May 25: Lawsuit Filed Over Mail-in Ballots

It’s Wednesday, May 25, 2022. Still no decision in US Senate race. Lawsuit filed over mail-in ballots. Should undated ballots count? Court says counties can inspect voting equipment. Here is the Playbook.

PA Weather
Johnstown | Partly Sunny, 69
Carlisle | Partly Sunny, 72
Malvern | Mostly Sunny, 72

PA Sports
Phillies (20-23, 8.0 GB) | lost to Braves, 6-5; WED-THU vs. Atlanta
Pirates (17-25, 9.5 GB) | lost to Rockies, 2-1; WED vs. Colorado

U.S. Senate: Still no winner. As of early Wednesday morning, Dr. Mehmet Oz leads David McCormick by just less than 1,000 votes for the GOP nomination. As Pennsylvania calls for an automatic recount for results decided by 0.5 points or less, that looks like the direction we are headed. The winner of the GOP race will face Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who coasted to the Democratic Party nomination.

News

Court Says Counties Can Inspect Voting Equipment: The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania overturned the decertification of Fulton County’s voting machines and granted it the right to inspect them.

Reader Poll: Should Undated Mail-In Ballots Count?: If you forget to put a date on your mail-in ballot return envelope, should your vote not count? That is the question we put to you for your opinion.

McCormick Files Lawsuit Over Mail-In Votes: Dave McCormick has filed a lawsuit in hopes to have counties count mail ballots that were received on time but without a handwritten date on their envelope.

GOP Extends Election Inquiry Probe: Eighteen months after the 2020 presidential election, Republicans in the Pennsylvania General Assembly have extended their inquiry into the results.

PA Senate Race: ‘Leigh Chapman says GOP Senate primary ‘likely headed toward a recount’’: City & State PA reports that “Pennsylvania’s top election official said Tuesday that the state’s Republican primary race for U.S. Senate is “likely headed toward a recount” as the race’s two leading candidates remain separated by less than 1,000 votes, according to unofficial election results.”

  • Inquirer: Court battles over ballots in the McCormick-Oz Pennsylvania Senate race have split the GOP
  • Inquirer: David McCormick, Mehmet Oz, and the politics behind undated Pennsylvania mail ballots 
  • Spotlight PA: How a mail ballot ruling in Pa. could affect 2022 primary election results
  • Fox News: Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary battle: RNC chair calls on state law to be followed after McCormick lawsuit
  • Politico: Mail ballots spark bitter dispute in Pa. GOP Senate race 
  • CNN: McCormick files lawsuit to have undated ballots counted in Pennsylvania Senate race
  • Pennsylvania Capital-Star: With GOP U.S. Senate results still unknown, Pa. election officials issue guidance amid litigation
  • AP: Court battles go down to count deadline in Pa. Senate race
  • Post-Gazette: U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick says lawsuit over Pa. ballot-counting is about ‘legitimate votes’
  • PennLive: Oz-McCormick update: Pa. tells counties to process undated mail-in ballots as part of U.S. Senate race count 
  • KDKA: McCormick’s lawsuit to count all mail-in votes brings wrath of GOP

PA Governor Race: ‘Democrats are trying to wake up disaffected voters by calling Doug Mastriano an existential threat’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “national Democrats are worried turnout could be weak this fall. But organizers in Pennsylvania say having a far-right candidate on the ballot might mean they buck the conventional wisdom.”

  • Billy Penn: No pressure: Pa.’s Josh Shapiro is being painted as the potential savior of democracy
  • Erie Times-News: SNL makes jokes at expense of GOP Pa. governor candidate Mastriano

‘Pa. Senate: Lead widens in one contested Lehigh Valley race, narrows in another as counties near end of reporting votes’: The Allentown Morning Call reports that “one undecided Pennsylvania Senate race in the Lehigh Valley tightened and the other barely moved Tuesday as county election offices worked to beat a state deadline a week after primary voters went to the polls.”

‘After primary, Mastriano rejoins closed Senate GOP meetings’: The Associated Press reports that “in the Senate, GOP gubernatorial nominee Sen. Doug Mastriano was allowed back inside the Republican caucus’ closed-door meetings Monday. Mastriano, R-Franklin, had been kicked out last year after leaders concluded he had shared information that was supposed to be confidential.”

‘Stimulus checks for Pennsylvanians? Here’s where Gov. Tom Wolf’s push for $2,000 direct payments stands’: PennLive reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf recently launched a push for the General Assembly to pass legislation that would send $2,000 direct payments to many Pennsylvanians. The legislation will be part of the $500 million PA Opportunity Program funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.”

‘Groups urge Pa.’s Chief Justice to intervene on access to criminal records’: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that “a coalition of media, legal groups and academics on Tuesday asked Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Max Baer to take steps to stop some counties across the state from restricting access to criminal records.”

‘Pa. Senate committee approves bill to ban transgender women from women’s sports’: WITF reports that “Gov. Tom Wolf vowed to veto the bill if it reaches his desk and called it “disturbing.””

‘‘If not now, when?’ Advocates for those living with intellectual, developmental disabilities rally at the Capitol’: The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that “people who live with intellectual and developmental disabilities deserve the same shot at living and working in the communities they call home as their neighbors. But the only way that will happen is if state lawmakers honor their commitment to fund the programs that support them, and pay a living wage to the people who provide those services, advocates said as they rallied on the Capitol steps on Tuesday.”

