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Election News


More Democrats ask Biden to drop out. His campaign says he’ll be back next week

Posted on July 19, 2024

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del./WASHINGTON — More Democratic lawmakers on Friday publicly called for President Biden to drop out of the 2024 race, including New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich, who is running for reelection is what is supposed to be a safe seat for the party.

But Biden is planning to be back on the trail next week, the chair of his campaign said, making the case that party leaders should look at strong grassroots support for his candidacy and resolve their doubts over whether he should stay in the race for a second term.

Read the full story »

NPR

 

The RNC is over. Here are 5 things you need to know.

Posted on July 19, 2024

The 2024 Republican National Convention wrapped up on Thursday night in Milwaukee with former President Donald Trump’s address to the delegates. Trump’s speech marked the first major public remarks he delivered following the assassination attempt against him less than a week ago.

It was also the first in-person Republican convention since the COVID pandemic prompted cancellation of most events surrounding the 2020 RNC. The final evening featured a wide range of speakers, from the retired professional wrestler Hulk Hogan to the evangelical leader Franklin Graham, culminating in Trump’s speech, which capped off a week of events and speeches in support of the former president’s vision of the country. Here’s what you need to know from the 2024 Republican convention.

Read the full story »

NPR

 

Trump paints a familiar vision for his 2nd term at the Republican convention

Posted on July 19, 2024

In his first major speech since a failed assassination attempt, former President Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination for the third time and told a boisterous crowd he would “usher in the rich and wonderful tomorrows that our people truly deserve.”

Trump vowed he would secure that future for all Americans, “citizens of every race, religion, color and creed.”

“I am running to be president for all of America, not half of America,” Trump said, “because there is no victory in winning for half of America.”

“So tonight, with faith and devotion, I proudly accept your nomination for president of the United States,” he added.

On the final evening of the Republican National Convention, a night themed “Make America Great Once Again” — a play on his well-known campaign slogan — Trump said it was time to rescue America from the “failed leadership” of President Biden and Democrats.

Read the full story »

NPR

 

Mail ballot envelopes will now be printed with the full year filled out

Posted on July 19, 2024

The Pennsylvania Department of State is hoping another change to mail ballot return envelopes will eliminate the chance of ballots being rejected this November because of voters failing to write in the year completely.

In a directive earlier this month, the Department of State told counties that they should now preprint ballot return envelopes with the full, four-digit year in the date field, leaving voters to fill in just the month and day alongside their signature.

Read the full story »

WPSU/NPR

 

Retired DuBois doctor recounts trying to save man fatally shot at Trump rally

Posted on July 19, 2024

Jim Sweetland, a retired doctor from DuBois, was in the stands at the Trump rally Saturday in Butler when, what first sounded like firecrackers to him, started. Sweetland then realized it was gunfire.

A man, later identified as Corey Comperatore, had been shot down. Sweetland saw that former President Donald Trump was surrounded by Secret Service members. Sweetland then heard a woman calling out: He’s been shot. He’s down.

Read the full story »

WPSU/NPR

 

‘Exciting’: Pa. delegates, GOP pols react to former Trump critic as VP pick

Posted on July 19, 2024

Just a few hours after Donald Trump announced his choice of vice president, Ohio Senator J.D. Vance made his way through the crowd at the Republican National Convention to thunderous applause and chants of “J.D.”

Among those showing their support for Vance was Pennsylvania delegate and former U.S. Congressman Fred Keller, who said he thought Vance exemplifies what’s possible in America.

Read the full story »

WPSU/NPR

 

FBI investigating Trump rally attack as potential act of domestic terrorism

Posted on July 19, 2024

BUTLER, Pa. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump called for unity and resilience Sunday after an attempt on his life added fresh uncertainty to an already tumultuous presidential campaign and raised sharp questions about how a gunman was able to open fire from a rooftop near a Pennsylvania campaign rally.

