News & Brews March 19, 2024

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Pa. House speaker wants same-day voter registration, early in-person voting

Democrat Pa. House Speaker Joanna McClinton (Philadelphia and Delaware counties) yesterday proposed legislation. that would implement same-day voter registration and early in-person voting in Pa. McClinton acknowledged, “Every bill requires compromise.” Hinting at what that compromise could be, Republican Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman said, “A lot can happen if we get Voter ID as a Constitutional Amendment,” referring to the House’s refusal to advance a proposed voter ID amendment to voters to let them weigh in on it.

Pa.’s continued population decline

PennLive reports that Pennsylvania’s population decline “persists,” despite “pockets of growth.” While overall population has dropped by an estimated 41,100 since 2020, areas like Pike County, south central Pa., and Chester/Montgomery counties are growing. Still, it’s not enough to offset the outmigration.

Who’s running for attorney general?

Five Democrats and two Republicans are vying for their respective party’s nomination for state attorney general in the upcoming April 23 primary election. Spotlight PA gives a brief profile of each, along with an overview of the office. (Notably, in recent years, attorney general has also been a stepping stone to governor—for a bit more on that, check out this recent interview with former Gov./AG Tom Corbett.)

‘Ballot box brouhaha’ in Allegheny County

Progressive Allegheny County District Attorney Sara Innamorato recently announced locations for satellite drop-off sites for ballots. The only problem was she had no legal authority to do so without approval first from the county board of elections. In response to a lawsuit over her announcement, a judge agreed that the board must first vote on the locations. The board is scheduled to hold this vote tomorrow. The Post-Gazette reports that the judge “also ruled that any decisions surrounding ballot return sites in future elections ‘can only be made upon a majority vote’ of the board.”

Dems at 102-100 majority in House after newest state rep. sworn in

Democrats’ on-again-off-again slim majority in the Pa. House remains on after newly elected state Rep. Jim Prokopiak was sworn into office on Monday. Prokopiak won a special election in Bucks County last month to fill the seat of former Democrat state Rep. John Galloway, who was elected to a judgeship last year. You’ll recall it was Galloway’s resignation—which at the time brought the House to a 101-101 partisan tie—that curiously coincided with Democrats’ announcement that they couldn’t vote for three months due to a water leak. During this time, GOP Rep. Joe Adams (Pike and Wayne counties) resigned due to family reasons, bringing the GOP cohort to 100. A special election to fill Adams’ seat will coincide with the April 23 primary.

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