Pennsylvania

New Partnership To Provide WPSU Listeners With More Investigative Journalism About State Government

Apr 12, 2021

For the past decade, there’s been nothing short of a crisis in our state capital.

More and more of Pennsylvania’s sprawling and costly bureaucracy operated without scrutiny from investigative reporters, the watchdogs tracking how our hard-earned tax dollars are spent and demanding answers from lawmakers about waste, fraud and abuse.

Together, we can restore accountability.

Following nationwide protests against police brutality last summer, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf established the Pennsylvania State Law Enforcement Citizen Advisory Commission by executive order in June 2020. 

The Commision, comprised of 21 voting members and six ex-officio members, is tasked with investigating citizen complaints against police misconduct, reviewing internal investigations and giving recommendations. 

Alex Brandon / Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — A growing number of Republican lawmakers are joining President Donald Trump’s extraordinary effort to overturn the election, pledging to reject the results when Congress meets this week to count the Electoral College votes and certify Joe Biden’s win.

 

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Saturday announced a coalition of 11 senators and senators-elect who have signed on to help overturn the election results.

 

Two-term Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh Dies at 88

Dec 31, 2020
Paul Vathis / Associated Press

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 31, 2020  -- Dick Thornburgh, former Pennsylvania Governor, U.S. attorney general and under-secretary-general of the United Nations, died peacefully of natural causes Thursday in Pittsburgh. He was 88. The governor's public career spanned 25 years, and he retired earlier in 2020 as counsel to the international law firm of K&L Gates LLP.


His wife, Ginny Judson Thornburgh, said that he had endured declining health to the end with "characteristic determination, grace and humor."

Pennsylvania Blasts Texas’ Bid To Overturn Biden’s Election

Dec 11, 2020
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Lawyers for Pennsylvania responded in the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to Texas’ effort to overturn the election result in four states for President-elect Joe Biden, calling it a “seditious abuse” of the courts that rests on conspiracy theories and falsehoods.

Texas lacks standing to bring the challenge, and its claims are not only barred by time limits, but are meritless and dangerous, lawyers for Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, wrote in the 43-page court brief.

Pennsylvania Hospital Beds Filling Up Amid Virus Surge

Dec 3, 2020
CDC

Hospital beds are filling up and medical staffs are being stretched to the limit as Pennsylvania’s health care system copes with a growing number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients.

Nearly half of all hospitals in the south-central region of the state, and a third of those in the southwest, anticipate staffing shortages within a week, according to the state Department of Health. Nurses in the Philadelphia area say they’re overloaded with COVID-19 patients, impacting the quality of care they can provide.

Judge Throws Out Trump Bid To Stop Pa. Vote Certification

Nov 21, 2020
Mark Scolforo / Associated Press

Pennsylvania officials can certify election results that currently show Democrat Joe Biden winning the state by more than 80,000 votes, a federal judge ruled Saturday, dealing President Donald Trump’s campaign another blow in its effort to invalidate the election.

U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew Brann in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, turned down the request for an injunction by President Donald Trump’s campaign, spoiling the incumbent’s hopes of somehow overturning the results of the presidential contest.

$11B Budget Package Passes Pennsylvania Legislature

Nov 21, 2020
Jacqueline Larma / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — An $11 billion no-new-taxes spending package won passage in a lame-duck Friday night session in Pennsylvania’s Legislature, as lawmakers sought to plug a multibillion-dollar deficit brought on by the pandemic and carry state government operations through the rest of the fiscal year.

Lawmakers voted as they rushed to wrap up their two-year session. A coronavirus outbreak in the House of Representatives caused hours of delay Friday before the main spending bill passed the chamber, 104-97, and the Senate, 31-18.

Trump Campaign Drops Key Request In Pennsylvania Lawsuit

Nov 16, 2020
Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s campaign is withdrawing a central request in its lawsuit seeking to stop the certification of the election results in Pennsylvania, where Democrat Joe Biden beat Trump to capture the state and help win the White House.

