Report shows natural gas fracking didn’t produce promised jobs to Pa. and Appalachia | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

While still recovering from the Great Recession of 2008-2009, natural gas drilling — aka fracking — appeared in the Pittsburgh region and claimed to be able to offer economic relief. One of the first major energy players to move into the Pittsburgh region and greater Appalachia was Range Resources. The Texas-based oil and gas company claimed that fracking would lead to economic benefits beyond just those made from extracting natural gas.

In an October 2012 commercial, Range Resources claimed Pittsburgh is the place “where manufacturing will become American again” and ends with the tagline, “Drilling is just the beginning.” Those manufacturing gains never materialized, and the Pittsburgh region has lost several thousand manufacturing jobs since 2012.

And according to a new report from the Ohio River Valley Institute, that was just one of several failed economic promises natural gas companies made to the Pittsburgh area, Appalachia, and the Marcellus and Utica Shale region.

Source: Report shows natural gas fracking didn’t produce promised jobs to Pa. and Appalachia | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pennsylvania Covid-19 vaccination appointment hotline intercepted by hackers – CNN

At some point “mid-afternoon,” the Allegheny County health department and the 2-1-1 service became aware that a hacker was intercepting callers and diverting them away from the help line without their knowledge, officials said.

Source: Pennsylvania Covid-19 vaccination appointment hotline intercepted by hackers – CNN

Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf wants to increase taxes for some residents | Fox News

Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf wants to raise taxes on wealthy residents and the natural gas industry to help pay for new investments into education and coronavirus relief.

The governor’s proposal will call for increasing the personal income tax rate from 3.07% to 4.49%.

The reported budget plan follows a statement Tuesday in which Wolf’s office said 67% of Pennsylvania taxpayers would see tax cuts or have their taxes stay the same under his plan to cut costs for working class households while raising billions to invest in education and “workforce development.”

Source: Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf wants to increase taxes for some residents | Fox News

Pennsylvania Among Worst States To Drive In, WalletHub Says – CBS Pittsburgh

When it comes to the best states to drive in, Pennsylvania is at the bottom of the list.

According to WalletHub, Pennsylvania is the 44th best state to drive in.

Texas, Indiana and North Carolina are at the top.

As for the worst state for driving? Hawaii.

Neighboring states Ohio and West Virginia came in 10th and 28th respectively.

WalletHub compared all 50 states across 31 “key indicators” of a good commute, with data sets ranging from average gas prices to rush-hour traffic congestion to road quality.

Pennsylvania ranks second for most auto repair shops per capita.

$1 Million Winning Mega Millions Ticket Sold In Pennsylvania – CBS Pittsburgh

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There is one lucky winner of the billion dollar Mega Millions lottery.

The golden ticket for the top prize matching all six numbers was sold in Michigan — but don’t throw out your ticket just yet.

Mega Millions says there is one ticket in Pennsylvania that matched five numbers and is worth a $1 million prize.

The winning numbers to match are: 4, 26, 42, 50, 60, and 24.

Source: $1 Million Winning Mega Millions Ticket Sold In Pennsylvania – CBS Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania officials respond to delay in unemployment benefits

“It’s a complete nightmare,” said a Finleyville woman. “I’m going on three weeks Wednesday without any kind of payment or anything.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry has made more than $33.1 billion in unemployment program payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three of these programs are part of the federal CARES Act, which expired at the end of 2020. L&I urged the federal government beginning in November to extend the CARES Act as soon as possible to prevent gaps or delays in unemployment program benefits to claimants. The federal government did not complete the extension until Dec. 27, and L&I has been delayed in restarting payments for the three federal programs by the federal Department of Labor, which did not issue all of the guidance needed to ensure states are following the federal law when making payments for the federal programs until Jan. 11. L&I has prioritized restarting payments for these programs and is announcing the dates for claimants to begin filing again as soon as necessary reprogramming is complete. L&I is doing everything possible to minimize delays while working under the constraints created by the federal government.

The statuses of each active unemployment program is as follows:

STATE PERMANENT PROGRAMS:

Unemployment Compensation (UC)

  • L&I has made approximately $6.6 billion in UC payments since March 15 (the start of the pandemic).
  • Unemployment Compensation is a state program that provides up to 26 weeks of payments to eligible claimants who are able and available to work but have lost their jobs for qualifying reasons. Claimants who exhaust their 26 weeks of payments roll over to the PEUC program, and then the EB program. The program is unaffected by the federal coronavirus relief bill.
  • A small percentage of the claimants who filed for UC on Jan. 1 were affected by a glitch that caused them to not receive their payment on time. L&I rectified the issue and reissued the payments to claimants a few days later. L&I apologizes for the inconvenience caused by the delayed payment and has worked to prevent the issue from recurring. No other payment issues have been detected for UC claimants since the Jan. 1 issue.

