News & Brews February 2, 2021

Pa. Secretary of State ousted after “devastating” procedural mistake

In shocking news, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar will resign Feb. 5 after it was learned the Department of State botched a simple procedural requirement for a proposed constitutional amendment to aid victims of child sex abuse. The amendment was one vote away from appearing on the May ballot and now must begin the two-year process anew. The Department of State failed to advertise the proposed ballot question when it was approved last session. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle had strong reactions. “Devastated,” “stunned,” and “shameful,” were just some of the words used to describe the action’s of Boockvar’s agency. House Republican leaders pointed out this incompetence is, sadly, a continued pattern of Boockvar’s leadership in the Wolf administration following intense scrutiny of the her oversight of the November elections. They said, “For the last 12 months, our caucus has raised serious concerns about this administration’s ability to competently manage the basic functions of state government. Today, our worst fears were realized by the revelation that incompetency in the Department of State may stand in the way of victims being able to seek justice.” PennLive has coverage of the reactions here.

Snow delays video budget address

Due to the snowstorms continuing to hit the state, Gov. Wolf has delayed his (prerecorded video) budget address to Wednesday leading us to wonder…were VHS copies being driven to every member?

Now what does voting look like?

Drop boxes, return postage for ballots, satellite offices…what does voting look like in a much smaller, much less discussed primary? The Philadelphia Inquirer takes a look at how counties are working to adjust for the new ways people voted in 2020, and the questions they—and voters—have as the May primary inches closer.

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