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Deadline for returning Pa. mail ballots is extended | Morning Newsletter

And, the Philly City Council approved police reform measures.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued several rulings yesterday that could make it easier for people to vote by mail, and could allow for thousands more ballots to be counted. In Philadelphia, City Council approved two police reform measures, including a ban on choke holds.

And the Emmys are on this weekend, and a Bucks County director hopes to be accepting an award from his home.

— Lauren Aguirre (@laurencaguirre,

Less than seven weeks from Election Day in November, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued several rulings that could make it easier to vote by mail — including extending the deadline for returning mail ballots. Now, ballots will be counted if they are received on the Friday after Election Day. Also, the court ruled voters can return ballots to drop-off boxes, too. These changes will likely allow tens of thousands more mail ballots to be counted.

Extending the deadline for the return of mail ballots has the potential to create a historic cliffhanger for the election as the nation waits for Pennsylvania’s results days after Election Day.

City Council approved two police reform measures yesterday. One would ban choke holds or kneeling on a person’s neck and the other would require public hearings on police union contract proposals. Both bills were introduced in June during protests against police brutality after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration has voiced support for the bill requiring public hearings on contract proposals. City officials have often cited the contract process with the police union as a roadblock to substantial change.

It’s been about six months since the coronavirus pandemic fully hit the Philly area. For most of this year, we’ve been riding a roller coaster no one wanted to get on. The isolation and uncertainty have led to even time itself seeming to warp.

Now, you can see our timeline of the pandemic’s effect on Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Looking back can maybe offer some clues about what we’ve learned and how to respond as we go forward.

What you need to know today

  1. Joe Biden participated in a CNN town hall meeting just outside of Scranton last night, with a drive-in audience. Earlier yesterday, Kamala Harris spent a long day in Philly in her first campaign trip to Pennsylvania.

  2. The ruling against Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 restrictions faces long odds on appeal. Here’s why.

  3. Philadelphia’s rental assistance program has increased how much tenants can get in rent relief payments, while Pennsylvania’s ban on utility shutoffs is still in place despite a push to lift it.

  4. A “millionaire’s tax” is coming to New Jersey, in a long-sought political win for Gov. Phil Murphy.

  5. Spring Garden residents asked city leaders for help after a quintuple shooting killed two men Wednesday night. There have been eight people shot in three separate incidents in Spring Garden this year.

  6. A month after her son died in a Philadelphia jail, a mother is still fighting to learn why.

  7. The Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May marked its opening yesterday. See what’s inside here.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

This shot is so striking. Great skyline pic. Thanks for sharing, @scapesbybimal!

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. 🏆 Ozark’s director Ben Semanoff is from Bucks County and hopes to be accepting an Emmy on Sunday from his home.

  2. 🎨 The potential sale of the Painted Bride building in Old City is back in court.

  3. 🎮 A Philly-based sports marketing company is expanding its multimedia and esports businesses.

  4. 🌬️ Outdoor heaters are the hot accessory as it gets colder. Here’s how to buy one.

  5. 🎭 Philly’s acclaimed Rennie Harris is the winner of a $275,000 arts award.

  6. ☕ Our indulgences have become more about self-care than spending. After the pandemic, picture a future of lattes, not luxury.


“I don’t celebrate everything out of a need to always have something good happening; I celebrate everything because sometimes good things are happening, and it’s worth taking a moment to feel it.” — writes Caitlin Brown, a mother and communications director at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, on why she aggressively celebrates everything during this time of unrelenting doom.

  1. Hilco’s refinery plan will help Philly and its schools, writes Paul Badger, president and CEO of the Badger Group, a real estate firm specializing in development, investments, and sales.

  2. Even if Joe Biden wins, Trump and Mitch McConnell’s judges could block U.S. progress for decades, writes national columnist Will Bunch.

What we’re reading

  1. Philly has a profile on a South Street urban planning project that will combine open data with community voices for urban planning.

  2. Philly’s tree cover is vanishing. Learn how you can help, from WHYY.

  3. PlayStation 5 is releasing in November, and pre-orders are already sold out at multiple retailers. Polygon has more.

Your Daily Dose of | The Upside

Jasmine Mays, a senior at Villanova University, was concerned about students' safety on campus during the pandemic. So, she created what she calls a “preservation pantry” to help. It’s a free resource of cleaning and other health preservation and feel-better products for any student who needs them. “I love helping people,” she said. “I always want to do stuff to help people.”