Pennsylvania’s (Un)Lucky Numbers: 34, 19, 7, 1
Thirty-four. Nineteen. Seven. One.
It sounds like a quarterback calling signals before taking the snap. In reality, these are Pennsylvania’s magic numbers for closing out the legislative and political seasons.
It’s 34 days until the presidential election on Nov. 3, and all eyes are on Pennsylvania, which is ground zero for candidates and lawyers alike. Not a day goes by that a lawsuit isn’t filed, settled or appealed. If there’s a town where a candidate, relative or friend hasn’t visited yet, they will soon.
If you haven’t registered to vote (and really, why aren’t you registered to vote?), then you have until Monday, Oct. 19. That’s the last day eligible voters may register for the 2020 General Election. The online registration application is available HERE. A record turnout by either side will determine who wins Pennsylvania --- and potentially the presidency.
Even as the biggest election in modern history approaches, so much remains unsettled, and the burden falls on election directors --- red and blue alike --- who want one thing: the ability to pre-canvass mail-in ballots.
The legislature scored huge bipartisan wins with Act 77 of 2019 (the largest election reforms in decades) and Act 12 of 2020 (moving the primary and putting temporary pandemic protections in place).
Where has that bipartisanship gone?
Lawmakers have only seven session days TOTAL between now and Election Day (House: Oct. 1, 19, 20 and 21; Senate: Oct. 19, 20 and 21) to enact that shared pre-canvassing priority --- although they could always add more time, if desired. Given the pace of the legislative process generally and the increasingly partisanship specifically, don’t count on it.
Pennsylvania remains the Keystone State, especially in 2020, But how strong our central stone is in the summit of the arch of our country won’t be known until Nov. 3 --- or weeks afterward, which is how long it may take to finish the count and certify the vote.
The one thing we know now is that we really have no idea what comes next.
Kurt Knaus is the Managing Director in Ceisler Media's Harrisburg office.