Gov. Wolf: Pass Legislation to Enhance Secure and Efficient Elections

first_imgGov. Wolf: Pass Legislation to Enhance Secure and Efficient Elections September 15, 2020 Press Release,  Voting & Elections Allow earlier processing of mail-in ballots before election dayVoters encouraged to sign up now for a mail-in ballot, return it well before the Nov. 3 electionIn-person voting remains safeWith only seven weeks left before the Nov. 3 election, Governor Tom Wolf is urging immediate legislative action to ensure voters receive their mail-in ballots early and give counties more time to process and count ballots before election day. The governor also reassured Pennsylvanians that in-person voting is safe, and all eligible votes will be counted.“Voting during a pandemic will be different for all of us, but I remain confident that no matter how you vote – our state’s election systems are safe and secure,” said Gov. Wolf. “Counting a record number of votes may not be complete on election night, but what’s most important is that every vote is counted, and the results are accurate, even if it takes more time than usual.“We’ve made great improvements in our elections with mail-in ballots, more security and new voting systems with a paper trail. But this will be a historic election and the nation is watching, so the legislature should take immediate action to make it better. The smart changes I have outlined will strengthen our elections, help people to vote safely from home and allow counties to more efficiently process the surge in ballots so results are available faster.”Gov. Wolf’s recommended election improvements include:Allowing counties to start pre-canvassing ballots 21 days before the election day to get accurate results faster. The current law restricts counties from beginning this process until 7 a.m. on election day. The time-consuming procedure involves scanning and verifying the ballot envelope, checking the voter’s eligibility, opening the mail and secrecy envelopes, and removing and scanning the ballot. Counties would not tabulate or report vote totals until polls close at 8 p.m. on election day.Allowing counties to count eligible ballots postmarked by election day and received by the Friday following election day to ensure that all ballots mailed by the deadline are counted.Requiring counties to start sending mail-in ballots at least 28 days before the election rather than 14 days as currently required. Many counties mail ballots to voters even earlier, but this change ensures voters who apply early have at least four weeks to receive and return their ballot.Letting counties appoint poll workers to vacant positions earlier than five days before an election. More poll workers are still needed, and the Department of State is encouraging businesses, colleges and organizations to reach out to their county elections office and volunteer at their local precincts.“A year ago, we made the biggest improvement to our election laws in 80 years, including the option to vote by mail,” said Gov. Wolf. “That historic agreement is making voting more convenient and more secure for millions of Pennsylvanians. Now is the time for another historic agreement. We’ve done it before, and we can do it again.”Joining the governor for a news conference at the York Grace Brethren Church, a York County polling place, were Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, York County Commissioner Doug Hoke, Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh, Rep. Kevin Boyle, Democratic Chairman of the House State Government Committee, and Rep. Carol Hill-Evans.“Pennsylvanians have more secure, accessible and convenient voting options for the 2020 election than ever before,” Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said. “They can cast their ballot by mail. In a few weeks, they can vote early in person at their county election offices. Or they can vote at their local polling place on election day. The additional reforms we seek will enhance these options, provide additional safeguards so that all eligible votes may be counted, and ensure we can provide timely election results.”Voters overwhelmingly embraced mail-in voting in the June Primary, the first time it was an option under Act 77 of 2019, which Gov. Wolf signed last year. Nearly 1.5 million votes were cast by mail, more than voted in-person at polling places.“We have a responsibility as lawmakers to ensure free and fair elections,” said Senator Anthony Williams, Democratic Chairman of the Senate State Government Committee. “Now is the time to make vital changes to the election code that will support counties’ ability to count ballots and staff polling places, not put roadblocks in the way of Pennsylvanians exercising their right to vote.”The Department of State and counties, which administer Pennsylvania’s elections, continue making improvements. Many counties will use high-speed scanners and other technology to quickly process millions of mail-in ballots in the Nov. 3 election.The Department of State is providing counties with masks and face shields for poll workers, along with hand sanitizer, floor marking tape for social distancing, plastic “sneeze guards” and other supplies so Pennsylvanians can safely exercise their right to vote during the COVID-19 emergency.The Department of State is also launching a public awareness campaign explaining how to apply for a mail-in ballot and will partner with the Philadelphia 76ers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Allegheny and Philadelphia counties on voting initiatives.Eligible Pennsylvanians can register to vote by Oct. 19 and apply for their mail-in or absentee ballot by Oct. 27 online at votespa.com, in person at their county election offices, or by paper forms submitted by mail. Online application for mail-in and absentee ballots are also available in Spanish. Pennsylvania is not automatically sending ballots to voters.After verifying the voter’s eligibility, counties send the voter a mail-in ballot with return postage paid by the Department of State, so casting a ballot is free to voters. Voters can return their ballot by mail, in person at their county election offices or at other authorized drop-off locations, which many counties expect to provide.For voters who prefer to vote in person, polling places will be available in all counties on election day, Nov. 3, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.Ver esta página en español.center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Chow brothers’ high-rise brothel wins building approval

