PHILADELPHIA - During the first presidential debate Tuesday night, President Donald Trump mentioned Philadelphia and satellite voting centers after his tweets earlier in the day claimed that poll watchers were not allowed in.
"As you know today there was a big problem. In Philadelphia, they went in to watch. They're called poll watchers. It’s a very safe, very nice thing. They were thrown out. They aren't allowed to watch. You know why? Cause bad things happen in Philadelphia," Trump said.
Election officials have disputed that claim, and election lawyers note Trump campaign's watchers had no legal right under state law to observe citizens filling out mail ballots at the satellite voting centers.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney responded to the president, clarifying the satellite election offices are not polling places, saying in part, "Nearly every word spoken and action taken by President Trump is meant to divide this country and cast doubt in our institutions, in this case—our election."
City commissioners FOX 29 spoke with also said there were no poll watchers there because the satellite election offices are not polling places
"We're going to make sure that Philadelphians can safely, without fear or intimidation, come if they so choose to one of our temporary election offices," Philadelphia Board of Commissioners chairwoman Lisa Deeley said.
Philadelphia commissioners voted to open satellite election offices throughout the city, creating easier avenues to vote. So far the city has seven satellite offices with plans to add 10 more in the near future.
The offices will be open seven days a week and will provide a number of services for voters, including requesting mail-in ballots in person, receiving that ballot, voting and returning the voted ballot all at the same location.
It didn't take long after the debate for a number of people to jump on the idea of making T-shirts, saying "Bad things happen in Philadelphia." Rush Order Tees made T-shirts with the quote in similar text from the popular show "Always Sunny in Philadelphia." They say they sold 5,000 in less than 24 hours.
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