GOP call for statewide poll watch­ers is de­nied

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

In a scathing re­buke, a fed­eral judge on Thurs­day de­nied the Penn­syl­va­nia Repub­li­can Party’s ef­fort to al­low poll watch­ers from any­where in the state mon­i­tor precincts on Elec­tion Day.

East­ern District of Penn­syl­va­nia Judge Ger­ald J. Pap­pert said the state GOP’s re­quest was “un­rea­son­ably de­layed,” is not in the pub­lic in­ter­est and does not meet the stan­dard for a last-minute in­ter­ven­tion from the court.

“Any in­ter­ven­tion at this point risks prac­ti­cal con­cerns in­clud­ing dis­rup­tion, con­fu­sion or other un­fore­seen dele­te­ri­ous ef­fects,” Pap­pert wrote. “Plain­tiffs waited un­til eigh­teen days be­fore the elec­tion to bring this case . ... Were the Court to en­ter the re­quested in­junc­tion, poll watch­ers would be al­lowed to roam the Com­mon­wealth on elec­tion day for the first time in the Elec­tion Code’s sev­en­ty­nine year his­tory — giv­ing the Com­mon­wealth and county elec­tion of­fi­cials all of five days’ no­tice to pre­pare for the change.”

Con­gress­man Bob Brady, who is also chair­man of the Philadel­phia Demo­cratic Party, said he was happy with the rul­ing.

“We don’t need out-of­county peo­ple,” Brady said. “They’re just try­ing to sup­press the vote and cause con­fu­sion. It’s to­tally ridicu­lous.”

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