‘Here’s how some are bracing for a post-Roe Pennsylvania’: City State PA reports that “stark choices await both sides if the Supreme Court overturns the landmark abortion rights decision.”

‘Penn Hills lawmaker seeking to ban cellphone use in schools statewide’: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that “state Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Penn Hills, introduced legislation that would prohibit cellphone use in schools.”

‘Pa. power prices are rising on June 1 by up to 46%. There are ways to save.’: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “you’ll need to act before June 1 to get the best deals. Opportunities to save are scarce. Charges are rising now largely because higher energy costs are driving up the cost of energy.”

‘Baby formula shortage: Central Pa. doctor warns against homemade recipes, but offers alternatives and optimism’: PennLive reports that “the doctor also warned against diluting formula in an attempt to stretch the supply, saying it would prevent a baby from being sufficiently nourished.”

Regional Spotlight: Southwest
Tribune Review: More than 200 undated ballots in Allegheny County to be counted but kept separate, state says
Tribune Review: City Council approves measure to investigate limited-equity housing cooperatives
Tribune Review: Supreme Court refuses to take up appeal by ex-Pittsburgh Councilwoman Darlene Harris on ethics fine 
Post-Gazette: Southwestern Pa. transportation funding plan includes millions more for Pittsburgh-area bridges
Post-Gazette: Fern Hollow Bridge was severely decaying before collapse, 2021 report indicates
WESA: Community advocate to challenge for Corey O’Connor’s seat — whether he remains in it or not
WESA: Pittsburgh’s canceled guaranteed income program was vulnerable to claims of racial discrimination 
WESA: Man of the people: How Jim Ferlo helped define city politics for a generation of Pittsburghers 
WESA: Pittsburgh officials want the city’s other water companies to be as transparent as PWSA
WESA: Short-term rental owners in Pittsburgh are unhappy with the city’s proposed regulations 
WESA: Despite decriminalization, report finds Black Pittsburghers more likely to be charged for marijuana
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh City Council to move forward with exploration of other affordable housing options
Post-Gazette: Council sends bills on county jobs back to committee
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh police should make policy on marijuana arrests, extremist group involvement, audit recommends
Post-Gazette: Post-Gazette wins 17 Golden Quills, best-of-show award
KDKA: Pittsburgh city controller calls for changes to police department
KDKA: Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey releases statement after 18 children killed in Texas school shooting
Tribune Review: Former Mt. Pleasant funeral director, state legislator Eugene Saloom spent life ‘helping people’ 
Tribune Review: Tribune-Review takes home a Golden Quill best-of-show among its winners, dozens of nominations, CEO honored
Beaver County Times: Beaver County primary voter turnout nearly 32 percent
City Paper: U.S. Steel fined $1.5 million and required to improve air pollution control
City Paper: Rural Pennsylvania training program helps fill dire volunteer firefighter, EMS shortage
City Paper: Jail resumes modified lockdown due to COVID; advocates renew calls to decarcerate 
City Paper: Where to celebrate Juneteenth in Pittsburgh
The Incline: ???? Locals to Know: Meet Patrick McGinty, the author imagining Pittsburgh in 2030
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Challenged Cambria, Somerset mail-ins don’t add up to much in GOP Senate race
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Tribune-Democrat notches two wins in Golden Quills contest
Altoona Mirror: Blair mail-in ballots on hold
Altoona Mirror: Blair seeking more agencies to help in hiring
Observer-Reporter: Attorney General investigating Clerk of Courts Davis
Observer-Reporter: Revised district court realignment would eliminate Peters Township magistrate

Opinion  
Bill White: Pennsylvania voters reject political elites by backing Mastriano and Fetterman
Jerry Zahorchak: Pennsylvania must fund local education, for the students’ good — and the state’s
Matthew Yglesias: Democrats, be like Fetterman: Avoid specifics to look reassuringly moderate, not radical
Michael A. MacDowell: Forgiving college loans would cost taxpayers millions
Tereneh Idia: That Summer Feelin’
John L. Micek: America’s state supreme courts, including Pa., have a diversity problem | Tuesday Morning Coffee
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Build streets for humans first, not cars
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Nickel Mines, Sandy Hook, Parkland, Uvalde: Massacres of schoolchildren continue to lead to anguish (but not action) in the US
Will Bunch Newsletter: Homophobia is Mastriano’s driving force
Jonathan Stein and Katherine Vengraitis: Reopening Social Security offices is just the first step to serving those in need
Bruce Ledewitz: Debating when Clarence Thomas should recuse himself is the wrong argument
Michael Coard: Oney Judge, enslaved by George Washington, made a great escape — and history
The Grammarian: Calling Buffalo shooter’s screed a ‘manifesto’ glorifies his writing
Malik Majeed: It shouldn’t take a pandemic for Black-owned businesses to get support

2 Responses

  1. What would the counties be looking for? What expertise do they have? Once the machines are certified by the State, why do you want some locals monkeying around with them?
    This stupid judge in Commonwealth Court answered none of these questions.

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  • Reader Poll: Have You Requested a Mail-In Ballot?


    • Yes. I enjoy mail-in voting. (50%)
    • No. I am going to the poll. (50%)

    Total Voters: 121

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