Election day in Pa: struggling in quiet desperation

    UPDATED AT 5:30 P.M.

    It’s a particularly quiet primary election, but there are careers on the line in Pennsylvania, as candidates compete for the attention of the relative handful of voters who are showing up at polls.

    I’ll join Dave Heller and other reporters bringing you results and analysis this evening on WHYY, 91 FM.

    You can follow returns as they come in on Newsworks.org here.

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    There are a unusual number of competitive state legislative races in the region, and one of the more interesting involves the challenge of 27 year-old Fatimah Muhammad to long-serving State Rep. James Roebuck in West Philadelphia.

    As City Paper and the Daily News have reported, Muhammad is getting generous assistance from pro-school voucher forces that associated with State Sen. Anthony Williams.  Teachers unions support Roebuck.

    Muhammad’s campaign has filed a complaint charging Roebuck with using state staff and resources for his political campaign. This will likely be investigated, if at all, after the election. You can see a copy of the complaint here.

    Roebuck told me he’s scrupulous about following the rules governing the use of state staff and resources. He said the legislative employee named in the complaint is on leave.

    Maybe by the time that isssue is investigated, we’ll get a look at Muhammad’s legally-required campaign finance report showing her contributors and spending. It’s not available on the Pa State Department’s website, and the Philadelphia City Commissioners’ office reports her campaign hasn’t filed a copy there.

    UPDATE: The anonymous commenter below provides a link to Muhammad’s report, which is on the City Controller’s website. It appears the campaign filed with the City Board of Ethics rather than with the Department of State, which is the legal requirement.

    The most high-profile statewide contests are the Republican U.S. Senate primary and the Democratic rumble for the nomination for State Attorney General. Plenty of information on those here.

    Folks I’ve spoken to report a quiet election day around Philadelphia with a handful of routine complaints. You can read the Committee of Seventy’s mid-day election report here. Their 5:30 p.m. report is here.

    Our own Emma Jacobs has been looking into how the first day of the new Voter ID law is working, and you’ll be shocked to hear there’s a lot of confusion. Listen for her report at 6 p.m. on 91FM on Newsworks Tonight.

    (There was no confusion at my polling place in the 59th ward in Germantown – nobody asked for an ID or said it would be required at the next election.)

    And you can find my friend Catherine Lucey’s report on election day festivities at Famous Deli in Philadelphia here.

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