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Incumbent Republican state Rep. Craig Williams is leading by nearly 500 votes in the race to represent the 160th state House district, according unofficial election results from the Associated Press as of early Wednesday evening.
However, the district that stretches across parts of Chester and Delaware counties is still too close to call.
Democrat Cathy Spahr campaigned on protecting abortion rights and calling her opponent “too extreme” for their district.
Williams campaigned on a platform that focused on his successes in the state legislature as a politician who helped bring funding to the area.
Incumbent Republican state Rep. Todd Stephens and Democratic challenger Melissa Cerrato at a near tie in the 151st state House district in Montgomery County, according to unofficial election results from the Associated Press.
Among the new faces in Dover is Sophie Phillips, who represented Delaware in the Miss America pageant last year. The Democratic environmental justice advocate will represent the Bear and New Castle areas in the state House of Representatives.
Phillips, who is multiracial, will also be a member of the Legislative Black Caucus in Delaware’s most racially diverse General Assembly.
The caucus now has 16 members, up from 12 in the current House and Senate. Just five years ago, only four members were Black.
Democrats may take control of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the first time since 2010 after the first general election under a newly redistricted legislative map.
Republicans have controlled both chambers in Harrisburg since 2011, and the state Senate has been majority-Republican since 1994.
Many legislative races were close through election night, but on Wednesday afternoon House Democratic leaders preemptively declared victory and started celebrating, with Rep. Leanne Krueger declaring, “We can confidently say Democrats will win the majority in the state House.”
Thousands of residents in Philadelphia and its suburbs cast their votes by mail in this midterm election, despite a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision issued just seven days earlier that invalidated undated or misdated mail ballots.
County boards of elections were still counting votes as of Wednesday morning.
Philadelphia received a total of 133,968 mail and absentee ballots, according to the Philadelphia County Board of Elections. About 98,440 votes (73%) have been tallied.
About 56,931 mail and absentee ballots were returned in Delaware County. Officials say they don’t yet have final counts, but preliminary election results show that at least 47,416 votes by mail were included in election results posted so far.
In Montgomery County, 118,224 mail and absentee ballots were returned to election officials. As of 1:40 a.m., about 113,893 (96%) of those ballot votes have been counted. The remaining 4,331 ballots are pending evaluation.
According to the Bucks County Board of Elections, the county received back 87,478 mail and absentee ballots by the filing deadline Tuesday night. Officials say counts have not yet been finalized, but election results show that at least 85,815 votes by mail were included in election results so far.
County election officials say mail ballot counts will be updated throughout the day.
Democrat Matt Cartwright wins U.S. House race in Northeast Pa.
Five-term U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, a Democrat, won a reelection bid in Pennsylvania over conservative activist and former Trump administration appointee Jim Bognet, while election lawyer Chris Deluzio, also a Democrat, won an open U.S. House seat north of Pittsburgh.
The results in the Scranton-based district echoed those from two years ago, when Bognet lost by less than 4 percentage points to Cartwright.
Democrats holding that seat in a region where the GOP has been making gains in recent years resonates in Washington, as President Joe Biden spent his early childhood in Scranton.
Only 2 votes separate Moffa and Hogan in Bucks County state House race
By Emily Rizzo • Nov. 9, 2022 1:07 pm
There are a handful of Pennsylvania House races that could determine the balance of power in the chamber. One of those is the 142nd state House district race in Bucks County between Democrat Mark Moffa and Republican Joe Hogan.
Republicans were closing in Wednesday on a narrow House majority while control of the Senate hinged on tight Arizona, Nevada and Georgia races in a midterm election that defied expectations of sweeping conservative victories driven by frustration over inflation and President Joe Biden’s leadership.
John Fetterman’s success in flipping Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Senate seat lifted Democratic hopes of maintaining control of the chamber. Republicans found a bright spot in Wisconsin, where Sen. Ron Johnson’s victory raised the stakes of races where results were unclear and vote counting continued.
About 66% of Westtown Township voters approved slight increases in earned income and property taxes to give the township revenue to preserve open space, according to unofficial results from Chester County.
Both Philadelphia ballot measures pass, establishing a Department of Aviation and creating a civil service exam boost for school district graduates
By Beatrice Forman • Nov. 8, 2022 11:37 pm
Both Philadelphia ballot measures have passed with comfortable margins as of 11 p.m. Tuesday.
Question 1 proved to be more controversial, garnering 67% of the vote. The measure will establish a Department of Aviation to oversee the Philadelphia International and Northeast Philly airports. Previously, the Department of Commerce oversaw the airports, but former PHL Airport CEO Chellie Cameron argued that a separate department would allow the entities to make more efficient decisions.
Council President Darrell Clarke and Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, whose districts include the PHL Airport, co-sponsored the bill behind the ballot question.
Question 2 had just over 70% of the vote as of 11 p.m. Tuesday to give graduates of the School District of Philadelphia’s Career and Technical Training programs a 5-point boost on the civil service exam.
Even though the Associated Press shows John Fetterman in the lead in the race for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat, Mehmet Oz says he believes he’ll win.