A full day after the shooting, the gunman’s motive was still a mystery, and investigators said they believe he acted alone before being fatally shot by Secret Service agents. President Joe Biden ordered an independent security review of the attack, which killed a bystander and critically wounded two others. The FBI was investigating the shooting as a potential act of domestic terrorism.

Read the full story »

WPSU/NPR

 

FBI identifies Thomas Crooks of Bethel Park as the suspect in Trump assassination attempt

Posted on July 19, 2024

The FBI has identified Thomas Matthew Crooks, 20, of Bethel Park, as the suspected gunman involved in the assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump during a campaign rally Saturday in Butler County.

In a news conference hours after the shooting, federal and state investigators said they didn’t believe there was another threat in addition to the shooter at the rally. The Pennsylvania State Police did not rule out that the shooter could have received assistance but said they had found no evidence so far.

Read the full story »

WPSU/NPR

 

Trump rally in Butler County ends abruptly after apparent gunshots are heard in crowd

Posted on July 19, 2024

Donald Trump’s rally in Butler County came to a shocking end Saturday when shots were fired at Trump in front of thousands of supporters a few minutes into his speech at the Farm Show grounds.

The former president was “fine” after the shooting at 6:11 p.m., according to a campaign spokesman. But Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger told The Associated Press that the suspected gunman was dead and at least one rallygoer was killed during the gunfire. At least two other people were critically injured, according to the U.S. Secret Service.

Read the full story »

WPSU/NPR

 

Tonight Biden and Trump will have their first debate of 2024. Here’s what you need to know.

Posted on June 27, 2024

President Biden and former President Donald Trump will face off in the first presidential debate of the 2024 general election tonight in Atlanta.

It begins a new phase of the presidential race, less than five months out from Nov. 5, Election Day, as the matchup remains extremely tight. Biden and Trump stand virtually tied, according to the latest NPR/PBS News/Marist poll, which echoes a months-long trend of recent national surveys.

The debate also breaks with campaign tradition, occurring months earlier than usual and with a new set of rules both candidates have agreed to, including no live audience. It’s also the first debate either candidate has participated in this campaign season. Biden largely ran unopposed, and Trump notably skipped the GOP primary debates.

Here’s what you need to know about this first debate.

Read the full story »

NPR

 

Side by side of 'The Sum of Us' book cover along with headshot of author Heather McGhee.

Democracy Works: Democracy is the sum of us

Posted on April 16, 2024

Heather McGhee made her career in pushing for economic policy changes at the think tank Demos. But she couldn’t help but feel that something was missing from her work. So she embarked on a cross-country road trip to understand what’s at the heart of what ails America’s economy and our democracy. The result is her book “The Sum of Us,” which she joins us to talk about in this episode

Read the full story »

WPSU

 

Woman at table opening and counting mail-in ballots.

Elections 101: How Pa. secures mail ballots, prevents fraud, and more

Posted on April 16, 2024

Elections 101 from Spotlight PA protects you against election misinformation and empowers you to make informed decisions. This story is made possible through a collaboration with Votebeat, a nonpartisan news organization covering local election administration and voting.

You may be one of the hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians who plan to vote by mail during the 2024 election. Or maybe it’s an option you’ve considered but haven’t pursued because you distrust the process or have concerns about fraud.

Read the full story »

WPSU, Votebeat

 

Man at table opening and counting mail-in ballots.

Voting rights groups appeal ruling that directs Pa. to reject undated mail ballots

Posted on April 16, 2024

This article is made possible through Spotlight PA’s collaboration with Votebeat, a nonpartisan news organization covering local election administration and voting. Sign up for Votebeat’s free newsletters here.

After a court defeat, Pennsylvania voting rights organizations are trying to convince a larger group of federal appellate judges that the state shouldn’t be allowed to reject mail ballots that lack a proper date on their return envelopes.

Read the full story »

WPSU, Votebeat

 

Man walking down a street away from a sign that reads 'Vote Here'.