Extended Benefits (EB)

  • L&I has made approximately $230.6 million in EB payments since March 15.
  • EB provides claimants who have exhausted their maximum number of UC and PEUC claim weeks with additional claim weeks. The number of claim weeks provided to a claimant varies depending on the claimant’s personal situation. EB is a state program that is triggered on when the unemployment rate reaches a certain threshold.
  • Because EB is a state program, it was unaffected by the expiration and extension of the federal coronavirus relief bill. Some claimants who filed EB claims on Jan. 10 did not receive their payments on time due to a programmatic glitch. The issue was identified and remedied on Jan. 16 and payments to the affected claimants were reissued on Jan. 17. L&I apologizes to these claimants for the inconvenience of the delayed payments. Other EB claimants have been receiving payments as normal.

TEMPORARY FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS:

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

  • L&I has made approximately $1.1 billion in PEUC payments since March 15.
  • PEUC provides UC claimants with a 13-week extension on their claim, with an additional 11 weeks added through the coronavirus relief bill extension, bringing the total to 24 weeks. After a claimant exhausts PEUC, they become eligible for additional weeks through the EB program. PEUC initially expired the claim week ending Dec. 26 and an extension was signed Dec. 27.
  • L&I could not begin paying the claim weeks in the PEUC extension until the federal Department of Labor provided guidance on how the federal program should be enacted by states. L&I began working on upgrading its computer system to accommodate changes made by the coronavirus relief bill extension and has completed upgrades to allow claimants who had weeks remaining on their 13 allotted weeks to begin filing for these claim weeks on Jan. 15. L&I will make an announcement when the additional 11 weeks have been added to claimants’ accounts and filing for these weeks begins.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

  • L&I has made approximately $7.1 billion in PUA payments since March 15.
  • PUA is a special unemployment program created by the federal coronavirus relief bill to assist claimants who are not typically eligible for Unemployment Compensation, such as freelancers, gig workers, and business owners. The program expired the claim week ending Dec. 26 and an extension was signed Dec. 27. The initial coronavirus relief bill provided PUA claimants 39 claim weeks and the extension provided an additional 11 weeks (50 weeks total).
  • Numerous changes, such as new identity and employment verification requirements, were added to the program in the extension by the federal government. The federal Department of Labor did not provide L&I with the necessary guidance for the changes to the PUA program until Jan. 11. L&I is working to complete reprogramming of the PUA system to accommodate these changes and has turned off claimants’ ability to file for weeks after the expiration of the original program. The ability to file for claim weeks after Dec. 26 will be added when the reprogramming is complete, and L&I will make an announcement as soon as this date is determined. Some claimants have reported seeing what they believe are errors in their PUA system dashboard, but this is due to the reprogramming and the correct amounts will be populated into claimants’ dashboards when the system is ready to accept the new claims.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

  • L&I has made approximately $16.2 billion in FPUC payments since March 15.
  • FPUC provides an additional $300 to claimants each week they receive at least $1 in benefits from the UC, EB, PEUC or PUA programs. This payment is on top of the other program’s payment. The program previously provided $600 in additional weekly compensation but was initially eliminated when the federal government failed to extend it in summer, and then cut in half to $300 and reinstated when the federal government agreed on the coronavirus relief bill extension.
  • L&I began issuing payments on Jan. 8 after receiving the necessary guidance from the federal Department of Labor. The timing of the payments’ arrival varies based on when claimants file the claims for their other unemployment benefits and the method the claimant chose to receive their payment (checks require mailing time, financial institutions may cause delays with direct deposits, etc.), with the first claimants receiving their payments for FPUC on Jan. 12.

Claimants who have questions about their individual claim should email uchelp@pa.gov.

Source: Pennsylvania officials respond to delay in unemployment benefits

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf unveils updated coronavirus vaccine rollout plan – The Morning Call

State officials on Friday said a new update of the coronavirus vaccine rollout plan puts several groups of people — those over 75, those with significant health issues and essential front-line workers — in line behind health care workers for priority in getting shots.