Few Legal Wins So Far As Trump Team Hunts For Fraud In Pa.

Nov 11, 2020
Rebecca Blackwell / Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — During a Pennsylvania court hearing this week on one of the many election lawsuits brought by President Donald Trump, a judge asked a campaign lawyer whether he had found any signs of fraud from among the 592 ballots challenged.

The answer was no.

“Accusing people of fraud is a pretty big step,” said the lawyer, Jonathan Goldstein. “We’re all just trying to get an election done.”

Trump Campaign Sues To Block Pennsylvania Election Result

Nov 10, 2020
Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — President Donald Trump's campaign launched a lawsuit to stop the certification of the election results in Pennsylvania, suing Monday as counties continued to sort through provisional ballots and mail-in ballots nearly a week after the election in the battleground state.

The Associated Press on Saturday called the presidential contest for former Vice President Joe Biden, after determining that the remaining ballots left to be counted in Pennsylvania would not allow Trump to catch up.

Biden Edges Closer To Win As Pennsylvania Focus Intensifies

Nov 7, 2020
Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrat Joe Biden edged ever closer Saturday to a victory over President Donald Trump as the long, exacting work of counting votes extended into a fourth day after the election.

Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania voters have returned at least 17 incumbent members to Congress, with one race undecided, and have elected the first Republican auditor general in more than two decades.

Democrat Josh Shapiro was also declared the winner of his race Friday for a second term as the state’s attorney general.

Elections Chief: Pennsylvania Making Good Headway In Count

Nov 5, 2020
Julio Cortez / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania had hundreds of thousands of ballots left to count Thursday, a number that state officials expected to dwindle rapidly as Democrat Joe Biden and President Donald Trump fought to the end for the White House.

“It’s very close in Pennsylvania, there’s no question,” said the state’s election’s chief, Kathy Boockvar. “So that means it’s going to take longer to actually see who the winner is.”

Even though the vote count is not complete yet, at least nine northern and central Pennsylvania counties have already recorded more votes than they cast in the 2016 presidential election.
Carolyn Donaldson / WPSU

As election offices continue to count votes in Pennsylvania, at least nine northern and central counties have already recorded more votes than they cast in the 2016 presidential election.

Even though the vote count is not complete yet, counties including Blair, Clearfield, Clinton, Cameron, Elk, Forest, Huntingdon, Mifflin and Lycoming have already counted more votes this time than in the 2016 presidential election. 

Pennsylvania Chips Away at 1M Vote Count Amid Trump Lawsuit

Nov 4, 2020
Matt Slocum / Associated Press

Election workers across Pennsylvania chipped away at more than 1 million uncounted mail ballots Wednesday as the nation awaited results in a presidential battleground whose trove of 20 electoral votes remained the largest prize yet to be called for President Donald Trump or native son Joe Biden.

Voters in Pivotal Pennsylvania Keep Nation On Edge Of Seat

Nov 4, 2020
Matt Slocum / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Legal challenges and a mountain of uncounted ballots promised a long watch Wednesday to find out who the people of Pennsylvania chose as president, even as a host of other major races in the state — including for several congressional seats, statewide officers and the legislature — stayed unresolved.

Pennsylvania Vote Goes Smoothly, But Tallying May Take Time

Nov 4, 2020
Michael Perez / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania voters turned out in large numbers Tuesday for an election that produced few of the glitches some had feared, leaving in their wake a mountain of ballots that will have to be counted in the coming days amid intense national scrutiny.

Pennsylvania Emerges As Election Misinformation Hotspot

Nov 3, 2020
Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

A single voting machine jammed for just minutes Tuesday morning at a precinct in Joe Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania -- but misleading posts on Facebook and Twitter claimed multiple machines there were down for hours.

