Controller Rebecca Rhynhart Releases Long-Awaited Parking Authority Audit, Revealing Extent of Agency Staffing Bloat

One of the big applause lines during Controller Rebecca Rhynhart’s 2017 campaign was her pledge to audit the Philadelphia Parking Authority, on the theory that prior audits from Controller Alan Butkovitz had pulled punches by not conducting a true performance audit of how the organization operates.  Continue reading

Pennsylvania Leaders Should Do What It Takes to Gain Some More Congressional Seats

(House building in PA fell off in the mid-2000's and never recovered | Chart: Sid Kapur) Pennsylvania is expected to lose another Congressional seat due to population losses when the Census counts are released, reducing the political clout of the Commonwealth's delegation to Washington, and making it harder for PA residents to get a fair share back of what they pay in federal taxes. But while we can expect Pennsylvania leaders to grumble about this—and spend a lot of effort trying to make sure they personally don’t lose out from redistricting—we also don’t see them really trying to do much of anything to reverse the population declines either. Continue reading

Why Losing Straight-Ticket Voting Doesn't Explain PA Dems' Downballot Weakness

(Chart: Mike Johnson) Joe Biden won Pennsylvania, it’s safe to say, but his coattails were notably weak for down-ballot Democrats, and some people have theorized that the elimination of straight-party-ticket voting in Act 77 is an explanation for this. Continue reading

How Some Entrepreneurial Ward Organizations Are Learning How to Organize with Vote-By-Mail

Voter turnout in Philadelphia just barely exceeded 2016 levels in the 2020 general election, but a few wards saw noticeably higher turnout than some of their neighbors, and for that, some credit is due to the independent efforts of some individual Democratic ward organizations and committee people. Continue reading

Philly’s Own Joanna McClinton Elected PA House Democratic Leader

Philadelphia representative Joanna McClinton will make history as the new Democratic House leader after yesterday’s caucus leadership elections, after current leader Rep. Frank Dermody unexpectedly lost his general election race. Rep. McClinton will be the highest-ranking woman to serve in the General Assembly’s 244-year history and the highest-ranking Black woman at that. Continue reading

Supreme Court Again Declines to End PA’s Mail Ballot Deadline Extension, For Now

The Supreme Court ruled this week for a second time that Pennsylvania mail ballots received by Friday, November 6th—three days after Election Day—can be counted, affirming the Wolf administration’s position on the extended ballot deadline. Hopefully, this will lay to rest the last remaining lawsuit that was still in play heading into Election Day next Tuesday. Continue reading

Delayed Mail Counts: Stalling Tactic or Capacity Issue?

Several PA counties have now announced that they won’t begin counting mail ballots on Election Day, as they are allowed to under state law, and will instead start counting on Wednesday morning, on November 4th. Continue reading

PA Registered Democrats Have Returned Almost a Million More Mail Ballots Than Republicans

(Image: U.S. Elections Project) Five days from Election Day, registered Democrats have an almost 1 million-vote advantage over registered Republicans due to returned mail ballots. Registered Democrats have returned 1,429,082 ballots, while Republicans have returned 466,954—a difference of 962,128 votes. Unaffiliated voters have returned 202,686 ballots. Continue reading

Don't Drop Off Anybody Else's Mail Ballot

Attorney General Josh Shapiro says he is looking into the possibility of voter intimidation from Trump campaign staff who have been taking videos of Philadelphia voters depositing ballots into dropboxes, the New York Times reports.   Continue reading

PA Republicans Fail to Pass a Pre-Canvassing Bill in Time

(Photo: House Speaker Bryan Cutler | WITF) After a brief window of hope that Republicans in the Pennsylvania legislature would take up the mail ballot pre-canvassing bill again at the last minute, the bill is officially dead, with the legislature finishing out their last session day before Election Day on Wednesday with no action on county election officials’ top policy ask. Continue reading