Ilhan Omar Says 'Darkness' Lifted but Menace 'Still Remains' after Philadelphia Count Death Threats

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has bemoaned threats of violence aimed at vote counters in Philadelphia as ballots continue to be tabulated there.

Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt spoke of accusations of foul play faced by himself and his staff, before revealing more sinister comments made in calls to his offices.

"From the inside looking out, it feels all very deranged. At the end of the day, we are counting eligible votes, cast by voters," Schmidt told 60 Minutes' Bill Whitaker, as staff continue to count provisional ballots.

"The controversy surrounding it is something I don't understand. It's people making accusations that 'we wouldn't count those votes' or 'people are adding fraudulent votes,' just coming up with all sorts of crazy stuff."

After this, he was asked to detail the sort of accusations and responded in the affirmative to these being along the lines of "you are cheating" or "you are manipulating the vote."

Schmidt, a Republican, added: "Or calls to our offices, reminding us that, 'this is what the Second Amendment is for'—people like us."

Whitaker responded: "You're getting calls like that? That's a not so veiled death threat."

To which Schmidt said: "Yes, for counting votes—in a democracy."

On November 4, the day after election day, Schmidt tweeted: "Philadelphia will NOT stop counting ALL legitimate votes cast by eligible voters. And we will report and report and report until the last vote is counted."

Omar shared a clip of this exchange on Twitter, alongside her thoughts on the reported threats made.

Death threats for “counting votes”. The darkness might have be lifted but the threat still remains. What has been unleashed in our society will take a generation to understand.

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 9, 2020

"Death threats for 'counting votes'. The darkness might have be lifted but the threat still remains," she wrote.

"What has been unleashed in our society will take a generation to understand."

It comes with President Donald Trump and his campaign team having questioned votes in Pennsylvania, with Trump sharing allegations that Philadelphia specifically has a "rotten history on election integrity." Trump took issue with vote counting in the city, obtaining an order to enter its Pennsylvania Convention Center to monitor the count.

Newsweek has contacted Schmidt, Omar and the Trump campaign for comment.

It comes with Trump and his team continuing to dispute certain ballots, questioning the validity of some of those counted.

His team is expected to outline a raft of lawsuits, including legal challenges to votes in Pennsylvania, on Monday.

Trump has so far refused to concede to Joe Biden, despite the election having been called for the Democrat.

He has suggested calls made by news agencies and networks should not have the sway they do, writing on Twitter: "Since when does the Lamestream Media call who our next president will be?"

Trump has insisted he is the election winner if only the ballots he deems to have been legally cast are counted, suggesting without evidence there has been a Democratic plot to steal the election—hence his determination to pursue election-related lawsuits.

ilhan omar
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks with local television journalists while campaigning at the Richfield Farmers Market on August 8, 2020 in Richfield, Minnesota. She has bemoaned threats made to those still counting ballots. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images