It’s Election Day — here’s the latest (update)

Election results and reaction can be found via this post.

Here’s a summary of news and anecdotes as Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware go to the polls today.  Pennsylvania elects a governor; New Jersey and Delaware each elect a Senator. And the makeup of the U.S. House is at stake everywhere. Find results here after polls close.

7:50 p.m. Checking in from her South Philadelphia polling place, NewsWorks’ Elana Gordon notes that, sometimes, “the 50-year-old voting machines go out.”

To rectify this, a woman working at the polling place at 10th and Morris rubbed her hand on metal, then gave the machine an electric shock with her finger.

“And,” Gordon reports, “it turned back on.”

 

7:45 p.m. NewsWorks‘ Neema Roshania checks in from her polling place at 10th and Walnut sts. in Center City. She was voter no. 363.

Poll workers reported a steady stream of voters all day and that just about half of those registered to vote at the location have passed through.

7 p.m. NewsWorks alum Emma Jacobs checking in on voter turnout in South Philadelphia later in the day:

Democratic volunteer Ryan O’Donnell was knocking on doors of South Philadelphia row houses just hours before the polls closed.

“On Election Day especially, you’re done with persuasion and you just search for people to turn out,” O’Donnell said. “If someone is even not partially not interested in supporting your candidate, then you just say ‘thank you very much’ and you move on quickly as you can to get on to the next person. Then, you can get to the next person who might just be willing to support your candidate but not turn out to the polls.”

With O’Donnell was the Democratic committeeman for the second ward’s 19th division, Jon Geeting. He has been monitoring turnout at his polling place at 11th and Catherine sts. throughout the day.

“Everyone seems to have been surprised by the turnout,” he said.

While in his division, by the early evening, that meant only a third of voters had visited their polling place, “the consensus out there seems to be that turnout is higher than usual today.”

6 p.m. Radio Times’ Emily Bryant just voted at Wilmington, Del.’s First Unitarian Church.

About half of the district had shown up (800 of 1,700) to vote, which is lower than a Presidential election turnout but higher than expected.

5:30 p.m. Here’s more from Kevin McCorry, who was at Anderson Elementary school in West Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon:

Top teachers’ union brass gathered at Anderson Elementary School in West Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon, where they urged a crowd of three dozen teachers to push their friends and neighbors to vote before polls close.

Randi Weingarten, national president of the American Federation of Teachers, said she had spent more time in Pennsylvania in October than her own home state.

“If we win this election in Pennsylvania, we can reclaim democratic oversight of our schools,” said Weingarten to raucous union applause, making a reference to disbanding the state- and city appointed School Reform Commission. “If we win this election in Pennsylvania, we can make sure that our kids have the nurses they need, the guidance counselors they need, the music they need, the art they need to be able to seize and dream their dreams.”

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan praised the union members who’ve been spreading the word about the importance of the voting.

“What you are doing today here and across the city is an enormous show of your concern for what happens … to our children in the school district,” he said.

Beverly Faunce, who teaches kindergarten at Anderson, blames the Corbett administration for school district cuts that have left her with minimal resources and upwards of 30 children in her classes.

She and 15 other Anderson Elementary staffers knocked on doors in the school’s neighborhood for two hours last week urging parents to vote Tom Wolf into the governor’s office.

“The way to change, the way to make something happen for our lovely children, is to get out here today and vote. And that’s our message,” she said.

“We’ve been walking the neighborhoods. We’ve been shaking hands with our parents. We’ve been trying to tell them, ‘Vote for Wolf,'” Faunce continued. “We gave children homework assignments that was to bring out their parents out to Wolf today, out to vote here.”

A spokesman for the Philadelphia School District said teachers are right to get students excited about the civic process, but said, “voting interests are private, and should be kept that way. We should definitely not be partisan about it.”

Stacy Phillips is the union’s political liaison at Nebinger Elementary, where she provides autistic support to third, fourth and fifth graders.

She thinks a Wolf victory will mean more schools will receive needed supplies and resources, but says she “doesn’t have any delusions of grandeur. I am aware that things take time, and I’m just hoping in the long run, things will change.”

Peg Mulgrew teaches first grade at Anderson. This election found her much more politically active than any in years past “because of what’s happening in the schools, because of the lack of materials that we have, the lack of books, and also because of what the SRC did, trying to take away our contract.”

