PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Joe Biden continues to gain more votes than President Donald Trump in the battleground state of Pennsylvania as Philadelphia inches closer to finishing its ballot counting. The city announced Friday it had a huge turnout for the election.
Over 690,000 ballots were cast this election in Philadelphia alone and roughly half of those were mail-in ballots.
“Philadelphia showed up,” Mayor Jim Kenney said.
Kenney spoke this afternoon for the first time since the election from inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where workers are still counting mail-in ballots.
“You have my thanks and the thanks of the people of the city,” Kenney said.
The City Commissioners Office says about 338,000 of Philadelphia’s votes were mail-in ballots.
“This is, by far, the largest number of mail-in ballots in the city’s history,” City Commissioners Chairwoman Lisa Deeley said.
While Trump won Pennsylvania back in 2016, poll watchers believe this election’s surge of mail-in ballots, in particular from deep blue Philadelphia, helped shift the rest of the commonwealth back to blue.
“This is something we expected all along. There was going to be this blue shift as we call it where, as mail-in votes are processed and scanned, there’s a significant change in the results,” said Pat Christmas with the Committee of Seventy.
Trump’s campaign sued to stop Philadelphia from counting its mail-in ballots Thursday but a federal judge denied the request. Now, with Biden’s lead widening in Pennsylvania, Kenney believes the former vice president has already won the White House.
“I think what the president needs to do is, frankly, put his big boy pants on. He needs to acknowledge the fact that he lost and he needs to acknowledge the winner just as Jimmy Carter did, just as George H.W. Bush did and, frankly, just as Al Gore did, and stop this and let’s move forward as a country,” Kenney said.
The City Commissioners Office says about 40,000 votes are still coming in from people overseas and military members. Officials say it will take several days to count them.
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