Senator Cruz supports the president’s false claim that election observers in Philadelphia have been denied access to observe the ballot counting.
Moments before their appearance on Hannity’s show, the president delivered remarks at the White House, making his first appearance in two days, to issue a 17-minute screed amplifying conspiracies and attempts to undermine the integrity of the election, continuing his attacks against vote-by-mail efforts that have shown to favor Democratic voters.
Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham did not dismiss suggestions from Fox New host Sean Hannity that state legislatures could appoint their own electors to re-elect Donald Trump following baseless claims of voter fraud and a narrow lead against Democratic candidate Joe Biden in Pennsylvania.
Senator Graham said that “everything should be on the table,” while Senator Cruz of Texas said that the processing of ballots in Pennsylvania – where the state legislature prevented election officials from processing mail-in ballots before Election Day, as an expected surge in absentee ballots would almost certainly delay reporting the results – “is partisan, it is political, it is lawless.”
The senator also suggested that the Justice Department and US Supreme Court could get involved.
The former vice president is projected to receive 253 Electoral College votes, according to the Associated Press, and Pennsylvania and its 20-electoral-vote prize could award him the presidency, with a necessary 270 votes.
Republicans in Pennsylvania sued to allow partisan poll watchers to observe ballot-counting efforts in Philadelphia within six feet. They previously had been allowed to observe the process from a 20-foot perimeter, though a lower court ruling granted poll watchers to be within arm’s length of election workers – which city officials argued violated physical distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic and could lead to intimidation and tampering.
Hours later, Philadelphia police had reportedly prevented an attack against a convention centre where election workers are tabulating votes.
Senator Cruz said that Democrats are “clouding the vote counting in a shroud of darkness” and leading efforts to “steal the election not just from the president” but the millions of people who voted for him.
More than 73 million people have voted for the former vice president, as of midnight on Thursday, roughly four million more votes than the president had received, while the candidates compete for electoral votes in a handful of states where ballots are still being processed.
Federal judge slams U.S. Postal Service and orders search for mail ballots in Texas facilities
A federal judge harshly criticized the U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday, saying the agency had failed to comply with his order to sweep postal facilities for leftover mail-in ballots in battleground states where election officials continue to count votes.
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington, D.C., also ordered postal officials to instruct mail processing facilities in Texas to conduct two searches for mail ballots Wednesday afternoon and deliver any votes to local elections offices by 5 p.m.
The Texas order comes a day after Sullivan instructed the Postal Service’s law enforcement arm to conduct a series of sweeps for mail ballots in a dozen postal facilities, including in central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Arizona and Michigan’s upper peninsula.
“I’m not pleased about this eleventh hour development last night,” Sullivan said in a hearing Wednesday. “Someone might have a price to pay for that.”
Indeed, only 815 mail-in ballots were found during two sweeps of facilities in Texas that were ordered by the court on Wednesday. Nearly all the ballots were delivered directly to boards of election by the 5 p.m. deadline, with a few ballots delayed due to travel time.
The Postal Service said in court filings earlier this week that nearly 300,000 ballots had been scanned into the U.S. mail system since Oct. 24 but had not been scanned again to show they had been delivered, including more than 11,000 in Pennsylvania, nearly 16,000 in Florida and more than 6,000 in Michigan.
The data raised alarm among voting rights groups that some mail ballots could be delivered too late to be counted.
Postal Service officials said that a missing destination scan does not automatically mean that a ballot was not delivered. They said workers were pulling ballots from the automated processing system and delivering them directly to elections officials, while other mail is sorted by hand because of physical flaws like smudged barcodes.
Why were thousands of mail ballots revealed the day after the election ?