voting

Republicans Lose A Round In Pa. Mail Voting Dispute

Sep 25, 2020
Keith Srakocic / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has dealt a blow to Republicans in the legal fight over the deadline for mailed ballots in the presidential battleground state. The court rejected without comment Thursday a request by Republicans to put on hold its decision to extend the deadline for receiving and counting mail-in ballots. Republicans are now likely to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to block the ruling. The divided Pennsylvania high court last week granted the Democratic Party's request to order an extension of Pennsylvania's Election Day deadline to count mailed ballots.

Court Decisions Didn't End Pennsylvania Voting Law Fight

Sep 20, 2020
Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Nov. 3 presidential contest will test Pennsylvania's ability to handle a massive mail-in vote and, while its high court settled several partisan points of dispute over how to update the state's election law, counties remain unprepared in several important ways. Plus, the legal challenges are not necessarily over.

Matt Rourke / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's highest court has given the Democratic Party a series of victories related to November's presidential election in the battleground state. One of Thursday's decisions was in a lawsuit that sought favorable fixes to glitches and gray areas in the mail-in voting law. The court granted Democrats' request to order a three-day extension of Pennsylvania's Election Day deadline to count mailed-in ballots. It also authorized satellite election offices and drop boxes to head off an avalanche of mail ballots in Philadelphia and its populous suburbs.

Mailed Ballots Can't Be Discarded Over Signature, Pa. State Officials Say

Sep 15, 2020
Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — With concerns rising in Pennsylvania that thousands of mail-in ballots will be discarded in the presidential election over technicalities, state officials told counties that they cannot reject a ballot solely because an election official believes a signature doesn't match the signature in the voter's file. The new guidance from Pennsylvania's Department of State also prompted the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh to drop a lawsuit in federal court Monday.

Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

In Pennsylvania, it used to be that you needed an excuse to vote by mail. You had to apply for what’s called an “absentee ballot.”  But in this presidential election year, things are different.  Act 77, signed into law last fall, allows any registered voter in Pennsylvania to choose to vote by mail-in ballot instead of going to the polls on election day.

 

Matt Rourke / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania will pay the cost of postage for voters to mail-in ballots in November’s general election. Officials said Friday that Gov. Tom Wolf's administration plans to use money from federal emergency coronavirus aid to foot the bill. It could run several million dollars to cover 55 cents for millions of ballots. Wolf has made paying for postage a priority as the coronavirus pandemic has unexpectedly fueled high interest in voting by mail.

In-person turnout for the primary election Tuesday was low in Centre County.
Min Xian / WPSU

In-person turnout for the primary election Tuesday was low in Centre County. Many voters opted to vote by mail, an option significantly expanded last year and especially encouraged because of COVID-19.

Jordan Emely is a judge of elections in State College. About ten percent of the voters registered in his precinct had sent in their mail-in ballots before the primary. 

Primary election results are completed a week after the election. More than half of all votes cast in Centre County were mailed ballots.
Min Xian / WPSU

Tuesday is primary election day in Pennsylvania, which the state postponed from April because of the coronavirus. Besides the date change, this year’s primary will also feel different with potentially longer lines at polling places even though fewer voters are expected to show up. 

Denise Meyer, an election judge in Centre County, said she’ll be working at her precinct in Ferguson Township for the primary, because she feels an obligation.

The deadline to register to vote in the November election is fast approaching.

And while it’s an off year for high-profile races, Pennsylvanians will be deciding a major ballot measure.

Some Pa. Election Systems Still Use Vulnerable Software

Jul 13, 2019
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pennsylvania's message was clear: The state was taking a big step to keep its elections from being hacked in 2020. Last April, its top election official told counties they had to update their systems. So far, nearly 60% have taken action, with $14.15 million of mostly federal funds helping counties buy brand-new electoral systems.
But there's a problem: Many of these new systems still run on old software that will soon be outdated and more vulnerable to hackers.

voting machine
Anne Danahy / WPSU

As Pennsylvania pushes ahead with plans for new voting machines that produce a paper trail, some counties are concerned about the costs.

The board of the SEDA-Council of Governments, a development agency that serves 11 counties in central Pennsylvania, recently came out against the state’s mandate that all counties get new paper-trail voting machines by 2020.

"The counties just felt that to have this mandated in the timeframe the governor was asking was unrealistic,” said Jeff Snyder, a Clinton County commissioner and the incoming SEDA-COG board president.

Matt Rourke / Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — For the Pennsylvania Senate, the election didn't necessarily end at 8:00 p.m. on November 6.
The chamber's Republican majority is questioning the residency qualifications of a newly elected Democrat who flipped a Republican-held Pittsburgh-area seat by a mere 793 votes, injecting tension into a normally quiet December between legislative sessions.

image: Associated Press

Tuesday (November 6) is Election Day.  The polls in Pennsylvania will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. To find your polling place, and for other helpful information, visit wpsu.org/vote18.

Here are some helpful information and links for Election Day from the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro:

Tara Hutchingame is a senior at State College Area High School. For the last few months, she has dedicated a lot of energy to helping her fellow students register to vote.
Min Xian / WPSU

 

The voter turnout rate among 18- to 29-year-olds is historically lower than any other age group nationwide. In State College, high school students who led the local protests against gun violence also worked to encourage young voters to go to the polls.

Tara Hutchingame is a senior at State College Area High School. For the last few months, she has dedicated a lot of energy to helping her fellow students register to vote.

Tuesday is primary election day in Pennsylvania, which the state postponed from April because of the coronavirus. This year’s primary will feel different with potentially longer lines at polling places even though fewer voter are expected.
Min Xian / WPSU

 

Although low turnout is generally expected for midterm primary elections, more voters were motivated to go to the polls during Tuesday’s primary in Pennsylvania because of how competitive some races are. 

By 11 a.m. on Tuesday, 120 ballots were cast at Mount Nittany United Methodist Church in Lemont. Judge of Elections Laurel Zydney said she expected low turnout for this midterm primary, because people may not want to have a party affiliation and there’s a lack of contested races. 

(AP Photo/Marc Levy)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on the Pennsylvania primary election (all times local):

10:19 p.m.

John Fetterman has won a five-way Democratic Party primary race for lieutenant governor, making Lt. Gov. Mike Stack the first holder of the office to lose in a primary election.

The Braddock mayor's victory in Tuesday's primary election means he will run on a ticket with Gov. Tom Wolf in the fall. Pennsylvania first started allowing lieutenant governors to serve a second term in the 1970s.

Braddock had made a failed bid in 2016 for the U.S. Senate.