PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (NEXSTAR) — Democrat Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, and election officials say the vote count continues to run smoothly.
Officials in the state’s largest city updated the media on the progress of vote counting early Friday afternoon, praising the process and urging continued patience.
“What we have seen here in Philadelphia is democracy pure and simple,” said Mayor Jim Kenney, saying the founding fathers would have been proud of the city’s dedication to a fair process.
Kenney dismissed unsubstantiated claims of voting impropriety from President Trump and others. Additional city officials took the stage to speak to the integrity of the count.
“Ignore a lot of the noise that’s going on,” said City Commissioner Omar Sabir. “Allow us to complete the counting process.”
By Friday morning, Biden had overtaken Trump in the number of ballots counted in the state, which Trump must win to have a shot at reelection. Biden leads by about 12,000 votes.
The contest is still too early for The Associated Press to call. Votes in the state are still being counted.
Still, Kenney faced questions from the media over Trump’s allegations of impropriety and fraud.
“I think, what the president needs to do is, frankly, put his big boy pants on,” Kenney said. “He needs to acknowledge the fact that he lost and he needs to congratulate the winner.”
Trump’s lead dwindled after Election Day when state officials began processing mail-in ballots, a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favor. Trump spent months claiming — without proof — that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.
If there is less than a half percentage point difference between Biden’s and Trump’s vote totals, state law dictates that a recount must be held.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.