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Pennsylvania Notebook: Citizen Reports On The Pivotal Primary

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As voters cast their ballots in the critical Pennsylvania Primary today, we will be posting contributor pieces below. Most of these are reports from on the ground in Pennsylvania. A theme has emerged early on the challenges faced by Pennsylvania voters and officials to properly record and tally ballots. Why Tuesday?, as expected perhaps, posted a short series on the potential problems, but other of our contributors have picked it up on their own. Laura J. Mansfield reports from Chinatown, saying the lack of translators there has people leaving in frustration without casting votes. Allison Fine wrote a roundup of recent writings on voting problems and encourages voters to share their stories at a new watchdog website. The Uptake video crew also picked up on reports of broken voting machines and found a ill-prepared polling place waiting on a repair man.

The first round of entries include reports filed this weekend, as the campaigns made last-minute efforts to get out the vote and sway undecideds. The last pieces will no doubt come in late tonight and tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.

Mayhill Fowler
Whistle Stop Crazy: Obama On A Roll In Pennsylvania.
"The whistle stop tour was yet another example from this long long race of how perfectly Obama captures an American moment. The train station audiences want big change--and change is in the air."

Mayhill Fowler
Candidate Clinton Countdown: It's All Too Late
"In a powerful way, Hillary Clinton's losing the nomination validates her working class supporters' lives. This is the kind of bond that can forge a candidacy. But for Hillary Clinton it's too late."

Laura J. Mansfield
Translation Poses Voting Challenges In Chinatown, Philadelphia
"At polling places in Chinatown, Philadelphia, there is a serious shortage of translators. Voters are becoming frustrated with the process and leaving without casting votes."

Laura J. Mansfield
Pennsylvanians Revel In The "Bitter" Truth
"Bitter? No, why should I be bitter? I'm an American." That's how they were feeling after the Obama rally in Harrisburg, PA, today, the week of the primary. "Not Bitter, no. I'm reinvigorated!"

Laura J. Mansfield
Clinton Goes to Philly
"She's a smart woman... Hillary is the one to lead us to gain the respect we have lost in the world. If Obama gets the nomination, I'm voting Republican." Problem she said was that Obama's an elitist.

Liz Burlingame
Roadkill: Clinton in Denialville
"Clinton's Pitt Building office was spacious-- meeting rooms, offices, impressive archways-- but it was almost empty. Nine volunteers were manning the phones. I assumed others were out canvassing."

Why Tuesday?
Senator Proposes Sweeping Election Reforms

"FL Senator Bill Nelson is a voting reform hawk. We visited with Sen. Nelson to discuss his sweeping plan to change the way and day we vote, and why he chose now to introduce his plan."

The Uptake
Primary Snapshot: Last-Minute Grassroots Action
"Last-minute adrenaline-fueled volunteer recruitment in Pennsylvania: it looks miserable, fun, rumpled, regimented, silly and important at once. A snapshot of our mad democracy in action."

The Uptake
Clinton Rally: "Gotta Win Big"
"Rob Reiner impressed on the crowd that Hillary needs to "win big" in Pennsylvania just to stay in contention. It was refreshing to hear one of her dedicated followers say something like that out loud."

The Uptake
Campaign Bullseye: Waffling White Guys
"On the ground in Pennsylvania, you can sense much tenuous support and find many waffling voters. The most enigmatic include those in the bullseye of the campaigns: white male undecideds."

The Uptake
Rust Belt Small Business Owners Breaking Toward Obama
"Lehigh Valley, PA, is in transition: recession and recovery exist side by side. People want more change. So small business owners in this corner of the Rust Belt at least are leaning toward Obama."

The Uptake
PA Election Day: Turnout and Voting Machine Issues
"On the ground reporting of morning turnout and voting machine problems in Pennsylvania."

Allison Fine
Voter Story: Battling Adminsitrative Incompetence And Technical Failure At The Polls
"As the returns flood in from the PA primary tomorrow, there will also certainly come news of voting machinery problems. Be prepared to tell your story. It's the best way to make certain your vote counts."

Kelly Nuxoll
In PA: It's Poll Numbers Versus The Crowds
"Clinton invokes an embattled country and promotes a transactional social contract, where hard work will be rewarded. Obama affirms people's experience and asks that we work together."