In early October, the School Reform Commission voted to unilaterally terminate the district’s contract with the teacher’s union. The union has filed an appeal and both parties are waiting for the state Commonwealth Court to rule on the legality of the move.

State Sen. Mike Stack, who with a Wolf victory will become lieutenant governor, also attended the event.

He called teachers the “heroes on the front lines” and chided pro-Corbett television commercials that painted Wolf as a tax-and-spend liberal.

“The kind of spending that we’re going to do is not reckless; it’s investing in our future,” he said. “And we’re going to be much smarter with people’s tax dollars. And we’re going to turn this state around.”

Stack also made a sly reference to Corbett’s stymied voter-ID protocol.

“Now I want to ask you: Everyone who’s been able to vote has voted?” he asked the crowd gathered in the elementary school parking lot.

“We’re in Philadelphia. Has anyone tried to vote again? Let’s get over there,” he said nodding to the polling place 40 yards away, before adding, “I’m just kidding.”

Jordan, Weingarten and Stack each plan to be at Wolf headquarters in York on Tuesday evening to learn the election results.

4:49 p.m. Here’s more from reporter Holly Otterbein at the Fourth Street Deli about that election coming up in the spring:

At least three rumored mayoral candidates — City Controller Alan Butkovitz, state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams and Council President Darrell Clarke — made the rounds at Famous. Much to the chagrin of journalists who were desperate to find a morsel of news at the deli, none of the three politicians announced their candidacy over lunch.

We think it’s a safe to assume that Butkovitz and Williams will run for mayor, but Clarke? We’re not so sure. We asked a few politicians at Famous if they thought Clarke would run for mayor in 2015:

Stack: “55-45 against. … Why would anyone want to run for mayor when they would have to give up being president of City Council? And I said that before with [former Council President and Mayor] John Street, and then he surprised a lot of people and decided to do it.”

District Attorney Seth Williams: “I think Council President Clarke would be a great mayor … but if I were a betting man, I would say that he would continue to serve the city of Philadelphia as a wonderful Council President.”

Butkovitz: “One thing I’ve learned is not to say what Darrell Clarke’s going to do.”

Mayor Michael Nutter: “I have no idea. We’ve never had a conversation about that.”

Former District Attorney (and rumored mayoral candidate) Lynne Abraham: “I don’t bet. I’m sorry, I can’t speak for Darrell Clarke. … He’ll make his own mind up in due course.”

Clarke, for his part, gave this non-answer when asked if he would run: “We’re going to focus on today and closing this out, and hopefully with a successful conclusion having a Democrat in the state capitol.”

4:20 p.m.   A quick bit of background on the bizarre moment in the city of Chester this morning when election judges didn’t show up to work the election.

A volunteer from the Election Protection Coalition first tried to report the problem. After failing to reach any Delaware County election officials, the volunteer reached out to Common Cause.  Eventually, some election judges were hustled to the precinct so voting could occur.

Marian Schneider of the Election Protection Coalition said polling place confusion has been the main problem seen in Philadelphia and Delaware County today.

“Polling places that have moved, with voters unaware,” Schnedider said. “I think polling place issues is usually at the top of the list.  But usually it’s just, ‘Where is my polling place?’ What we’re seeing a little bit more is people going to their polling place and it’s not their polling place. There’s a little bit of an uptick in this but can’t say if it’s much more than in the past.”

3:20 p.m. ― It wouldn’t be election day in Philly without pols munching on giant pastrami sandwiches and talking shop at the Famous Fourth Street Deli. Holding forth on the upcoming mayoral election (which may actually be an election), Sen. Mike Stack handicapped the chances that former Gov. Ed Rendell (himself no stranger to a pastrami sandwich) would enter the running. He puts it at 60/40 against. Reporter Holly Otterbein caught that prediction after failing to finish her own epic corned beef. Unfortunately, she has no plans to share the leftovers.

 So’s you know, NewsWorks and our partners have tons of useful info for folks heading out to vote, like Newsworks deep dive into key races, Keystone Crossroads’ last minute guide for all of Pennsylvania and StateImpact Pa.’s exploration of the gubernatorial candidates’ positions on fracking and the environment.

