Philadelphia commissioner says office receiving death threats over election

Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt, a Republican, expressed shock at threats for 'counting votes in a democracy.'

Loading the player...

The official overseeing the vote count in Philadelphia says his office has been besieged with death threats since the City of Brotherly Love helped return the state of Pennsylvania back to blue in the 2020 presidential election.

“From the inside looking out, it all feels very deranged,” Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt said during an interview that aired Sunday night on CBS’ venerable 60 Minutes.

Elated people celebrate in the streets around Philadelphia City Hall after Joe Biden was declared winner of the 2020 presidential election Saturday. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

“At the end of the day, we are counting eligible votes cast by voters,” he told Bill Whitaker. “The controversy surrounding it is something I don’t understand.”

Schmidt is a Republican who said that his office has had criticism from people whom he characterized as “coming up with all sorts of crazy stuff.” He expressed shock to Whitaker that they’d been getting “not-so-veiled” death threats for “counting votes in a democracy.”

Pennsylvania became a hot button topic during the 2020 presidential election because of a state law disputed in a case before the Supreme Court that allowed mail-in ballots to be counted for three days after Election Day as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3.

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Guiliani, insists that voter corruption was rampant in Philadelphia, holding a press conference in front of an area landscaping company with a name identical to a luxury hotel chain.

Read More: Kamala Harris books surge in popularity after election

The business wrote on their Facebook page: “Four Seasons Total Landscaping is a family-owned small business run by life long Philadelphians. We were honored to be asked to host a press conference at our facility.”

“We thank all of those that have shown support for our business,” they continued, “and while we understand the negative comments, it saddens us that we have received such harsh judgment. Our team at Four Seasons would have proudly hosted any presidential candidate’s campaign … We strongly believe in America and in democracy. We hope that our fellow Americans can join together and support all local small businesses during this time.”

Read More: Questlove opens up about ‘Karen’ incident at his new home

Trump’s presidential campaign, according to a Sunday report in The Washington Post, “did not immediately provide an explanation for why the news conference was held at that location.”

The post has since been deleted.

One man who Giuliani called up as a witness to ballot count corruption, Daryl Brooks, has been outed as a registered sex offender.

Read More: Lil’ Kim celebrates Kamala Harris’ victory despite past comments

“It’s such a shame. This is a democracy,” Brooks, who said he was a GOP poll watcher, said at the Four Seasons press conference. “They did not allow us to see anything. Was it corrupt or not? But give us an opportunity as poll watchers to view all the documents — all of the ballots.”

The revelation came as no surprise to many Philadelphia election workers, who note that Brooks has long sought visibility in past campaign seasons.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s “Dear Culture” podcast? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download theGrio.com today!

Loading the player...

Share