“When all the ballots are accounted, we believe we will win this race,” Oz said to supporters at his watch party in Newtown, Bucks County. “We’ve been closing the gap all night, and we have a lot more ballots to go.”
Before the polls opened, Mercer County officials announced a countywide election machine malfunction that impacted ballot scanners, which are used to electronically tally ballot results.
“That’s unfortunate because a lot of people had to vote by provisional ballots. So they will be counting them by hand and it will take a few more hours than necessary,” Gusciora said.
“The integrity of the ballot remained the same. We had plenty of security out there. The ballots were secure.”
The outage impacted machines across the city, including a polling center located at St. Bartholomew Lutheran Church in the South Ward.
“Voting machines here were down for, I think, about 30 minutes,” said Erich Cussman, pastor at St. Bartholomew Lutheran Church. “It even affected our spot here. But everything wound up getting back up and running and people can come vote again.”
The Mercer County Board of Electors did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
Republican Jeff Van Drew wins reelection to U.S. House in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District
As election results are tallied in Pennsylvania, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro maintains a wide lead over Republican Doug Mastriano.
Supporters at Shapiro’s headquarters at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center attributed his success to his bipartisan support.
Jim Gentile is a registered nurse at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne — and he’s a Republican voting for Josh Shapiro.
“I was able to talk to Josh Shapiro for about 10 minutes twice in the last year. He was engaging, he was sincere, and he stood for nurses and patient safety. And he stood against gigantic raises for corporate health care that have turned it into a health business,” Gentile said.
Other nurses from the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals pointed to Shapiro’s record on labor as the reason for their support.
Phyllis Brown is a registered nurse at Temple University Hospital and she’s been there for 24 years. She is happy about the new contract and Shapiro’s place in the polls.
“He’s just a personable person. He’s for the nurses — very positive attitude, loves health care workers. And what he stands for, as far as especially with women’s health issues, that is a really big thing for me as a nurse taking care of those patients,” Brown said.
Organized labor excited about Shapiro as results come in
Among the crowd of a few hundred supporters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro at his campaign headquarters in Oaks, Montgomery, are members and staff of the union representing building cleaners, security officers, food service workers, and more.
“Shapiro is for working people and for labor rights,” she said. “Ultimately, we want to make sure that everybody in this country has a chance to go home everyday and make a fair living and be able to take care of them and their families.”
Shapiro wants to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage from the current $7.25 to “at least $15 an hour.”
His opponent, Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano, voted in 2019 against raising the state’s minimum wage to $9.50.
Fifteen-year-old Bella Seynhaeve was excited to be at Shapiro’s campaign headquarters in Oaks, Montgomery County, Tuesday night.
“He’s really, like, for people and their rights,” Bella said. “With pro-choice and gun violence.”
Shapiro has vowed to veto any attempts by Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled state Legislature to further restrict abortion access, like out-going Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has repeatedly done. Shapiro’s opponent, Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano, introduced legislation twice that would effectively ban abortion after six weeks.
“I feel like [Shapiro’s] a good representation of everything that’s going on right now, … and I believe he will help,” said Lydia Mosier, also 15, who did text banking for Shapiro. “Even though I can’t vote, I feel like in the future, I’ll be able to have a say.”
Lydia said she was glad to be at the watch party. “It’s a good experience.”
Hours after polls closed, more than a hundred people have started filling up the Newtown Athletic Club in Bucks County where Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz is hosting an Election Night watch party.
Some Oz supporters could be seen wearing suits with American flag designs, and some wearing hats referencing former President Donald Trump, who has endorsed Oz throughout the Senate race.
Election coverage from Fox News was being broadcast throughout the evening, with Oz supporters cheering when races were called for Republican candidates across the country.
A spokesperson for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said it’s been a “relatively uneventful day” for the office’s Election Task Force, with “no founded reports of threats or violence” that resulted in an arrest.
In a news release sent out after polls closed, Jane Roh said the task force had received approximately 100 calls, and that most of them were “referred to the City Commissioners Office or election offices for resolution.”
Task force prosecutors and detectives responded to approximately 25 reported incidents, according to the release.
“Nearly all of which were resolved peacefully,” said Roh, adding that at least three of them require further investigation.
Earlier in the day, Krasner said many of the complaints had to do with electioneering. Under state law, no one is allowed to advocate for a candidate within 10 feet of the entrance to a polling place.
“In general, what we see is a lot of people voting. We see high turnout. We see election workers who have not had to deal with the spectacle of malicious or guns being brandished or threats,” said Krasner during an afternoon news conference.
In 2020, Philadelphia police arrested two Virginia men near the Pennsylvania Convention Center, then the site of the city’s massive mail ballot operation, as votes were being counted, after receiving a tip from the FBI.
Antonio LaMotta and Joshua Macias — who drove to the city in a Hummer loaded with ammunition, a semiautomatic rifle and a lockpick — were found guilty last month of gun charges for carrying weapons in the city without a permit, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The pair are scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 14.
