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Pennsylvania’s top election official begins daily election updates ahead of primary

Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt holds an election night press conference Nov. 7, 2023 (Credit: Commonwealth Media Services)

Ian Karbal, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
April 15, 2024

Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt on Monday held the first of several planned informational live streams that will be held daily leading up to the April 23 primary elections. The goal, Schmidt said, is to ensure transparency.

“The Pennsylvania Department of State is committed to transparency in our electoral process, and these daily updates are part of that effort,” Schmidt said. “The more Pennsylvanians understand about all the work that goes into safeguarding our elections, the more confident they can feel in the process.”

Future broadcasts can be viewed live at or on the Department of State’s Facebook page.

Schmidt’s attempts to keep voters informed on election security initiatives and upcoming deadlines come as former President Donald Trump continues to peddle false claims of large-scale voter fraud in the 2020 election. In particular, Trump has assailed mail-in voting, in spite of being able to provide no evidence of large-scale fraud. Dozens of lawsuits filed on Trump’s behalf alleging fraud have been dismissed by courts, including by some judges he himself appointed. Similarly, multiple Republican-led audits of ballots in key swing states have turned up no evidence of fraud.

In 2022, Schmidt testified before Congress that he became the target of graphic and specific death threats after being mentioned by Trump in connection with alleged, but unproven, voter fraud in Pennsylvania during the last presidential election. Schmidt was a Philadelphia City Commissioner at the time, serving on the city board of elections.

On Monday’s livestream, Schmidt noted that a new election threats and security task force is already communicating with law enforcement and election administrators on a local, state and federal level to ensure primary voting proceeds smoothly and securely.

On April 23, registered voters in Pennsylvania will be able to nominate their parties’ candidates for a number of local, state and federal offices, including the President of the United States. Other races on the ballot include US House seats, a US Senate seat, state Auditor General, Attorney General, Treasurer, State Senate seats in odd-numbered districts, and all State House seats. 

Primary voting is limited to those registered with a specific political party.

Primary voters who wish to vote absentee or by mail must request a ballot by 5pm Tuesday. The application can be found here and must be filled out and returned to County Board of Elections offices by the deadline.

Mail-in voting is already underway. Ballots must be received by county elections offices by 8pm on election day and must have a signature and current date on the outer envelope. Schmidt encouraged voters to submit mail-in ballots as early as possible to ensure their votes are counted.

The deadline to register to vote in the primary election has passed, but voters can still register to vote in November’s general election.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

This article is republished from Pennsylvania Capital-Star under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.