Secrecy Requirement Could See 100,000 Pennsylvania Ballots Disqualified, Dem Official Says

As many as 100,000 Pennsylvania voters could have their ballots discarded in November due to a state law that requires absentee ballots to be returned inside a secrecy sleeve, according to a Democratic official on the Philadelphia city commission.

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ordered election officials to discard “naked ballots” in a decision issued last week, a move that could result in tens of thousands of ballots disqualified in a critical battleground state, City Commissioner Lisa Deeley wrote in a letter to Republican state legislators.

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Federal Judge Tosses Wolf Administration’s Limits on Gatherings, Orders Closing Businesses

A federal judge on Monday threw out portions of the Wolf administration’s orders that restricted activity during the coronavirus pandemic, saying that the governor had exceeded his authority.
The ruling by Judge William Stickman in the Western District of Pennsylvania court delivers to Gov. Tom Wolf’s political opponents what they had failed to achieve for months in the Legislature as bill after bill to curtail the governor’s power was passed, only to be vetoed.

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In the Final Weeks Leading to November, Biden’s Lead in the Top Six Battleground States Narrows

Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump in six of the most competitive battleground states as both candidates amp up their fundraising efforts and place multimillion dollar ad buys just over seven weeks out from the election, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review.

In 2016, Trump pulled off an upset win after flipping Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Now, those three states, in addition to Arizona, Florida and North Carolina, are likely to decide the winner of November’s presidential election.

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Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin Brace for Record 2020 Turnout, Won’t Say When Election Results Will Be Available

Election officials in three battleground states wouldn’t say when the U.S. can expect the results from November’s presidential race, and an official in a fourth state said the timing is uncertain.

Numerous news reports have indicated that election results could take a week to return due to the coronavirus pandemic and an increased reliance on mail-in ballots. Accuracy and timing will be especially crucial in the battleground states that will likely determine whether President Donald Trump will serve another term or be ousted by former Vice President Joe Biden.

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Pennsylvania Counties Go Rogue, Ignore State Shutdown Orders

Officials from several counties across central Pennsylvania said over the weekend they likely will lift pandemic restrictions against Gov. Tom Wolf’s orders.

The news follows the governor’s decision Friday to transition 13 counties in the southwestern region of the state – including the Pittsburgh metro area – to the yellow phase of his economic reopening plan after showing signs of slowing community spread and ramped up testing and contact tracing abilities.

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Cuomo: Coalition of Six Northeast States Set to Announce Regional Reopening Plan

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday morning that he feels “the worst is over” when it comes to the ongoing coronavirus crisis that has enveloped his state and the nation, and he suggested that a coalition of six Northeast states would be making a joint announcement at 2 p.m. on plans to reopen the economy in the weeks and months to come.

Speaking at his daily briefing on the pandemic, Cuomo said he had been in contact with the governors of Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island about a regional approach to returning to normalcy.

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Midwest Swing Voters View Open Borders, Medicare-for-All as ‘Bad Ideas,’ Poll Finds

A new poll examining voter preferences in four former “blue wall” states, including Minnesota, found that a majority of swing voters view Medicare-for-all and open borders as “bad ideas.”

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Poll Shows Trump Struggling in Key Battleground States, Slight Edge in Michigan

A new poll released last week by the public affairs firm Firehouse Strategies shows President Donald Trump either statistically tied or behind three top Democratic candidates in key Midwest states.

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North Carolina Joins 32 States to Support of Pennsylvania’s Fight Against Student Loan Company Navient

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein joined a coalition of 32 attorneys general pushing for the lawsuit filed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania against student loan servicer Navient to go forward in the federal courts.

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The Battleground State Report: Are Trump Rallies Enough to Motivate ‘Undecided’ Voters to Show Up and Vote?

On Friday’s Battleground State Report with Steve Gill, Michael Patrick Leahy and Doug Kellett – a one hour radio show from Star News Digital Media in the early stages of a national weekend syndication roll out – Gill and Leahy talked about the success of the Trump rallies which continue to mobilize his base yet were concerned whether or not these rallies could help move undecided voters to the voting booths.

