The Top Costumes in the U.S. and around Pa. | Five for your Weekend

Alexander Raths- Stock.Adobe.com

Happy Weekend, all.

Or should we say Hallo-weekend?

Curious what the top costumes are for 2020?

Google Trends’ annual Fright Geist data shows us the top Halloween costume searches nationally.

A classic, the witch, came holds the top seat, while dinosaur, Harley Quinn, rabbit and clown costumes rounded out the top five.

Pennsylvania’s costume searches were all over the map, according to Google.

In Philadelphia and its suburbs, Tinker Bell costumes were the most searched for costume. In Lancaster, Bumblebee costumes reigned supreme.

Things got spooky in NEPA with monster costumes earning the top spot.

Meanwhile, things got nautical in Pittsburgh, where searches for mermaid costumes were popular.

As always, the top stories from this week are below.

Cheers to a ghoulish weekend,

Cassie Miller, Associate Editor

1. In the home stretch, Republicans further narrow Dems’ voter registration edge | Analysis

This is it. We’ve now passed the deadline to register to vote in the 2020 presidential election and Pennsylvania Republicans are peaking at the right time again.

The Republicans made substantial gains in 2015 and 2016 ahead of Donald Trump’s surprise victory, only for the Pennsylvania Democrats to bounce back over the past four years. Since last spring’s primary, though, Republican registrations have steadily grown.

For instance, back 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.

2. Want to hand-deliver your ballot in Pa.? Here’s a map of election offices and drop boxes

If you’re one of the 2.2 million Pennsylvanians who requested to vote by mail-in ballot this year, you don’t have to rely on the postal service to cast it.

State law allows voters to hand-deliver their ballots to county election bureaus – the offices in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties that handle voter registration and administer state, local and federal elections.

But voters have other options for the first time this year. Thanks to a 2019 change to the state Election Code, some counties have established satellite voting offices or secure drop box locations to collect ballots and administer voter services.

3. Get to know Pa.’s Auditor General candidates: Tim DeFoor

In an effort to help voters make an informed decision this Nov., the Capital-Star will be doing Q&A’s with all four candidates for the Office of the Auditor General, a statewide position currently held by Eugene DePasquale.

We’re kicking things off with Dauphin County Controller Tim DeFoor, the Republican nominee.

4. SWPa. billboard accusing Biden of dementia misspells … dementia

A roadside billboard in Fayette County repeating a Republican accusation that Democratic nominee presidential Joe Biden suffers from diminished mental capacity has a deficiency of its own: A whopper of a spelling error.

“Biden’s dimensia is worsening, he is not fit,” the billboard reads, misspelling “dementia.” The billboard also repeats two denigrating nicknames that President Donald Trump has used to refer to the former vice president and his running-mate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. As a matter of policy, the Capital-Star does not repeat those nicknames.

5. Seeking a second term, Pa. Treasurer Joe Torsella says he wants to rebuild faith in public institutions

PITTSBURGH —  Pennsylvania state Treasurer Joe Torsella has a pitch for the Keystone State. Well, two pitches. The Democratic incumbent treasurer from Montgomery County is running for re-election this year, so he obviously is asking Pennsylvanians for their vote. But he also understands how dysfunctional Congress has been, and how that is mirrored on the state level in Harrisburg.

With that in mind, Torsella’s other pitch is simple: pay attention to the state row offices like treasurer, attorney general, and auditor general, and not just during election years. They can accomplish a lot for Pennsylvanians.

“I’m trying to make an argument as dysfunctional as Washington is, and even the dysfunction that state capitals have, you can still get a lot more done,” Torsella said.

Last year, Torsella’s office sued several large financial firms for allegedly inflating bonds prices, and the companies settled with a payment of nearly $400 million to Pennsylvania. He also celebrated the creation of a statewide baby bond program, which he championed.

And that’s the week. See you all back here on Monday. 

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.