Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Online voter registration in PA; PA climate change assessment report

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Aug 28, 2015 4:10 PM
Voters with vote flag showing 600 x 340.jpg

What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, August 31, 2015:

Pennsylvania has been slow to adopt changes to voting and how elections are operated other than an ill-fated attempt a few years ago at requiring voters to produce identification before casting a ballot that is.

A first step to modernizing the system was taken last week with very little fanfare.

The Wolf Administration acted unilaterally to allow Pennsylvanians to register to vote online.  Up until now, those who wanted to vote had to register by filling out a paper form and return it to their county voter registration office by mail.

The change is expected to register more voters, be more efficient and accurate, and less expensive.

Common Cause Pennsylvania Executive Director Barry Kauffman appears on Monday's Smart Talk to discuss online registration and other changes he would like to see.

Also, temperatures in Pennsylvania could be on averfage five degrees higher by the year 2050.  That's according to research conducted at Penn State University and was part of the 2015 Climate Impacts Assessment report.

The report indictaed the change will result in more insects and pests, increased insect-borne diseases like West Nile virus and Lyme disease, more storms and flooding but less snow.

StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter Susan Phillips joins us with details of the report.

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-08-31 09:29

    Thomas emails:

    Over the last couple years the news has been riddled with reports of governments complete incompetence in cyber security. So thanks for putting even MORE private information online.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-08-31 09:34

    Nicole in Lancaster emails:

    Good Morning Scott!

    Thank you, in advance, for your time.

    My name is Nicole Hoover and I am the Co-Chair of F&M Votes Coalition, a non-partisan organization on Franklin & Marshall's campus that registers F&M students to vote, educates them about their current ballot, and then motivates them to get to the polls each election. We've been in action since 2004, and have really polished the process of student voter registration using paper ballots (thanks, in large part, to our great relationship with the Lancaster County Board of Elections).

    I'm excited about this new legislation, but have concerns when it comes to the PA college student population:

    1. What does this new registration process mean for students who do not have a PA License or government issued ID? PA college students, no matter what state they are from, are considered PA residents and are legally allowed to vote where they attend college. But, MANY, do not have a PA License or PA government ID. Will they be able to participate in this new online process? And further more, what can be said to those who think perhaps this is another way of alienating those who do not have the required ID?

    Again, thank you so much for your time! I love listening to your show.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-08-31 09:39

    Tom in Carlisle emails:

    What are the requirements to register as a voter on-line? Is proof of citizenship required? Is a photo ID required?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-08-31 09:59

    Tom in Carlisle emails:

    As a registered professional geologist, I can tell you that the climate is constantly changing. Each rock you see around was created in a different depositional environment. There aren’t any detailed weather records millions of years ago, but Pennsylvania was a very different place. Stand back and look at the big-picture.