Why independents can’t vote in the 2024 Pa. primary, and the slow-moving push to change that

Posted on April 12, 2024

Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit newsroom producing investigative and public-service journalism that holds power to account and drives positive change in Pennsylvania. Sign up for our free newsletters.

HARRISBURG — Millions of voters are expected to cast ballots during Pennsylvania’s April 23 primary, choosing candidates to represent the Democratic and Republican parties in November.

Read the full story »

WPSU, Spotlight PA

 

Man in blue suiting hold a document and file folder talking with someone off camera.

Pa.’s top election official answers your questions about misinformation, voting machines, and more

Posted on April 11, 2024

Ahead of the April 23 primary, Pennsylvania’s top election official answered your questions about misinformation, voting machine security, and more.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt joined Spotlight PA’s Kate Huangpu and Votebeat’s Carter Walker in March for a live event about building trust in elections. If you missed it, you can watch the conversation here.

Read the full story »

WPSU, Votebeat

 

Illustration of various headshots of people representing political candidates to choose from.

INTERACTIVE: See which Pa. attorney general candidate is right for you

Posted on April 11, 2024

Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit newsroom producing investigative and public-service journalism that holds power to account and drives positive change in Pennsylvania. Sign up for our free newsletters.

Pennsylvania’s April 23 primary election is fast approaching, and Democrats and Republicans will soon have to decide which attorney general candidate they want to send to the general election.

Read the full story »

WPSU, Spotlight PA

 

‘Dark money’ groups would be forced to disclose how they spend on Pa.’s elections under advancing bill

Posted on March 29, 2024

Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit newsroom producing investigative and public-service journalism that holds power to account and drives positive change in Pennsylvania. Sign up for our free newsletters.

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania House is advancing modest campaign finance reforms during an election year that will likely see a torrent of hard-to-trace political spending flood the state.

Read the full story »

WPSU, Spotlight PA

 

Recount petitions could impede Pa.’s efforts to certify 2024 election by new federal deadline

Posted on March 29, 2024

This article is made possible through Spotlight PA’s collaboration with Votebeat, a nonpartisan news organization covering local election administration and voting. Sign up for Votebeat’s free newsletters here.

After the 2022 elections, a flurry of precinct-level recount petitions prevented Pennsylvania from certifying its election results until Dec. 22 — weeks later than usual.

Read the full story »

WPSU, Votebeat

 

Pennsylvania treasurer candidates spar over unclaimed property issue

Posted on March 15, 2024

Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit newsroom producing investigative and public-service journalism that holds power to account and drives positive change in Pennsylvania. Sign up for our free newsletters.

HARRISBURG — An obscure policy issue is getting new attention in this year’s race for Pennsylvania treasurer as Democratic state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro of Erie seeks to draw a contrast with Republican incumbent Stacy Garrity.

Read the full story »

WPSU, Spotlight PA

 

Philadelphia voting commission shakeup creates bad optics during big election year

Posted on March 15, 2024

This article is made possible through Spotlight PA’s collaboration with Votebeat, a nonpartisan news organization covering local election administration and voting. Sign up for Votebeat’s free newsletters here.

A power shift and restructuring within the Philadelphia Board of City Commissioners is causing strife among its three elected members, which observers warn could create the appearance of dysfunction in the office as it enters a high-pressure year overseeing the city’s elections.

Read the full story »

WPSU, Votebeat

 

Trump dominates in GOP primaries across the country

Posted on March 6, 2024

Sixteen states and one territory are making their presidential preferences known on this biggest voting day of the primaries. Here’s what we’re following:

Read the full story »

NPR

 

Elections 101: Everything you need to know about Pennsylvania’s voting machines, how the state keeps them safe, and more

Posted on March 1, 2024

This series from Spotlight PA protects you against election misinformation and empowers you to make informed decisions. This story is made possible through a collaboration with Votebeat, a nonpartisan news organization covering local election administration and voting.