first_imgNZ Herald 1 Dec 2012The sex industry is expanding in central Auckland, with approval yesterday for the Chow brothers to build a 15-storey brothel and hotel building. The venture brings to 10 the number of brothels in the central city, including two others in the same vicinity of the SkyCity casino. Despite more than 200 objections to the use of the building, including it being labelled a “mega-brothel” by the Stop Demand Foundation, four independent commissioners said the law permitted a brothel on the site…. National director Bob McCroskie was disappointed with Mayor Len Brown for not honouring an election commitment to give local communities a say on the location of brothels.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10851191Disappointment over mega-brothel decisionONE News 30 Nov 2012The green light for the construction of a ‘mega-brothel’ in central Auckland is disappointing but unsurprising, an advocacy group says. Stop Demand Foundation, which works to stop the sexual exploitation and sexual denigration of women and children, was one of 220 submitters opposing the Wellington-based Chow brothers’ application to set up shop in Auckland.….Their decision to allow the brothel has been labelled “shameful” by a family values campaign group. “Auckland Council has ignored the overwhelming number of submissions questioning the location and the effect of the brothel on the character of the central city area,” Family First director Bob McCoskrie said. “The proposed mega-brothel is not just a stand-alone brothel in a ‘red light’ area. It is part of a building which will be used by children and families,” he said.http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/auckland-mega-brothel-given-go-ahead-5252069http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbnat/1194539056-15-storey-complex-decision–shameful–last_img read more

Wenger to take Wilshere to task

first_imgArsenal manager Arsene Wenger has labelled Jack Wilshere’s smoking as totally unacceptable and plans to take up the issue directly with the England midfielder. Press Association “I must say as well, English society is very sensitive to smoking, much more than France, more than and southern (European) countries, so it is a bit more shocking here than it is somewhere else.” Wilshere had spoken of his desire to improve his own game after starting on the bench against Napoli, when club record signing Mesut Ozil scored his first Arsenal goal and then set up a second for Olivier Giroud as Arsenal swept the Italians aside with two goals in the first 15 minutes. England manager Roy Hodgson has again called the combative midfielder into his squad for the crucial World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland. Wenger has no doubts Wilshere remains an integral part of hopes for both club and country this season. The Arsenal manager continued: “He is a very important player here, you know. All my plans for the future at the club have always been built with Jack and around Jack. We had some setbacks with him – a lot – but he is a very important player in my squad.” Arsenal head to The Hawthorns – where a young side came through a penalty shoot-out in their Capital One Cup tie last month – without full-back Bacary Sagna, who has a hamstring injury which will rule the France international out for the best part of a month. “He will not be fit. He has a hamstring injury and will be out for the weekend and for basically three weeks,” said Wenger, who is set to give England under-21 international call-up Carl Jenkinson another chance to impress. “It is always a blow because he is a very complete defender. He can defend well, he is good in the air, he can attack well as well, and he’s a winner-type, so of course for us it is a handicap “But Jenkinson had a good start to the season as well and he is growing as a player. I am sure he will do very well.” Wenger is expecting a stern test of his side’s form this weekend, when Arsenal will be out to record a remarkable 11th straight win in all competitions against a side on the back of an impressive shock away win at Manchester United. “They had quite a strong side out (in the Capital One Cup) and many of the regular players played, but they have a big squad,” Wenger said. “I noticed when I looked at their team who played at Manchester United, that they have a massive squad of experienced players, so it’s very difficult to predict who will play against us.” Wilshere’s representatives maintained the 21-year-old was taking part in a “prank” where he agreed to hold the cigarette as part of a “dare”. The Arsenal midfielder responded on Friday afternoon by posting a photograph on his official Twitter feed of France World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane smoking. He then followed it up with a post of “But for the record….I don’t smoke!” Speaking at Friday morning’s pre-match media conference, the Arsenal manager said: “I disagree completely with that behaviour. “I don’t know really what happened, so I will need to have a chat with him about that. “There are two things – first of all when you are a football player you are an example and as well you don’t do what damages your health. “The fact is that you can damage your health at home, you can smoke at home and you can drink at home, and nobody sees it, but when you go out socially you also damage your reputation as an example.” There have been many examples of top sportsmen who smoked, such as France international Michel Platini, who is now UEFA president, while Holland legend Johan Cruyff even regularly lit up on the sidelines when he was coach at Barcelona. Wenger, however, accepts in England the culture makes such a position untenable. “Yes of course things are different, in England especially,” he said. “You don’t need to convince me because I must tell you, I travelled as a football player on coaches after games in France where you didn’t see each other, there was so much smoke on the coach. Everybody smoked, but times have changed, and the health worry, the example, the role models from the football players request has changed as well. Wilshere was pictured with a cigarette outside a London nightclub in the early hours of Thursday morning as players wound down following Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Napoli earlier in the week, when the 21-year-old had started on the bench. Wenger, whose side head to West Brom on Sunday looking to maintain their place at the top of the Barclays Premier League, will leave Wilshere in no doubt of his responsibilities on and off the pitch. last_img read more