Donald Norcross wins reelection to U.S. House in N.J.’s 1st Congressional District
By • Nov. 8, 2022 9:17 pm
Democrat Donald Norcross wins reelection to U.S. House in New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District.
Some Republicans in Bucks County said they’re voting for Democrats to protect abortion access.
Caitlin Frazier, 29, of Middletown, usually votes red, but said this year her ballot is mostly blue.
“Abortion … is my main concern right now,” said Frazier, who has a 9-year-old son and is pregnant. “Everybody needs the right to do what they want.”
Newtown resident Erin Bartlett, 23, said even though she’s a registered Republican, she isn’t voting red straight down the ticket.
“I am pro-choice,” Bartlett said, adding she doesn’t think “older men” in government should have control over women’s reproductive rights.
Democrat Gwen Stoltz, who is running for Pennsylvania’s 143rd house district in Bucks, said she’s heard the same from other voters who normally vote Republican.
Stoltz said women have told her personal stories about their pregnancies.
A woman stopped to talk to her before she voted today in Hilltown Township, Stoltz said. The woman told Stoltz she decided to have an abortion after she learned her child would be stillborn.
“For her, it was important to know where I stood on that,” said Stoltz, who is pro-choice. “She said, ‘Well, what about the other people? And I said, ‘Honestly, to protect those rights in Pennsylvania, you gotta vote blue up and down.’”
Stoltz said she’s heard from other pro-choice Republican men and women who are also voting for Democrats.
While Stoltz’s district has voted majority Republican in the past, she said this year’s outcome doesn’t feel certain.
“I honestly don’t know,” Stoltz said. “I know that I did everything that I can.”
High turnout in Willow Grove, Pa.: ‘I’m just worried about the future’
At the polling place at Upper Moreland High School in Willow Grove, Montgomery County, Judge of Elections Melissa Osborne said she saw a “really high,” steady volume of voters Tuesday — with an “extremely high number” of first-time voters.
“Compared to the last presidential [election], we’re just as high if not higher,” she said.
Leslie Fitzgerald, a lifelong Democrat and former customer service professional in Willow Grove, said she worries about inflation, crime, racism, the future of Social Security, and taxes. She said she loves President Joe Biden and is “terrified” of Donald Trump running again.
She voted for Democrat John Fetterman in the closely watched U.S. Senate race.
“The sky-high prices are killing everyone,” she said.
Fitzgerald has several serious health issues, but said she came out to vote anyway.
“It took a lot to come out,” she said. “I’m just worried about the future.”
Bucks County Democrats ‘confident or highly optimistic’ about their party’s chances
The polling place at Newtown Middle School in Bucks County is just a short drive from the headquarters of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz, but area residents who spoke to WHYY said they planned to vote for his Democratic opponent.
Jodie Schneider said she voted for Democrats and thinks the election will go their way, because of their positions on the economy, immigration, and reproductive health.
“The Republican side is for me, for my beliefs, too far to the right,” she said.
She said women should have choices when it comes to abortion, because these decisions could come up because of rape, domestic abuse, birth defects, and many other reasons.
Retiree Alex Treece cited reproductive health as one of many big differences between Democrats and Republicans. He volunteered at a table for the Newtown Democrats and has been working at the polls for a few years.
“In Pennsylvania, I’m confident or highly optimistic,” he said. “Nationwide, I have concerns, especially in the Congress.”
Jennifer Clements, 49, is a teacher in Bucks County and has lived there for almost 20 years. She brought her 8 and 12 year old daughters to the polls with her.
“Nobody of voting age yet, but I want them to experience it.”
She said her top issues are education, child care, the environment, and equal rights.
Poll workers report higher than usual voter turnout in South Philly
Standing outside of G.W. Childs Elementary School in South Philadelphia, Valerie Turner-Pugh, a Democratic committee member, said there’s been a steady stream of voters since the polls opened at 7 a.m.
By 11 a.m, more than 100 people had already cast their ballots — far more than the polling place’s typical midterm election turnout.
“This is something different,” said Turner-Pugh around 4 p.m.
“People are woke and they’re coming out.”
Law enforcement analyst Christian Arcuri votes Democrat every year, but he said he was especially compelled to vote in this year’s midterms.
“You got half the country hating the other half of the country. The economy seems like it’s got one foot in the grave. They’re talking about another housing collapse, another economic recession, there’s a bunch of wars going overseas. No one really knows where we’re going at this point.”
Arcuri added that he’s not sure about the two-party system at this point because neither has been able to put out good candidates, and that the country should take third parties more seriously.
A few blocks away from Childs Elementary, at the Philadelphia Gas Workers office at Broad and Tasker streets, elections workers ran into an issue with the size of the paper ballots earlier in the day. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the machines did not print. It took technicians less than an hour to resolve the problem, but around 20-30 voters filed provisional ballots.
Rob Frye voted outside of Girard Academic Music Program. He said he voted Democrat in national and statewide races, but Republican in local races.
He said he has never voted Republican in local races before, but did it this time because of crime in the city. He said, “You change your votes out of frustration from time to time.”