During what is likely to be another contentious presidential election in Pennsylvania, you may hear contradictory, confusing, or downright false claims about voting machines.

Read the full story »

WPSU, Votebeat

 

Democrat Dan McCaffery wins open seat on Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Posted on November 8, 2023

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Democrat Dan McCaffery won an open seat on Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court in Tuesday’s general election, preserving a strong Democratic majority on a panel that has produced several critical election-related rulings in the presidential battleground state.

The seven-member bench, which will be made up five Democrats and two Republicans, is also at the center of cases on guns and abortion rights — which had a prominent role in the campaign.

Read the full story »

WPSU | By Marc Levy | Associated Press

 

Democrat Timika Lane wins court seat, as Pennsylvania Democrats sweep 4 statewide judicial races

Posted on November 8, 2023

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Democrat Timika Lane won a seat on a statewide appellate court in Pennsylvania, giving Democrats a sweep of four statewide judicial races in Tuesday’s election, including an open seat on the state’s highest court.

Vote-counting continued into Wednesday and put Lane, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge, over the top in her race for a seat on the state Superior Court.

Read the full story »

WPSU | By The Associated Press

 

Election results out in county commissioner, school board and other races across central PA

Posted on November 8, 2023

These are unofficial election results.

Centre County

In the race for Centre County Commissioner, Democrats Mark Higgins and Amber Concepcion and Republican Steve Dershem have been reelected.

There were a few competitive Centre County row offices. Democratic incumbent Jason Moser has been reelected as Controller. Democrat Colleen Kennedy holds on to her Treasurer position. And in a very close Recorder of Deeds race, Republican incumbent Joseph Davidson currently holds a 127 vote lead over Robert Zeigler.

For the State College Area School District Board of Directors, all five Democratic “Slate for State” candidates have been elected by numbers about double their Republican competitors’. Amy Bader and Gretchen Brandt will return to the board, along with newcomers Anne Demo, Dan Kolbe and Aaron Miller.

Read the full story »

WPSU

 

Pa. election 2023: New interactive tool illustrates why judges matter and how they shape policy in our state

Posted on October 27, 2023

HARRISBURG — Elections for seats on Pennsylvania’s highest courts tend to lack the urgency of other races, as those courts seem to operate far from our everyday lives, especially when compared to the work of local and state officials.

But judges in these positions hold an immense amount of power, and make decisions that profoundly impact some of the most pressing and hot-button issues of our time, including abortion, civil liberties, education, voting and elections, and the environment.

That’s why Spotlight PA is launching a new voter tool ahead of this November’s judicial contests to illustrate how the courts in recent years have affected the policies you care about most.

Read the full story »

WPSU | By Elizabeth Estrada of Spotlight PA

 

Pa. election 2023: Everything you need to know about requesting, filling out, and returning your mail ballot

Posted on October 27, 2023

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s 2023 election will give voters the chance to pick a new slate of judges across several statewide courts.

On Nov. 7, voters will elect a new state Supreme Court justice, as well as new judges to sit on Commonwealth and Superior Courts. They will also decide whether two appellate judges on Superior Court should get another term.

Across the state, some residents will also vote in municipal races for offices like mayor and school board, and answer ballot questions.

Read the full story »

WPSU | By Elizabeth Estrada of Spotlight PA

 

Pa. election 2023: A complete guide to who is on the ballot, when to vote, how to vote, where to vote, casting mail ballots & more

Posted on October 27, 2023

HARRISBURG — On Nov. 7, Pennsylvanians will cast their vote for a new state Supreme Court justice, as well as for new judges to sit on Commonwealth and Superior Courts. Voters will also decide whether two appellate judges on Superior Court should get another term.

Across the state, depending on where you live, there might also be municipal races on the ballot, for offices like mayor and school board, along with ballot questions.

To help you prepare for Election Day 2023 in Pennsylvania, we’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions below…

Read the full story »

WPSU | By Elizabeth Estrada of Spotlight PA

 

Pa. election 2023: What to know about the judicial retention questions on the November ballot

Posted on October 27, 2023

HARRISBURG — Near the bottom of this year’s general election ballot, Pennsylvania voters will be asked simple questions with long-term consequences.

