The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 6, 2012

5 things to know for today's Pennsylvania election

— A look at election-related news and events that will be talked about in Pennsylvania:

1. FIRST THINGS FIRST: THE POLLS WILL BE OPEN FROM 7 A.M. TO 8 P.M. ON TUESDAY

And, because of Superstorm Sandy, it's not too late for those casting absentee ballots. Under an order from Gov. Tom Corbett, people who live in counties where the board of elections offices were closed last week will have until 5 p.m. today to mail or submit their votes in person. Officials said they were: Adams, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Elk, Franklin, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Wayne, Wyoming and York counties.

The Department of State said early Monday only eight polling places statewide were without power. Five of them have generators in place for voting and the other three are still being assessed. That's down from more than 250 late last week. By late morning Monday, the last unpowered machine in Northampton County had been brought up and running and officials in Monroe County said they had been assured by Met-Ed that the two machines in question there would have power by the end of the business day. In Bucks County, where five machines were without power, elections board planned an emergency meeting in early afternoon on the topic. The other machine is in Montgomery County.

2. AND DON'T FORGET THOSE IDENTIFICATION CARDS

Even though the state's new voter ID law won't be enforced rigidly, poll workers will be asking for IDs in a dry run and not having one could slow down the process, especially in precincts where voting is heavy.

3. IT'S ALL OVER BUT THE SHOUTING (ALMOST)

Republicans have pumped at least $3 million into last-minute TV ads meant to give GOP challenger Mitt Romney a shot at defeating Democrat President Barack Obama, in a state that last voted for a Republican presidential candidate in 1988.

4. THIS ELECTION'S NOT ONLY ABOUT WHO WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT

The 12th Congressional District race in western Pennsylvania between incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Critz and Republican challenger Keith Rothfus has been one of the most-watched races nationally, and could be one of the tightest in a newly drawn district. Meanwhile, the race between incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Republican coal mine owner Tom Smith has been tightening.

5. AND THERE ARE SOME HOT STATEWIDE RACES, TOO, PERHAPS NONE HOTTER THAN FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL

Former Lackawanna County prosecutor Kathleen Kane is trying to become the first Democrat to win the office since it was created in 1980. Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed is the Republican. Linda Kelly, who was appointed to replace Corbett when he became governor, isn't running.

 

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