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These Pa. voters could sway the election | Morning Newsletter

And, what happened to a program that would’ve given Tasers to Philly cops?

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

Good morning.

First: Our election coverage continues as the campaigns look to court voters across Pennsylvania.

Then: My colleagues looked into a plan that would have given Tasers to Philadelphia police officers. But, it never happened.

Also: Philly’s back-to-school plan could be in jeopardy due to rising COVID-19 cases.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

There are more than a half-a-million Latinos living in Pennsylvania who are eligible to vote. Altogether, they account for about 5% of the electorate, according to Pew. But while Joe Biden is expected to win most of their votes, any shift in support could be pivotal in deciding who wins Pennsylvania — and the presidency. Some Democrats are worried about the Trump campaign making inroads with Latinos while Biden’s outreach has been slower.

More reporting on the candidates, voters, and election:

After Philadelphia police shot and killed 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. this week, some asked why they hadn’t used a Taser. The answer: The officers who fired a total of 14 bullets didn’t have Tasers. But they should have, according to a former police commissioner. Four years ago, there was a plan underway to equip all uniformed patrol officers with Tasers. But it never happened, stalling with thousands of officers on the street without them. In the aftermath of Wallace’s death, my colleagues William Bender and Mensah M. Dean report that city officials are scrambling to address the Taser shortage.

More coverage:

What you need to know today

  1. Should Pennsylvania officials help voters fix their mail ballots if they have technical errors? Counties are struggling with deciding how to help or even if it should.

  2. Rising COVID-19 cases are threatening Philly’s back-to-school plan, which hoped to bring back pre-K through second-grade students on Nov. 30.

  3. A new study showed that blood plasma didn’t benefit COVID-19 patients. Researchers, though, aren’t giving up on it.

  4. Some voters have yet to receive their mail ballots. And, they’re getting nervous.

  5. Philly parents and teachers are wondering about their schools' ventilation systems while coronavirus cases surge. If students return, will their classrooms be ready?

  6. This week’s break-ins at Philly pharmacies have owners and customers shaken. More than 80 were robbed into Wednesday morning.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

I hope everyone has been able to stay dry out there. Thanks for sharing this shot, @gritadelphia.

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. 🦅 The Eagles are in first and have a date with the rival Cowboys on Sunday. My colleague Paul Domowitch analyzes how the two squads match up and gives his prediction for the game. One major factor could be a defensive star the Birds acquired this offseason.

  2. 🖥️ This data firm hopes to bring more underrepresented groups into tech.

  3. 🎁 A new survey indicates that holiday spending is expected to decrease this year during the coronavirus pandemic.

  4. 🗳️ Frog’s Commissary closed this summer after nearly 50 years as a force in Philly restaurants. But its owner Steve Poses has turned to politics.

  5. 📡 When the pandemic settled in, some people looked to rural Pennsylvania for escapes. But a recent study found that poor internet service is a drawback for folks considering a move to a rural area.


“I’ve done terrible things out of fear when I’ve felt suicidal. I once told my best friend to comfort my mom at my funeral, because my late-night call for help went unanswered. I’ve left jobs and relationships out of fear these things would trigger a suicide attempt. But the only greater fear I have than dying by suicide is dying by the police.” — writes Imadé Nibokun, a writer and mental health advocate, about her fear of dying by the police as a Black woman with mental illness.

  1. Columnist Jenice Armstrong writes about the “difference between demonstrating righteous anger” over the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. and the “senseless mayhem and destruction that broke out when people began taking merchandise from stores and businesses."

  2. Columnist Will Bunch writes about “one of the worst weeks in the 230-year-plus history of the U.S. Supreme Court.”

What we’re reading

  1. These couples quarantined together. Some of them lasted. Others didn’t. The New York Times has the story.

  2. El País, a newspaper in Spain, built this explainer that examines the likelihood of coronavirus infection in different indoor scenarios including a small gathering in a room, at a bar, and in a classroom.

Your Daily Dose of | The UpSide

Upper Dublin alum Ben Relles dreamed up a nonpartisan voter-registration campaign called #GoodToVote, which he cocreated with a national nonprofit that runs voter-registration drives at events. So, far #GoodToVote has helped more than 160,000 people register to vote. And, he’s using his Hollywood connections to get incentives from famous people including Upper Darby native Tina Fey.