Depending on where they live, voters will decide whether at least two state judges should “be retained for an additional term” of 10 years.

All state judges — from those who preside over municipal courts to the justices of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court — initially run in partisan races. Once elected, the judges on Pennsylvania’s powerful appellate and Common Pleas courts serve 10-year terms — often holding their seats for decades with little notice.

Read the full story »

WPSU | By Stephen Caruso of Spotlight PA

 

One man’s spending is dominating Pa. judicial races. Who is he, and why is this election important?

Posted on October 27, 2023

HARRISBURG — A political group almost entirely funded by Pennsylvania’s richest resident has contributed one out of every three dollars raised this year by candidates running in critical statewide judicial races.

The group, Commonwealth Leaders Fund, has spent over $2.7 million, the vast majority to support just one candidate: Montgomery County judge Carolyn Carluccio, a Republican running for a seat on the state Supreme Court.

The position comes with great power. In recent years, the high court threw out the state’s congressional map for being overtly partisan, allowed a lawsuit challenging the state’s education funding system to go to trial, and upheld the state’s mail voting law.

Read the full story »

WPSU | By Stephen Caruso of Spotlight PA, Kate Huangpu of Spotlight PA

 

Pa. Supreme Court 101: What it is, why it matters, and more

Posted on October 27, 2023

At a quick glance: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is made up of 7 justices. Currently, there are 4 Democrats and 2 Republicans that serve on the court. There is 1 vacancy before voters in the November 2023 election. To qualify for a seat on the court, candidates must have state residency for at least one year and reside in the commonwealth throughout the duration of their term. They must be at least 21 years of age, but not older than 75. They also have to be a member of the Bar of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and licensed to practice law in the state.

Read the full story »

WPSU | By Elizabeth Estrada of Spotlight PA

 

Pa. Superior Court 101: What it is, why it matters, and more

Posted on October 27, 2023

At a quick glance: Superior Court is made up of 15 judges. Currently, there are 7 Democrats and 7 Republicans that serve on the court. There are 2 vacancies before voters in the November 2023 election. To qualify for a seat on the court, candidates must have state residency for at least one year and reside in the commonwealth throughout the duration of their term. They must be at least 21 years of age, but not older than 75. They also have to be a member of the Bar of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and licensed to practice law in the state.

Read the full story »

WPSU | By Elizabeth Estrada of Spotlight PA

 

Pa. Commonwealth Court 101: What it is, why it matters, and more

Posted on October 27, 2023

At a quick glance: Commonwealth Court is made up of 9 judges. Currently, there are 3 Democrats and 5 Republicans that serve on the court. There is 1 vacancy before voters in the November 2023 election. To qualify for a seat on the court, candidates must have state residency for at least one year and reside in the commonwealth throughout the duration of their term. They must be at least 21 years of age, but not older than 75. They also have to be a member of the Bar of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and licensed to practice law in the state.

Read the full story »

WPSU | By Elizabeth Estrada of Spotlight PA

 

Expanded voter ID is back on the table in Pennsylvania

Posted on October 27, 2023

This article is made possible through Spotlight PA’s collaboration with Votebeat, a nonpartisan news organization covering local election administration and voting. This article is available for reprint under the terms of Votebeat’s republishing policy.

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania lawmakers are once again considering expanding the state’s voter ID requirements, this time as part of a larger proposal to change the date of the 2024 presidential primary.

The Democratic-controlled state House is expected to consider a Republican-authored amendment this week that would require voters to show proof of identification every time they cast a ballot in person. Currently, state law requires voters to show proof of identification the first time they vote at a polling place.

Read the full story »

WPSU | By Stephen Caruso of Spotlight PA, Kate Huangpu of Spotlight PA, Carter Walker of Votebeat

 


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