Elections

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Amid concerns about his party’s direction locally and across the state, D. Raja is stepping down as the chair of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County.

Democrats Banking On Suburban Discontent In 2018

Mar 23, 2018
Gene J. Puskar / AP

From the old steel communities around Pittsburgh to the lakefront communities of Chicagoland, Republicans are facing an increasingly clear reality: They've got trouble in the suburbs.

Federal Judges Reject Lawsuit Over Pennsylvania District Map

Mar 19, 2018
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

A panel of federal judges on Monday dismissed a legal challenge by Republican congressmen to a district map imposed last month by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The decision does not end litigation over the matter, but it makes it much more likely that this year's congressional elections in Pennsylvania will be conducted under district lines widely viewed as more favorable to Democrats than a 2011 map the state court threw out in January.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Google Maps


In the wake of Tuesday’s special election in the 18th Congressional District, attention has quickly turned to the district that could soon replace the 18th – the 14th District.

District 18 Race Suggests Almost No GOP Candidate Is Safe

Mar 15, 2018
J. Scott Applewhite

The message to Republicans from the Pennsylvania special election was simple: Almost no one is safe.

Rattled Republicans were hit with a day-after reality check Wednesday after the startlingly strong performance of a fresh-faced Democrat deep in Trump country.

Obama-Backed Committee Targeting Races In PA, Ohio And Other States

Feb 9, 2018
Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

A Democratic group backed by former President Barack Obama said this week it plans to invest millions of dollars in state-level elections in 11 states this year, with its heaviest focus on Ohio.

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, said this year's election cycle is critical to affecting the congressional redistricting process. It is the first cycle whose winners will participate in drawing congressional maps for the decade starting in 2021.

Email Indicates Pennsylvania Election Chief Forced Out

Nov 20, 2017
Marc Levy / AP

Pennsylvania's former elections chief indicated in an email sent last month to Gov. Tom Wolf that he was forced out of his cabinet-level job, although he resigned.

The Associated Press on Monday obtained an Oct. 11 email from ex-Secretary of State Pedro Cortes in which he told Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf that he could not understand why he was being pushed out.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Advocates are pushing for a citizen’s commission to review Allegheny County’s election practices and technology.

Allegheny County’s current machines are 11 years old, and there’s no immediate plan to replace them. The approximately 4,700 machines were purchased in 2006, when the Help America Vote Act made billions in federal funds available for such purchases.

Kevin Gavin/Sarah Kovash/Pittsburgh City Council

Incumbent Mayor Bill Peduto will face two opponents in the May party primary.

Officials with the Allegheny County Board of Elections confirmed Tuesday that North Side Councilwoman Darlene Harris and former Peduto supporter Rev. John Welch both filed petitions ahead of the 5 p.m. deadline.

Brad Larrison / Newsworks

Last month, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump claimed the only way he would lose Pennsylvania in the presidential election would be through voter fraud.

"The only way we can lose, in my opinion, I really mean this, Pennsylvania, is if cheating goes on," he told a rally in Altoona in August.

PA’s Old Voting Machines Are Sticking Around

Jan 8, 2016
Daniel Morrison / Flickr

Pennsylvania’s top elections official says the commonwealth is heading into a big election year with outdated voting machines.

Most of the state’s voting systems were purchased around 10 years ago. They weren’t made to last a decade, creating the possibility of faulty vote tallies and long lines on Election Day.

Special elections are now scheduled to fill four open seats in the Pennsylvania Legislature.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Michael Stack said Wednesday he scheduled a special election April 26 to replace Dominic Pileggi in the Senate's 9th District in Delaware County. Pileggi, a Republican, resigned Tuesday after being elected to a county judgeship.

April 26 is also the date of the Pennsylvania primary election.

John Keane / flickr

A bipartisan group of Pennsylvania lawmakers are looking to push the state’s primary elections a month earlier to ensure that voters have what they believe would be more of a say in the next presidential nominee. Since the 1950s during presidential election years, Pennsylvania’s primary elections have been held mid-April, meaning by the time ballots are tallied, both the Democratic and Republic parties have typically already chosen their nominee. House Bill 1318 proposes pushing the primary to mid-March, along with the primaries of Florida, Ohio, Illinois and Missouri.

In Pennsylvania, Ballot Access Is Not Equal

Jun 9, 2015
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

It took just 500 write-in votes for lifelong Democrats Chelsa Wagner and John Weinstein to get their names on the November ballots as Republicans, but it will take 2,328 signatures if a third-party candidate wants to have the same opportunity.

Report Finds Cracks In PA’s Election Policies

Nov 3, 2014

An election law progress report finds Pennsylvania is a mediocre student when it comes to heeding the advice for improving the voting experience.

Common Cause, the liberal-leaning advocacy group behind the report, surveyed 10 states with tight gubernatorial or congressional elections to see if they had implemented any of the January 2014 recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.

Tuesday is  Election Day,  but what happens if you have trouble getting to your polling place?  The Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) could give you a lift.

“We do not want to have people prevented in any way to vote, and that’s our mission as B-PEP,” said CEO Tim Stevens.

