PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia judge on Friday rejected the Trump campaign’s request to have poll watchers at satellite election offices. The campaign sued earlier this month so poll watchers could be allowed inside Philly’s satellite election centers, like at City Hall.
But the judge essentially said in his opinion these centers really are offices and not polling places, so the judge decided poll watchers should not be allowed.
A line of people waited outside Philadelphia City Hall Friday afternoon to vote at what the city calls one of its satellite election centers.
“If you’ve been here, you see these people taking part in this great new way to access voting,” City Commissioner Chairperson Lisa Deeley said.
Deeley says satellite elections sites are not actually polling locations by definition because people can do more than vote here.
“Voters can go to register to vote if they need to, request their mail-in ballot, have their mail-in ballot printed on the spot. They can either take that mail-in ballot home and fill it out at their dining room table or they can stay there and fill it out. It is not a poll site,” Deeley said.
And on Friday, a Philadelphia judge agreed.
In his opinion, Common Pleas Judge Gary Glazer wrote: “The satellite offices where these activities, and only these activities, occur are true offices of the Board of Elections and are not polling places.”
Eyewitness News asked an election attorney to explain.
“He gave deference to the state code and he said, ‘I know exactly where in the law I’m supposed to look for this. It’s the Pennsylvania State Election Code. And when I take a look at it, the definitions just aren’t met,'” attorney Marni Jo Snyder said.
A major difference, the judge also wrote, is a polling site is defined as a place to vote specifically on Election Day, not the days leading up to it. So the judge denied the Trump campaign’s request to have poll watchers at city election centers.
“It doesn’t surprise me. I’m happy that the court reaffirmed our stand,” Deeley said.
Meanwhile, the city says they need more people to staff its election centers and are hiring.