Philadel­phia lead­ers as­sail claims of im­pend­ing voter fraud

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Me­gan Trim­ble

PHILADEL­PHIA >> Elected lead­ers in Philadel­phia took is­sue Mon­day with Trump cam­paign al­le­ga­tions that the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion could be com­pro­mised by fraud, say­ing that the claims are meant to dis­rupt vot­ing and dis­cour­age mi­nori­ties from go­ing to the polls.

“We will not tol­er­ate any sort of fool­ish­ness on Elec­tion Day, and it’s even in­sult­ing to sug­gest that Philadel­phi­ans would,” Demo­cratic City Coun­cil­woman Cindy Bass said.

Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump has said the only way he could lose Penn­syl­va­nia is if there is “cheat­ing,” and sin­gled out Philadel­phia as a city to watch dur­ing a cam­paign stop in the state Oct. 10.

“I hear these hor­ror shows and we have to make sure that this elec­tion is not stolen form us and is not taken away from us. And every­body knows what I’m talk­ing about,” he said.

For­mer New York Mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani, a Trump cam­paign ad­viser, at­tacked the in­tegrity of vot­ing in heav­ily Demo­cratic Philadel­phia in a CNN in­ter­view Sun­day.

“You want me to (say) that I think the elec­tion in Philadel­phia and Chicago is go­ing to be fair? I would have to be a mo­ron to say that,” Gi­u­liani said.

Demo­cratic mem­bers of Philadel­phia’s city coun­cil, the state Se­nate, and U.S. House, and mem­bers of two elec­tion watch­dog groups joined Mon­day in de­fend­ing the in­tegrity of elec­tions in Philadel­phia.

A Repub­li­can elec­tion com­mis­sioner, Al Sch­midt, also at­tended and crit­i­cized elec­tion fraud claims against Philadel­phia, the na­tion’s fifth-largest city, with a pop­u­la­tion of 1.5 mil­lion.

“The real threat to the in­tegrity of elec­tions is ir­re­spon­si­ble ac­cu­sa­tions that un­der­mine con­fi­dence in the elec­toral process,” he said.

The speak­ers did not re­fer to Trump by name or to Gi­u­liani. Demo­cratic City Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Dar­rell Clarke men­tioned only “the guy with the funny hat.”

He said the fraud claims are code for rolling back black peo­ple’s civil rights.

“This is a clear at­tempt to stoke the bi­ases of in­di­vid­u­als across the coun­try. If you look at the lo­ca­tions where (Trump) has gone in Penn­syl­va­nia they are ex­tremely, pre­dom­i­nantly white-ma­jor­ity mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, to talk about what could hap­pen in places like Philadel­phia,” he said.

Trump has called on peo­ple to act as “elec­tion ob­servers” in “cer­tain ar­eas” of the coun­try to help pre­vent fraud. But Penn­syl­va­nia law has strict rules on who can be poll watch­ers.

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