Near the end of his chaotic debate with Joe Biden, President Donald Trump claimed poll watchers were “thrown out” of Philadelphia’s satellite locations for mail-in ballot registration on Tuesday, despite the city’s commissioners stating that the voter centers are not polling places.
Trump referenced Philly after debate moderator Chris Wallace asked if he and Biden would urge their supporters to stay calm and not engage in civil unrest should the results of the presidential election be delayed.
“In Philadelphia, they went into watch, they were called poll watchers, a very safe, very nice thing,” Trump said. “They were thrown out. They weren't allowed to watch. You know why? Because bad things happen in Philadelphia. Bad things.”
The latest news on the 2020 presidential election
Trump went on to say he’d be “a hundred percent on board,” if it were a fair election.
“But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that,” Trump said.
It was Trump’s second reference on Tuesday to Philadelphia’s satellite sites. In a tweet earlier in the day, Trump claimed poll watchers and security weren't let into Philadelphia "voting places" due to corruption. Philadelphia Deputy Commissioner Nick Custodio refuted this however in a statement sent to NBC10.
"The Satellite Offices are Board of Election Offices that provide voter services to residents of Philadelphia for registration absentee, and mail-in ballots," he wrote. "Individuals are able to go to those offices for those types of services. The Satellite Offices are not Polling Places. Poll watcher certificates have not been issued for any individuals for anything other than poll watching activities on Election Day at Polling Places."
"Individuals who are not seeking to receive services from a Satellite Office are not permitted to be there for other purposes. This is particularly important in the current environment as City buildings and offices remain closed to the public due to COVID-19."