WEATHER: Philadelphia: a.m. showers, high of 64; Harrisburg: a.m. showers, high of 64; Pittsburgh: showers, high of 58.

NEW THIS MORNING:

* The Pennsylvania Republican Party is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to speedily take up its case to block counties in the presidential battleground state from counting mailed-in ballots received up to three days after the Nov. 3 election. The Republican Party’s late Friday filing came four days after the justices divided 4-4 on putting a hold on the extension, the AP reports.

* On what was the inaugural “Vote Early Day,” a national effort to highlight voting options with Election Day just 10 days away, musicians, motorcyclists, and community members made voting a little more exciting throughout Philadelphia with events meant to entertain, educate, and encourage, the Inquirer reports.

* Republicans continued to shrink the voter registration gap with Democrats in the state. In May the Democratic margin statewide was 803,427. As of the Oct. 19 deadline, it’s been reduced to 700,853. The grand total of 9,016,163 registered voters consists of 4,207,190 Democrats, 3,506,337 Republicans and 1,302,636 others, the Capital-Star reports.

* The Inquirer goes on an in-depth tour across Pennsylvania to examine what makes it one of America’s most complex and politically competitive states.

* A federal appeals court has been asked to rule the U.S. Constitution requires elections that are exclusively publicly funded. Conservative Republicans are seeking that ruling to block the use of approximately $13 million in private grant funding to the city of Philadelphia and Centre and Delaware counties to help with the Nov. 3 election, PennLive reports.

* One of the hottest races this November – the state 15th Senatorial District contest between Republican incumbent John DiSanto and Democratic challenger George Scott – offers all the suspense of the election cycle. DiSanto is aiming to keep his seat in a district that is nearly equal parts Republican and Democratic, PennLive reports.

* Pollsters are working overtime to make sure that their polling for the 2020 presidential race in Pennsylvania is more accurate than their disastrous 2016 efforts, WHYY reports

* A Dauphin County judge on Friday approved the Milton Hershey School’s $350 million plan to open six free early childhood centers around Pennsylvania that will serve 900 low-income kids. It will be the first time in more than 100 years that the charity that controls the Hershey Co. chocolate giant, with assets of about $14 billion, will help poor children outside of its rural Hershey campus, which houses and educates 2,200 K-12 students. Critics have said the charity has failed to expand its mission commensurate with its soaring wealth, Spotlight PA reports.

EDITORIAL PAGES:

* The Inquirer excoriates state politicians in Harrisburg for failing to pass legislation to help election officials prepare for an expected onslaught of mail-in ballots ahead of Election Day.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: … Joe Corrigan, Edge Hill Strategies … state Sen. Vincent Hughes … Mary-Jo Mullen, Comptroller, Pennsylvania House of Representatives … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday to editor@cityandstatepa.com

TODAY’S SKED:

9:30 a.m. - the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development and The Homeless will meet. This remote hearing may be viewed on Xfinity Channel 64, Fios Channel 40 or http://phlcouncil.com/watch-city-council/

1 p.m. - the PA House will reconvene. Main Capitol, Harrisburg.

1 p.m. - Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney will join City Commissioners, Council President Darrell Clarke and other local officials for a tour that will highlight the preparations for the sorting and counting of mail-in ballots at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Election Day. Pennsylvania Convention Center. Press should enter at the northeast corner of 12th and Arch Streets. Please arrive prior to 1 p.m. to leave enough time for a security screening upon entering. No one will be permitted to enter after 1 p.m. All members of the media must present credentials that indicate their affiliation.

2 p.m. - the PA House Democratic Policy Committee will meet. Room G50, Irvis Office Building, Harrisburg.

4:30 p.m. - the Philadelphia City Special Committee on Criminal Justice Reform will meet. This remote hearing may be viewed on Xfinity Channel 64, Fios Channel 40 or http://phlcouncil.com/watch-city-council/

To have your events included in Today’s Sked, please email the information to editor@cityandstatepa.com.

KICKER: “Changing the rules late in the fourth quarter causes confusion and disenfranchises voters. That’s what the Purcell Principle is designed to guard against. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court was within their bounds to allow the three-day extension and it should stay intact.” – State Attorney General Josh Shapiro. From the AP.