2:29 p.m. ― The perennial issue of problems for limited English speakers is popping up again this year in Philadelphia.

Nancy Nguyen, executive director of BPSOS of Delaware Value, is site supervisor of exit polling of Asian American voters at South Philadelphia High School for the Asian American Legal Defense Fund (AALDEF). The organization is currently challenging the adequacy of the city’s services for limited-English-proficient voters.

“We’re concerned because it seems like the same issues we’re seeing in 2012 we’re seeing now with issues of language access at polling sites,” she said.

Within a 20-minute span this morning, she said, “We’ve had five Vietnamese individuals come in and all were confused about their polling sites.”

In South Philadelphia, a construction-related library closure led to the relocation of two heavily Asian districts. And Nguyen said poll workers seemed to be confused about the use of “Language Line,” a phone interpretation service whose number is supposed to be displayed at all voting locations.

AALDEF is monitoring eleven polling sites around the city with significant numbers of Asian-language voters, including ones throughout South Philadelphia and in Chinatown. A group of elders surrounded the table outside a voting location in the Point Breeze neighborhood at 16th and Reed, where an AALDEF volunteer said things had been running smoothly.

Will Gonzalez, the executive director of CEIBA, a non-profit group serving North Philadelphia’s Latino communities, said that bilingual poll-workers were easing access at the polls but that a couple of sites were not displaying the required cards with information on the language line and said they had not received them.

Commissioner Stephanie Singer said her office had not been hearing reports of problems with language access. 

1:32 p.m. ― WHYY/First Photographer Paul Parmelee found his polling place with the help of a simple cardboard sign, which directed him into the right door at the Manoa Fire Company on Eagle Road in Havertown. Only his second time voting there, Paul suggested that newer voters might appreciate better signage, but long-time voters seemed to know right where to go. A poll worker there seemed encouraged that roughly a quarter of the 1,200 registered voters in the precinct had cast ballots by about 1 p.m. The weather, she said, was no-doubt a factor. Still, she expected a rush after people get off work.  

Also, there’s this:  City Paper is reporting that City Commissioner Chair Anthony Clark says he voted today at his polling place in the Lower Northeast. No word on whether the guy who runs the city’s election board required a refresher on how to use the machine, after not voting since 2011.

So’s you know, NewsWorks and our partners are rolling in useful info for folks heading out to vote, like Newsworks deep dive into key races, Keystone Crossroads’ last minute guide for all of Pennsylvania and StateImpact Pa.’s exploration of the governors’ records on fracking and the environment.

1:21 p.m. ― From New Jersey, WHYY host and reporter Mary Cummings-Jordan said she had a pleasant autumn walk to her polling place in Vincentown Firehouse in Southampton. 

The parking lot is 3/4 full, and election workers reported a steady stream of voters so far. This is a Republican-leaning area. Southampton lies in New Jersey’s Third Congressional District, where Republican Tom MacArthur and Democrat Aimee Belgard are battling for the seat being vacated by incumbent Jon Runyan.

1:08 p.m. — The governor’s race was top of mind for voters who reporter Emma Jacobs spoke to today in Philadelphia.

Outside of his polling place in Bella Vista, Richard Gold said he believes the incumbent governor has been good for the state.

“He’s been good for education,” Gold told her. “He spent a lot of money on it. I just think that’s he’s encouraged the shale oil people to keep working there. I think the other guy is just a tax and spend liberal.” Gold said. “He’s been good for education. He spent a lot of money on it. I just think that he’s encouraged the shale oil people to keep working there. I think the other guy is just a tax and spend liberal. “

Queen Village voter Nancy Nayowith, a public school teacher in Philadelphia, held a different view.

“Education is huge for me , and just the state of our city,  the state of the future of our youth is really a huge concern. And I’m concerned that if Governor Corbett is re-elected, we’re going to suffer even more and their future is going to look even more bleak than it does now.”

 After voting in South Philly today, Tiffany Washington said, “I voted today because I want Corbett out, number one. Number two, hopefully the new candidates will bring some kind of justice for education and basically have a new school system, a better school system.”