Outside the same polling place, Diane Marinelli said she votes every year, but the situation seems especially dire this year because of Republicans Mehmet Oz and Doug Mastriano.
“It’s kind of crazy to me that these people can make it this far,” she said. “Mastriano replacing our Governor Tom Wolf would be just like Satan replacing the Archangel.”
Polls close at 8 p.m.
Montgomery County voters say abortion, inflation are big issues
Inflation also stood out as one of the major problems impacting voters this election. From high prices at the pump to expensive trips at the grocery store, wallets are suffering.
Hank Meyers, 72, a Republican, said that it was one of the issues he prioritized as he cast his vote.
“I’m quite concerned that we’ve gone overboard with the spending and it’s going to be a weighty problem for our children and grandchildren,” Meyers said.
Genevieve Harlan, 69, of Jenkintown, was feeling a bit under the weather, but she still felt it was important to get to the polls.
“I wanted to vote for stronger policies. And hopefully, the turnout will be good, for America and for the community also,” Harlan said.
She felt as though Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Mehmet Oz, has done the best job at speaking about the issues that matter to her the most: inflation, taxes, and rising crime.
The polls close at 8 p.m. in Pennsylvania.
Democrats have ‘totally trashed it’: Why some Kennett Square residents are voting red
By Elizabeth Estrada, Zoë Read • Nov. 8, 2022 5:50 pm
Greenwood Elementary School in Kennett Square was brimming with voters on Election Day afternoon. The polling site had a steady flow of voters throughout the day, said volunteers.
The Chester County residents casting votes at the site were on all sides of the ballot and concerned about different issues.
Prashant Zaveri of Kennett Square said abortion rights was atop of mind when voting today.
“We have got a family of two kids, but I can understand that it’s very important for young females to have that right,” said Zaveri.
The voter was also thinking about gun control.
“I’m still frustrated with all the lack of all the gun control laws that we have in our state,” Zaveri expressed. “We can still do more. So I’ll be voting based on those issues.”
For Rosanne Hurst, the economy was the main concern, among many other issues — that’s why she was planning to vote for gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano and Senate candidate Mehmet Oz.
“The economy right now … crime is out of control. Gas prices, groceries are out of control and education,” said the 64-year-old, who said she didn’t like that her 6-year-old at a nearby school still had to wear a mask.
“That bothers me as a grandmother,” she said.
Peter Lacrosse showed up to vote for Republican candidates, because he feels that the Democratic party has failed the economy.
“Democrats have had two years and they’ve totally trashed it,” said the 65-year-old. “I would rather have a divided government in D.C. One party government does not work well.”
“We’re now in a real world of hurt. Highest inflation in 40 years. And that’s hurting people,” he said.
Voting in Pennsylvania continues until 8 p.m.
A different kind of poll monitors in Delaware: Making sure voting is accessible to all
By Zoë Read, Elizabeth Estrada • Nov. 8, 2022 3:47 pm
Lack of accessible parking spaces. No ramps. Difficult-to-open doors.
These are some of the potential barriers that could make it challenging, or impossible, for a person with a physical disability to cast their vote at a polling place.
That’s why attorneys and volunteers were out at Delaware polling sites on Election Day — to ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote is able to do so.
“People with disabilities are important constituents. Their vote matters just as much as everyone else’s,” said Victoria Glock-Molloy, a staff attorney at the Delaware Community Legal Aid Society (CLASI). “It’s important to make sure that our voting locations, and the ways that we vote, are accessible for everyone who is eligible to vote.”
Glock-Molloy and volunteers show up at a location and go through a checklist. Anything that makes it difficult to physically access a polling place — or doesn’t meet the American Disability Act requirements — is reported to Delaware’s Department of Elections.
In Bucks County, long-time Hilltown Township resident Regina Bolger, 85, cast her vote at the town’s municipal center Tuesday.
Bolger, a committee member for her polling place, said voting this year feels especially important. She doesn’t like the decisions President Biden has made since entering office, from the economy to immigration.
She believes Democrats are deliberately ruining the country.
“It’s called New World Order and it’s been around for a long time,” Bolger said referring to a right-wing conspiracy theory. “It’s a diabolical plan to take over the world and make us a third-world country. That’s why I’m voting.”
Her friend, 83-year-old Patricia Gillespie, who was wearing a cat sweater and her “I Voted” sticker agreed.
She’s worried about the number of “illegals” who are entering the country.
“It’s going to be our tax dollars we are not going to be able to afford all of these people that they are letting into this country,” she said.
Her other concerns, also shared by Bolger, are high inflation and abortion. Both are pro-life, though Bolger said she believes in exceptions for rape and incest.
While Bolger and Gillespie hope the Republicans win big, Dan Laibstain, 64, of Plumstead is rooting for the Democrats.
He’s been volunteering with Democrat Gwendolyn Stoltz’s campaign.
Stoltz is running for Pennsylvania’s 143rd house district in Bucks County against the incumbent Republican Shelby Labs.
“I’m optimistic for her chances or I wouldn’t be here for seven or eight hours,” Laibstain said.
