Voting

PA Lawmakers Advance Redistricting Reforms As June Deadline Looms

7 hours ago
Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania lawmakers have advanced a bill that would change the state’s constitution to put its congressional district map in the hands of a citizen commission, one whose 11 members would be chosen by elected officials.

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

John Fetterman solidly beat our four other Democratic candidates in the primary for lieutenant governor, including the incumbent, Mike Stack.

When the race was called, Fetterman had nearly 40 percent of the votes. Fellow Democrat Nina Ahmad was the closest behind him with roughly 22 percent of the vote.

He will face the Republican candidate Jeff Bartos in November.

After pointing out that his kids were up way past their bedtime, he thanked all his supporters who came to his watch party at Superior Motors in Braddock.

Joseph Kaczmarek / AP

Days before Pennsylvania’s primary election, about 25 Democrats gathered for a meeting a few blocks away from the border of two recently reshaped congressional districts in North Philadelphia.

On a table with campaign literature, flyers that said, “re-elect Congressman Dwight Evans” were neatly tucked away and replaced with others that support Congressman Brendan Boyle.

Voters Cast Ballots In Pennsylvania's New Congressional Districts

May 15, 2018
Susan Walsh / AP

Tuesday's primary elections will begin to settle swing state Pennsylvania's chaotic congressional landscape after a court fight ended with redrawn districts just three months ago.

Pennsylvania primary voters will also decide the fate of President Donald Trump's pick for U.S. Senate. Idaho voters are set to pick their Republican gubernatorial nominee, while heavily Republican Nebraska and Democratic-leaning Oregon are also holding primaries Tuesday.

A look at some of the key races:

PENNSYLVANIA SCRAMBLE

Live Blog: Primary Day 2018

May 15, 2018
90.5 WESA

Check in throughout the day for 90.5 WESA's continuous coverage of the Primary Election. 

Primary Will Help Set Stage For Next Crop Of State Lawmakers

May 14, 2018
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

This year's legislative races in Pennsylvania have drawn extremely high levels of interest, with reports of activists swamping normally quiet organizational meetings and an unusually large number of candidates making it onto the ballot.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania is starting the process of replacing its voting machines. And at the state Farm Show complex this week, election administrators and the public got a chance to see what the new ones might look like.

The display comes soon after Governor Tom Wolf handed down a mandate that all counties upgrade their election equipment by the end of next year, leaving officials scrambling to figure out how to afford it.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Val DiGiorgio, the chair of the state Republican Party, said Republicans–including those running in the newly drawn 14th Congressional District–should refrain from attacking each other. But his party hasn't given up the fight against a new Congressional district map, even as voters prepare to cast ballots in those races next month.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvanians have until the close of business Monday to register if they want to vote in the May 15 primary, but they can sign up online

PA Legislature Has Long History Of Inaction On Redistricting Reform Bills

Mar 29, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Now that legal challenges to Pennsylvania’s new court-drawn congressional map have been rejected, state lawmakers have turned their attention to the typical process by which the state reapportions congressional districts every decade.

But some stakeholders are skeptical about whether any current proposals will ever make it to a vote.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's Democratic governor wants legislation to let people register to vote on the day of elections and loosen the state's strict rules for absentee ballots.

Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday everyone who gets a license from the state Department of Transportation or signs up for a public service should be automatically registered to vote, unless they specifically opt out.

Wolf's wish list from the Republican-controlled Legislature also includes limits on how much donors can contribute to political candidates and improvements to how donations are reported.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Republican Rick Saccone conceded defeat to Democrat Conor Lamb on Wednesday night in a closely watched special election in Pennsylvania, more than a week after the end of a remarkable race that has shaken GOP confidence ahead of the November midterm elections.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Democrat Conor Lamb is the apparent winner in the hotly contested special election to represent Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, and he did it by only a few hundred votes

Allegheny County Elections Division

Short answer = highly unlikely.

 

Democrat Conor Lamb declared victory early Wednesday morning in the special election to represent Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, but Republican Rick Saccone hasn't conceded and the race is technically still too close to call.

 

So can Saccone make up Lamb's current 627-vote advantage?

 

Here’s the breakdown.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Drawing national attention and serving as what many consider an early indicator for the 2018 midterm election cycle, today all eyes are on Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone, the candidates vying for a seat in the 18th Congressional District. 

