Voting

Alan Diaz / AP

Pennsylvanians who won't be able to vote in person this fall will be able to apply online for absentee ballots for the first time.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: Propel charter schools are prioritizing early learning benchmarks; fires in the Amazon rainforest are diminishing migratory bird habitats; a lot of Pittsburghers think they live in the Midwest; and local universities want to register more student voters ahead of the 2020 elections. 

Matt Rourke / AP

Governor Tom Wolf is taking matters into his own hands when it comes to funding upgrades for Pennsylvania’s voting machines. 

Brad Larrison / for NewsWorks

Legislation to help Pennsylvania's counties afford new voting machines before next year's election is wrapped up in the politics of voting and election laws.

Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday that he'll decide later in the week whether to sign or veto a bill that was opposed by the vast majority of his fellow Democrats in the state Legislature.

The bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature authorizes borrowing $90 million to help counties underwrite a total voting-machine replacement cost that could exceed $100 million.

Matt Rourke / AP

Legislation advancing in Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled Legislature would eliminate the ballot option for voters to simply select a straight-party ticket in elections, although House Democrats are objecting to it.

Bills to eliminate it emerged from committee in both chambers this week. The Senate bill is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Lisa Boscola and was approved unanimously Monday in the State Government Committee.

But most Democrats voted against it Wednesday in the House State Government Committee as part of a wider package of changes to election laws.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's top elections official says one-third of the state's counties are advancing plans to install new voting systems ahead of 2020's presidential election.

Kathy Boockvar, Gov. Tom Wolf's acting secretary of state, told lawmakers Tuesday that 21 of 67 counties have approved plans amid the administration's push to adopt systems with voter-verifiable paper trails that are viewed as a hedge against hacking.

As 2020 Nears, Pressure Grows To Replace Voting Machines

Mar 5, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

Time and money are running short for states to replace aging or inadequate voting machines before the 2020 presidential primaries, according to a report released Tuesday.

Mel Evans / AP

Officials in 18 Pennsylvania counties accepted gifts, such as wine festival tickets, trips and dinners at high-end restaurants, from voting equipment vendors ahead of the 2020 election, according to the state auditor general.

Pennsylvania Must Replace Voting Machines, Lawmakers Told

Feb 20, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's top elections official is warning that failing to replace voting machines by 2020 could make the state the only one without a voter-verifiable paper trail.

Kathy Boockvar, Pennsylvania's acting state secretary, also told state senators Wednesday during an Appropriations Committee hearing that election-security experts agree that moving to voting machines that allow voters to double check how their vote was recorded needs to happen by next year.

Matt Rourke / AP

A handful of state senators want to upend the way Pennsylvania conducts its elections.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

A federal appeals court has refused to re-impose restrictions on Republican National Committee voter activities set in motion decades ago by a New Jersey gubernatorial race.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decision by U.S. District Judge John Vazquez ending a court-ordered agreement, called a consent decree, to prevent the Republican National Committee from targeting minority voters.

GOP Senator Questions Governor’s Drive For New Voting Machines

Dec 6, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

A top Republican state senator is drafting legislation to prevent Gov. Tom Wolf from forcing Pennsylvania counties to buy new voting machines, a priority for the Democratic governor to ensure the machines are in place in time for the 2020 presidential election.

Anne Danahy / WPSU

Patrick McDaniel  said elections in the United States have historically been fair and secure, but there are challenges.

McDaniel is the Weiss Professor of Information and Communications Technology at Penn State and one of the organizers of the Symposium on Election Security, held Monday at the Penn Stater Conference Center. At a time when the integrity of elections is in the headlines, the conference drew experts and national leaders in election security.

Pennsylvania Commits To New Voting Machines, Election Audit

Nov 29, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration is settling a vote-counting lawsuit stemming from the 2016 presidential election, in part by affirming a commitment it made previously to push Pennsylvania's counties to buy voting systems that leave a verifiable paper trail by 2020.