Laibstain’s chief concern this election is abortion access. His mother was the director of Planned Parenthood in Bucks County for more than 20 years.
“Growing up that was just something that I was really exposed to,” Laibstain said. “I don’t like having those rights taken away from people.”
He’s voting for Democrats because he believes they’ll protect abortion access in the state and he believes they’re for the working class.
“I don’t have a lot of faith in the Republican party being pro-worker,” he said.
Also at the polls in Hilltown was Wendy Acker, 46, a devout Christian.
“While I personally don’t believe in abortion or anything like that, that is a very personal choice and we need to maintain that,” she said.
Acker, an engineer who used to work for Exxon Mobil, said she hopes elected officials put pressure on companies to invest in renewable energy.
Keith Seifert, 54, said he’s motivated by three issues this election: crime, abortion, and the economy.
Seifert wouldn’t say how he was voting and even where he falls on the issues, but said he cast his ballot with his children and future grandchildren in mind.
“Obviously I’d like them to be safe, to be able to go out on the street and not have to worry about being shot or anything,” Seifert said.
While he hasn’t noticed an increase in crime in the suburbs, he said he’s concerned by what’s happening in Philadelphia.
“You see what’s on the news for the cities and that’s kind of scary,” he said. “Philadelphia is a great place to visit, but you have to think twice.”
Meet the Philly-based illustrator behind Instagram’s ‘I Voted’ stickers
By Aubri Juhasz • Nov. 8, 2022 5:18 pm
If you’re a fan of Instagram’s collection of bilingual “I Voted” stickers you have Philly-based illustrator Fabiola Lara to thank.
Lara, who goes by @fabiolitadraws on Instagram, was contacted by the social media platform earlier this year to create a collection of stickers in English and Spanish.
She said seeing her designs on people’s Instagram stories — including celebrities like model and second-daughter Ella Emhoff, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. — feels amazing.
“Not only are people going out to vote, but they’re excited to share their voting moments and I get to be a part of everyone’s moment in a very subtle way,” Lara said.
The collection includes four digital stickers that people can use to adorn their Election Day stories. Two are focused on voter registration, while the other two are specific to voting.
There’s a cool girl wearing a bucket hat that says “I registered to vote,” a heart-shaped award ribbon, a rainbow with clouds, and the word “VOTE” in pink, blue, and white lettering.
The stickers appear on the app in English, but when you tap on them, they translate to Spanish, Lara said.
Lara was born in Chile, grew up in Florida, and became a U.S. citizen in 2017. She moved to Philadelphia in 2020 and voted for the first time that year.
Rather than head to the polls today, Lara said she voted early by mail.
Philly and its suburbs are collecting hundreds of thousands of mail ballots
Philadelphia has collected between 120,000 and 130,000 mail ballots, as of mid-afternoon on Election Day, according to city election officials.
So far, Bucks County has collected nearly 88,000 mail ballots. Nearly 60,000 ballots have come in from voters in Chester County and 53,000 have come in from voters in Delaware County.
Elections officials in Montgomery County didn’t immediately respond to a request for numbers from WHYY News.
Philadelphia has published a list of voters with problems on their ballot. Some have missing or wrong dates, while others are missing signatures. Voters have until 7:30 p.m. on Election Day to request a replacement ballot at City Hall.
Elections officials in Bucks, Chester, and Delaware counties say they don’t have a count of ballots that have problems.
Pennsylvania polling locations close at 8 p.m.
Legal challenges play out as Pa. voters cast ballots in midterms
Election legal challenges were playing out Tuesday as voters cast ballots across the country in the midterm elections, including in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman’s campaign went to court late Monday in a bid to have mail-in ballots that lack accurate handwritten dates on the exterior envelopes counted. Fetterman’s legal action followed a state Supreme Court ruling that said the ballots could not be counted and another over the weekend clarifying what constituted an incorrect date.
Fetterman’s campaign — in partnership with national congressional and senatorial Democratic campaign organizations and two voters — sued county boards of election across the state, arguing that throwing out ballots that lack proper envelope dates would violate a provision in the 1964 U.S. Civil Rights Act that says people can’t be kept from voting based on what the lawsuit calls “needless technical requirements.”
In Philadelphia, voters who had missing or incorrect dates on their mail-in ballots were being allowed to file replacement ballots at City Hall or vote provisionally at their regular precincts Tuesday.
It’s unclear how many ballots would be affected by the decision across the state, but thousands were flagged by election officials in Philadelphia and Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh. The number of mail-in ballots is large enough that they might matter in a close race, such as the U.S. Senate contest between Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz.
The Philadelphia City Commissioners also voted in an emergency meeting early Tuesday to reinstate a process to reconcile the poll books while the count is happening, rather than waiting until after the count. The procedure has been used to weed out possible double votes in the past, but has not found any issues during the past three elections and is slower than reconciling after the count. The final ballots are likely to be counted Friday.
The vote came after a judge issued an order denying Republicans’ request for an injunction that would have forced the city to reinstate the process. But the judge’s opinion, which had admonished the city’s decision to remove the process, raised concerns for commissioners.
