c. Plea for quick response.

While nothing precludes a requester from seeking a quicker response, the Act imposes no such obligation on the agency.

J. Election records.

Records of the voter registration commission, except the general registers, must be open to public inspection and copying. See 25 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 623-13; 25 Pa. Cons. Stat. §  951-12. This requirement applies to computerized records. Macurdy v. Staisey, 120 Pitts.L.J. 151 (1971).

The election records of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, including “all returns, nomination petitions, certificates and papers” must be open to public inspection and may be inspected and copied by any person qualified to vote in Pennsylvania. 25 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2622.




3. Use of records.

Although the Act is silent, cases applying the old act have held that the act imposes no restrictions on subsequent use of the material obtained. See Hoffman v. Pennsylvania Game Comm’n, 455 A.2d 731 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1983) (rejecting Game Commission’s objections to access based on grounds that requester sought the information “for commercial purposes”)(interpreting prior version of Right to Know Act).  Under the new Act, the rule persists. 

IV. Who is covered

Pennsylvania's Shield Law applies to anyone "engaged on, connected with, or employed by any newspaper of general circulation or any press association or any radio or television station, or any magazine of general circulation, for the purposes of gathering, procuring, compiling, editing or publishing news." 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 5942(a). There is no Pennsylvania statutory or case law directly addressing the definitions of "engaged on, connected with, or employed by" or "general circulation" or what it means to gather, procure, compile, edit or publish news.

1. Character of exemptions. M2A1

(This section is blank. See the subpoints below.)


Open Records. The Pennsylvania Open Records Law (popularly known as the “Right to Know” Act) was originally enacted in 1957. In 2002, the Pennsylvania Assembly amended the Act, setting forth for the first time a number of procedures and requirements governing, inter alia, requests, the agency’s response and appellate review.

E. Webcasting



a. Description of records or portions of records denied.

The Act envisions that the appeal must identify the record requested.

4. Investigatory records.

(This section is blank. See the subpoints below.)