Mel Evans / AP

 

Many substance use disorder treatment centers expect their patients to immediately stop using when they enter treatment. But this approach, often referred to as quitting “cold turkey,” is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Lindsay Lazarski / Keystone Crossroads

The ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s absentee-ballot rules Tuesday, alleging that voters are being disenfranchised by the state’s tight deadlines for returning ballots.

Matt Rourke / AP

Voting machine glitches, long lines and misinformation were among the problems that voters faced at the polls on Tuesday.

Eugene Sonn / WHYY

Every year, some voters show up at a polling place and find their name isn’t on the rolls for that location.

Hospitals Help Patients Get Out The Vote While Stuck In Bed

Nov 2, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

The midterm elections are just around the corner, but efforts to "get out the vote" don't mean much if voters unexpectedly find themselves unable to get out of their hospital bed on Election Day.

Matt Rourke / AP

In a recent review of state voter registration laws, a group of political scientists ranked Pennsylvania 31st in terms of how easy it is to vote.

Google Maps

After several reports of stalking in Lawrenceville this summer, several groups came together to host a workshop explaining how bystanders can help curb harassment and assault.

Carrie Antlfinger / AP

Officials who oversee voting in Pennsylvania are promoting ways for state residents living overseas to obtain absentee ballots after some encountered computer barriers set up to prevent meddling with elections.

The Department of State outlined new procedures Wednesday, the same day The Philadelphia Inquirer reported instructions for overseas voters had led to an online dead-end.

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

It’s move-in week at the University of Pittsburgh, and while college students settle into their dorm rooms, NextGen Pennsylvania wants to register them to vote.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania's governor is bringing together government agencies to help ensure the state's elections are safe and secure.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday he was setting up the Inter-Agency Election Preparedness and Security Workgroup, led by his cabinet member who heads the agency that oversees voting.

The chairmen are acting Secretary of State Robert Torres and John MacMillan, the Office of Administration's chief information officer.

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania’s Auditor General says he’s expanding his review of the state voter registration infrastructure, after learning a Russian oligarch is a primary investor in the company that manages Maryland’s system.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Ohio's voter registration law in a 5-4 ruling Monday that loosens restrictions on how and when the state can purge its voter rolls. Proponents of the law argue it keeps their record books cleaner, while voting rights activists argue it punishes registered voters for not exercising that right, and disproportionally removes minority and Democratic names.

Effects Of Supreme Court Voter Roll Decision Appear Limited

Jun 12, 2018
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling has cleared the way for states to take a tougher approach to maintaining their voter rolls, but will they?

Ohio plans to resume its process for removing inactive voters after it was affirmed in Monday's 5-4 ruling. It takes a particularly aggressive approach that appears to be an outlier among states.

Few appear eager to follow.

"Our law has been on the books. It hasn't changed, and it isn't changing," said Oklahoma Election Board spokesman Bryan Dean.

Matt Rourke / AP

The state Auditor General is launching a review of Pennsylvania’s voting and registration process, following up on concerns Russians attempted to interfere in the 2016 elections.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said the review will focus on the security of the Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors—or SURE—system, which tracks registration data on the state and county level.

He noted, there’s no evidence foreign hackers successfully breached Pennsylvania’s voting and registration systems.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

On Tuesday, a state House bill that would overhaul congressional map-drawing was assigned to an unusual committee—circumventing a different panel where such proposals have repeatedly been struck down.

It’s the latest in a series of spasms toward changing Pennsylvania’s oft-disparaged redistricting process.

But lawmakers are quickly running out of time to close the deal.

The new bill is the brainchild of Dave Reed—the GOP majority leader who is departing the House at the end of this year.

Members of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee will choose their party leaders on June 9. And whether they vote for current county chair Nancy Patton Mills or challenger Eileen Kelly, this may be the last time they choose by secret ballot.

For a while, in fact, it appeared committee members wouldn’t be allowed to vote in secret this time, either.

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