HARRISBURG — State officials on Friday unveiled an updated coronavirus vaccine rollout plan that puts more people — including those 75 or older, those with significant health issues and essential front-line workers — in line behind health care workers for priority in getting shots.

Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said in an online press briefing that the state has received 827,300 doses of the two approved vaccines and more than 235,000 Pennsylvanians have been vaccinated, with health care workers and people in long-term care facilities being inoculated now.

Source: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf unveils updated coronavirus vaccine rollout plan – The Morning Call

Pennsylvania Senate Republicans refuse to seat Jim Brewster, take control from Lt. Gov. Fetterman – The Washington Post

Officials shouted and spoke over each other, at one point trying to conduct dueling sessions in a stark showcase of this year’s party divides over normally routine functions of democracy.

Source: Pennsylvania Senate Republicans refuse to seat Jim Brewster, take control from Lt. Gov. Fetterman – The Washington Post

Jim Brewster’s Pennsylvania Senate seat remains in doubt amid pending lawsuit from Nicole Ziccarelli

A day before Pennsylvania state lawmakers will be sworn in for a new two-year session, state Senate Democrats said Monday that the Republican majority is trying to “steal an election” by objecting to letting a Democratic member take his seat for a fourth term.

The dispute revolves around the election of Democratic Sen. Jim Brewster of Allegheny County and could leave the decision on who to install in the Senate district to a majority of senators.

The contest between Brewster and Republican challenger Nicole Ziccarelli hinged on court decisions that said mail-in ballots that lack a handwritten date on the ballot envelope is not a reason to disqualify someone’s vote.

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, called the Republicans’ refusal to swear in Brewster during Tuesday’s ceremony “unlawful” and suggested that his caucus will go to court.

Republicans were trying to “steal an election” in what Costa framed as a continuation of “the Trump playbook. It’s about abusing the process that’s in place.”

Costa also pointed out that U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi swore in Rep.-elect Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, even as her Democratic opponent’s challenge to the election results remains under review by the House.

The Senate’s top Republican, President Pro Tempore-elect Jake Corman, R-Centre, called it a “fairly unique, if not unprecedented situation.”

Ziccarelli has filed a complaint with the Senate and a lawsuit in federal court in an “extremely close” election affected by court rulings, Corman said.

“I think this unique set of circumstances dictates that the Senate review it and take very seriously the contest,” Corman said.

He did not say how long the Senate will need to review Ziccarelli’s filing before voting, or how long the Senate is willing to leave the seat vacant.

Brewster beat Ziccarelli by 69 votes in the Nov. 3 election, according to state-certified returns last month.

Source: Jim Brewster’s Pennsylvania Senate seat remains in doubt amid pending lawsuit from Nicole Ziccarelli

Pittsburgh weather: Winter weather advisory issued ahead of Christmas snow

The winter weather advisory from the National Weather Service will be in effect from 7 p.m. Thursday until 1 p.m. Friday.

 

More: Read the weather alert for your county

The winter weather advisory from the National Weather Service will be in effect from 7 p.m. Thursday until 1 p.m. Friday.

Source: Pittsburgh weather: Winter weather advisory issued ahead of Christmas snow

Gov. Wolf initiates transfer of $145 million in funds to support businesses adversely affected by COVID-19 pandemic | WTAJ – www.wearecentralpa.com

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Governor Tom Wolf announced Wednesday that he has initiated a transfer of $145 million in funds from the Workers’ Compensation Security Fund at the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to be appropriated by the state legislature into grants for businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Business owners and employees have worked hard to protect their customers and their communities during this pandemic, and I thank all of those who have prioritized health and safety despite the hardship of the past several months,” Gov Wolf said. “Our business owners and workers have been forced to make sacrifices because of COVID-19 and they need and deserve our support.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that my administration will make funds available to help businesses whose operations and revenue were significantly adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The $145 million transfer from the fund into the state’s general fund requires legislative authorization to expend the loaned money for the purpose of making grants to businesses. The legislature has the authority to establish grant agreements for purposes it deems appropriate, in this case, to support businesses adversely affected by the pandemic.

Gov. Wolf urged the legislature to follow his lead and allocate this funding as quickly as possible to businesses affected by the pandemic, among them restaurants and bars, gyms and entertainment venues.

