PHOTO CREDITS: 6ABC PHILADELPHIA
Election Day kicked off in Philadelphia with a number of difficulties and disputes, with poll watchers reportedly being denied access and witnesses alleging “illegal campaigning” at various polling locations.
According to Trump 2020 EDO director Mike Roman, election officials are “banning Republican poll watchers all across the city.” Another photo on social media shows a physical barrier, which Roman says officials are using to keep poll watchers far from the counting tables. “DEMOCRAT ELECTION OFFICIALS BANNING TRUMP POLL WATCHERS IN PHILLY. This is happening all over the City. The steal is on!” said Mike Roman in a recent tweet. The Philly GOP also tweeted: “North Philadelphia: poll watcher DENIED entry. DEMOCRAT committee person seems to be running election board. Will not allow watcher in, said she is calling her ward leader — who has NO official standing.” It remains unclear if these allegations are true or not.
There also appears to be 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 stand in line to cast their ballots. Other polling locations appear to have the literature posted outside the facility. Additionally, there are mounting 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 Philadelphia Republican Party, in the first two hours of voting, they received reports of “several reporting locations closed,” hundreds of voters stuck in line, ballot harvesting, and officials denying poll watchers access.
Furthermore, there are reports of voting machines down in Westmoreland and Philadelphia Counties, according to the Philly GOP.
All eyes remain on Pennsylvania, the state many believe could determine the outcome of the election. Pennsylvania polls close at 8 p.m., with 20 electoral votes up for grabs (News AKMI).
In North Carolina, voting hours at four different precincts have been extended after technical problems with voting machines delayed the opening of the polling sites. State policy prohibits election results from being released until all polls are closed, so North Carolina’s vote totals won’t be released until after 8:15 PM EST (WRAL).
A Florida County which Obama won in 2012 is currently showing President Trump far ahead of Joe Biden: “In 2012, Obama won Pinellas County, Florida. Today, Trump is ANNIHILATING Biden about 75%-25% in Pinellas” AirBoss Analytics tweeted.
Clark, a UCF historian and political analyst, said it’s been almost 100 years since a Republican has won the White House without taking the state of Florida. The last time it happened was in 1924 with President Calvin Coolidge, said Clark. When it comes to Florida and it’s 29 electoral votes, the Interstate 4 corridor, through Central Florida to Tampa, is key in determining which way the purple state goes. “They will determine who wins Florida; since 1996, whoever wins the majority of those seven counties has gone to the White House,” said Clark (Gateway Pundit).
Once again, Florida is seen as a toss-up. Polls have shown the Republican incumbent and Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden virtually tied. Though Democrats dominated the record vote-by-mail ballots, Republicans closed the gap with early in-person voting and are expected to turn out in higher numbers Tuesday. “It’s going to be close,” said Michael Binder, who runs the University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab. He said the margin of victory would likely be within 1 percentage point. “Two percent is a blowout of epic proportions in the state of Florida,” he said (SunHerald).
According to Yamiche Alcindor of PBS, the Biden campaign says Biden has “multiple pathways” to winning 270 electoral votes, but she also “stresses that they believe Biden can win without winning FL, PA, OH, and TX, which she called the four largest battleground states.” If Trump wins Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas, FiveThirtyEight’s forecaster tool gives Trump an 86 percent chance of winning the election. Biden would have to win Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Arizona to overcome that red wall. But, if Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas all go to Trump, Arizona is 71 percent likely to go to Trump as well (PJ Media).
In-person New Jersey voters won’t have their ballots counted until at least Nov. 10, state officials say. The state says it wants to have all of its mail-in ballots tallied beforehand in a bid to fight fraud, and the deadline for local election officials to receive the final mail-ins, which must be postmarked by Nov. 3, is seven days after Tuesday’s general election, or Nov. 10. In New York, residents were allowed nine days of in-person early voting before Election Day. Others can now head to voting machines at their local polling sites to cast in-person ballots Tuesday. New York’s early in-person votes and Election Day in-person ballots will be counted first. But New Jersey did not allow early in-person voting. Instead, it sent mail-in ballots to all of its more than 6 million registered voters.
