Philadelphia officials voted to impose a last-minute voting rule change that will effectively slow the vote count process.
The city’s three-member elections board voted 2-1 in favor of imposing poll book reconciliation – a drawn-out process that aims to prevent double votes, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The process would supposedly flag any mail-in ballots from voters who have also cast ballots in person.
The decision was made on Tuesday, 7 a.m., by City commissioners following a vote.
The board is comprised of two Democrats and one Republican.
One Republican and one Democrat voted in favor of the change, while the second Democrat objected.
As Fox News noted:
The city had originally moved to end the reconciliation practice last week, leading to a GOP lawsuit seeking to enforce the policy. While the lawsuit failed, the city commission chose to reinstate the process regardless, according to the Inquirer.
A voter casts a ballot at a polling station in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have canceled planned rallies in Cleveland, Ohio, Tuesday amid concerns about coronavirus spreading at public events and suggested the campaigns might suspend large gatherings.
“I want to be very clear that when there are conversations that occur later this evening about whether or not Philadelphia has counted all of their ballots that the reason that some ballots would not be counted is that Republicans targeted Philadelphia — and only Philadelphia — to force us to conduct a procedure that no other county does,” said Seth Bluestein, the Republican commissioner.
Pennsylvania is home to the hotly contested Senate race between Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz and Democrat John Fetterman. Their content is one of only a handful that will determine control over the U.S. Senate.
President Biden’s White House has called for patience as votes are tabulated across the country, saying results will not be clear on Election Day.
“We may not know all the winners of elections for a few days. It takes time to count all legitimate ballots in a legal and orderly manner. That’s how this is supposed to work,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at a Monday briefing.
Republicans are widely expected to take control of at least the House of Representatives, though control over the Senate remains a toss-up.