Source: Gov. Wolf initiates transfer of $145 million in funds to support businesses adversely affected by COVID-19 pandemic | WTAJ – www.wearecentralpa.com

PennDOT lifts speed limit restrictions on area roadways

PITTSBURGH —PennDOT has lifted the speed limit restrictions that were put in place Wednesday when snow was hitting the Pittsburgh region.Speed limits were reduced to 45 miles per hour on all interstates and several other routes.

Steve Cowan, spokesperson for PennDOT District 11, told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 crews still have work to do on secondary roadways, shoulders, ramps, gore areas and turning lanes.

He said PennDOT will keep its full complement of trucks out until the work is finished.

Source: PennDOT lifts speed limit restrictions on area roadways

Vehicle restrictions announced; motorists urged to ‘avoid traveling’ during snowstorm: PennDOT – pennlive.com

In preparation for a major winter storm event, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) are advising motorists to avoid all unnecessary travel during the storm, and are anticipating that restrictions on trucks and other vehicles will be imposed on certain roadways around the state.

“We have been preparing for winter since the last one ended, and we’re calling on the public to be our partners in safe travel,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian in a press release. “Please, avoid traveling and if you must travel, be sure to check travel conditions and give plow operators plenty of space so they can do their jobs safely and effectively.”

Source: Vehicle restrictions announced; motorists urged to ‘avoid traveling’ during snowstorm: PennDOT – pennlive.com

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announces new COVID-19 restrictions – CBS News

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine provided an update on COVID-19 in the state Thursday, and announced new restrictions to help slow the spread.

Beginning Saturday, Wolf said extracurricular school activities, such as sports practices, are suspended. Restaurants will not be permitted to offer indoor service, but outdoor seating and takeout are still allowed. Business is also being temporarily suspended for other indoor facilities such as theaters, museums, movies, casinos, and gyms, though retailers can operate at 50% capacity.  

Source: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announces new COVID-19 restrictions – CBS News

Gov. Wolf gives update on COVID-19 testing in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Director of Testing and Contact Tracing, Michael Huff, gave an update on COVID-19 testing in the state Tuesday afternoon.

Wolf announced the extension of the Department of Health’s contract with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare to provide COVID-19 testing in five regions across Pennsylvania.

Over the next 12 weeks, five strike teams will provide regional testing for 61 counties.

The six counties not receiving testing from AMI have county health departments providing other means of COVID-19 testing.

“These testing sites are open to anyone who feels they need a test. It is important that even people with no symptoms who test positive isolate to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Huff said.

Beginning Wednesday, drive-thru and indoor walk-in testing clinics will be held to contain the recent rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the following counties:

  • Bedford
  • Mifflin
  • Tioga
  • Northampton

Testing will be available daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting Wednesday through Sunday.

Beginning Friday, drive-thru and indoor walk-in testing clinics will be held in Butler County. Testing will be available daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Tuesday.

The testing site addresses are:

  • Butler County: Michelle Krill Field, 100 Pullman Park Pl., Butler, PA, 16001;
  • Bedford County: Bedford High School parking lot, 330 West John St., Bedford, PA, 15522;
  • Mifflin County: Pennsylvania State Fire Academy, 1150 Riverside Drive, Lewistown, PA, 17044;
  • Tioga County: North Penn Mansfield High School, 73 W. Wellsboro St., Mansfield, PA, 16933; and
  • Northampton County: William Penn Highway Park & Ride, Emrick Blvd., Easton, PA, 18045.

Up to 450 patients can be tested per day at each location.

Mid-nasal passage swab PCR tests will be performed

Source: Gov. Wolf gives update on COVID-19 testing in Pennsylvania

Kauffman, Schemel Issue Statement on Reintroduction of House Resolution Regarding Election Integrity | Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus

HARRISBURG – Reps. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) and Paul Schemel (R-Franklin) released the following statement regarding the reintroduction of the language in House Resolution 1094 regarding election integrity:

“Tonight, at midnight, in accordance with the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the General Assembly’s 2019-20 Legislative Session concludes. As a result, all current legislation expires. To move forward, any public policy objectives will need to be reintroduced in the 2021-22 Legislative Session.

“Nevertheless, House Resolution 1094 was formally introduced in the 2019-20 session. Pennsylvania’s Nov. 3 General Election was plagued by multiple irregularities and inconsistencies, many of which are currently under review by state and federal courts. We maintain that Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar’s recent certification of the election results was premature in light of the ongoing litigation. Pennsylvania’s presidential electors do not have to be named until Dec. 12, giving additional time for the courts to resolve election disputes before certification must occur. Time, however, was simply not on our side to bring this resolution to a full House vote before the current legislative session ends.