1:15 p.m.  Upon seeing  update below, City Commissioner Al Schmidt reached out to NewsWorks to clarify the situation. As opposed to problems with the rolls, he said that three voters had tried to vote at Mifflin but were registered in different areas of the city, something deemed common on Philadelphia election days. “It had nothing to do with the [voter-roll] books,” he said.

12:42 p.m. — NewsWorks Northwest editor Brian Hickey reports that some who registered to vote apparently are not showing up on the rolls in the 38th.

Dave Senoff, a committee person in the 38th, said of the voting at Mifflin school: “Looks like city commissioners [messed] up. Lots of people properly registered are not on the rolls and not allowed to vote on machines. Clearly a problem since we have a lot here, I can’t imagine what it’s like in Center City wards like 8th.”

The election watchdog group Committee of Seventy reporter 215 calls to its election hotline by midday. Of those, most were from people looking for a polling place. Other calls included complaints about electioneering at the polls, insufficient access for disabled people, and broken voting machines.

 

 

12:10 p.m. –  WHYY/NewsWorks’ Holly Otterbein reports this from South Philadelphia: Voters at the Ford Recreation Center are voting today in a room where one wall has a mural featuring a likeness of President Obama. 

Who, as you may have heard, is a Democrat.

Maybe you remember a similar situation from the 2012 election?

On Election Day in 2012, a city judge ordered an Obama mural at Franklin Elementary School in the 35th Ward to be covered up during poll hours.

Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, says the Ford situation might be different, in that Obama himself is not on the ballot. She noted that a lot of Philadelphia schools feature images of Obama.

A spokesperson with the Committee of Seventy watchdog group said this situation is indeed similar to the one in 2012.

Here are some other polling place reports from our farflung correspondents:

John Mussoni, Delaware managing editor: “Southern Elementary School near Delaware City had a steady stream that kept its four voting booths hard at work while I was there at about 10:15.   Delaware House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst was there greeting voters along with Democratic newcomers Sean Barney, running for treasurer, and Brenda Mayrack, who is trying to unseat long time Auditor Tom Wagner. Signs lined the driveway as people drove in to vote, including one that read, “Fix the economy, vote Republican.”

Amy Z. Quinn, social media strategist: Steady activity at Richwood United Methodist Church polling place in Mullica Hill, Gloucester County.  I was voter 153 just before noon, but given most people in this rural-suburban commuter town vote after work, poll worker said, “This is the best I’ve ever seen it.”

Susan Phillips, StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter: “I voted in the 1st ward, 21st Division in the Pennsport neighborhood about 9:30.  Workers said it was a really good turnout so far. I was number 74, and the committeewoman said it was 106 total in the last general. They all seemed impressed by the turnout.”

This is all anecdotal, of course, and the final tale of turnout will be told during evening rush hour and the waning minutes the polls are open tonight.  But the trend we’re seeing from scattered reports is slightly better than expected participation in the city, and lower-than-usual volume in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Here’s a report from friend of WHYY Robert Curtiss on the view from Montgomery County: “I voted at 11 a.m in Elkins Park, Abington Township. My wife and I were the 238th and 239th voters of the day. The clerks said voter traffic had been steady but light all morning. I’d heard the same report from other polling places in my township. I am astounded and disturbed that participation is low with such a pivotal gubernatorial election to decide.”

11:30 a.m. – On this gleaming fall day, the turnout story continues to be “not as bad as feared.”

A pretty dreary, negative campaign season with few close races in this region had political observers worried that a lot more potential voters would stay home than in other recent mid-term elections.

So far, from the Philadephia suburbs to the city to South Jersey, the sunshine seems to be luring out at least a normal flow of voters.

Here’s NewsWorks’ New Jersey editor Alan Tu’s dispatch from Mercer County: “Turnout at the Suzanne Patterson Center in Princeton is running above normal, according to 3 District 6 poll workers.

“As of 11:15 a.m.. 113 of the estimated 500 eligible voters for District 6 had already turned out.

“Voters here are in New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District, which is deciding who will replace retiring Democrat Rush Holt on Capitol Hill. The two major party candidates are Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman and Republican Alieta Eck. This race almost assures that a woman will be part of the state’s congressional delegation.

“Also, on the ballot here just in Mercer County is a proposal to tax plastic grocery bags at 5 cents. It is designed to encourage people use recyclable bags.”

