Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has widened his lead over President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania by a margin of 27,130 votes as ballot-counting continues in the hotly contested battleground state, according to the Associated Press.
On Thursday afternoon, Trump led Biden in the state by about 114,000 votes. By early Friday evening, an estimated 124,000 absentee ballots remained to be counted statewide as well as up to 100,000 provisional ballots, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.
As of 9:45 p.m., the military ballots had all been counted in Allegheny County.
In another recent development, on Friday evening the Supreme Court instructed Pennsylvania counties to separate all ballots received by mail after polls closed on Election Day from the rest of the ballots being counted. Pennsylvania officials must respond by Saturday afternoon.
Pennsylvania is essential to the possible victory of Trump. As such, its 20 electoral votes are sought by both parties, with the vote-counting subject to lawsuits from the Trump campaign.
On Thursday, Judge Christine Fizzano Cannon, a Republican in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, reversed a lower court’s denial of the Trump campaign’s motion to let election watchers in Philadelphia observe vote counters more closely. The Trump campaign suggested six feet of separation, stating that its observers couldn’t see what workers were doing without binoculars.
Attorneys for the Board of Elections appealed Judge Fizzano’s ruling to the state Supreme Court. In its filing, the board said that vote watchers in the Philadelphia Convention Center had been allowed to stand in an observation area where they wouldn’t impede the work of counters or potentially spread coronavirus.
While the Trump campaign has claimed to have evidence of voter fraud, the likes of which is hasn’t yet publicly revealed, the majority leader of the Pennsylvania State Senate, Jake Corman, told Fox News on Friday: “I don’t have evidence of any misdoing,” although he did raise questions about the vote count’s transparency.
When asked on Thursday about the integrity of Pennsylvania’s election process, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, the state’s top election official, said, “The strength of the integrity of this vote is really unparalleled.”
She pointed out “very strong” processes in place—such as double-checks to ensure all voters are registered and only submit one ballot—to”make sure that voter integrity and security are constantly followed by every county in the state.”
As news of Biden overtaking Trump’s lead spread on Friday morning, some Philadelphia residents were caught on video dancing in the streets.
But if Trump wins Pennsylvania, he’ll have won a total of 234 electoral votes and remain in the presidential race.
Update (11/6/2020, 9:45 p.m.): This article has been updated with the latest vote counts as of this time.