Source: Kauffman, Schemel Issue Statement on Reintroduction of House Resolution Regarding Election Integrity | Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus

RepKauffman.com

RepSchemel.com / Facebook.com/RepSchemel

PA Supreme Court rejects Trump challenge to absentee ballots in Allegheny County | Fox News

President Trump’s attorneys asked the courts to throw out ballots that were missing information.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected the Trump campaign lawsuits Monday that called for the dismissal of more than 8,000 absentee ballots in Allegheny County.

In five lawsuits, President Trump’s attorneys asked the courts to throw out ballots that were missing information, such as a handwritten name or address or the date on which the ballots were signed. In its ruling, the state’s Supreme Court determined the ballots should be considered valid.

“Here we conclude that while failures to include a handwritten name, address or date in the voter declaration on the back of the outer envelope, while constituting technical violations of the Election Code, do not warrant the wholesale disenfranchisement of thousands of Pennsylvania voters,” the ruling said.

PERDUE, LOEFFLER BACK TRUMP CALL FOR GEORGIA RECOUNT, MORE SIGNATURE MATCHING

In addition, the state Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling that had invalidated 2,349 ballots in Allegheny County over missing information. The ruling was a setback for Trump as the state’s counties move forward with efforts to certify the Pennsylvania vote.

Source: PA Supreme Court rejects Trump challenge to absentee ballots in Allegheny County | Fox News

Investigation finds more than a half-million Pennsylvanians denied unemployment

NORTH VERSAILLES, Pa. — Channel 4 Action News Investigates has learned more than a half-million Pennsylvanians who applied for unemployment during the pandemic have still not been able to get it.For some, long waits for benefits have become long waits to appeal the denial of benefit

John Roman of North Versailles was laid off from his job as a school bus driver in March.Action News Investigates first told his story in April, when he was struggling to get benefits.”You can’t get through. Keep getting busy signals. I tried like four or five hours in one day,” Roman said at the time.

Eventually, the checks started coming. But in June, his case took a twist.The state Department of Labor and Industry sent him a letter saying he was ineligible for benefits and ordering him to pay back $3,000.The reason? The state said Roman took a leave of absence.But medical records show he was hospitalized for acute illness — pneumonia and COPD.So Roman filed an appeal, saying the state decision was incorrect. That was five months ago.

Asked what happened since then, Roman said: “Nothing. Nothing at all.”He’s called the state unemployment office repeatedly. He contacted his state legislator.”Mine’s at the bottom of the pile, I guess,” Roman said.In August, he finally got a callback from the state unemployment office.

An official left a voicemail message saying: “We have received the appeal information however it was not under review so that was a mistake on our part. You should receive information from us soon as again I have escalated this matter to a supervisor.”But Roman did not get a hearing until Monday, nearly three months after he received that voicemail message.”It’s wrong,” Roman said.In yet another twist, Roman was approved for unemployment after first being denied. But the state has been deducting the money he allegedly owes from the amount he is supposed to be collecting, leaving him with virtually nothing.”I could never understand their system,” Roman said.

Top state unemployment officials would not discuss specifics of Roman’s case but they were surprised when Action News Investigates told them how long he’s been waiting for his appeal.

“I do know the appeals office is still on time with everything so depending on the timing of when that was requested and what the actual circumstances are, that probably has a lot to do with it,” said Susan Dickinson, director of unemployment policy.

“John is emblematic of so many people who are so frustrated with the system and don’t know where to turn for help,” said Barney Oursler of the Mon Valley Unemployed Committee.

Oursler reached out to help Roman after seeing his initial story. He said the state made a mistake and Roman deserves to be paid.But even Oursler, who helped thousands of unemployed steelworkers in the 1980s, has hit a wall with Harrisburg.

“The system is failing people and that’s the frustration people have,” Oursler said.State officials said 32% of all Pennsylvanians filing unemployment claims during the pandemic — about 600,000 people — have been rejected.

There have been about 43,000 appeals filed.Five months after filing his appeal, Roman said he hopes he can finally get an answer.”It’s been very frustrating. There’s times I just lay down and close my eyes, is it a dream or is it reality? I’m finding out it’s reality,” Roman said.

