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October 31, 2022

Nov. 8 midterms: “Dress rehearsal for 2024”

A Rolling Stone magazine article titled “Trump plans to challenge the 2022 elections—starting in Philly” reported that the former president is planning a “legal and activist crusade” against Philadelphia and other Democratic strongholds if the U.S. Senate race is close. Meanwhile, Bloomberg explored the election-denialism “spreading its roots” in local politics across the state that may impact critical races in county government next year and election oversight in 2024.

Against this backdrop, PennLive reported an uptick in both partisan and nonpartisan volunteers to serve as poll workers and poll watchers, which is unusual but not necessarily alarming. “Poll-watchers and election observers play an important role in safeguarding the integrity of elections, so it’s important that those positions not be misused to intentionally disrupt or prevent registered voters from voting,” is the way C70 CEO Al Schmidt put it to The Guardian.

Spread the facts: Seventy, PittCyber and All Voting is Local have collaborated on several resources focused on mitigating disinformation, outlining the numerous election safeguards in place with bipartisan oversight.

Want a mail-in ballot? At this point, we recommend visiting your polling place on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is tomorrow, Nov. 1 at 5 pm, but there will be little time to return it by 8 pm on Nov. 8. (Postmarks are not honored.) Learn more about mail-in voting.

Return your ballot ASAP: Ballots can be returned immediately via drop box or to a county election office. See the return options for Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery, Philadelphia counties, and for all 67 counties. Track the status of your mail-in application or ballot.

Krasner impeachment: The wrong forum for a debate on crime

Crime has emerged as an important campaign issue this year—and the stump is where the political debate should play out. Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s approach to public safety has its critics, but voters have elected Krasner to his post twice, most recently last year. State legislators now seeking to force him from office are using an impeachment process intended to punish public corruption or personal impropriety. So far no one has accused Krasner of either.

Misbehavin’? The PA Constitution’s bar for impeachment is “any misbehavior in office”. Duquesne University’s Bruce Ledewitz argues that evidence of corruption or clear misbehavior in office should drive impeachment, not political or ideological disagreements. “Ninety-percent of this is a campaign ad,” he said. “It has nothing to do with impeachment and removal.”

Eye on City Hall

Caught Our Eye

How redistricting could alter control of the legislature: The new maps, drawn by the PA Commission on Legislative Reapportionment, are more likely to result in a Legislature that reflects the vote share in each election cycle, according to Spotlight PA, which published this interactive map.

On Our Radar

#FixHarrisburg: A Lancaster Online editorial points out PA’s General Assembly is crackerjack at passing resolutions honoring sports heroes and historical figures, but “doesn’t seem to be in the business of delivering legislation that’s actually necessary.”

Mail-in litigation update: The PA Supreme Court ruled last week that county election boards may allow voters to correct minor errors on their mail-in ballots, and said that it will rule on GOP suits that would force counties to discard undated mail-in ballots.

One less elected official (and one more mayoral candidate): Philadelphia Controller Rebecca Rhynhart resigned her post last week and joined the growing 2023 mayoral field.

City Commissioners mail-in flap: The Inquirer reports on Commissioner Lisa Deeley’s “obfuscation” about a delay in mailing out mail-in ballots caused by the addition of four City Council special elections.

Thanks, Post-Gazette! Pittsburgh’s venerable newspaper published a kind editorial this week praising C70 and our CEO, Al Schmidt, for our efforts to strengthen democracy in PA. Schmidt also discussed election-integrity issues on the CBS Evening News, the CBS Morning News and MSNBC’s Meet the Press Reports in the last week.

Get Involved

Build Your Own Ballot

Seventy’s nonpartisan Build Your Ballot voter guide has plenty of information about all the candidates and questions on ballots throughout PA. Just type in your address to pull up an over view of your ballot.


Elections in Focus: Auditing and Certification of Elections

Wed., Nov. 2, 6:30 - 7:30pm | Zoom

Committee of Seventy CEO Al Schmidt and former Mercer County election official Jeff Greenburg are joined by PA Department of State Dep. Secretary Jonathan Marks and Liz Howard of the Brennan Center to discuss the steps involved in auditing and certifying election results in Pennsylvania. Statistical samples of counted ballots required by state law are supplemented by risk-limiting audits to guarantee the accuracy of election outcomes and verify winners. This conversation will be moderated by Jonathan Lai of The Philadelphia Inquirer and is co-sponsored by nonpartisan organizations All Voting is Local, Committee of Seventy and Pitt Cyber. RSVP.

Impact of the Midterm Elections on PA's Business Climate & Health of Our Democracy

Tues., Nov. 15, 12 noon | Zoom

The results of the November election will have a consequential impact on the health of the state’s economy and democracy. Join Business for America for a discussion on how the state of politics may influence the Commonwealth’s ability to retain its competitive edge, attract industry, and encourage or discourage collaboration among lawmakers on issues important to Pennsylvanians. Speakers include Philadelphia Inquirer editorial writer Dan Pearson, Laura Putnum of PittCyber, Fair Districts PA executive director Carol Kuniholm and Aizaz Gill, Business for America's policy director. RSVP.

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