Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to reflect denials about alleged voting irregularities from Philadelphia officials, and subsequent actions taken by Twitter. The headline has been changed to reflect the origin of the allegations.
Election Day kicked off with a bout of chaos in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with reports of poll watchers being denied access.
According to Trump 2020 Election Day Operations Director Mike Roman, Democrat election officials were banning Trump poll watchers all across the city, as one video shows. Another photo on social media shows a physical barrier, which Roman says Democrat officials were using to keep poll watchers far from the counting tables:
Philadelphia City Commissioners spokesperson Kevin Feeley acknowledged that the poll watcher in the video was denied entry by mistake and was later admitted. In a ProPublica article, Feeley, who previously served in Democrat Mayor Ed Rendell’s administration, disputed Roman’s allegations that Republican poll watchers were denied entry at polls all over the city, calling them “nonsense.” However, in the article Feeley did not address numerous additional allegations of the same nature from the Philly GOP.
When Stephen Moore tweeted about concerns that observation of absentee ballot processing was being blocked, Twitter subsequently responded with a label about election security, insisting, “Experts and fact-checkers have continued to assure American voters that voting by mail is a safe and secure option, especially in the middle of a pandemic.”
There were other alleged instances of illegal campaigning at various polling locations. Roman provided an image of a man in blue purportedly distributing Democrat literature to voters as they stood in line to cast their ballots. Though Twitter responded with a “Manipulated media” label on the tweet, clicking on the label takes readers to a refutation that has nothing to do with the allegation in question:
One Twitter user posted a photo of the building where he voted, showing a large poster of a Democrat sample ballot affixed near the entry. “This is our polling place in NE Philadelphia. Already a violation is in sight,” said @PublicSafetySME. Later Twitter shut down his account until he deleted the tweet.
The same Twitter user posted the images below showing the same Democrat poster on other polling places in his ward.
According to Twitter:
Photos of campaign posters at Philadelphia polling places are ‘deliberately deceptive,’ the city’s district attorney’s office says.
The office of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner refuted claims of electoral law violations after a photograph of a pro-Democrat poster showing a sample ballot outside a polling station in Northeast Philadelphia was shared online. The photos were taken from separate polling places, according to NBC News, and BuzzFeed News reported that the poster in question was not hung within 10 feet of the polling place, which would be an illegal violation.
Additionally, there were reports of polling locations opening late, forcing some voters to step out of line to return to work before casting their ballots:
According to the Philly GOP, in the first two hours of voting alone, they have received reports of “several reporting locations closed,” hundreds of voters stuck in line, ballot harvesting, and officials denying poll watchers access.
There were also unverified reports of voting machines down in Westmoreland and Philadelphia Counties, according to the Philly GOP:
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) made waves over the weekend after declaring — three days before the election — that “if all the votes are added up in PA, Trump is going to lose.”
Pennsylvania polls closed at 8 p.m., with 20 electoral votes up for grabs.