#PA18 Live Blog: District 18 Special Election

Mar 13, 2018
Sarah Kovash/Keith Srakocic / 90.5 WESA/AP

Follow 90.5 WESA's live blog throughout the day for continuing coverage of the District 18 special election. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A voter from the Philadelphia suburbs is the 1 millionth person to register to vote or update their registration online since Pennsylvania's online system began more than two years ago.

State officials said Monday that about 60 percent of those users were signing up to vote, while the rest were changing their name, address or party affiliation.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Political groups around Pennsylvania are working to figure out what the state Supreme Court’s new congressional map will mean for their agendas.

Several organizations that have backed efforts to redraw the districts say they are concerned that the new plan may dilute votes from black communities.

When drawing congressional maps, one key standard authors have to meet comes from the Voting Rights Act.

Democrats Prepare To Take Turn At Drawing U.S. House Districts

Feb 13, 2018
Chris Knight / AP

Top Democratic state lawmakers said Monday they want to work with Gov. Tom Wolf on a consensus Democratic plan of congressional districts to present to state Supreme Court justices who are poised to impose new boundaries.

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa and House Minority Leader Frank Dermody said they hope to meet with Wolf as early as Tuesday to begin cooperation on a map, and have urged Wolf to reject a map given to him on Friday by the GOP-controlled Legislature's top Republicans.

Pennsylvania To Require Voting Machines With Paper Backup

Feb 9, 2018
Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday ordered counties that plan to replace their electronic voting systems to buy machines that leave a paper trail — a safeguard against hacking — but his budget doesn't include any money to fund the replacement of the state's aging, increasingly vulnerable fleet.

Matt Rourke / AP

A week into the three-week period the state Supreme Court allotted lawmakers to redraw Pennsylvania’s congressional maps, not much concrete progress has been made.

Keystone Crossroads

In the wake of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to declare the state’s congressional maps unconstitutional, lawmakers are starting the redrawing process before the Feb. 15 deadline.

Matt Rourke / AP

State House Majority Leader Dave Reed is officially running for congress—becoming the second top Republican in the chamber to seek higher office this year.

He’s aiming to grab the sprawling southwestern 9th District seat held by retiring republican Bill Shuster. But his decision comes at a time when that district—and all the others in Pennsylvania—are facing a somewhat uncertain future.

On Monday, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruled the state congressional maps unconstitutional, and ordered the legislature and governor to submit new ones by Feb. 15.

Bill To Trim About One-Quarter Of State House Districts Advances

Jan 23, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

A move to let voters decide whether to cut about a quarter of the 203 districts in the Pennsylvania House passed a key hurdle Tuesday, raising the prospect it could go before the electorate for final approval later this year.

The 14-10 vote by the House State Government Committee, with Republicans in support and Democrats opposed, clears the way for a vote by the full House in the coming months.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

Marchers filled three city blocks in downtown Pittsburgh Sunday with signs that read “Grab ‘Em By The Midterms,” and simply, “Vote!”

WHYY

After hearing oral arguments Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is expected to rule quickly on a lawsuit challenging the state’s congressional district boundaries.

Gerrymandering Case Sows Doubt In Big Year For House Races

Jan 16, 2018
Google Maps

Lots of people want to run for Congress in Pennsylvania this year, but they may not yet know which district they live in.

The prospect that the state Supreme Court could decide a high-profile gerrymandering case by ordering new boundaries for Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts, including one that has been described as looking like "Goofy kicking Donald Duck," is sowing uncertainty barely a month before candidates begin circulating petitions.

Measures Of Gerrymandering — Real Or Bogus?

Dec 29, 2017
screengrab via youtube

As courts in Pennsylvania and around the country consider cases charging partisan political gerrymandering, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia recently assembled prominent experts and participants in the battles to talk about the political and constitutional issues.

Courts have long acknowledged gerrymandering exists, but they have lacked a reliable standard for measuring just how much of a political edge a particular legislative map gives to one party.

Keystone Crossroads

The gerrymandering case that could force a new congressional map continued Tuesday in Harrisburg.

Eighteen Democrats are suing, alleging Pennsylvania’s map – considered the nation’s most gerrymandered, by some measures – was drawn unfairly by state GOP leaders to advantage Republicans.

So far, the minutiae of mapmaking have dominated testimony.

Lawyer: 'Voter-Proof' Pennsylvania Congressional Map Favors GOP

Dec 5, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

A lawyer for a group of Democratic voters in Pennsylvania told a federal court Monday that it should throw out the state's congressional district map favoring Republican candidates because it was created to be "voter-proof."

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