10:40 a.m. –  Here’s one you don’t hear every Election Day.

At one voting precinct in the city of Chester in Delaware County, no election workers showed up this morning to run the polling place.  Delaware County election officials briefly considered just informing voters to go to another polling place.   But after consulting with Barry Kauffman of Common Cause and  Jonathan Marks, commissioner of the state Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation, they dropped that plan.   Eventually, they rustled up a crew of election workers and opened the polling place, which had been set up properly in advance.

Meanwhile, education was the main issue on the minds of some Philadelphia voters whom WHYY/NewsWorks’ Kevin McCorry caught up with this morning.

Outside a Roxborough polling place, Rebecca Poyourow urged passersby to vote for Democrat Tom Wolf for governor.

A member of Parents United For Public Education, she says her top priority is voting incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett out of office:

“I’ve been waiting to be out here for the last three years of my life. Ever since the budget cuts of 2011, when I learned about those, my stomach just dropped out from inside me. I’m a mom with two kids and I knew that their public school would be terribly impacted by that.”

Claire Chappelle, who teaches seventh grade English at Roberto Clemente Promise Academy, echoed that sentiment.

“Our schools are a complete mess. There is absolutely no respect for teachers in the classroom. Socrates and Plato, they would be rolling over in their graves.”

Through the campaign, Corbett grew increasing exasperated with Wolf’s claims that he’d slashed aid to education. Corbett made the case that he increased the state’s core subsidy to K-12 education, and it was up to local school systems to make more efficient use of resources.

10:20 a.m. –  Election Day in this region turned out to be as glorious a fall day as we ever see – and that seems to be helping turnout after a fall campaign that most voters seemed to view as anything but stirring.

Reports from WHYY/NewsWorks staffers indicate that poll workers are a little surprised by the early-morning volume.

Here’s the word from NewsWorks visual editor Emma Lee, who voted at the firehouse in Moorestown, N.J.:  “I voted at 8 a.m. and was the 56th voter. No lines, but a steady flow. A poll worker was impressed. She said 56 could be a full day’s turnout for the district in some elections.”

Of course, there’s always one contrarian in every crowd.  Judith Schultz of Keystone Crossroads reports that voting at her Delaware County polling place this morning was a pretty lonely endeavor: “” 7:30 a.m.  It was quiet as I approached Penn Wood High School in Lansdowne, just a walk around the corner from my home. I signed is as number 5. No one was waiting behind me as I left the poll.”

Scroll down in the blog to see more polling place reports.  Or give your own via email to newsworks@whyy.org or tweet us @newsworkswhyy. 

Check back with this blog through the day for updates. Our Holly Otterbein will be attending the traditional Election Day gathering at Famous 4th Street Delicatessen in South Philly.  Our reporters are fanning out tonight to election night headquarters across the region, in Wilmington, Philadelphia, the suburbs and South Jersey.

They’ll all be filing live reports to our Election Night special on WHYY-FM, 90.9, beginning at 8 p.m. and running until the results are all in.  The special is hosted by Dave Heller and Dave Davies.

9:56 – Tom Wolf, the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania governor, began his day campaigning in Philadelphia, talking to voters by the Clothespin sculpture near City Hall.

WHYY’s Tom MacDonald caught up with Wolf there.  The Democrat said: “The weather is beautiful, which is always a good thing for turnout. Turnout’s key. And Philadelphia’s always been a great place for me so I’m hoping I’m going to do well.”

Wolf will be having lunch with union supporters at Warmdaddy’s restaurant on Columbus Boulevard, then visiting Relish, a favored spot of state Rep. Dwight Evans in West Oak Lane. After that Wolf will be heading back to York County to vote.

Gov. Tom Corbett is spending most of his day greeting voters in the Pittsburgh area.  His lieutenant governor, Jim Cawley, is hitting a number of spots today in his home county, Bucks, before heading out to Pittsburgh to watch the returns with Corbett.

Here are a few more WHYY/NewsWorks staff reports from the polls:

NewsWorks Tonight producer Kimberly Haas: “So far, turnout in Northern Liberties is higher than usual. When I vote before 9 am. in an off-year, I’m usually number 16 or so. Today I was number 174. However, some of it could be driven by the upturn in development here in the last year.  Seems like there’s new townhouses being wedged in to every open space.”