‘Voting is important for the future’: Philly teens volunteer on Election Day
Volunteers are working tables outside at the polling place and generally encouraging voters. They are also giving out everything from bath bombs and t-shirts to chocolate and pizza to those who fill out ballots.
“Voting is very important, it’s important for the future,” said Samaria Timbers, also 15. “We’re just really here to help and to actually learn about the voting.”
Mercier showed up because even though she isn’t able to vote, the decisions of voters impact her future. She wanted to be a part of the process.
“I feel like, especially in the state that the world is now, a lot of votes really matter,” Mercier said.
Ariana Freeman, another volunteer, agrees.
“People in power make big decisions,” said the 15-year-old. “So we need to make sure those people are doing the right thing and what’s best for the people.”
PA Youth Vote is stationed at various schools across the Philadelphia region today.
At stake in Pa. governor race: Abortion, presidency
Voters electing a new governor of Pennsylvania will choose between Democrat Josh Shapiro and Republican Doug Mastriano, with the future of abortion rights on the line, as well as management of the 2024 presidential election in a swing state that is often decisive.
Mastriano, a retired Army colonel and state senator, is a relative political novice who ran a hard-right campaign and refused for much of it to talk to mainstream news organizations, scuttling prospects for a debate with an independent moderator.
Polls suggest Shapiro is leading Mastriano, who has driven off moderate voters by being a prominent ally in former President Donald Trump’s effort to stay in power — despite his election loss in 2020 — and marching to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, where he watched pro-Trump demonstrators attack police.
He struggled to raise money as he was hit with a deluge of Shapiro campaign ads but tried to counter it with an energetic campaign that relied on a passionate grassroots volunteer force and daily videos uploaded to Facebook to connect with followers.
They are vying to succeed Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term and has endorsed Shapiro. The winner will likely share power with entrenched Republican majorities in the state Legislature.
Pennsylvania polls are open until 8 p.m.
A Shapiro victory would make him the first governor of Pennsylvania to be elected to succeed a member of his party since 1966.
Mastriano, 58, has used a hard-right platform to lock down the party’s furthest-right voters, secure Trump’s endorsement and win a crammed, nine-way primary election.
Shapiro, 49, a political force strong enough to clear the Democratic primary, came into the race as the all-time highest-vote getter in a single election in Pennsylvania, breaking the record in his 2020 reelection.
With no primary challenger to force him to the left on key issues, Shapiro took middle-of-the-road positions on policies around education funding, COVID-19 mitigation and energy.
Meanwhile, he endorsed Austin Davis, a state lawmaker, to be his running mate and, possibly, the first Black lieutenant governor in a state that has never elected a Black governor or U.S. senator.
In light of June’s Supreme Court decision on abortion rights, Shapiro vowed to protect Pennsylvania’s existing 24-week law. He also touted his office’s fight in court to protect the state’s 2020 election from Trump’s efforts to overturn it.
Mastriano has said he supports a complete ban on abortion, with no exceptions, and had been a point person in Trump’s drive to stay in power and spread his lies about a stolen election.
He dwelled on some national GOP talking points — blaming crime and inflation on Democrats — but he also spread conspiracy theories and took a hard line on cultural issues.
Those stances — as well as his actions on Jan. 6 — have prompted some GOP officials to predict he was too extreme to win a general election in Pennsylvania.
Mastriano did more than any other candidate for governor in the U.S. to subvert the 2020 presidential election, and Democrats have accused him of preparing to subvert the next one from the governor’s office with his pledges to decertify voting machines and make voters re-register.
Even in solidly blue Delaware, abortion rights among top concerns for voters
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, protecting abortion rights has become a primary issue for voters. For some residents who have split their votes between Democrats and Republicans in the past, the fight over reproductive rights has ended that practice.
“I’ve voted for Republicans before, but because of what the Supreme Court did with Roe v. Wade, I voted blue down the line, no questions asked,” said Jea Street, Jr. of Wilmington, son of New Castle County Councilman Jea Street. “Delaware is pretty locked in terms of making sure that women have the right to choose. I have a very young daughter and that was at the forefront of my brain.”
Some voters are trying to find a middle ground on the issue of abortion. Gregory Colicchio, 67, of Wilmington, said he doesn’t like how polarized the issue has become.
“I’ve known instances where people have got women have gotten raped and their child has turned out to be a magnificent person,” he said. “It’s a tough situation. We are divided on a lot of issues and there’s a lot of emotions involved.”
Mary Beth DiPinto-Moss, 60, of Wilmington said she remembers when Roe v. Wade first helped solidify a woman’s right to choose. She has no party affiliation, but says the Supreme Court’s decision over the summer decided how she would vote.
“I’m very much an issue person. It could be either/or,” she said. “Roe v. Wade is a big issue for me, and as a woman, I think it’s very important and so is saving our democracy.”
Pa. college students register to vote where it ‘matters more’
Grace Haskell is a sophomore at Haverford College, a private liberal arts college in Delaware County. But originally, she’s from Rhode Island.
In this election, the prospective English major made sure to register in Pennsylvania.
