Good morning! It’s the first Tuesday of November, which means it’s Election Day across Philly, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Although these off-year elections don’t always generate a great deal of excitement, there are important races up and down the ballot. And the results will provide a first snapshot of how voters are feeling during Joe Biden’s presidency, ahead of next year’s critical midterm elections. So we’ve got a look at the most important races to watch.

Interested in how your day at the polls — or sending in your mail ballot — went. Hit me up at morningnewsletter@inquirer.com.

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

What to know about today’s elections

If Republican underdog Jack Ciattarelli wins the race for New Jersey governor, does that mean a red wave has swept the Garden State? Which way will Pennsylvania’s key swing counties swing this time? And how potent an electoral issue is the debate over how race and racism are taught in schools?

Those are just some of the questions across a number of key races today.

U.S. Senate candidate Sean Parnell’s wife testified that he choked her and hit their children

The estranged wife of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sean Parnell testified under oath yesterday that he choked her until she bit him to escape, that he hit their young children and verbally lashed out at her with obscenities and insults.

Laurie Parnell’s tearful testimony seemed certain to damage Sean Parnell’s political ambitions, after he had emerged as the likely front-runner with Donald Trump’s endorsement in a critical U.S. Senate race from Pennsylvania, one of a handful that could decide control of the chamber.

Sean Parnell disputed his wife’s claims. Our reporter Jonathan Tamari’s story detailing the testimony.

What you should know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Not going to lie, I was clinging to the last little remnants of summer memories — until I saw this. Appreciate the reality check, @tehkelsey. Let’s see Philly from your perspective, tag your photos using #OurPhilly.

That’s interesting

🧑🏾‍⚕️ Ala Stanford, the surgeon who founded the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, has withdrawn from consideration to be Philly’s next health commissioner, citing the need to run a new North Philly clinic.

💪 The more racially integrated our communities, the stronger our economy: GDP grows, families have more income, and house prices are higher, so families are wealthier, economist Mark Zandi writes.

🏒 And completely unbeknownst to many of his teammates, Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk completed a prestigious program at Harvard Business School.

Opinions

“This isn’t about members of council having other jobs — if it were, people like [Allan] Domb or [Derek] Green would be complicit, too. Instead, it’s another campaign to demonize organized labor, union members, and their political allies,” writes labor organizer Mindy Isser, on what she says is unwarranted scrutiny of Councilmember Bobby Henon, a defendant in the federal trial of labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty.

  • Our columnist Will Bunch says that in a moment when the political right seems increasingly obsessed with violence, the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse could throw gasoline onto the fire.

  • Mayrose Myrtetus and Clara Lyle at Penn’s Weitzman School of Design note that the effects of climate change on energy bills is affecting those who can least afford it.

What we’re...

Photo of the day

Your vote matters. Find some time today to make sure you’re counted. ✌️