Skip to main content
Main content

When to expect results from this week's primary

Plus, Philly’s pivotal mayoral primary a ‘virtual tie.’

The logo of PA Post, a free daily newsletter delivering the top news from across Pennsylvania every day.

A daily newsletter by The logo of Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan newsroom producing investigative journalism for Pennsylvania.
Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen

Monday, May 15, 2023
Tally timelines, virtual tie, DA directive, higher court, OnlyFans, hyperlocal bans, and Taylor Swift's homecoming show. Welcome to the week.

Support Spotlight PA's vital journalism and for a limited time, all gifts will be DOUBLED!Today's the kickoff of our 🌼 Spring Member Drive 🌸 with the goal of raising $40K by June 3. If you value Spotlight PA's journalism, now is the time to show your support — every single gift will be DOUBLED by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Make a gift now »
County officials say they've worked out some of the ballot-counting kinks and expect a relatively quick turnaround of results in Tuesday's primary. 

Nick Custodio, spokesperson for the Philadelphia City Commissioners, the agency that oversees the city's elections, said counting every vote will still likely take days, but winners could be declared sooner.

"We could know election night, [or the] morning after," Custodio said of the off-year, lower-turnout races. "It depends on how close the elections are."

The expansion of mail voting options and participation in 2020 — and the lack of a precanvassing option to speed up related tallies — led to complaints about long waits for results that fed a rash of disinformation.

Read Spotlight PA's full report: Pa. primary election 2023: When to expect results, how vote counting will work, and more.

THE CONTEXT: For the May 2021 election, 800,000 Pennsylvania voters requested mail ballots; this year, 787,000 voters asked for one, of which 420,000 had been returned as of Friday.

Getting more time to process mail ballots is still a top priority for Pennsylvania counties. However, in recent sessions, Republicans who controlled the General Assembly were only willing to pass bills that would allow more precanvassing time if the measure was tied to their own priorities.

"The counties' ask for precanvassing is not just based on the timeliness of results but to also help counties better balance workloads, use resources, and not have to administer two elections on the same day," County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania Executive Director Lisa Schaefer said.

A committee in the Democratic-controlled state House last month advanced a precanvassing bill, but it still has to clear the full state House, which has only a one-vote Democratic majority, and the Republican-controlled state Senate before landing on Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro's desk.
🏆 HOW HIGH IS YOUR PA IQ? Test your grip on the week in Pennsylvania news with The Great PA News Quiz: Orphaned oil and gas wells, state House control, and Taylor Swift's homecoming.
Support Spotlight PA and for a limited time, all gifts will be DOUBLED.

"On the same day during my first semester at U of R, three things happened that would alter my path and lead to me standing right here today."

Gov. Josh Shapiro in a commencement speech given at his alma mater, the University of Rochester in upstate New York, on Friday
» How to vote, where to vote, and everything else you need to know

» How Spotlight PA will cover Pa.'s 2023 primary election

» How to request, fill out, and return your mail ballot

» How to vote, find your polling place, understand mail ballots

» A guide to vetting candidates for school board, judge, and more

» A guide to the Commonwealth, Superior Court candidates

» A guide to the Pa. Supreme Court candidates

» High court candidates with party backing show fundraising edge
» Los candidatos a la Corte de la Commonwealth y Cortes Superiores

» Guía completa de los candidatos a la Corte Suprema del Estado

» Una guía completa para el día de las elecciones primarias de Pa.

» Una guía básica para investigar a los candidatos a la junta escolar

» Todo lo que necesitas saber para votar por correo

Apoye ahora la cobertura electoral de servicio público de Spotlight PA.

POLICING VS. TREATMENT: Join us Thursday, May 25 at 6 p.m. ET for a free panel on how Pa. wants to spend a $1B opioid settlement, the policing versus treatment debate, and how Pennsylvania's spending plans compare to other states'. Register here and submit questions to

Under a bridge on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, via Marc W. Have a photo you'd like to share with the whole state? Send it to us by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
The Schuylkill River and bridge above, as seen from the river's banks.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.NEXT MAYOR: The winner of Tuesday's big Democratic mayoral primary in Philadelphia is all but certain to become the city's next CEO. An Emerson College poll conducted last week says the race is a virtual tie, with Helen Gym leading slightly, followed by Cherelle Parker, Rebecca Rhynhart, Allan Domb, and the rest of the field. If you already voted by mail, check this list to see if your ballot needs to be cured.

Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.CROSS-PARTY: In the race for Allegheny County district attorney, Republicans are drumming up write-in votes for Democratic incumbent Stephen A. Zappala Jr. as he faces a primary challenger from his left in Matt Dugan. PublicSource's Charlie Wolfson reports a letter from former Gov. Tom Corbett urges Republicans to write in Zappala for DA, potentially setting up a November rematch if Dugan wins the primary

Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.HIGHER COURT BID: Bolts magazine says judges rejected all of former President Donald Trump's attempts to halt the certification of 2020 election results except one: Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough, who's seeking the Republican nomination for a vacancy on Pennsylvania's Supreme Court — which overturned her 2020 decision — in tomorrow's primary. Meet the candidates here

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.OUTED FOR ONLYFANS: Police in Armstrong County are looking for whoever outed Kiski Township supervisor candidate Brittany Hilliard for having an OnlyFans page. Officials say someone placed packets with photos from the page at businesses throughout Apollo. Hilliard's attorney said it's a violation of election laws to have a communication meant to affect the outcome that doesn't indicate who's behind it.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.INJECTION SITE BANS: Five Philadelphia City councilors are moving to preemptively bar supervised injection sites in their districts, The Inquirer (paywall) reports, meaning the facilities, which harm reductionists say have been proven to save lives in an overdose epidemic, would be banned in about half of the city. Legislation that would ban the sites statewide was advanced by a state Senate panel last month.
Support Spotlight PA and for a limited time, all gifts will be DOUBLED.
SWIFT CITY: Fans turned out in a big way for Taylor Swift's weekend tour stops in Philly, where the artist dropped a grand on cheesesteaks and revealed an oft-debated "Gold Rush" lyric is indeed about those Eagles

NEW CEO: A Penn State grad and former ad exec named Linda Yaccarino will take over as CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk said Friday. Musk said he's stepping down as CEO to focus on product design.

CHEATING CASE: Chase Cominsky of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, and his teammate, Jacob Runyan of Ohio, will spend 10 days in jail for stuffing fish with weights in a Lake Erie pro-fishing scandal that went viral.

POWER DOWN: Watch as demolition crews explode a section of the defunct Elrama power plant in Washington County, from the Observer-Reporter's Mike Jones. The plant was decommissioned in 2012.

DRAG PROM: College students in dresses and suits gathered at a Pittsburgh concert venue last month for a Be Gay [Do Prom] drag concert, nine days after a GOP state lawmaker proposed new restrictions, via PublicSource.
Unscramble and send your answer to 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.

Friday's answer: Asymptomatic

Congrats to our weekly winner: Tom M.

Congrats to our daily winners: Craig W., Stacy S., Dan A., Elaine C., Jon W., Tracy S., Barbara F., Don H., Dennis M., Tish M., Susan D., Bob C., Dianne K., Cameron T., Kim C., Wendy A., William Z., Kimberly D., and Craig E.
Like PA Post? Share it with a friend.

Love PA Post? Support it with a tax-deductible gift.

Forwarded this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and WITF Public Media.

Copyright © Spotlight PA / The Philadelphia Inquirer, All rights reserved.

Spotlight PA
228 Walnut St., #11728
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728

You're receiving this email because you subscribed to PA Post, a daily newsletter by Spotlight PA.

This email was sent to: <<Email Address>>

Receiving too many emails from Spotlight PA?

To change your newsletter subscriptions and frequency, you can update your preferences.

To stop receiving fundraising messages, you can update your preferences and select "Opt out of Fundraising."

To stop receiving ALL EMAILS from Spotlight PA, including all of our investigations and newsletters, you can completely unsubscribe here.