“Where I’m from, it’s a very, very blue state,” she said. “This is a swing state, and so especially here on campus, a lot of people are really encouraging students from other states where it’s not as close, to pool their vote here.”
Haskell voted Tuesday morning at a polling station on campus grounds. She was joined by Julia Nappenberger, 20, and Meg Bowen, 21.
Nappenberger is originally from Maryland, another state that is expected to elect Democrats.
“It makes me feel like my vote kind of matters more here,” she said of registering in Pennsylvania this year. “I wanted my vote to have more of an impact and try to change and make sure the people who are having scary opinions aren’t as represented.”
But Bowen is from another swing state – Virginia.
“It’s kind of scary being from Virginia, because then I have to decide each election which one, where my vote might matter more,” she said. “But I’ve been usually voting here. It’s also nice to have a polling place on campus.”
Philly’s last-minute ballot reconciliation effort could delay results
A court ruling Monday will require Philly election officials to do what’s known as poll book reconciliation, a process to cross-check mailed ballots with voters at the polls to make sure there’s no double voting.
The ruling from the Court of Common Pleas yesterday denied City Commissioners’ request not to require the check, which they say is unnecessary.
“Over the last three elections, the Commissioners have not found even one instance of a Philadelphia voter voting by mail and in person,” said Andrew Richman with the city’s law department. In an emailed statement, he says requiring the reconciliation casts “unwarranted doubt” on the integrity of Philadelphia’s election and “will feed disinformation campaigns that seize on every opportunity to cultivate distrust in the democratic process.”
Richman said even though the state’s election code doesn’t require poll book reconciliation, the City Commissioners will follow the court’s order and are “diligently working to administer the 2022 election to ensure an honest, swift, and accurate result.”
The Pa. mail ballot count continues
By Carter Walker, Votebeat; Sarah Anne Hughes, Spotlight PA • Nov. 8, 2022 11:56 am
Across Pennsylvania, more than 1.4 million people requested to vote by mail. As of Nov. 7, 1.16 million absentee and mail ballots had been returned, according to Department of State data.
In Lancaster County, where more than 41,000 mail and absentee ballots were received as of Monday, officials expect to finish the count by midnight.
Elections director Christa Miller said roughly 25% of those ballots had been opened. As of 10 a.m., approximately 300 voters had dropped off mail ballots Tuesday at the election office as they may do until 8 p.m.
Per an order from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the county is not counting but is setting aside undated and incorrectly dated ballots. Miller did not have an estimate of how many of those ballots the county had received.
In the ‘swingy-est of swing states,’ gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro votes
Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s Democratic candidate for governor, brought his family with him to cast his ballot Tuesday at Rydal Elementary School West in Abington.
Remembering a time when he carried his daughter as a child into the polling location, Shapiro called it “pretty darn special” to see her cast her own vote today as an adult.
The state attorney general is ahead of Republican Doug Mastriano in the polls by quite a large margin. Shapiro credited a coalition of voters across the state looking to “reject dangerous extremism.”
“I’m incredibly humbled to be receiving the kinds of support we’re receiving from Republicans, Democrats, and independents, and it’s a coalition that will, God willing, not only help us win today, but help us govern in the future — to bring people together and really solve problems,” Shapiro said.
He also told reporters that Pennsylvania is a very important state this election.
“Pennsylvania is the swingy-est of swing states. This is the state that I think a lot of people think: as we go, so goes the nation, year after year after year. It would be my high honor to represent Pennsylvania in its government,” Shapiro said.
Early problems have arisen for voters in Mercer County, New Jersey.
“The Board of Elections has advised the county of issues with voting machines,” Mercer County officials said in a post on the county’s Facebook page. “Poll workers will be on hand to walk voters through the process. The board is working with Dominion, the machine maker, to resolve the issue.”
West Windsor Township clerk Gay Huber also sent out an alert to voters: “Due to a Mercer County-wide system outage, all voting machines are currently down in each district across the County.” Huber’s statement went on to say that “voters can still report to their respective polling locations and vote on a standard ballot and insert their ballot into the emergency slot in the machine.”
It’s not clear when the problem will be fixed.
Mercer County includes the state capital of Trenton and areas including Princeton, Hamilton Township, and Hopewell.
Delaware voters hit the polls to ‘keep democracy for this country’
By Zoë Read, Elizabeth Estrada • Nov. 8, 2022 11:24 am
Residents in Newark are heading to the polls this morning with both national and local concerns on their minds.
John Vernon Jr. said he plans to vote blue all the way down the ticket. He’s mainly concerned about preserving the democratic process.
The 68-year-old Vernon said he’s voting to keep “the American Fascist Party from taking away our right to vote” and to “keep democracy for this country.” He said he wants to keep “election deniers” out of office.
Jo Ann Wienikes on the other hand, is thinking about the economy and what that means for Delaware residents like herself.
“Our prices are high everywhere in Delaware,” she said. “I can’t afford to go to a grocery store no more. I have a handicapped child at home and the medical supplies are all out of pocket, so I guess health insurance is a big thing, too.”
Wienikes also cited high gas prices as a major concern.