As the Democratic field for Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial primary gets more crowded, the chances for lesser-known candidates may increase.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski is the latest to jump into the fray, becoming the seventh Democratic candidate to throw a hat in the ring, and the first to come from the northeastern part of the state.

Thomas Baldino, a political science professor at Wilkes University in Luzerne County, said with more candidates expected to enter, Pawlowski actually does stand a chance.

Haldan Kirsch / 90.5 WESA

One week before Pittsburgh’s primary election, three of the city's mayoral candidates gathered at 90.5 WESA for an issues forum.

City Councilman Bill Peduto, former state Auditor General Jack Wagner and state Rep. Jake Wheatley participated in the Tuesday evening forum. The first question was what the candidates, if elected mayor, would do to keep Pittsburgh on strong economic footing if the city were to exit Act 47 fiscal oversight status. The city has petitioned to be removed.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5/WESA

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee gathered in Pittsburgh Thursday to hear from the public and other elected officials on proposed changes to voting in the commonwealth. State lawmakers are considering measures that would allow for online voter registration and expand early voting.

“Also same-day voter registration, so you can just go to the poll, register to vote, and then vote on that particular day,” said Sen. Matt Smith (D-37). “No fault absentee voting would allow people to get their absentee ballot and then send it back in to their local county division of elections.”

Wagner Gets Backing From Former Congressman Coyne, Unions

Apr 26, 2013

Just a day after mayoral candidate Bill Peduto assembled his coalition of supporters on the steps of the Pittsburgh City-County Building, Jack Wagner gathered those endorsing him to become the next mayor of Pittsburgh in the same place.

State, City Elected Officials Voice Support for Peduto

Apr 25, 2013

With less than a month before the primary election, Bill Peduto shored up support Thursday for his bid to become Pittsburgh’s next mayor.

Peduto was joined by representatives from 22 unions and organizations, as well as 15 elected officials on the steps of the Pittsburgh City-County Building.

The Pittsburgh Black Political Convention has voted to endorse State Rep. Jake Wheatley in the city's upcoming mayoral election.

More than 200 people gathered over the weekend for the city's first-ever convention of black voters. The convention also aimed to create a clear agenda on issues including poverty, unemployment, police/community relations and violence, among other things.

Voter Registration Deadline Quickly Approaching

Apr 19, 2013

Voters will choose nominees for mayor of Pittsburgh, four city council seats and in seven Allegheny County council districts in the May 21st primary.

If you want to vote in that primary election, you must submit your registration forms by the close of business Monday. Registered voters who have moved or changed their name or party affiliation must also notify the Allegheny County Elections Division by that same deadline.

Citing students' abysmal voter turnout numbers in the last mayoral primary, a few dozen students at the University of Pittsburgh have formed a new group meant to forge a stronger student voting bloc for the May 22 primary election this year.

Students for Building Power (SBP) said it has secured 1,500 commitments to vote since its campaign began about three weeks ago. The group has a goal of 3,000 confirmed student voters by election day.

Mark Nootbar / 90.5 WESA

A newly formed group hoping to improve the political clout of Pittsburgh’s black community is calling out the four remaining Democratic mayoral candidates to respond to what it is calling a “Black Agenda.”

The Pittsburgh Black Political Convention was formed this year and will send to each candidate its “Black Agenda” later this week. The candidates will then be asked not only for a written response, but also to appear for what will amount to an oral test before a community gathering in the Hill District on April 19.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb withdrew from the city's mayoral race Monday, instead opting to endorse former Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner.

With five Democrats vying for the party's nomination before today's announcement, Lamb cited the need for clarity in a race that has been "muddied" since the March withdrawal of incumbent mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

"I don't want the conversation for our next leader to be generalities," said Lamb. "We need a real dialog to ensure we get the best possible candidate for the job."

For years, a dogged group of advocates has called for appointing appellate court judges in a multi-step process called merit selection, instead of holding partisan elections.

Supporters say relying on judicial elections all but ensures that judges aren’t independent arbiters of reason, but adept fundraisers.  

Six Dems for Pittsburgh Mayor Face-off

Mar 17, 2013
Emily Farah/90.5 WESA

Sparks did not fly but the six remaining Pittsburgh mayoral candidates did begin to outline some of their platform planks Sunday in a forum hosted by the Barack Obama Academy's Youth and Government Club.  It was the first such gathering since candidates had to have their nominating petitions submitted.

All invited candidates attended with the exception of State Senator Jim Ferlo who announced Friday that he was withdrawing from the race. 

  Each participant had a maximum of 60 or 90 seconds to answer the questions posed to them, one by one.

Pennsylvania state Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny) has announced that he is withdrawing from the race for Pittsburgh mayor.

Ferlo's decision comes three days after he filed his nominating petitions to get on the May 21 Democratic primary.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Ferlo thanked supporters and acknowledged the challenge a mayoral run presented.

A new statewide poll measuring how Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett would fare against several possible Democratic challengers in 2014 finds Corbett might need all the time he can get between now and the general election.  That vote is more than a year and a half away.

If the gubernatorial election were tomorrow, a Quinnipiac University poll predicts Corbett would lose by nine points to former Democratic congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Joe Sestak.

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