or canceling their previous mailed ballot and issuing a replacement.

The complaint does not offer specific evidence.

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The campaign is asking the court to issues an emergency order prohibiting the state from certifying the results of the election.

"We believe this two-tiered election system resulted in potentially fraudulent votes being counted without proper verification or oversight, as well as many voters being disenfranchised simply for casting their votes in-person," Matt Morgan, general counsel for Trump's campaign, said in a statement.

Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania's attorney general, rejected the lawsuit in a statement, describing it as the "latest meritless lawsuit" it has filed against the state over the election.

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"For months, the majority of these lawsuits have been dismissed and found to have no merit by courts at all levels, and this one is no different," he said on Twitter. "I am confident PA law will be upheld and the will of the people of the Commonwealth will be respected in this election."

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The lawsuit is the latest by the president's re-election campaign against the state's use of mail-in ballots amid the pandemic.

It was also filed after Trump's Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, was announced as president-elect. Ballots are still being counted in Pennsylvania, but CNN, NBC and ABC, among other news organizations, have projected Biden to win its 20 electoral votes.

The lawsuit is also the latest from the Trump campaign since Election Day as Trump continues to claim issues with the vote without providing evidence and amid widespread refutation.

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