Voting

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."

Pennsylvania Case Takes New Approach To Redistricting Rules

Dec 4, 2017
Keystone Crossroads

Judges have been asked repeatedly to decide whether the lawmakers in charge of drawing congressional district lines have gone too far to favor their parties.

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

On the eastern border of Pennsylvania, north of the Philadelphia suburbs, a cluster of state Senate district appear — at first glance — to be arbitrarily drawn.

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

Tuesday night saw some big wins for Democrats around the country--but Pennsylvania's elections were mostly lower-profile, and ended with more of a political mixed bag.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Pennsylvania voters have judicial elections, a ballot question on taxes and a slew of local races to consider as they head to the polls.

The biggest statewide race Tuesday pits Democratic Allegheny County Judge Dwayne Woodruff against Republican Justice Sallie Mundy.

The result will leave the high court in Democratic hands, either 5 to 2 or 6 to 1.

Woodruff is a former Pittsburgh Steeler who handles family court. Mundy is a former Superior Court judge from Tioga County who was appointed to fill an unexpired term.

Matt Rourke / AP

State representatives are trying to figure out how to stop voter registration glitches that have allowed over 500 non-citizens to vote in state and national elections since 2000.

Off-Year Election, Political Frustrations Contribute To Dip In PA Voter Registration

Oct 20, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

Less than three weeks until Election Day, voter registration is down by about 2.5 percent in Pennsylvania compared with 2016.

Both major political parties — Democrats and Republicans — have lost members across the commonwealth.

Terry Madonna, director at the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College, said a drop in voter registration after the 2016 presidential election follows a typical pattern.

PA Court Weighs Delaying Gerrymander Lawsuit Similar To Case Before US Supreme Court

Oct 6, 2017
Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pelligrini heard arguments Wednesday over whether to stay a lawsuit over the state’s congressional district map until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a similar case out of Wisconsin.

Pennsylvania Official: Hackers Maybe Sought Voter Records

Sep 26, 2017
Marc Levy / AP

Pennsylvania's top elections official said Monday that he thinks Russian hackers who tried unsuccessfully to penetrate the state's election systems had hoped to alter voter registration records to sow confusion and frustration right before last year's presidential election.

Secretary of State Pedro Cortes, however, said he otherwise has been given very little information by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security about the supposed attempts by Russian hackers, including how the hackers were connected to Russia, their method and the timing of their attempts.

Pennsylvania System Glitch Let Non-Citizens Register To Vote

Sep 21, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

Some people who are in the U.S. legally but who are not citizens were mistakenly allowed to register to vote in Philadelphia because of a glitch in Pennsylvania's electronic driver's licensing system, a city election official said Wednesday.

Al Schmidt, a Republican who sits on Philadelphia's three-member election commission, said that since 2006 at least 168 noncitizens registered to vote in the city through the motor voter driver's licensing system. In some cases, they voted, and some of them voted in more than one election, Schmidt said.

Matt Rourke / AP

Election officials across the country are trying to make sure voting infrastructure is up to date, after concerns over potential hacking in the 2016 election.

Pennsylvania is no exception.

In 2002, the federal government handed down almost $4 billion for states to update their voting machines and other election equipment. Most states—including Pennsylvania—have long since drained their share.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania union leaders are attempting to chart a new course after decades of declining membership.

As members have dwindled, unions' once-strong political sway toward the Democratic party has also shifted.

The change was especially apparent last year, when an overwhelming number of white, union or former union members voted for Donald Trump.

Maryland To Pennsylvania (And 4 Other States): We'll Redistrict When You Do

Apr 4, 2017
Googlemaps

President Donald Trump, a Republican, won Pennsylvania by a narrow margin of 68,000 votes. The state has about 900,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans. 

Matt Rourke / AP

An independent report from an academic group has given Pennsylvania a dismal ranking in how well it conducts its elections.

The Electoral Integrity Project—which is based out of Harvard University and the University of Sydney—has the Keystone State tied for fifth-worst in the country.

The group ranked states based on 12 criteria, including electoral laws and procedures, media coverage, campaign finance, and district boundaries.

Pennsylvania Fights Green Party Recount Bid In Federal Court

Dec 8, 2016
Paul Sancya / AP

 

 

Pennsylvania election officials want a federal judge to throw out a Green Party-backed lawsuit that seeks a recount of paper ballots cast in Pennsylvania's Nov. 8 presidential election and an inspection to make sure election software wasn't hacked.

Thursday's court filing says Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein lacks the necessary standing to challenge the election result because any change won't make her the winner. The state's lawyers also call it "rank speculation" to suggest that Russian hackers somehow flipped the vote.

Katie Meyer / WITF

Green Party supporters were in Harrisburg on Monday to vocally back Jill Stein’s quest for a presidential vote recount in the commonwealth.

Stein, the Green Party candidate, has now filed suit in both federal and Philadelphia city courts.

Translation Help At The Polls: What's Required And How It Works

Nov 8, 2016
Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

 

There are requirements at polling places, but help doesn't reach everyone who needs it.

Elections have been hectic for Cesar Liriano for most of the nine years he's lived in the city of Lebanon. Presidential elections are craziest, but he's busy during the lower-turnout local and gubernatorials, too.

"Normally, I get up at 5 o'clock every day, doesn't matter elections or not," Liriano says. "I go down as soon to the polls as soon as they open, I go and vote with my wife, and then I get prepared to be running from one poll to the other."

A Live Map Of Voting Issues In Pennsylvania

Nov 7, 2016

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90.5 WESA is participating in Electionland, a ProPublica project that will cover access to the ballot and problems that prevent people from exercising their right to vote during the 2016 election.

 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Tim Stevens waited inside the Meineke auto repair shop in Larimer for his car’s tune up, just in time for Election Day. He sorted through bags of flyers that he had taken out of the backseat of his car.

“Get Out and Vote!” and “Roll to the Polls” were printed on the neon orange papers.

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