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Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen
April 29, 2022
Primary FAQs, protective order, online spending, disciplinary action, workplace allegations, and running Pennsylvania. It's Friday. This is PA Post.
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VOTER GUIDE

If you have primary election questions, we have answers. 

More than a few things have changed since Pennsylvanians last went to the polls. Your congressional and legislative districts might be different, some counties are supervising or reducing drop boxes, and the mail-in voting law has been ruled unconstitutional — but it remains in effect and a valid form of voting as the state Supreme Court considers an appeal. 

Spotlight PA's complete guide to the May 17 primary covers all of this and more, with key deadlines, tips for casting your ballot at the polls or by mail, and tips for making sure your mail-in vote isn't thrown out.

If you're on the fence about the importance of primaries, consider this: 

In the new legislative maps, only 15% of the seats are considered competitive, according to nonpartisan analysis. That means most districts have one party with a strong majority, so whichever candidate wins the primary of the dominant party is all but guaranteed to win in November.

THE CONTEXT: Monday is the last day you can register to vote in this primary. You can register online here or check your registration status here.

Want to change your political party? Use the same registration form and simply select the box that says "change of party." 

Of course, Pennsylvania has a closed primary system, meaning only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote for candidates. (We talked recently about the push to change that.)

If you are an unaffiliated/independent voter who wants to vote for candidates in one of next month's primaries, you must change your registration to one of the two major parties by Monday. Otherwise you'll have to wait.

Keep scrolling for links to Spotlight PA's latest election coverage. 

OUT WITH A BANG
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NOTABLE / QUOTABLE

"...the status quo is better than this bill. There's a couple of provisions that would be helpful, but unfortunately, the harm in it outweighs that."

Robert Saleem Holbrook, executive director for Straight Ahead, the Abolition Law Center's legislative wing, on a probation reform bill in the state Senate
 
🗳 ELECTION INFO
» Your guide to the Democratic and GOP candidates for governor

» 5 takeaways from Spotlight PA's Republican gubernatorial debate

» A guide to the overlooked race for Pa. lieutenant governor

» Big donations to GOP guv hopefuls: Who gave and how much?

» Tell Spotlight PA what election coverage matters the most to you

Support Spotlight PA's public-service election and voting coverage now.
 
📅 UPCOMING EVENTS
» PRIMARY PRIMER: Join us Thursday, May 5 at 6 p.m. via Zoom for a free Q&A on Pennsylvania's candidates for governor, how they plan to lead, and how to spot misinformation. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org
 
📷 POST IT
Virginia bluebells at Gifford Pinchot State Park in York County, via Carol D. Have a cool picture of your own that you'd like to share? Send us your gems, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
DAILY RUNDOWN
PFA FILING: A far-right Republican candidate for lieutenant governor was removed from his home this week after his wife asked a court for a protective order against him, Rolling Stone first reported. Teddy Daniels has faced allegations of abusive or threatening behavior from domestic partners before and "unbecoming conduct" when he was a police officer, the outlet added. Daniels is gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano's preferred running mate for November's general election.

OPEN TABS: Pennsylvania's House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill this week that would require legislators to post their taxpayer-funded expenses online. There was one notable change, however: It no longer includes the Senate. While the Senate is already posting member expenses online, it isn't using the more searchable format required by this bill. The Caucus reports it's unclear if this makes the Senate more or less likely to approve the House bill headed its way.

POLICE WATCH: The amount of disciplinary action taken against Pittsburgh police doubled between 2017 and 2021 compared with the preceding five-year period, PublicSource and City Cast Pittsburgh found. Not unexpectedly, 2020 — a year marked by widespread police accountability protests — was a high-water mark. But there are disagreements about the underlying causes (more vigilance or worse behavior?) and few trends to be found with regard to resulting punishments.

PAPER TRAIL: Millions of parents have been placed on state-run child abuse registries, often for "neglect," a vague term with no fixed legal definition, BuzzFeed News reports. The consequences can last for decades, and Black parents are far more likely to end up on the lists than white ones. When parents are aware and appeal the decision, they usually win. Nearly two-thirds of all people who appealed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey across 10 years were successful.

COVER-UP CLAIMS: UPenn's Gene Therapy Program is under the microscope, with The Daily Pennsylvanian reporting on allegations that leadership at the Ivy League school manipulated the findings of an investigation into years of program-specific workplace abuse claims. According to the student paper, a report on the findings was stripped of all allegations against two program higher-ups, and employees say the university's financial interests were a primary motive.
IN OTHER NEWS

PRIMARY PROOFED: A judge has recommended the dismissal of longshot lawsuits aimed at removing U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R., Pa.) and state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R., Franklin) from the May primary ballot because of their efforts to overturn the election of President Joe Biden, PennLive reports. 

BUG OFF: Ticks are super active this time of year and can live in backyards, too. State officials offer tips for avoiding diseases, including an especially nasty one that's been found in alarming levels in three counties.

RUN IT OUT: There will be lots of running (and cheering) in Pennsylvania's two largest cities on Sunday as the Pittsburgh Marathon and Philly's Broad Street Run return to hit the streets for the first time since 2019. 

HOME TEAM: Kenny Pickett is staying in Pittsburgh. The rule-shaping former quarterback for the Pittsburgh Panthers was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in round one of the NFL Draft on Thursday. Jubilation ensued.

MOVIE NIGHTS: The Mahoning Drive-In Theater in Lehighton opens for the season this weekend with showings of The Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Tickets are $10 per person or $20 to camp out.

THE SCRAMBLER
Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag.
 
A L I C T E T

This week's theme: The five senses
 
Yesterday's answer: Odoriferously

Congrats to our daily winners: Susan N.-Z., Craig W., Susan D., Karen W., Don H., Elaine C., Kimberly S., George S., Dianne K., James B., Patricia M., Bill S., Vicki U., Doris T., and Pat B.
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