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Former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak Joins 2020 Presidential Race

by Matt Miller   Former Rep. Joe Sestak announced his 2020 presidential bid Saturday on his campaign’s website, making him the 25th prominent Democrat to step into the race, NBC reported. Sestak, a former congressman and Navy admiral, said Saturday in the announcement that he wants “to be that president who serves…

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Ohio River Commission Opts to Introduce New Standards, Drawing Ire of National Wildlife Federation

by Steve Bittenbender   A multistate organization in charge of improving the quality of one of the country’s most important rivers voted on Thursday to adopt a new plan on how to ensure states meet water pollution standards. By a 19-2 vote, with one abstention, the Ohio River Valley Water…

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Supreme Court Declines Review of Transgender Bathroom Case

by Mary Margaret Olohan   The United States Supreme Court declined to review a case Tuesday involving a Pennsylvania school district opening up bathrooms to students of the opposite sex without informing students or parents. The Supreme Court declined to take up Doe v. Boyertown Area School District, a lawsuit…

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Pennsylvania’s 12th District Stays Red After Tom Marino’s Surprise Resignation

by Evie Fordham   Republican state Rep. Fred Keller won Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District special election Tuesday night, ensuring the district would stay red after Republican Rep. Tom Marino stepped down in January. Keller took 70.3% of the vote with 64% of precincts reporting as of press time, while his…

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Justice Neil Gorsuch Will Replace Joe Biden as Honorary Chair of the National Constitution Center

  Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is taking on a new role as the honorary chairman of a nonpartisan group devoted to education about the Constitution, replacing former Vice President Joe Biden. The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia said Tuesday that Gorsuch, named to the high court by President Donald…

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Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. Madeleine Dean Retreats from ‘Russia Collusion,’ Promotes ‘No Exoneration’ Straw Man

by Nick Givas   Democratic Rep. Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania listed special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings from the Russia probe on CNN Monday, and it’s not good news for Democrats. “My reaction is a couple of things. We ought to recognize something good. Number one, special counsel Mueller completed his…

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Trump Campaign Preparing Early Focus on Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is preparing an early focus on Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, states that were instrumental to his improbable 2016 victory but where his support has softened, two campaign advisers said. The decision to accelerate campaign organizing and eventually get the Republican president to make trips to…

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Embezzlement, Theft Charges Against Pennsylvania Labor Kingpin May Cripple Dems’ 2020 Machine

by Tim Pearce   Pennsylvania Democrats are worried about the short-term future of their political machine after authorities charged a Philadelphia labor leader with numerous counts of embezzlement, bribery and theft, Politico reports. John Dougherty, the business manager of Philadelphia’s branch of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and…

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Steve Gill Commentary: The Christian Vote, Particularly the Catholic Votes, Are Critical to Trump’s Re-Election in 2020

Three states in the midwest that Hillary Clinton was counting on to carry her to victory in 2016 narrowly ended up in the Donald Trump column — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. If those three states had been won by Clinton, their 46 Electoral votes would have given her the presidency…

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Lancaster County Will Be Pennsylvania’s First Investigative Target Under New Program to Tackle Welfare Fraud

The Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General and the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office announced last week that they are joining forces to tackle welfare fraud, specifically food-stamp fraud. Commonly referred to as the food-stamp program, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has increasingly become a concern among law-enforcement officials.…

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Pennsylvania Tracks Traffic Stops of Undocumented Immigrants

traffic stop

Pennsylvania state police will soon be required to report more fully the circumstances under which they notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents when they stop undocumented immigrants for traffic violations. The move comes amid mounting criticism by immigration lawyers and activists that state troopers have been overzealous in assisting…

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Advocates in Pennsylvania Want More Taxpayer Money to Educate Illegal Immigrant & Refugee Students

Education Law Center sues Phila

Philadelphia-based Education Law Center told the city’s School Reform Commission that immigrant students and English Language Learner students (EL), need expanded programming, “improved cultural competency” for teachers, more support for the parents of these students and greater access to vocational training programs.  According to the Law Center, test results show that…

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Sloppy Bookkeeping, Significant Financial Abuse in Philadelphia, Key City in Battleground State of Pennsylvania?

Rebecca Rhynhart

With  Pennsylvania shaping up as a key battleground state in 2018 and 2020, as well, financial disarray and the significant potential for fraud and abuse in one of it’s major cities could give Republicans something to target in the Fall. Philadelphia’s government has the worst accounting practices among the nation’s 10…

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GOP Senate Nominee in PA Blasts Democrat Bob Casey Over Celebration of Philadelphia’s Sanctuary City Status

Lou Barletta, Bob Casey

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), who is running for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania blasted both the mayor of Philadelphia and his own opponent, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), over a viral video of the mayor dancing as Philadelphia joined the ranks of sanctuary cities which give safe harbor to illegal immigrants,…

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