In November of 2016, President Donald Trump won the crucial swing state of Pennsylvania by only 44 thousand votes out of six million cast. It was a win that was vital in catapulting him to an overall electoral victory, delivering him the White House.
Now, 12 days from the 2020 election, the Trump campaign is doing everything it can to make lightning strike twice.
The vast majority of Pennsylvania polls show Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden ahead of Trump—some by as much as 10 points. The Supreme Court recently delivered a major defeat to the Trump campaign by allowing absentee votes in Pennsylvania to be counted up to three days after Election Day in anticipation of the unprecedented amount of pandemic-induced mail-in ballots.
Recently, the campaign tried to file a complaint to election officials in the state after a member of the campaign videotaped voters dropping off their ballots. The campaign worker offered pictures of at least three voters whom the worker claimed had put multiple ballots in the drop-off box.
A lawyer for the Trump campaign, Linda A. Kerns, demanded the names of all voters who'd dropped off ballots at the location in front of Philadelphia's city hall, as well as 24 hour surveillance of the area.
Though local officials referred the campaign's complaint to Philadelphia's District Attorney, they didn't issue a criminal referral nor did they indicate any belief that foul play had occurred, according to the New York Times.
The Times reports that campaign officials told the paper they intended to videotape the goings-on at ballot boxes, but only intended to file a complaint if large numbers of ballots were simultaneously deposited by one person. Instead, they're targeting voters dropping off small numbers of mail-in ballots likely belonging to family members.
Pennsylvania's Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, took issue with Trump campaign officials videotaping voters casting their ballots—an act that likely amounts to illegal voter intimidation.
"Our entire system of voting is built on your ballot being private and your choice to vote being a personal one. Depending on the circumstance, the act of photographing or recording a voter casting a ballot could be voter intimidation — which is illegal."
Like Shapiro, Twitter users were more alarmed that the Trump campaign was secretly videotaping voters than how many voters cast ballots on behalf of others.
For Trump's critics, the development only cemented the idea that Trump will try to win the election by any means necessary, legal or otherwise.
The presidential election is on November 3, but early voting has already commenced in at least 40 states.