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It’s Here: Last Day to Register to Vote on Nov. 8

October 24, 2022 |

By Danielle M. Smith - Public News Service | Posted in: Politics & Elections, State & Region

In Pennsylvania, today is the last day to register to vote or update your voter registration before the Nov. 8 midterm election.

You have until midnight to register to vote.

In the 2020 General Election, which included the presidential race, 71 percent of Pennsylvanians cast their ballots. Meg Pierce — executive director of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania — said the state saw a huge surge in participation in the 2020 presidential election.

Then the numbers dipped a little in 2021. But Pierce predicted a high turnout again this November.

 
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PA Court: ‘No-Excuse’ Mail Voting Can Continue

August 05, 2022 |

By Danielle M. Smith - Public News Service | Posted in: Politics & Elections, State & Region

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled this week that so-called “no excuse” mail-in voting in the state is constitutional.

The ruling is seen as a setback to 14 Republican lawmakers who challenged the expansion of absentee ballots in court.

Meg Pierce, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, said mail-in ballots are important to ensure elections are accessible to everyone.

“Voting by mail is convenient and secure, and has resulted in an incredible boost in voter turnout in Pennsylvania's recent election,” Pierce said. “About 170,000 (additional) registered voters voted in Pennsylvania elections when they were allowed to vote by mail.”

Until 2019, Pennsylvania voters could only use an absentee ballot under certain conditions, such as illness, disability or being out of town on Election Day. That year, the Pennsylvania General Assembly voted to implement “no excuse” mail-in ballots for anyone who requests them.

 
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Poll: Older Pa. Voters Will Decide 2022 Election

June 23, 2022 |

By Emily Scott © Public News Service | Posted in: Politics & Elections

There are fewer than five months to go until the November general election, in which Pennsylvania voters will select a new governor and U.S. senator.

A new poll commissioned by AARP Pennsylvania showed how residents over 50 are feeling about the candidates and the issues.

In the 2018 midterm elections, Pennsylvanians age 50 years and older made up 61 percent of all voters in the state.

The AARP poll includes views about this year’s political races, including the contest for governor, with Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Sen. Doug Mastriano, Republican from Franklin.

 
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Voters: Money Has Too Much Influence in Politics

June 18, 2022 |

By Emily Scott © Public News Service | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race is garnering national attention, with Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz running to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. A new report examines how outside spending from political action committees (PACs) and national donors affects voters.

The report from American Promise includes recent survey results that say more than 70 percent of Pennsylvanians think big donors have too much political influence.

As they can expect to see hundreds of millions of dollars poured into political ads for the Senate race, Bill Cortese of American Promise said “dark money” can create a sense of mistrust among voters.

 
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Davis Officially Announces Lt. Gov Bid

January 04, 2022 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Politics & Elections

State Rep. Austin Davis of McKeesport is congratulated by Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey on Tuesday morning. Davis announced plans to run for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania at Kennedy Park, Downtown. (Tube City Almanac photo)


State Rep. Austin Davis on Tuesday officially kicked off his bid to become Pennsylvania’s next lieutenant governor.

The 32-year-old McKeesport Democrat said he was running to send a message “to those who say our state and our country is too divided to repair.”

“To those who say our best days are behind us, that we are no longer a beacon of hope and opportunity, I offer myself and my story as proof to the contrary,” said Davis, standing next to the statue of John F. Kennedy along Lysle Boulevard, near the site where the former president gave a speech in 1962.

Davis was joined by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor. Shapiro had told KDKA-TV in December he wanted Davis to be his running mate.

 
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Hearings Begin for Proposed House, Senate Maps

January 03, 2022 |

By Emily Scott © Public News Service | Posted in: Politics & Elections

With the deadline for approving Pennsylvania’s new voting-district maps fast approaching, the commission in charge of creating House and Senate maps is hosting public hearings this week to receive feedback from residents.

The Legislative Reapportionment Commission will host eight hours of public hearings on Thursday and Friday in Harrisburg.

Carol Kuniholm, chair of the advocacy group Fair Districts PA, said creating new maps once a decade based on population changes is never an easy task. She pointed out in the proposed Senate map, there is concern about a pattern of large deviations from the ideal district population, which needs to be addressed.

 
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Republicans Sweep White Oak Council Races

November 03, 2021 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Announcements, McKeesport and Region News, Politics & Elections, White Oak News

Republicans swept four vacant seats on White Oak borough council in Tuesday's election.

According to complete but unofficial results from the Allegheny County elections office, Loree Scharritter led the field with 1,188 votes, followed by incumbent Julie A. Opferman and newcomers Joelle M. Harbert and Jason Russell.

Former White Oak councilman David J. Pasternak came in fifth place; followed by Kenneth Robb and George Dillinger, who lost their bids for re-election; and Kenneth A. Obusek.

Pasternak, Robb, Dillinger and Obusek are Democrats.

 
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W.O. Council Candidates Make Case to Voters

October 31, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: Politics & Elections, White Oak News

White Oak residents on Tuesday will select members of council and decide whether to retain their mayor.

The Democratic ticket includes Lisa Pitchford for tax collector; with David J. Pasternak, George Dillinger, Ken Robb and Kenneth Obusek as members of council. The Republican ticket includes Julie Opferman, Jason Russell, Joelle Harbert and Loree Scharritter running for members of council.

There are four seats available on council. Dillinger, Opferman and Robb are incumbents.

Incumbent Mayor Ina Jean Marton faces a last-minute challenger, write-in candidate Kelly Doyle. (See related story.)

 
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Write-In Candidate Challenges W.O. Mayor

October 31, 2021 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Politics & Elections, White Oak News

A last-minute write-in candidate is challenging incumbent White Oak Mayor Ina Jean Marton in Tuesday’s election.

Kelly Doyle, who manages the McKeesport Agape Center on Lincoln Way, says she’s running for mayor because she feels strongly about serving the people of White Oak.

“I already spend up to six days per week serving the community through the Agape Center, so the mayor position would come naturally to me,” Doyle says.

Marton, who has served as White Oak mayor since 2004, won both the Democratic and Republican nominations in May’s primaries. She has not faced opposition since her first election.

“I have no problem with anyone running against me,” Marton says. “I just ask for a good, honest and fair campaign.”

 
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Judicial Candidates Face Voters at Sept. 20 Forum

September 16, 2021 |

By Emily Scott © Public News Service | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Five of seven judges’ seats in the Supreme Court chamber in the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg. (Ruhrfisch photo via Wikimedia Commons. Used under CC BY-SA 4.0, Link.)


Emily Scott, Public News Service:

Pennsylvanians will vote this November to elect judges in the state’s three appellate courts, and a virtual candidate forum next week will allow voters to get to know those running for the Commonwealth, Superior and Supreme Court positions who will make influential decisions.

Two seats are up for grabs in Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court, and one each in its Superior and Supreme courts. Pennsylvania differs from some states in that it votes for judges in partisan elections, rather than by merit selection.

Debbie Gross, chief executive officer of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, said it limits the information voters can gather from candidates as they are expected to remain impartial in light of issues that could arise on the bench.

 
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