Pennsylvania

Articles about voting issues in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania: 90 billion: The number of times hackers have tried to infiltrate Pennsylvania computer systems | PennLive

Hackers last year made more than 90 billion cyber intrusion attempts against the Commonwealth, according to a state official. As a security precaution the state is withholding information on the number of attempts against specific applications. Wanda Murren, press secretary for the state Department of State, said that such disclosure could potentially provide useful information to hackers and draw attention to the application, resulting in even more intrusion attempts. … The 90 billion figure applies to all computer systems and applications in use by all Commonwealth agencies and offices. But the accounting comes as local and state election systems across the country remain under scrutiny amid reports that scores of them were compromised during the election. The state Department of State declined to provide specific numbers on intrusion attempts against Pennsylvania’s voter registration system. Read More

Pennsylvania: Activists laying out options to urge Allegheny County to acquire new voting machines | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A coalition of activists wants a new commission to review — and recommend replacements for — Allegheny County’s 4,600 voting machines. And as befits an effort to double-check the results of each election, organizers have back-up plans to ensure they have their say. The coalition, which includes the local League of Women Voters and the election-transparency group Vote Allegheny, has proposed an ordinance to create a 13-member “Voting Process Review Commission” tasked with “conduct[ing] regular periodic reviews” of voting equipment. If it decides newer equipment is needed, the commission would recommend the machines to be purchased, if voters approve a referendum to pay for them. “Sooner or later, the county will have to replace the machines, and we’d like them to be prepared with a recommendation about the replacement,” said Annette Shimer, vice president of the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh. The effort stems from longstanding doubts about the touch-screen voting machines Allegheny County uses. Such machines store votes in memory, but have no paper trail to confirm voters’ choices. Some activists say the absence of hard copies makes it harder to detect vote-rigging. Read More

Pennsylvania: Snyder seeks to broaden absentee voting | Observer-Reporter

State Rep. Pam Snyder, whose district includes Greene County and parts of Fayette and Washington counties, would like to see Pennsylvania allow early voting and no-excuse absentee balloting. “We’re busy people, on the go constantly to jobs, family responsibilities (and) civic duties,” Snyder said at a Harrisburg news conference last month, noting 37 states and the District of Columbia offer some sort of early voting. Twenty-seven states and the nation’s capital offer no-excuse absentee voting. “Not all of us work 9-to-5 shifts. We can do better. We should do better,” she continued. Read More

Pennsylvania: Lawsuit Says House Redistricting Is Partisan Gerrymander | The New York Times

Voting-rights advocates in Pennsylvania filed suit on Thursday to nullify the state’s congressional-district map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander, joining other court battles over the role of politics in redistricting already being waged in three other states. It is the latest major legal effort arguing that gerrymanders have become so egregious they are subverting democracy and creating legislative races with predetermined results. In a tactical twist, however, the Pennsylvania lawsuit was filed in a state court, which means that if the plaintiffs prevail, the ruling would set no precedent for challenges in other states. The three other lawsuits, in Maryland, North Carolina and Wisconsin, were filed in federal court and argue that the maps of congressional or state legislative districts violate the federal Constitution. Read More

Pennsylvania: Groups sue Pennsylvania over congressional district gerrymandering | Philadelphia Inquirer

Calling gerrymandering “one of the greatest threats to American democracy,” the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania sued Thursday to have the state’s congressional district map thrown out. Future maps, the suit urges, should be drawn without “burdening or penalizing an identifiable group, a political party, or individual voters based on their political beliefs.” Filed in Commonwealth Court on behalf of Democratic voters in each of the state’s 18 congressional districts, the complaint argues that the map, drafted in 2011, “was the product of a national movement by the Republican Party to entrench its own representatives in power.” The GOP did so, the suit argues, by “utilizing the latest advances in mapmaking technologies and big data to gerrymander districts more effectively than ever before.” Read More

Pennsylvania: Legislation introduced for same-day voter registration | Your Erie

State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, (D) Erie, today urged enactment of his legislation that would free qualified state residents to go to their polling place on Election Day, register to vote and cast their ballot” “My House Bill 101 – same day voter registration — removes unwarranted, archaic and costly barriers to voting, increases voter turnout and can save money,” Bizzarro said. Bizzarro, speaking at a Capitol news conference where various voting-reform measures were outlined, said studies have shown that states that have implemented same day voter registration have higher rates of participation than states like Pennsylvania, where a person has to register at least 30 days before an election to cast a ballot. Read More

Pennsylvania: Matzie bill would have state implement voting by mail | The Beaver County Times

Pennsylvanians would be allowed to vote by mail under a bill introduced on Tuesday by state Rep. Rob Matzie. “As elected representatives in state government, I believe it is our duty to find ways to make voting for our constituents easier, more accessible and more secure,” Matzie, D-16, Ambridge, said in a statement. “One of those ways, as other states have shown, is to allow any eligible voter to cast their ballot for any and every election by mail.” Under Matzie’s House Bill 1546, the Pennsylvania Department of State and county election boards would be directed to create a vote-by-mail system in which voters could make a one-time request for a mail-in ballot and be automatically sent one in subsequent elections. Matzie said 22 states allow “certain elections to be conducted by mail,” and three states — Oregon, Washington and Colorado — have only vote-by-mail systems with California slated to join them next year. Read More

Pennsylvania: Democrats push to get voter registration bills out of committee | WITF

A group of legislative Democrats are pushing no fewer than twelve bills on voter registration in the House and Senate. They would model expanded voting and voter registration in Pennsylvania after reforms already done in other states. However, Democrats haven’t even been able to get the measures past the first stage of consideration in the GOP-controlled chambers–the House and Senate State Government Committees. Read More

Pennsylvania: Senators, experts gather for “overview hearing” on election reform | PennLive

Imagine it’s the first Tuesday of November. Rather than voting at your local precinct in your municipality, you would drive to the county “polling center” to cast your ballot. In a Senate hearing on Tuesday, legislators and elections experts discussed this “polling center” concept and other possibilities to amend Pennsylvania’s current election practices, many of which have been in place since 1937. Read More

Pennsylvania: Report: 26K voters caught in registration delay before pivotal Trump election | Billy Penn

About 26,000 people across Pennsylvania — 17,000 in Philadelphia alone — may not have received voter registration cards until after the November Presidential election because their voter registration applications were processed late, according to a new report released this week by a nonpartisan conglomerate of organizations that advocate for election reform. The report released by Keystone Votes, a group of about 40 organizations, cited data from the Pennsylvania Department of State and concluded that thousands of Pennsylvanians who attempted to register to vote on time may not have received any confirmation that their registration was approved prior to Nov. 8, 2016. The group also reported that due to the late processing, those people may have been “relegated” to supplemental voter rolls, instead of appearing in the main voter roll book at their polling location. Read More