WPSU 2020 Election Day Live Updates

Nov 3, 2020
A poll worker puts blue tape on the floor for social distancing at the polling place at the Mt. Nittany United Methodist Church on November 3, 2020.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

November 3 is Election Day. WPSU will bring you reports from polling places, interviews with election officials and voters, and other election updates in this blog. Check back throughout today to see what you need to know about the elections.

 

10:34 p.m. Nov. 3, 2020

Secretary of State said election in Pennsylvania went “remarkably smoothly”

 

Headshots of Brad Bumsted, left, and Angela Couloumbis
Photo provided

A year-long investigation by The Caucus and Spotlight PA found lawmakers across Pennsylvania are obscuring campaign spending by not reporting the details to the public -- which is legal in the state. 

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says it will not grant a quick, pre-election review to a new Republican appeal to exclude Pennsylvania absentee ballots received after Election Day. But the court’s order left open the possibility that the justices could take up and decide after the voting whether a three-day extension to receive and count absentee ballots ordered by the state’s high court was proper. The issue would take on enormous importance if Pennsylvania turns out to be the crucial state in next week’s election and the votes received between Nov. 3 and Nov.

Pennsylvanians Urged To Drop Off Mail-In Ballots In Person

Oct 28, 2020
Matt Slocum / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — With six days until Election Day, Pennsylvania’s top elections official on Wednesday urged voters in the presidential battleground state who have one of the roughly 1 million mail-in ballots outstanding to drop it off in person rather than mail it.

From Philly To Erie, 12 Pa. Voters Talk About Their Crucial Swing State Vote

Oct 28, 2020

Ask us: What do you want to know about voting and the 2020 election?

With a week to go until Election Day, Pennsylvania has lived up to its hype as a key battleground state that could decide the presidency. 

Matt Rourke / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A week ahead of the Nov. 3 election, applications in the presidential battleground state of Pennsylvania for mail-in or absentee ballots have exceeded 3 million, with Tuesday the last day to request one and legal wrangling creating uncertainty over the deadline to receive them.

State data shows that, of those applications, more than 57% have been returned to counties.

A satellite election office for Centre County is located at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State's University Park campus.
Kristine Allen / WPSU

Pennsylvania is a crucial battleground state in the 2020 election. And now, for the first time ever in a presidential election year, mail-in ballots are available to all registered voters in Pennsylvania, without any excuse. That means there is now actually a way for you to vote early in person.

Your polling place in won’t be open until Nov. 3.  But between now and Tuesday, there is a place you can go to vote early. 

Matt Slocum / Associated Press

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Today is the last day in Pennsylvania to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election in which the presidential battleground state is playing a central role in the contest between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Voter registration in Pennsylvania has already hit a record high in this cycle.

Candidates, Surrogates Flood Battleground Pennsylvania

Oct 17, 2020
Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — With barely two weeks left before Election Day, the battleground state of Pennsylvania is being flooded with visits by the presidential candidates and their campaign surrogates.

Recent polls show President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden in a competitive race in Pennsylvania, or Biden ahead by single-digits in a state Trump won by just over 44,000 votes — less than a percentage point — in 2016.

Pennsylvania Confirms Virus Resurges; No Plans For Lockdown

Oct 15, 2020
CDC

Pennsylvania is “at the start of the fall resurgence” of COVID-19, the state’s health secretary said Wednesday, but does not plan to reimpose a stay-at-home order or shut down businesses again in response.

Wednesday marked the ninth consecutive day that Pennsylvania’s daily case count surpassed 1,000, and the average daily number of new confirmed cases is up by more than 50% over the past two weeks, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

Talks On Critical Election Legislation In Pennsylvania Stall

Oct 15, 2020
Matt Slocum / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Closed-door talks on legislation seen as crucial to producing a prompt election result in the presidential battleground state of Pennsylvania appeared stuck Thursday between the Democratic governor and the Legislature’s House Republican majority.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said an offer extended in recent days to House Republican leaders has been effectively rejected, now less than three weeks before Election Day.

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