Source: Investigation finds more than a half-million Pennsylvanians denied unemployment

COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: ‘We Have No Plans To Go Back To Red, Yellow, Green,’ Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine Says – CBS Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine says there are “no plans” at this time to reinstate the color-coded coronavirus restrictions the state saw earlier in the pandemic.

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine says there are “no plans” at this time to reinstate the color-coded coronavirus restrictions the state saw earlier in the pandemic.

At Dr. Levine’s weekly media briefing Monday, she addressed the rising rate of infections across the state. Statewide percent positivity for last week is at 9.6%, compared to 6.9% the week before. Sixty-two of the 67 counties have positivity rates above 5%, including Allegheny County, which stands at 7.7%,

According to Dr. Levine, the new cases are connected to community spread, meaning someone gets the virus without any known contact with a sick person.

With cases here and across the state rising to their highest levels, Dr. Levine says it’s our collective responsibility to stop this community spread and bring those numbers back under control.

“We can answer the call to prevent the spread of this virus COVID-19,” she says.

Dr. Levine says it’s up to the public to voluntarily answer the call, wear masks, social distance and avoid gatherings large and small — regardless of your political leanings.

“Now that the election is over and the people have spoken, we need to stand united about these simple public health measures. This is not a political issue. This is not a partisan issue. This is an urgent public health issue in Pennsylvania,” she says.

RELATED STORIES:

Source: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: ‘We Have No Plans To Go Back To Red, Yellow, Green,’ Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine Says – CBS Pittsburgh

No Recounts Or Recanvasses To Be Ordered For Any Pa. Statewide Election Races – CBS Pittsburgh

HARRISBURG (KDKA) — Pa. Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said Friday that recounts or recanvasses will not be ordered in any of the statewide Nov. 3 general election races based on unofficial returns and margins of victory.

This includes the races for President of the United States, Attorney General, Auditor General, and State Treasurer.

In a press release, the Pa. Department of State said that Secretary Boockvar determined that she will not be ordering recounts or recanvasses based on the unofficial returns submitted by all counties. This decision comes as no statewide candidate was defeated by 0.5% or less of the votes cast.

Source: No Recounts Or Recanvasses To Be Ordered For Any Pa. Statewide Election Races – CBS Pittsburgh

GOP picks Pennsylvania’s first female Senate majority leader, Sen. Kim Ward of Westmoreland County

Republicans who control Pennsylvania’s state Senate voted Thursday to select the chamber’s first female majority leader and promote their majority leader of the past six years.

Third-term Sen. Kim Ward of Westmoreland County will replace Sen. Jake Corman as majority leader. Ward, who has chaired committees that handle transportation and gambling issues, was first elected in 2008.

Corman, the chamber’s Republican majority leader since 2015, will fill the empty post of president pro tempore when the Legislature’s new session starts in January. Republicans will return with at least the same size majority, 29-21, and possibly larger, depending on the outcome of one undecided contest.Corman, who has represented the State College area in the Senate since 1999, will replace the outgoing Joe Scarnati, who did not run for reelection.Senate Democrats plan to select a new leadership team next week.The outcome of one Senate race remains in doubt in western Pennsylvania, where second-term incumbent Democrat Jim Brewster is neck-and-neck with Republican Nicole Ziccarelli in a district that straddles Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.In the House of Representatives, minority Democrats were voting Thursday to replace their floor leader, Frank Dermody, of Allegheny County, who conceded his reelection bid earlier this week.House Republicans on Tuesday reelected their leadership team of House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, and Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre.Republicans there were expected to pad their 110 to 93 majority with a couple pickups in close contests.

Source: GOP picks Pennsylvania’s first female Senate majority leader, Sen. Kim Ward of Westmoreland County

How to vote in Pennsylvania

Everything voters need to know. Democracy Works has all the information you need to register and vote.

Election Day

Election Day is almost here! If you have any difficulties voting, you should first ask a poll worker or your local election official for help. We have provided additional resources below to help you vote, no matter what.
  • Get to the polls can help you find your polling place if you aren’t sure where to vote in person.
  • The Election Protection Hotline is a great resource if you experience any issues while voting. Remember: It is a federal crime to pressure, threaten, or otherwise intimidate voters at the polls!
    • English: 1-866-OUR-VOTE / 1-866-687-8683
    • Spanish: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA / 1-888-839-8682
  • The ACLU’s Voting Rights Guide explains accommodations your polling place needs to make if English is not your primary language.
  • The Nonprofit VOTE’s State Resource Guide provides information on how your state supports disabled voters.

