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Fetterman suffers stroke, Senate bid continues

Plus, Trump makes Mastriano endorsement official.


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Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen
May 16, 2022
Fetterman's stroke, long count, big nod, Roe marches, hate crimes, boomerang box, and 🌷 Spring kickoff. It's Monday. 
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Democratic U.S. Senate frontrunner and current Lt. Gov. John Fetterman confirmed on Sunday that he suffered a stroke late last week, prompting the cancellation of campaign appearances over the weekend. 

In a statement, Fetterman said the stroke was caused "by a clot from my heart being in an A-fib rhythm for too long." Fetterman said doctors found no cognitive damage and expect him to make a full recovery

Fetterman was being treated at Lancaster General Hospital. 

The news came just over a day before the primary and with Fetterman well ahead of his nearest Democratic rival in the polls. 

Candidates on both sides of the aisle offered well wishes, including U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb (D., Pa.), state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D., Philadelphia), and GOP Senate hopefuls David McCormick and Jeff Bartos.

PRIMARY WINS: Tomorrow is primary day, and with hundreds of thousands of mail ballots in play and no state law allowing a head start on counting them, it's possible that winners in key races won't be declared for days.

Despite local and state election officials imploring legislators to let Pennsylvania join 37 other states where the pre-canvassing (or early processing) of mail ballots is legal, it hasn't happened here. 

In 2020, Pennsylvania's lack of a pre-canvassing law, coupled with historic levels of mail voting, contributed to lengthy delays in results that fed a vacuum where misinformation and disinformation thrived. 

Votebeat details the legislative holdup and the arduous process of counting mountains of mail ballots with no lead time

BALLOT FAQ: If you're planning to vote by mail, Spotlight PA recommends getting your mail ballot turned in as quickly as possible. If your county election office doesn't receive it by 8 p.m. tomorrow, it won't be counted. 

That means it's too late to mail it now and you'll need to drop your completed ballot off at your local election office or nearest drop box.

You can also change your mind and vote at your polling place: Just take the mail ballot with you and have it voided.

If you haven't received your requested mail ballot or lost it, you can cast a provisional paper ballot at the polls. 

Spotlight PA has tips for all forms of primary voting, including the latest on photo ID requirements and "naked ballots."

Today, we're excited to kick off our Spring Member Drive in support of Spotlight PA's essential public-service and investigative journalism, newsletters, events, and more. And we're got a HUGE incentive.

We've been challenged by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism to show just how much our readers value our work. That means they will DOUBLE all contributions of any amount, up to $35,000, until the end of the month.

We don't want to miss this incredible opportunity. Contribute now » 

"Mental health issues impact both Democrats and Republicans. I'm very open about what happened to me. It's been close to seven months since I've been back to normal."

State Rep. Kevin Boyle (D., Philadelphia) on behavioral issues that led to calls for his resignation last year; Northeast Times reports Boyle developed Adderall psychosis from a prescription he has since discontinued.
» A last-minute guide to everything you need to know to vote May 17

» How to make sure your mail ballot is counted in the primary

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

» Your guide to the Democratic and GOP candidates for governor

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

» See how much cash Josh Shapiro has raised in the governor's race

» More election coverage

Support Spotlight PA's public-service election and voting coverage now. As part of our Spring Member Drive, all gifts will DOUBLED.

Central PA UNITY Cup action, as captured by eye in the sky @yatskoSend us your gems, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag @spotlightpennsylvania.
PRIMARY CHASE: Former President Donald Trump has endorsed state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R., Franklin) in the GOP race for governor — the influential nod coming just days before the primary and with Mastriano already ahead in the polls. Lou Barletta supporters weren't pleased. Barletta is polling second and was one of Trump's earliest supporters. Worried that Mastriano is too far right to win in November, Republican insiders and other candidates are rallying around Barletta's bid.

NO ENTRY: Reporters were barred from Mastriano's weekend public rally with U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Barnette in Bucks County by an unidentified group of men, one dressed in a Revolutionary War costume. The Inquirer made it in and found Mastriano mocking the GOP effort to stymie his bid and Barnette lumping Fox News' Sean Hannity in with the D.C. "swamp." Barnette and Mastriano are shunning scrutiny, with Barnette avoiding even the most basic questions.

'OUT OF STEP': Days after Trump warned voters about Barnette's electability, his chosen candidate in the Republican U.S. Senate race, Mehmet Oz, is doing the same. The AP reports Oz is calling past Islamophobic comments by Barnette disqualifying and says she's out of step with the GOP. If elected, Oz would be the first Muslim U.S. senator. Barnette would be Pennsylvania's first Black U.S. senator. 

NO ACCESS: Abortion rights supporters in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh marched in support of Roe v. Wade over the weekend, joining their counterparts in cities nationwide. The legal precedent's uncertain future is raising the stakes of Pennsylvania's potentially decisive race for governor. GOP frontrunner Doug Mastriano wants a six-week ban with no exceptions for rape, incest, or health of the parent. Democrat Josh Shapiro has promised to preserve access.

HATE CRIMES: Last year, 284 hate crimes were reported in Pennsylvania. It's the highest number since State Police started tracking them in the 1990s, LNP reports. Experts warn the data isn't always reliable, a point confirmed by LNP's own reporting, but they say it still points to an uptick. Broad calls for policy changes were renewed with Saturday's racist mass murder in Buffalo, New York, by an 18-year-old who was partly inspired by the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter.
DROP BOX: The ACLU has won its legal push to make Lancaster County commissioners reinstall the only mail ballot drop box serving 344,000 voters. The ACLU said the box was removed without proper public notice and a judge agreed. But the box might not be back for long: The commissioners will vote on removing it again today, this time with more public notice.

MAIL CHECK: If you received a vaguely threatening postcard reminding you that whether or not you vote is public record, know that it wasn't sent by the state — despite the official website listed. It's part of a progressive political action committee's "social pressure campaign," per Spotlight PA.

TEST TIME: Accusations of carpetbagging are flying in Pennsylvania's GOP primary this year, leading The Inquirer to create a Prospective PA Politicians Pop Quiz where you can test your own Pennsylvanian-ness™️ before maybe running for office yourself some day. Good luck! 

LOTTO BALLS: Pennsylvania just spent $41,280 on 516 lottery balls, or $80 a ball. Officials say that isn't as expensive as it sounds, but the way the purchase was made — via the state's emergency procurement system — is also raising eyebrows, PennLive reports in a subscribers-only article.

PHOTO OP: Can you guess where in Pennsylvania this photo was taken? The answer's in the comments below the Reddit post. Here's a hint: It includes the site where the worst weather-related disaster in state history started.
2022 Spring Member Drive
Members make our journalism possible, and we want you to join today. This is one of our most important fundraising drives of the year, and we need your help to keep PA Post and all of our vital reporting going.

As a special bonus, all contributions will be DOUBLED by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Give now »
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This week's theme: Time
Friday's answer: Southpaw

Congrats to our weekly winner: Suzanne O.

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