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Philadelphia Court Decision: Poll Watchers Now Allowed Within 6 Feet Of Ballot Counting At Pennsylvania Convention Center

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Trump campaign has secured a win in a Philadelphia lower court Thursday morning. Poll watchers are now allowed to be within six feet of ballot counting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, rather than the previous 20-foot perimeter.

The order, which went into effect at 10:30 a.m., requires all poll watchers to abide by COVID-19 protocols.

Pam Bondi and Corey Lewandowski, of the Trump Campaign, presented the order which went into effect at 10:30 a.m.

They say it allows them access inside and up to six feet to vote counters. Then, they walked inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Ballot counting in Philadelphia was briefly paused on Thursday morning before resuming due to the legal challenges.

"As a result of this incredible legal victory, the lower court's order has been reversed," the Trump campaign said in a statement. "Now, according to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, 'all candidates, watchers, or candidate representatives' shall 'be permitted to be present for the canvassing process' and 'be permitted to observe all aspects of the canvassing process within 6 feet, while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols, including, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing."

The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania on Wednesday due to lack of "transparency" as votes were being counted.

Philadelphia's mail-in ballots are being opened and scanned inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City. City commissioners say more than 266,000 ballots have been counted but the process has no firm time for when it will end.

About 10,000 ballots are being counted every hour at the convention center and workers won't stop until the job is finished.

"I feel very comfortable in the progress we made so far and I look forward to continuing that progress," Philadelphia City Commissioners Chairwoman Lisa Deeley said.

Trump's campaign announced Wednesday afternoon it's suing to stop Pennsylvania's vote count, alleging a lack of transparency. However, Republican Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt pointed out people from both campaigns are watching the vote counting.

"They're observing all of it," Schmidt said.

The nation is awaiting results in Pennsylvania whose trove of 20 electoral votes remain the largest prize yet to be called for President Donald Trump or native son Joe Biden.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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