According to a report from Axios, if news organizations declare Joe Biden the mathematical president-elect, he plans to address the nation as its new leader, even if President Trump continues to fight in court, advisers tell Axios. Biden advisers learned the lesson of 2000, when Al Gore hung back while George W. Bush declared victory in that contested election, putting the Democrat on the defensive while Bush acted like the winner. So if Biden is declared the winner, he’ll begin forming his government and looking presidential — and won’t yield to doubts Trump might try to sow.
Biden’s schedule for Tuesday includes a clue to this posture: He “will address the nation on Election Night in Wilmington, Delaware.” Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon told reporters Monday that even if all the votes aren’t counted tonight, the campaign should have “a very good sense of where we’re headed.” “We’re not really concerned about what Donald Trump says… We’re going to use our data, our understanding of where this is headed, and make sure that the vice president is addressing the American people.” To show momentum, Biden may begin transition announcements quickly, starting with senior staff appointments (Axios).
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Monday, less than 24 hours before Election Day, that he promises to “end Donald Trump’s chaos and end this crisis.” Responding to his tweet, Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R) wrote: “Trump’s chaos? Last I checked, businesses weren’t boarding up their windows because they were afraid of Trump supporters.”
An email sent to George Washington University Students Friday suggested students prep for election week the way they would a hurricane or snowstorm. “Before Tuesday, we recommend you have at least one week of food, supplies, and medicine for your room,” the email says. Large numbers of protesters and demonstrators are expected in the District this week, including thousands tonight at Black Lives Matter Plaza. Many businesses have still decided to take extra precautions by boarding up or closing, and it seems individual Washingtonians have done the same — some local supermarkets have been depleted of food staples like meat and eggs.
Bronx business owners are still reeling from looting over the summer as Fordham Rd. braced for chaos on the eve of Election Day. A Foot Action and pharmacy was boarded up. Other business owners planned to close early for the rest of the week. Some employees expected to do shifts overnight, just to be on the lookout for thieves. The 10-block stretch was the site of rampant looting in June by opportunists taking advantage of protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The businesses, many of them owned by local residents struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, suffered major losses due to damage and stolen merchandise.
Bandits who broke into Gabby’s Pet Shop swiped 15 dogs, more than three dozen canaries, and a rare African grey parrot named Lola. They also caused $30,000 in damage. Chris Gomez, a manager at the store, vowed it would be better prepared this time around. “We upgraded technology. Now we have better security. We now actually take turns sleeping here at night. So we can make sure the dogs, the store, everybody is safe,” Gomez said.
Carlos Rodriguez, a worker at Beverly Hills Furniture, said the store hadn’t taken additional measures to prepare for mayhem. Looters swiped over $300,000 in inventory during the June looting spree. “For now we’re going about business as usual. If we start seeing movement, then we’ll close down. The owner hasn’t told me anything about [the election]. It just depends on how things are going outside. If we start seeing movement, we’ll put more extra protection,” Rodriguez said (NY Daily News).
A federal law enforcement source tells NBC that beginning tomorrow, crews will build a “non-scalable” fence to secure the WH complex, Ellipse and Lafayette Square. 250 National Guardsmen have been put on standby, reporting to Metro Police officials. The boarded-up White House falls in line with what we’ve already seen in Washington D.C., where it seems the whole town is hunkering down and bracing for violence and unrest.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said staffing had been boosted and staggered, and the department will have significant numbers of officers on duty well into election night and beyond, both to facilitate peaceful protests and to watch out for intimidation, violence or destruction. Moore said nearly every uniformed officer would work a 12-hour shift on election day, and officers will have a visible presence across the city all week. He pledged immediate action to restore order if disturbances were to unfold. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies are also planning similar deployments (Yahoo News).
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE