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Early voting in Philly gets off to rocky start | Morning Newsletter

And, indoor dining capacity hits 50% in Philly.

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With the early voting issues in Philly, President Donald Trump falsely weighing on what was happening in the city both on Twitter and at last night’s debate, and more Pennsylvania polls being released, there’s a lot going with the 2020 election right now. Read on for more about the first day of early voting in the city and details about voting in New Jersey — either by mail or in-person.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

Technical issues left some voters frustrated and confused as they waited in line and weren’t able to cast their ballots when the city opened the first seven of its new satellite elections offices. In theory, voters should have been able to request, receive, fill out, and submit a mail ballot in one stop.

County elections officials throughout the state said that Pennsylvania’s voter database was down yesterday morning. The system was put in place in the early 2000s and officials have frequently complained that it goes down or slows under heavy traffic, my colleagues Sean Collins Walsh, Ellie Rushing, and Jonathan Lai report.

And, also yesterday, President Trump falsely weighed in on voting in Philly, wrongly claiming that poll watchers were being improperly blocked from observing voting.

After Upper Darby detectives viewed surveillance footage of a robbery of a convenience store on West Chester Pike in the fall of 2017, they suspected that the robber was a 21-year-old woman, Bryonna Mack. That’s despite the statement given by the person who called 911 about the robbery at his Sunoco A-Plus store, saying it was an unknown male with a handgun who took $700, my colleague William Bender reports.

Mack was a standout basketball player at Upper Darby High School whom the detectives were familiar with from previous criminal investigations. After placing Mack in a photo array with other women, the manager of the store changed his story, alleging that it was Mack who had robbed the store.

Mack then spent 10 months in the Delaware County prison after she was arrested. She’s now suing an Upper Darby detective, the store manager, and more for malicious prosecution and false imprisonment. She says the man who ended up reporting her had previously harassed her for being gay and it’s clear from surveillance footage that her tattoos don’t match with the suspect in the video.

What you need to know today

  1. The first debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden took place last night. According to Trump, “bad things happen in Philadelphia.”

  2. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy yesterday signed his state’s budget, which raises taxes on millionaires and businesses.

  3. As the 2020 election enters the homestretch, Biden appears to lead Trump in Pennsylvania, according to new polls.

  4. Here’s all you need to know about voting in New Jersey, whether it’s by mail or in person.

  5. Atlantic City wasn’t surprised when the New York Times reported on President Trump’s tax issues stemming from his casinos.

  6. A Philadelphia developer has accused South Jersey power broker George Norcross of a “shakedown” in a legal brawl over a Camden waterfront project.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

I’ve been sharing a lot of fall colors lately ... but not everything is turning shades of orange just yet. Thanks for posting, @justjo1002.

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. 🍽️Philadelphia restaurants will be able to increase their indoor dining capacity from 25% to 50% starting Friday.

  2. 🌳Philadelphia has hired a landscape architectural firm to create an urban forest plan. The goal is to both beautify and reduce heat in shade-challenged areas of the city, my colleague Frank Kummer writes.

  3. 📉Tourism in Cape May County has taken a hit, down 42% compared with last year.

  4. 🧀My colleague Jenn Ladd has two cheese-related stories for you. One is about a St. Joseph’s professor (a.k.a. Madame Fromage) who ate all 350 cheeses at Di Bruno Bros. The other is about a cheese maker in Chester County who has taken tastings to Zoom.

  5. 🦅Eagles coach Doug Pederson appears to have no faith in his players, columnist Marcus Hayes writes.

  6. 🏒If the Flyers keep their first-round pick in the NHL draft, expect them to grab a forward.


“Imagine the queue of autocrats, oligarchs, and crooks — from Russia to Turkey to Saudi Arabia and beyond — who are already salivating to secretly rescue Trump in a second term, in return for the favors he can dispense.” — writes columnist Trudy Rubin about the potential national security ramifications of Trump’s tax returns.

  1. In this week’s Pro/Con, Joseph Shieber, an associate professor at Lafayette College, and Brandon Keonig, an assistant professor at Franklin and Marshall College, debate whether we still need presidential debates.

  2. Senior editor Dan Rubin writes about a “misadventure in pandemic online shopping.”

What we’re reading

  1. Some Philly restaurants are offering to feed you if you’re a poll worker. Philadelphia Magazine has the details.

  2. Philadelphia Business Journal writes about the challenges facing independent movie theaters as they struggle to reopen.

  3. ESPN has a deep dive into how the NBA was able to navigate through a tumultuous and unpredictable season. The NBA Finals start tonight, about a year after the 2019-20 season started.

Your Daily Dose of | Art with a purpose

Philadelphia graphic artist Jeff Jones and former Germantown Academy basketball coach Jim Fenerty seemingly have little in common. But they were brought together by the rare blood cancer polycythemia vera (PV) that they both have. Jones is the artist and Fenerty is the subject of a drawing in a campaign focused on raising awareness of a group of blood disorders and educating people about symptoms and treatments.