GOP call for statewide poll watchers is denied
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.”