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|On the ballot, articles of impeachment, undated arguments, Medicaid restriction, Tree of Life, and wrongfully convicted. It's Thursday.
Election administration is on the ballot Nov. 8.
Pennsylvania's next governor will have power over the way elections are run here — from the final say on election laws coming out of the legislature, to the appointment of the state's top election official, and more.
And the two major party candidates — Democrat Josh Shapiro and Republican Doug Mastriano — differ wildly in their philosophies.
Read Spotlight PA's full report: Where governor candidates Mastriano and Shapiro stand on mail ballots, election security, and voting rights.
THE CONTEXT: The GOP nominee, state Sen. Doug Mastriano of Franklin County, has called Biden's 2020 victory "statistically impossible" while championing former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the election and spreading false claims of widespread voter fraud.
Mastriano's planned election policies mirror those beliefs.
Mastriano, whose prominence as an election denier helped fuel his GOP primary win in May, has hinted at his plan to appoint a fellow election denier as secretary of state, Pennsylvania's top elections officer.
Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro, who currently serves as state attorney general, has centered his campaign on the argument that Mastriano is too fringe to be governor and cannot be trusted to run elections.
In less typical fashion for a Democrat, Shapiro has also signaled an openness to tougher voter ID rules, something broadly opposed by his party.
In an April interview with the Capital-Star, Shapiro said he might support some form of expanded voter ID in concert with other measures that make it easier to vote, like same-day voter registration.
|NOTABLE / QUOTABLE
"Trump's message in the September 2022 meeting was that [Pennsylvania] state legislators have to act now, or else we will have no excuse mail-in balloting long into the future."
—Political strategist and Trump ally Michael Caputo on the former president's continued interest in overturning Pa.'s expanded mail-voting law
|Chris M.'s coonhound Paige loves Halloween. Now it's your turn: Email PA Gem submissions (including Halloween, dog, and voting pics) to us here, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
|PUSH TO OUST: GOP lawmakers in the state House have filed articles of impeachment against Larry Krasner, the progressive Philadelphia District Attorney, per City & State. The announcement came one day after a messy push to audit the DA's spending and two days after the issuance of a scathing report by legislators that stopped short of recommending he be removed from office.
FAST TRACK: With the unclear status of undated mail ballots looming over this election, the ACLU of Pennsylvania says some voters in Allegheny County have received mail ballots with no date field at all. The state's high court is set to weigh in quickly on the legality of undated ballots. The AP has a look at the legal arguments both for and against including them in the vote counts.
STATE-FUNDED: Pennsylvania's Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday in a case challenging the state's prohibition on low-income people using Medicaid to pay for abortions. Currently, only abortions in instances of rape, incest, or medical necessity are covered by Medicaid here. Plaintiffs argue that the limits are discriminatory and a violation of equal rights, The Inquirer (paywall) reports.
FOUR YEARS: Today marks four years since the massacre at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue. These are the 11 lives lost that day. A moment of silence is typically held at 9:54 a.m. The trial of the accused gunman is set to begin in April after lengthy delays. On Monday, a federal judge denied a defense request to conduct a survey of potential jurors to determine their religious affiliation.
JUSTICE DENIED: Drew Whitley spent 18 years in a Pennsylvania prison before DNA evidence cleared him of the murder that put him there. As I reported for The Incline in 2019, Whitley struggled mightily after his release and called on Pennsylvania to join other states in giving compensation to the wrongfully convicted. Whitley did not live to see that happen. He died Oct. 17 at the age of 66.
ON HOLD: The state House's misconduct-related impeachment probe of Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage Jr. is on hold.
LEAVE IT: Good news: The experts say you don't need to bag those leaves on your yard this year. Consider mowing them instead.
GOING, GONE: It's auction time again for the state treasury's vault. On the block this time: $500 bills and South African krugerrands.
OLD GROWTH: PennLive reports a Perry County forest that has trees as old as the U.S. has joined the Old-Growth Forest Network.
ART OF WAR: Pittsburgh's graffiti artists have declared war on the spotted lanternfly. Will winter wipe out the bugs? Martha Stewart says no.
Unscramble and send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag. Answers submitted by 6 p.m. on issue date will be counted
C N S O E A N S I
Yesterday's answer: Assumption
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