Al Schmidt, one of the three Philadelphia city commissioners who has been overseeing the election process, was directly targeted Wednesday by President Donald Trump.
Schmidt is the lone Republican commissioner, and Trump and his advisors have attempted to discredit the results since the president’s lead evaporated in Pennsylvania and elsewhere after Election Day.
“A guy named Al Schmidt, a Philadelphia Commissioner and so-called Republican (RINO), is being used big time by the Fake News Media to explain how honest things were with respect to the Election in Philadelphia,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.
RINO stands for Republican In Name Only.
“He refuses to look at a mountain of corruption & dishonesty,” the president continued. “We win!”
Earlier in the day, Schmidt said on CNN that he has seen no evidence of voter fraud and that it has been “the most transparent and secure election in the history of Philadelphia.”
“I think people should be mindful that there are bad actors who are lying to them,” he said after the network’s John Berman asked Schmidt what he would say to Trump and his deputies.
Rumors that dead people voted in Philadelphia are false, Schmidt added.
District Attorney Larry Krasner, a noted progressive, came to Schmidt’s defense, saying his election task force has found “zero evidence” of the massive fraud alleged by the president.
“Maligning the excellent work of elections personnel, including Schmidt,” Krasner said on Twitter, “is unacceptable though sadly familiar in Donald Trump’s upside down world where fiction is fact.”
At the Pennsylvania Convention Center, workers on Wednesday continued sorting through the thousands of mail-in and provisional ballots that have yet to be counted.
“Our focus is and has been on one thing only: completing the counting of ballots as accurately and as quickly as possible,” City Commissioner Chair Lisa Deeley said in response to Trump’s tweet.
State officials said Tuesday night that about 10,000 mail-in ballots were received across Pennsylvania between 8 p.m. on Election Day and 5 p.m. Friday.
The three-day window, established by the state Supreme Court, allows those ballots to be counted as long as they are postmarked Nov. 3 or earlier. If a postmark is missing or illegible, the ballot should be accepted, the justices ruled.
The provision is one of many facing legal challenges from GOP leaders and the Trump campaign.
Biden’s lead stood at just under 50,000 votes as of Wednesday evening, a wider margin than Trump’s 2016 victory in Pennsylvania.
Voters around the state cast 94,000 provisional ballots on Election Day. Those ballots will be counted after local officials check to make sure the person is registered to vote and had not voted previously during this election cycle.
Residents who decided to vote in-person but did not bring their mail-in ballot envelope to be canceled out were able to submit a provisional vote.
The City Commissioners Office on Wednesday released a list of people whose mail-in vote will not be tallied unless they submit a form of photo identification by Thursday.
In some cases, the voter did not include proof of ID along with their application, and there were also some technical issues, officials said. About 2,130 voters are affected.
To view the list of names, go to www.philadelphiavotes.com.