Trump claims 'crooked dishonest things will happen' during vote count in key battleground state

Danielle Zoellner
Donald Trump claims during campaign rally that there will be voter fraud in the battleground state of Pennsylvania  (AP)
Donald Trump claims during campaign rally that there will be voter fraud in the battleground state of Pennsylvania (AP)

Donald Trump has again claimed that there will be voter fraud in the battleground state of Pennsylvania ahead of Election Day.

The president was speaking to a campaign crowd in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on Sunday afternoon, but the state of Pennsylvania, which he currently is behind in based on the polls, appeared to be at the forefront of his mind.

In an effort to spread mistrust in the upcoming election, Mr Trump claimed “dishonest things will happen” during the time it takes for state election officials to count ballots.

"They have a long time to count the ballots,” Mr Trump said. “A lot of bad things will happen during that period of time ... crooked dishonest things ... we shouldn't let it happen."

The president’s claims, for which he presented no evidence, came after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared on Friday that the state cannot reject mail-in ballots because the voter’s signature doesn’t match the one on file.

This decision ensured that more votes will be counted in the battleground state, which is critical given how close the race remains between Mr Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

Additionally, the US Supreme Court will allow mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania to be counted up to three days after 3 November, another significant ruling going against what Republicans and the Trump campaign wanted.

The Trump campaign has argued that a lack of signature matching on mail-in ballots will enable voter fraud.

Extending the date for when mail-in ballots would be accepted, the campaign also argued, went against the federal law that requires Election Day to happen on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in the month of November.

Now Mr Trump was working to create distrust in the election process in Pennsylvania to make Americans wary of the results.

But election officials have found no proof of voter fraud in the state. Nine military ballots in Luzerne County were mistakenly discarded, something the GOP has latched onto. But a state investigation has found there was no “intentional fraud” by the incident, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said on Wednesday.

Thus far, Pennsylvania has received more than 1.4 million mail-in ballots, according to the US Election Project.

Mr Biden currently leads the president in the polls 51 per cent to 44 per cent, according to FiveThirtyEight. Mr Trump narrowly won the state during the 2016 election by a 0.7 per cent margin.

Both candidates have been devoting time to the Keystone state, with Mr Trump planning no fewer than three rallies there on Monday.

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