elections

Keystone Crossroads

KEYSTONE CROSSROADS  -- Testimony in a fast-tracked lawsuit alleging gerrymandering got underway in Pa. Commonwealth Court Monday. The case could force a new state congressional map before the 2018 midterm election.

Eighteen registered Democrats -- one from each congressional district -- claim Pennsylvania's map was drawn unfairly by state GOP leaders to advantage Republicans. 

Map Source

KEYSTONE CROSSROADS -- By some measures, Pennsylvania's Congressional districts are among the most gerrymandered in the nation. 

But the resulting district maps are being challenged, and one case is slated to begin today in Commonwealth Court. 

The League of Women Voters is bringing the lawsuit on behalf of registered voters from all over the state.

PA Voters Testify In Federal Gerrymandering Trial

Dec 6, 2017
KRISTEN_A / Flickr

KEYSTONE CROSSROADS - On the second day of trial in a federal case over partisan gerrymandering and the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s congressional district map, seven voters named as plaintiffs in the case testified that they believe their vote doesn’t count. 

They’re calling for a new map in time for the 2018 midterm election, when all 18 of Pennsylvania’s congressional seats are up for grabs.

Courtesy of Rob Astorino

ALBANY (WSKG) Democrats in New York are heartened by what they call a “blue wave” in this week’s election results in the state and the nation.

This year is considered an “off” election year with no presidential race or statewide contests like a governor’s race. Nevertheless, Democrats in New York hungry for signs of encouragement after the 2016 election of President Donald Trump are very happy about Democratic wins in the county executive races in two suburban New York counties, Nassau and Westchester.

AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan, File

Supporters of holding a Constitutional Convention to fix problems in state government say they are disappointed with the resounding defeat of the measure in Tuesday’s voting, but they say they are not giving up.

govtrack.us

KEYSTONE CROSSROADS - A federal lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s congressional districts will move forward after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito denied, on Friday, a push by the leaders of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to put the case on hold.

PA Voters Pass Property Tax Amendment

Nov 8, 2017

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Along with electing a number of judges Tuesday night, Pennsylvania voters agreed to a ballot measure that will amend the constitution to let municipalities stop charging property taxes.

It's a step forward in an ongoing fight to lower the commonwealth's controversial, high property tax rates.

But it's not likely to have a practical impact anytime soon.

Under previous constitutional language, local governments could only exempt up to 50 percent of their median home value from property taxes.

Now, they can technically exempt all homeowners.

Katie Meyer

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Tuesday night saw some big wins for Democrats around the country--but Pennsylvania's elections were mostly lower-profile, and ended with more of a political mixed bag. 

Onlookers in the commonwealth say they're already ahead looking to 2018.

The commonwealth's top-of-the-ticket race was for a term on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, between Republican interim justice Sallie Mundy and Democratic family court judge Dwayne Woodruff, who's also a former Pittsburgh Steeler.

Mundy, who outstripped Woodruff in fundraising and endorsements, won the seat.

Emily Previti, WITF

KEYSTONE CROSSROADS - Democrats dominated municipal elections in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, securing the mayor’s offices in Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton, Lancaster, Erie, State College and Harrisburg.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - The trip to Mount Hope Cemetery seems to be a tradition in recent years, for women to leave flowers and thank you's on the well-known suffragist's grave.

Mayor Lovely Warren and New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul left their stickers at the site, celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage in New York State.

Hochul said she’s already looking towards the next 100 years.

Syracuse independent mayoral candidate Ben Walsh won big Tuesday night and will be the first mayor of the city not affiliated with a political party. Walsh won with a mix of support from Democrats, Republicans and independent voters.

The ballot proposition on whether to hold a state constitutional convention was soundly defeated in Tuesday’s election.

New Yorkers passed on a once in two decades chance to hold a constitutional convention, with more than 77 percent of New Yorkers voting against it. Opponents, led by the state’s labor unions, successfully argued that the constitution already contains a number of rights, including several labor protections, and that it might be dangerous to reopen the entire document at a convention that they said could be hijacked by special interests.

Updated at 6:50 a.m. ET

It was a good night for Democrats in some of the nation's largest cities.

New York's Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, a forceful critic of President Trump, easily won a second term. And Democrats also won several major cities and closely watched races, including those in Boston, Charlotte, N.C., and Seattle.