“Either you gonna feed your family or you gonna put gas in the car,” she said. “Maybe I can do something by voting today.’
Wienikes plans to vote Republican today, hoping to be part of a “red wave,” as she called it. But GOP candidates aren’t expected to fare well in the First State today. A recent poll from the University of Delaware pointed to continued wins for Democrats, which currently hold all nine statewide elective offices, as well as majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly.
Reproductive rights top of mind for some Upper Darby voters
“I believe that women should choose what they want to do, not an individual telling them what to do and how to do it,” said Bell, who was outside his polling station with his youngest daughter.
“I felt like that was liberating pertaining to showing my three girls, knowing that I got their back,” he said. “It felt good.”
Upper Darby resident Bonny West said attempts to limit reproductive options in Pennsylvania will hurt women.
“I feel like they’re trying to set us back in a lot of different ways, like set us back in time,” she said. “Too many people have fought really hard and long to get us to where we are today, and even that is not perfect, so we have to continue to move forward and not backward.”
Abortion is currently legal in Pennsylvania. However, GOP state lawmakers have attempted to further restrict the practice. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed anti-abortion legislation.
Philly voters headed to the polls may spot some special guests at their location.
Pizza to the Polls — an effort to encourage voter turnout by delivering a slice or two to hungry voters — will make stops throughout the city Tuesday.
Pizza to the Polls is happening in cities around the country, but executive director Amirah Noaman wanted to personally visit Philadelphia to elevate the city’s importance in the pivotal Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race.
“Just watching everything going around with the midterms, we just knew this was a really important race in Pennsylvania,” Noaman said. “People forget how much fun voting is supposed to be, and we’re just here to make sure that nobody’s leaving a polling place because they’re hungry.”
The organization has teamed up with Joy to the Polls and Philly music legend Questlove, who is spinning records at City Hall. Later Tuesday, DJ Jazzy Jeff will join in.
U.S. House races top ballots in New Jersey’s midterm
New Jersey’s 12 U.S. House races are atop the ticket for voters who’ll wrap up casting ballots on Tuesday in this year’s midterm contest.
Democrats are defending 10 seats to the Republicans’ two in the first election since congressional districts were redrawn after the 2020 census.
Polls close at 8 p.m., though voters had an early in-person voting window that closed Sunday. Voters also have been sending mail ballots for weeks as well.
The GOP is optimistic that it can win in the newly drawn 7th District, where incumbent Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski faces a rematch against Republican former state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. The district picked up more Republican voters after its boundaries in the northwest were redrawn.
Malinowski, who is seeking his third term, narrowly defeated Kean, a former state lawmaker and the son of former Republican Gov. Tom Kean Sr., in 2020. Malinowski first won election by defeating Republican incumbent Rep. Leonard Lance in 2018.
The race is among the most closely watched in New Jersey, which has no statewide contests or ballot questions this year.
Democratic incumbent Andy Kim in the 3rd District in south and central New Jersey won election for a first term along with Malinowski in 2018. However, his district became more Democratic when the boundaries were redrawn. Democrats who controlled the redistricting process.
Kim faces Republican Bob Healey, who runs a yacht company in southern New Jersey, and two other candidates.
Delaware Democrats are looking to solidify their hold on state government as voters go to the polls today.
Democrats control both chambers of the General Assembly, the governor’s office, and all other statewide elective offices, including three at the top of this year’s ballot: attorney general, state auditor and treasurer.
The auditor’s race features two political newcomers, with Democrat Lydia York facing Republican Janice Lorrah. York, an attorney with an accounting background, won a Democratic primary in September against incumbent Kathy McGuiness. McGuiness was convicted in July on misdemeanor counts of conflict of interest and official misconduct related to the hiring of her daughter as a part-time employee in the auditor’s office.
Lorrah, who has a law degree, sued Carney in February after he extended a school mask mandate that had been imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The other statewide race pits first-term incumbent treasurer Colleen Davis against Republican challenger Greg Coverdale. Coverdale is a financial planner and former state school board member who lost a bid for a state House seat in 2014.
See something suspicious at the polls? Here’s how to report it
In 2020, two men armed with guns drove to Philadelphia as votes were being counted, allegedly hoping to interfere in that effort. They’ll be sentenced next month. Today, the city’s election task force will be out in force to make sure there’s no threat to this year’s voting process.
Voters who see something suspicious should call the task force hotline at 215-686-9641.
“If you see or experience someone loitering in polling places or drop boxes, trying to hinder or delay the election process, threatening or harassing poll workers, tampering with or destroying ballots or voting machines, please report these incidents by calling the district attorney’s office election task force,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.
City police will also be on standby to respond to any incidents at polling places in coordination with the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center, the FBI, and other federal partners.
“All of our patrol districts will be having roving teams of police officers specifically assigned to quickly respond to calls for assistance at polling locations,” said PPD commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “These officers will be wearing body-worn cameras and will also be joined by a police department supervisor when they’re responding.”
Anyone who witnesses activity around a polling place or drop box location that could pose a danger to others is urged to call 911.