Senior reporter Dave Davies: “Marc Stier, long-time liberal activist in Mount Airy, tweets this report from his polling place: “150 voters at 9 a.m.in Ward 21, Division 24. Not bad but not great either.”

Scroll down in this blog for more eyewitness reports from the polls.

9:36 a.m. – Ellen Kaplan, interim head of the watchdog group Committee of Seventy, reports an unusually high volume of calls to the group’s hotline early this morning, most of them involving questions about which polling place to use.

One possible cause of that confusion could be the snafu last week involving a botched mailer sent out by the group Pennsylvania Working Families Pennsylvania, which sent erroneous information on polling places to 30,000 city residents.

Kaplan also reports lines at many city polling places at rush hour this morning. She’s estimating turnout in the city might equal the 40 percent in the last gubernatorial election in 2010.   Democratic candidate Tom Wolf, who leads in the polls, is counting on good turnout in Philadelphia to buoy his chances.

Here are some reports on the scenes at th polls by WHYY/NewsWorks staffers who voted this morning:

Senior reporter Dave Davies: I was the first voter at my polling place in the 59th Ward in Germantown today, and a line of five people were waiting for them to get the machines running, which didn’t take long. And my old friend Claude Schrader, Jr. reports:  “Just got back from voting in East Kensington  and was No. 33 at 8:53. They seemed shocked how high that was.”

Audio news director Eugene Sonn:  “I was voter No. 75 at my precinct in lower Bucks County, which the poll workers say is good for 9 a.m. on a non-presidential year.  Only saw a GOP supporter outside no Democrats.  Didn’t even see a Kevin Strouse for Congress sign but plenty for Rep. Fitzpatrick.”   Mike Fitzpatrick is the Republican incumbent in the Eighth District, Strouse the Democratic challenger.

Photographer Bas Slabbers: “Steady flows of voters at library on Chelten Avenue in Germantown were about 50 people cast their votes before 9 a.m.

Keystone Crossroads editor Naomi Starobin:  “I voted at the Riverside Presbyterian Apartments, 23rd and Race. Short line. The man behind us was Asian, and the poll worker seemed to know him. She asked him, in English, if he needed a translation to Mandarin, and offered her cell phone, saying there’s a number to call for the translation. He didn’t seem to understand her.  A certain irony there.”

Northwest Philly editor Brian Hickey: “Voted at Mifflin School in East Falls around 8 a.m. Short line but steady activity. The polls were moved from the auditorium to the hallway, however, because of a complaint about the ADA compliance of the ramp in the auditorium. Complaintant said it was too steep (though it’s less steep than the ADA-compliant ramp to get inside the building).

Keystone Crossroads producer Lindsay Lazarski: “There was no wait time at the polls around 8:20 a.m in Queen Village. I was voter No. 72, so I must have missed the early morning crowd.”

9:10 a.m.  In case you missed it, here’s a report from our Harrisburg correspondent Mary Wilson on how far behind the curve Pennsylvania is in enabling a smooth voting experience:

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 nonpartisan liberal 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. Conclusions: If change is going to come, it’s going to take a bit more time.

Pennsylvania got poor marks for its lack of early voting or online voter registration. The latter is known for reducing error in the voter rolls and cutting administrative costs. The review also found the state wanting in its bilingual support. Three Pennsylvania voting “jurisdictions” are required by federal law to have bilingual poll workers for voters who don’t speak English, but there’s no effort to go beyond federal standards.

The state gets some things right, noted Barry Kauffman, head of Common Cause Pennsylvania.

“We have a pretty good training program for poll workers, but then there’s one absurd part of that,” Kauffman said. “Poll workers are not required to take the training, under law.”

The state does mandate training for poll judges, inspectors, and machine operators.

In general, Pennsylvania’s shortcomings stem from its rather decentralized voting system. Policies are left to counties to implement.

“I think what we’re looking for is a little more uniformity statewide,” said Kauffman. “A person that votes in Erie, or a person who votes in Punxsutawney or a person who votes in Philadelphia should all have similar voting experiences. They shouldn’t have to vote through different hoops.”

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