September 23, 2014
LET'S TALK about you voting in the governor's race. Most of you won't be, especially if you live in Philly. Not saying this is good. Just saying that it is. See, we have apathy in gubernatorial elections. And I fear that it's getting worse. Over the past three decades, statewide voter turnout for governor topped 40 percent only once - in 2006, with 42 percent. In Philly, it never got up to 40 percent. In 1998, the re-election of Republican Gov. Tom Ridge, statewide turnout was just 32 percent.
November 6, 2013 |
Tuesday's general election is shaping up as a chance for Philadelphia voters to prove cynics wrong - by showing up at the city's 1,687 polling places in large numbers. Trouble is, no one really expects that to happen. With only one statewide judicial contest on the ballot and routine-looking reelection bids by two city officeholders, District Attorney Seth Williams and Controller Alan Butkovitz, most authorities are predicting extremely light turnout among Philadelphia's one million-odd registered voters, perhaps somewhere around 10 percent.
May 22, 2013 |
It may come as a surprise to many Pennsylvania voters, but Tuesday is primary election day, with balloting to choose party candidates for judgeships and a variety of local offices throughout the state's 67 counties. In Philadelphia, the marquee race is a three-way contest for city controller between incumbent Alan Butkovitz, who has held the post as the city's financial watchdog the last eight years, and challengers Brett Mandel and Mark Zecca. The city's voters will also be nominating candidates for six vacant judgeships on Common Pleas Court, three on Municipal Court, and three more on Traffic Court, where a ticket-fixing scandal has spurred legislative efforts to abolish the court before any more judges can be seated.
May 9, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Making history, America's blacks voted at higher rates than whites in 2012, lifting Democrat Barack Obama to victory amid voter apathy, particularly among young people, new census data show. Despite increasing population, the number of white voters declined for the first time since 1996. Blacks were the only race or ethnic group to show an increase in voter turnout in November, most notably in the Midwest and Southeast, the Census Bureau said Wednesday. The analysis, based on a sample survey of voters last year, is viewed as the best source of government data on turnout by race and ethnicity.
March 6, 2013
THE GOOD NEWS: Voters will not - repeat, not - be required to show ID in the May 21 primary. The two sides in the long-running suit over Pennsylvania's voter-ID law have agreed that voter ID will not be enforced during in the primary. The bad news: Unfortunately, that does not mean an end to this case, under legal challenge since the Legislature passed the voter-ID law last spring. It remains under review in Commonwealth Court. A full hearing on the merits won't be until July 15 and any decision, pro or con, will likely be appealed to the state Supreme Court.
February 26, 2013 |
CHICAGO - Candidates for Jesse Jackson Jr.'s former congressional seat made their final push for votes Monday ahead of a high-stakes primary, but turnout was expected to be paltry despite the lurid headlines surrounding the disgraced Chicago Democrat and millions in outside super PAC money driven largely by the guns debate. The front-runners - former state Rep. Robin Kelly, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, and Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale - made a flurry stops at train stations, strip malls, and diners all over the district that spans Chicago's South Side, south suburbs, and some rural areas.
January 28, 2013 |
The Camden County Board of Elections is searching for bilingual poll workers to help the area's growing number of Latinos cast their ballots in the June primary. But how many are needed is an informed guess, determined by surveying names of registered voters rather than querying them in advance or analyzing census data. In November, Camden County joined six other New Jersey counties required to provide Spanish-language materials at all polls rather than just in selected precincts.
November 27, 2012
In the hopes of increasing voter turnout, a New Jersey state senator wants to encourage democracy by opening the polls 15 days before an election. By contrast, Pennsylvania is still stuck in a battle to limit civic engagement with an exclusionary voter-ID law that may be enforced by the courts in future elections. In mid-December, Commonwealth Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. is set to revisit his decision upholding Harrisburg's restrictive voter-ID law. Don't think that the law is dead just because he halted its implementation for the Nov. 6 election.
November 9, 2012 |
Some Philadelphia neighborhoods outdid themselves in Tuesday's presidential election. In a city where President Obama received more than 85 percent of the votes, in some places he received almost every one. In 13 Philadelphia wards, Obama received 99 percent of the vote or more. Those wards, many with large African American populations, also swung heavily for Obama over John McCain in 2008. But the difficult economy seemed destined to dampen that enthusiasm four years later. Not to worry.
November 8, 2012 |
SHIP BOTTOM, N.J. - In an unheated municipal hall on sea-washed Long Beach Island on Tuesday, a long line of exhausted, unbated, hungry voters who said they felt like captives in their hometown embodied the most eloquent and famous lines from "The New Colossus": "Give me your tired, your poor, "Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, "The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. " Afraid to cross the bridge to "civilization" in neighboring Stafford Township - even to replenish dwindling food supplies or use a friend's shower - because officials would not let them return to the island, they came to vote as they were.