With all of the precincts counted, de Blasio had 66 percent of the vote to 28 percent for his main rival, Republican Nicole Malliotakis.

Monica Sandreczki / WSKG Public Media

"Four more years!" chanted the crowd gathered for Republican Mayor Rich David's watch party at Terra Cotta Catering in downtown Binghamton.

When the chairman of the Broome County Republicans announced the win, David took the stage to the song "Roar" by Katy Perry. 

It appears opponents of holding a state constitutional convention have the momentum as Election Day approaches. They’ve spent more money than supporters, and a recent poll shows the public is leaning against it. But backers are not giving up just yet. 

Proposition One on New York’s ballot, which asks voters whether there should be a constitutional convention, is getting a lot of attention, with TV ads and social media posts.

But there are two other proposals for voters to consider.

Carl Mikoy / Flickr

Polls are open 6:00AM - 9:00PM.

There are three propositions on the ballot:

ALBANY (WSKG) - A new poll finds that the ballot question on whether to hold a constitutional convention in New York has become widely unpopular with voters. 

The Siena College poll finds likely voters in the Nov. 7 elections are leaning against Proposition One “by a better than two-to-one margin,” said Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg.

Lindsey Lazarski, WHYY

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- When Pennsylvanians go to the polls next Tuesday, they'll have a rare opportunity to vote to change the state constitution. 

They'll decide via ballot measure whether to make property tax elimination an option.

However, it would only be the first step in a long process.

Property tax rates largely depend on how much school districts and local governments decide to exempt from taxation.

Right now, state law lets them exclude up to 50 percent of an area's median home value.

Wadester 16 / Flickr

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Tuesday's election may be in an off-year, but that doesn't mean it won't have statewide implications. 

The highest-profile race is for a seat on the state Supreme Court, and seats are also open on the Superior and Commonwealth courts.

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court leans heavily Democratic right now, with a 5 to 2 majority.

The Republican candidate, Sallie Mundy, currently holds one of those seats and is seeking a full 10-year term. She was appointed as an interim justice by Governor Tom Wolf last year.

Lindsey Lazarski, WHYY

KEYSTONE CROSSROADS - Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pelligrini heard arguments Wednesday over whether to stay a lawsuit over the state’s congressional district map until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a similar case out of Wisconsin. 

Katie Meyer

(Harrisburg) -- Election officials across the country are trying to make sure voting infrastructure is up to date, after concerns over potential hacking in the 2016 election. Pennsylvania is no exception.

Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY

Tom Rentschler, an attorney and former high school teacher, has lived in Berks County for most of his life. He remembers as a young adult going to the grocery store and bumping into his local congressman. But Rentschler, 53, says over time he and other voters in Berks County have lost their voice. 

whiteafrican / WSKG News

 

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to make registering to vote and voting easier for state residents. 

Monica Sandreczki / WSKG News

Claudia Tenney won a solid victory last night in the Republican primary for New York's 22nd Congressional District. But spirits were low in the village of Cazenovia. That’s where businessman Steve Wells waited with several dozen supporters for election results. 

HOUSE.GOV

Tuesday is primary day in New York State and central New York Republicans and Democrats can vote in two competitive congressional primaries. The two moderately leaning districts could see more far-left and far-right candidates in November.

ELLEN ABBOTT / WRVO NEWS

(WRVO) A Demand Democracy campaign across New York is encouraging state Senate Republicans to approve a list of campaign finance reform proposals. Jonah Minkoff-Zern of Public Citizen, which is organizing the campaign, said the focus in Syracuse is on Sen. John DeFransisco, the second-most powerful figure in the state Senate.

Monica Sandreczki / WSKG News

 

New York’s restrictive voter access rules came under scrutiny during Tuesday’s presidential primary, and some are saying there’s a need for changes. 

Monica Sandreczki / WSKG News

Whether voters in the Southern Tier are registered Republicans, Democrats or otherwise, they agree life is difficult for the middle class.

Cathy Gregory is a special education teacher in the Union-Endicott Central School District. Gregory said she's voting for Bernie Sanders because he wants to pay for universal healthcare by taxing people with high incomes.

Marguerite Jones / WSKG News

 

A new poll finds that Bernie Sanders has narrowed the gap with Hillary Clinton in the New York Presidential primary race, but Clinton leads in key voting regions.

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