By Damian Burchardt
BU News Service
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s hopes of claiming victory in Pennsylvania are still alive as he has cut President Donald Trump’s lead in the key swing state to under 300,000 after a significant portion of the remaining absentee ballots were counted Wednesday.
Trump held a 700,000-vote advantage over the former vice president when he stunningly declared victory in Pennsylvania during a speech at 2 a.m Wednesday morning. The results at the time, however, included only a small fraction of the mail-in ballots returned, with about 1.4 million yet to be processed.
In Philadelphia, City Commissioner Lisa M. Deeley announced another 47,000 absentee ballot results would be added to the already published totals around 4 p.m on Wednesday. That only strengthened Biden’s lead in the Democratic stronghold city, projected to have received 457,773 votes (79.38%) at the time.
Biden is on course to rake in as much as 90% of the mail-in votes in Philadelphia, meaning he could register a major vote gain over Trump once the remaining absentee ballots are counted. The former vice president has also won around 78% of the so-far processed mail-in ballots statewide, potentially paving the way for Pennsylvania to turn blue once all absentee ballots are processed.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign has accused the Democrats of “scheming to disenfranchise and dilute Republican votes” in a Twitter statement. Trump’s team specifically alluded to wrongdoings in Philadelphia and announced taking legal actions to prevent the Pennsylvania Democrats from “hiding the ballot counting and processing from our Republican observers.”
However, as the vote processing continues at the Convention Center near city hall, certified observers are present in a designated area to watch the 125 workers process the ballots and ensure the process is carried out in an orderly manner. Deeley said officials from each campaign that appeared on the ballot could review the counting operations. “We remain committed to ensuring the integrity of the election process,” she said.
Sources also denied reports that Philadelphia stopped the vote count last night, an allegation repeated by Rudy Guliani, Trump’s personal attorney. Giuliani then tweeted he was “en route to Philadelphia with a legal team” earlier on Wednesday.