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Everything you need to know about voting by mail in Pennsylvania | Morning Newsletter

And, Sen. Pat Toomey won’t oppose a SCOTUS vote.

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Yesterday was National Voter Registration Day and my colleagues have put together a helpful guide to voting this year. You can check it out at And, yesterday also marked a grim milestone for the coronavirus pandemic. More than 200,000 people have now died in the United States due to the coronavirus.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

My colleague Jonathan Lai covers voting and elections, keeping track of the changing nature of how you can cast your ballots this election season. One of the biggest changes is that any Pennsylvania voter can vote by mail this year. Teaming up with Kristen Balderas and Lauren Schneiderman, they made a video that helps explain the changes and what they mean to you. My colleagues have also put together answers to your questions about the voting procedures this year in this handy guide.

The United States reported its 200,000th confirmed death due to the coronavirus yesterday. It’s a benchmark, my colleague Justine McDaniel writes, that highlights the country’s “failure to substantially quash the spread of the virus this year and underscores the tragedy of the pandemic.”

The share of the deaths occurring in Pennsylvania and New Jersey has dropped substantially in the more than six months since the pandemic shut down life as we knew it. For example, New Jersey went from having about 12% of the country’s first 100,000 deaths to only about 2% of the nation’s second 100,000, according to my colleagues' data analysis.

A program at Boys' Latin in West Philly has established teaching positions for Black men who are interested in pursuing education as a career. Three residents are both teaching at Boys' Latin and also taking classes at Drexel to earn their certifications. There are also eight apprentices who assist teachers and staff as they get exposure to what a career in education could look like.

One resident, Robert Fletcher, was actually a student at Boys' Latin who graduated in 2012. He had just one teacher who was a Black man. “They have to see us,” he told my colleague Maddie Hanna. “They have to know that we’re there.”

What you need to know today

  1. Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) said yesterday that he will support filling a U.S. Supreme Court seat this year despite the presidential election being only weeks away. My colleague Jonathan Tamari has more on Toomey’s decision, which comes four years after Toomey argued that the Senate should wait months for the 2016 election results before confirming a judge.

  2. This Pennsylvania House race looks an awful lot like the campaign between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, my colleague Julia Terruso reports.

  3. A bill that is making its way through the state Senate would put a check on Pennsylvania’s most egregious gerrymandering practices and increase public transparency when it comes to redrawing political maps.

  4. Pennsylvania’s state-based health insurance marketplace debuted yesterday. Residents who buy individual health plans will get an extra four weeks to shop for coverage for 2021, my colleague Sarah Gantz reports.

  5. The CDC’s COVID-19-related reversals in recent months are alarming public-health veterans. They say the changes could lead to even more confusion about and mistrust of science.

  6. Independence Blue Cross has named its next chief executive. Gregory E. Deavans will succeed Daniel J. Hilferty and become the first African American to lead the insurance company.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

I spy a few fallen leaves. Thanks for sharing, @tehkelsey.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout-out!

That’s interesting

  1. 🍕Detroit-, NYC-, or grandma-style, the new Pizza Jawn in Manayunk has them all, writes restaurant critic Craig LaBan.

  2. 🌡️Philly temps are doing something that they haven’t done in September in 35 years.

  3. 🎼The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an avid fan of opera. And Philadelphia’s community has poured out its love for her.

  4. 🍸If you’re looking for happy hour specials, my colleague Michael Klein has a list for you.


“This is not the normal stuff of partisan politics, but something far more dangerous. Delegitimizing the opposition is the trademark of demagogues in countries led by dictators or lapsed democrats — as I’ve witnessed in Russia, China, Turkey, Hungary, and elsewhere.” — writes columnist Trudy Rubin about Trump’s plan for replacing RBG.

  1. In this week’s newsletter, columnist Will Bunch writes about the TikTok deal.

  2. The Census Bureau needs more time. And Congress has to help it, writes The Inquirer Editorial Board.

What we’re reading

  1. Philly checked on Philly music producers to find out how they’re making hits during the pandemic.

  2. This woman conquered the biggest wave surfed by anyone during the 2019-20 winter season. The New York Times has more on Brazilian Maya Gabeira, who almost lost her life to the same wave.

  3. Every morning for 18 months, broadband internet in a small Welsh village crashed. No one knew why. CNN reports on how an old TV was able to disrupt internet access for an entire village.

Your Daily Dose of | Anger

“There’s a lot to be hot about,” my colleague Elizabeth Wellington writes. And what more is there to say? Turns out, there’s a lot more. Even if you sense yourself feeling angrier than usual right now there are ways to help you be more productive with your emotions.

Correction: Tuesday’s edition of this newsletter misstated the number of times Berks County voted for the candidate who won Pennsylvania in the last five presidential elections. It was two, not four.