With Pa. primary looming amidst COVID and protests, Wolf extends mail-in ballot deadline for 6 counties

    Governor Tom Wolf speaks about efforts to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. Governor Tom Wolf is building on his commitment to help hardworking Pennsylvanians. Today, the governor joined legislators and workers to renew his call to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 an hour with a pathway to $15. Later this week, the governor’s plan to extend overtime pay eligibility to 82,000 more workers will be considered by the state’s rule-making board. Harrisburg, PA – January 28, 2019

    *Updated at 6:39 p.m. to include list of counties

    Speaking to reporters outside state Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald’s office in Philadelphia Monday evening, Gov. Tom Wolf said that mail-in ballots will now be accepted through next Tuesday, June 9 at 8 p.m. for six counties, including Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

    Wolf cited COVID-19 concerns and continued protests as his reason for extending that deadline. The polls open Tuesday at 7 a.m. in Pennsylvania’s rescheduled primary election, though a flood of mail-in ballots is expected.

    “The count will continue for seven days,” Wolf said.

    Wolf said he “didn’t know what impacts the continued protests would have on the primary elections.. 

    Touring the city with U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, D-3rd District, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Fitzgerald, Wolf said he saw “a lot of sad scenes.”

    The state and local leaders visited storefronts that had been vandalized by violent protesters. 

    While Wolf expressed support for the protests, he said the violence needs to de-escalate. 

    “We need to do a lot more,” Wolf said. “What’s not called for is the violence afterward.”

    Philadelphia is expected to transition to the yellow phase of Wolf’s COVID-19 reopening plan on Friday, June 5. 

    Earlier Monday, state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said there were no plans to change that date. 

    Keeping his comments short, Wolf said, addressing systemic racism and oppression was part of why he “ran for this office.” 

    “In Harrisburg, we need to dedicate ourselves to addressing racism and oppression in Pennsylvania,” Wolf said. “We have to rededicate ourselves to addressing these issues.”

    Cassie Miller
    A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.