Trump has been claiming a bunch of things, but one that seems to be foundational to his argument, and repeated by Giuliani at the Four Season Total Landscaping press conference is the one about observers not being allowed in the counting rooms.
This is, of course, false. And so it has been addressed many times by different outlets. So I thought it would be useful to gather those analyses here:
The best account is the one from the Detroit Free press, which tells of far TOO MANY challengers, of both parties, and disruption of the process coming from some of those challengers.
"Help needed now," Tweeted a group called Stand Up Michigan. "Go as soon as possible. We are attempting to mount aggressive challenges."
Republicans showed up in droves. By 1 p.m., there were 227 Republican challengers freely roaming the floor where the ballots were being counted — almost double the 134 they were permitted to have — and more kept coming.
Another 268 Democratic challengers were there too — also double the permitted amount — and there were also another 75 nonpartisan challengers.
As the crowd of challengers swelled, so did COVID-19 fears and security concerns. There were no security checks to get in TCF. There were no metal detectors. And no pat-downs.
The Republican challengers got bolder, at one point forming a circle around the tables and clapping and chanting in unison: 'Stop the count! Stop the count!'
Shortly after 1 p.m. election officials shut the doors to the absentee ballot counting room and turned away all new challengers, even the ones who had stepped out for a lunch break.
At issue in the dispute is how far poll watchers are from the tables where officials are working, not whether observers are allowed. The Trump campaign argued observers were too far away, and a judge on the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled Thursday that they must be allowed within 6 feet of all ballot canvassing.
Philadelphia officials appealed the order to the state's supreme court, warning the lower court's ruling was wrong and "jeopardizes both the safety of the city defendants' canvass, plus the privacy of voters."
The city also said the evidence presented "makes clear that candidate and party representatives can observe every portion of the precanvassing and canvassing process."
Mr. Trump's own lawyers admitted there are representatives from the campaign in the convention center where ballots are being processed, according to CNN. During a hearing in a separate case filed in federal court, Jerome Marcus, a lawyer for the campaign, told Judge Paul Diamond "there's a non-zero number of people in the room."