For more resources, please check out our Know Your Voting Rights post!

Who can vote

You have to register to vote before Election Day in Pennsylvania. You can find the deadline to register to vote in the “Dates and deadlines” section.

To register in Pennsylvania you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States at least one month before the next election
  • be a resident of Pennsylvania and your election district at least 30 days before the election
  • be at least 18 years of age on the day of the next election
  • You may also register if you:
  • are a pretrial detainee, confined in a penal institution awaiting trial on charges of a felony or a misdemeanor
  • got released or will get released by the date of the next election from a correctional facility or halfway house (this must be upon completion of the term of incarceration for conviction of a misdemeanor or a felony)
  • are on probation or released on parole
  • are under house arrest (home confinement)
  • *find more information on voting rights restoration here

Vote in person

Due to COVID-19, in-person services may have limited availability. Contact your local election office to confirm. See CDC guidance on safe in-person voting.

Vote on Election Day

Voters registered in Pennsylvania can look up where to vote on Pennsylvania’s site.

Vote early

Pennsylvania voters can also vote before Election Day through a process called absentee in-person voting. The period for absentee in-person voting runs from Monday, September 14, 2020 to Tuesday, October 27, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.

What to bring

  • If you’ve voted at your polling place before, you don’t need to show ID to vote.
  • If you’re a first-time voter, or if you moved within Pennsylvania and are voting for the first time at a new polling place, you must show ID to vote. Acceptable forms include: Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID card; ID issued by Pennsylvania or the US government; US passport; US military ID; student ID; employee ID; a confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office; non-photo ID issued by Pennsylvania or the US government; firearm permit; or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or a government check that includes your name and address.
  • Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will be able to vote a provisional ballot.

Vote by mail

  1. Request your mail-in ballot with a mail ballot application. You can also request a ballot online. We encourage you to request and return ballots as early as possible.
  2. Fill out the application completely.
  3. Submit the request to your local election office. You should request your ballot as far in advance of the election as possible. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
  4. When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.
  5. Your ballot must be postmarked by Tuesday, November 3, 2020 and received no later than Friday, November 6, 2020 by 5:00 p.m. You may also return your ballot in person by Tuesday, November 3, 2020 by 8:00 p.m. You can find ballot tracking information here.

Read Source: How to vote in Pennsylvania

Thousands call Pennsylvania county about requested ballots that never arrived – CNNPolitics

The whereabouts of an untold number of ballots in Pennsylvania’s Butler County that were slated for delivery to would-be voters in next week’s election remain unaccounted for, the county’s director of elections said Thursday.

(CNN)The whereabouts of an untold number of ballots in Pennsylvania’s Butler County that were slated for delivery to would-be voters in next week’s election remain unaccounted for, the county’s director of elections said Thursday.

Postal officials say they are unaware of any issues, but the director, Aaron Sheasley, said the county has received in excess of 10,000 phone calls seeking information about ballots that were requested but not received, and that some callers have called multiple times.

Source: Thousands call Pennsylvania county about requested ballots that never arrived – CNNPolitics

‘We’re feeling the pressure’: Can the birthplace of American democracy save the country from election night chaos? | The Independent

This election is inescapable in Pennsylvania. On billboards, posters, on television, spray-painted on the sidewalks and walls, and every time you open up a webpage, the volume of political advertisements are overwhelming.  But it isn’t presidential candidates that are taking up the space. Instead, the ads are more often instructions for voters on how to cast their ballot safely and securely in this most unusual of election years. It’s as if democracy itself is on the ballot here. In many ways, it is.

Source: ‘We’re feeling the pressure’: Can the birthplace of American democracy save the country from election night chaos? | The Independent

Pennsylvania voter registration may be at record high, state official says | Fox News

Nearly 2.5 million people are expected to vote by mail.

Pennsylvania, which is emerging as one of the most critical battleground states in the November election, could see a record-number of voters cast their ballots this year.

“We think that our total voter registration may be at an all-time high,” Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said during a press conference this week.

About 8,908,777 people have registered to vote, Boockvar said, including 4,175,532 Democrats and 3,459,627 Republicans. About 875,191 had no affiliation or identified as independents, and 398,427 identified as other.

Nearly 2.5 million people are expected to vote by mail, according to Boockvar, who noted that this was the total amount of mail-in and absentee ballots that were expected to be approved.

Source: Pennsylvania voter registration may be at record high, state official says | Fox News