WEATHER: Philadelphia: cloudy, high of 79; Harrisburg: cloudy, high of 80; Pittsburgh: a.m clouds, p.m. sun, high of 79.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* The Atlantic sets the bar high for the most terrifyingly plausible set of potential outcomes for the November presidential election, including numerous contributions from state GOP leaders on how to most effectively circumvent the will of the voters when it comes to choosing electors.
* Pennsylvania voters are closely tuned into the 2020 election, pessimistic about the coronavirus, the economy, and their own personal finances – and currently giving Joe Biden the edge over President Donald Trump, according to a new poll. The Franklin & Marshall College survey released Thursday showed the former vice president and Democratic nominee with a 6-point lead over Trump among likely voters, 48% to 42%. Seven out of 10 voters are “very interested” in the race, the Inquirer reports.
* That same Franklin and Marshall College Poll shows fewer than a third of Pennsylvania Republican voters say they will have confidence in the accuracy of mail-in ballot votes cast in the November election, WITF reports.
* Democrats are launching a digital ad targeting Pennsylvanians voting by mail to explain how to correctly fill out and return the ballots, hoping to avert worried predictions that 100,000 votes or more could be invalidated because the ballots aren’t put in the proper envelope. The so-called naked ballots have become a huge concern for Democrats in the state since the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled last week that ballots had to be rejected if not enclosed in the proper secrecy envelope. The ruling was a victory for President Donald Trump’s campaign, the AP reports.
* The Inquirer takes readers through what is known – and what is still unknown – about the basic rules of an election now just weeks away, and what that uncertainty means.
* A new analysis shows that in 2017, Pennsylvania had the most severe death reporting lags in the country. Unlike many other states, the commonwealth was still doing much of its death registration by hand, relying on a cumbersome system of faxed paper and manual data entry – a process identified by the federal government as “dire and in need of immediate support” – a crucial shortcoming that produced catastrophic results when the coronavirus hit, Spotlight PA reports.
* The Pennsylvania House fell five votes short Wednesday of overriding Gov. Tom Wolf’s rejection of a bill that would prevent his administration from regulating school sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the bill would have given the final say on sports and attendance at sporting events to the boards managing Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts. The final vote 130-71, fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to override Wolf’s veto. It marked the Republican-controlled chamber’s second failed override attempt in three weeks. Another attempt in May also failed, the Capital-Star reports.
* Legislation that would eliminate most of the COVID-19 restrictions Wolf placed on restaurants and taverns is on its way to the governor’s desk for enactment. The House on Wednesday voted 145-56 to pass the Senate-amended House Bill 2513 that would set minimum capacity for restaurants and taverns at a minimum of 50% and even beyond that if their premises allow, PennLive reports.
* Roughly 200 protesters rallied at Philadelphia City Hall Wednesday evening after a Kentucky grand jury brought no charges against the Louisville police officers who fatally shot Breonna Taylor, WHYY reports.
* Philadelphia court officials have extended a ban on evictions for another two weeks. Municipal Court President Judge Patrick Dugan ordered that all residential evictions cease in the city through Oct. 7, extending a prior order set to expire Sept. 23, and giving renters temporary protection from lockouts, WHYY reports.
* The Capital-Star excoriates Sen. Pat Toomey’s craven but entirely predictable about-face on voting for a Supreme Court nominee in an election year now that a Republican is in the White House.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Commonwealth Court Judge Michael Wojcik … Scott Wallace, founder of the Wallace Global Fund and co-founder of Kennedy Democrats … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday to email@example.com
9:30 a.m. - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Joe DeFelice will join the Northwest Commission and state and local officials for an Opportunity Zones tour beginning at 395 Seneca Street, Oil City. A roundtable discussion will follow the tour at 10:30 a.m. at 737 Elk Street, Franklin.
10 a.m. - the Philadelphia City Council will meet. This remote hearing may be viewed on Xfinity Channel 64, Fios Channel 40 or http://phlcouncil.com/watch-city-council/.
10 a.m. - the PA House Democratic Policy Committee will meet. Room G50, Irvis Office Building, Harrisburg.
10:30 a.m. - the PA House Republican Policy Committee and the PA Senate Majority Policy Committee will meet. The Friedman Jewish Community Center, 613 S.J. Strauss Lane, Kingston.
1:30 p.m. - Governor Tom Wolf will discuss COVID mitigation efforts and urge the General Assembly to pass government reform measures to ensure that elected officials are accountable to the people of Pennsylvania and not special interests. PEMA, 1310 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg.
4:30 p.m. - Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney will deliver remarks at the 10th annual closing event for Philly Tech Week hosted by Technical.ly Philly. For event details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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KICKER: “I’ve mentioned it to them (the Trump campaign), and I hope they’re thinking about it too. I just don’t think this is the right time for me to be discussing those strategies and approaches, but (direct appointment of electors) is one of the options. It is one of the available legal options set forth in the Constitution.” – State GOP chair Lawrence Tabas discusses how to ex post facto disenfranchise Pennsylvania voters. From the Atlantic.