Trump’s Baseless Vote-Fraud Claims Puts PA Election Officials on Edge as they Prepare for November
Updated: Jun 9
After former President Trump’s endorsed candidate saw his lead decline last week in the Pennsylvania Senate primary, Trump once again questioned the legitimacy of mail-in ballots.
Trump posted on Truth Social media Thursday morning “The Pennsylvania Oz race is ridiculous. How long does it take to count votes. France, same day all paper, had VERIFIED numbers in evening. U.S. is a laughingstock on Elections. Stop FINDING VOTES in PENNSYLVANIA! RIGGED?”
On Wednesday, Trump urged Oz to declare victory before more votes can be counted. Oz has not heeded that advice.
Photo Credit: Bloomberg
The election is likely headed for a recount as Mehmet Oz, Trump’s favorite, leads his closest contender David McCormick by just 1,080 votes with thousands of mail-in ballots left to count out of the million-plus votes cast. The winner of this primary will go on to face Democratic nominee, John Fetterman in a race that will be closely watched.
These claims follow a long string of similar allegations made by the former president, though other Republicans have refused to embrace his rhetoric and local election officials warned that his comments could further erode confidence in America’s democracy.
Trump’s Assaults on Mail-in Ballots
The latest accusations of election fraud follow a similar pattern set by the 2020 elections, where close polls faced scrutiny and doubt even when there is no evidence of election rigging. Mail-in ballots have been particularly targeted by these allegations.
Now, election officials in Pennsylvania are bracing for similar complaints in November but are worried that there are few ways to counter deliberate misinformation and increasing political toxicity.
PA Republican Senator and Other Republicans Question Trump Voter Fraud Claims
Pennsylvania Republican Senator Patrick J. Toomey, whose retirement created the seat vacancy for this election, has praised both candidates as being equally worthy. However, Toomey has been critical of Former President Trump’s evidence-free allegations of election fraud.
“That’s not the least bit surprising given his history and what we know about Donald Trump,” Toomey said of Trump’s comments. “It’s much to Mehmet Oz’s credit that he hasn’t adopted that rhetoric and seems to be adhering to what used to be the conventional view that all the legal ballots should be counted.
Some Republicans in Pennsylvania have expressed reservations about Trump’s comments which they believe could taint the credibility of the party’s nominee in November.
“It’s concerning because it’s statements like that that lead to threats against election officials. It’s the same game plan he used in 2020, so I’m not surprised,” said Seth Bluestein, a Republican city commissioner in Philadelphia. “The most important thing we can do is be as transparent as possible, continue to build those relationships so there is a degree of trust between us and the people observing the election.”
You can read more on Trump’s voter fraud claims in the PA elections from the Washington Post.