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What we will, and won’t, know on election day | Morning Newsletter

And police officers shoot a Black man in West Philadelphia.

    The Morning Newsletter

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

One full week to go until Election Day.

First: The 2020 election was always going to be a a roller coaster ride. In fact, we may or may not know who won Pennsylvania or the White House on Nov. 3. Voting by mail on this scale could make watching how it all shakes out tricky. Let data and democracy reporter Jonathan Lai be your guide.

Then: Reporter Julia Terruso learned that more than a dozen Philly-area Black women she spoke with have never been more determined to make sure Trump loses an election. The way the coronavirus has disproportionately devastated Black and brown lives both physically and financially saw to that.

And: Tensions rose rapidly after police officers shot a 27-year-old Black man identified by family as Walter Wallace Jr. who was armed with a knife during a confrontation yesterday afternoon in West Philadelphia. Our story has the latest developments on the heated protests that took place overnight.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman,

It’s possible the 2020 election results could take a day or two. If it’s a landslide? It could all unfold in a single day. What, exactly, are we in for next week? What’s the deal with the pace? What’s the map progressively going to look like?

The picture is getting clearer, so our resident captain of the voting chaos, Jonathan Lai, gamed out the scenarios that could actually, possibly happen. Get prepped with his comprehensive moment-by-moment guide to what to expect on Election Day and why.

Democrats typically bank on Black women to overwhelmingly back the Democratic Party. But more than any political issue, it’s the president’s response to the pandemic that hit Black and brown people hardest, raising the stakes higher than ever this year.

Black women with whom we spoke view this election as a matter of “life or death.” Take, for example, Democrat Sherrelle Pritchette, who lost her mother and sister to the virus. “Do I blame him personally?” she said of Trump. “Oh, yes. Oh, yes, I do.”

Police officers shot Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man armed with a knife during a confrontation yesterday afternoon in West Philadelphia that rapidly raised tensions in the neighborhood. Witnesses said Wallace was armed with a knife, but was not charging the police. Later, protesters marched for hours as late Monday turned to Tuesday morning, Anna Orso, Ellie Rushing, Samantha Melamed and Robert Moran reported.

What you need to know today

  1. At a moment when doctors are calling for President Donald Trump to cancel rallies because of the coronavirus risks they pose, he is barreling through Pennsylvania, criticizing Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus safety restrictions. The president also falsely said at an Allentown rally that Gov. Tom Wolf would be counting Pennsylvania ballots. County elections officials, not the governor, will count ballots.

  2. And our politics reporters are spreading out to blanket the entire state. Get all your latest 2020 election news with our coverage that spans the entire state of Pennsylvania in our Election 2020 live blog.

  3. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Democrats are this close to controlling the state House, strategists in both parties say.

  4. After months of negotiations, the homeless encampment on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is almost all gone. Born out of protests against systemic racism, apparently the camp was down to a population of two as of last night.

  5. Those who gathered off-campus in State College to view the Penn State football game could face fines and discipline.

  6. Sunoco wants to block the state order to reroute the Mariner East pipeline away from Chester’s Marsh Creek Lake. Hearings begin today.

  7. Building a foundation of confidence for coronavirus vaccine-wary people will be urgent work, and the strongest recommendation from experts is “evidence-based” communication.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

We love this shot over the shoulder of the Fisherwoman statue at the base of the George Washington monument at Eakins Ova. Thanks for sharing @positivemag1!

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. 🐴Idris Elba and Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things) will be galloping on horses into your Netflix queue with Concrete Cowboy, a drama filmed in Philly last summer.

  2. 🖊️We break down the basics of what you should look out for before signing that lease in our tenant’s rights guide to leases.

  3. 🎥This curator is committed to creating an archive of Philly’s resistance history. She’ll collect scrapbooks, letters, and photos so that, eventually, visitors to a Parkland Central exhibit will be able to reflect on how those artifacts illuminate 300 years of Philly’s social and political movements.

  4. 👗Meet the textile heiress who used to be all about fast fashion and is now determined to fix the fashion industry’s sustainability problem.

  5. 👃Philly’s Monell Institute has a screening in the works for a telltale predictor of coronavirus diagnosis: loss of sense of smell, one of the earlier COVID-19 symptoms. Consider it a more effective way to flag people than temperature checks.

  6. 🍲The soul-food destination Warmdaddy’s is reopening in a new location.


“Indeed, widen your lens and you’ll see that most voters across America don’t find Biden’s comments about transitioning away from oil as radical, but as reality in the face of climate change and rapid advances in cleaner energy such as wind and solar.” writes columnist Will Bunch about the reality of Pennsylvania and fossil fuels that pundits are overlooking.

  1. The Inquirer Editorial Board writes that Pennsylvania should follow in New Jersey’s footsteps toward improving COVID-19 transparency.

  2. Commonwealth Foundation senior policy analyst Colleen Hroncich writes that lawmakers should use federal relief funds to rescue struggling Catholic school families.

What we’re reading

  1. This block will be the center of the deal made between housing authority officials and housing activists, WHYY reports. As many as nine homes will be overhauled so people experiencing homelessness can move in.

  2. PhillyMag talked to a trio of Philly activists just now seeing their years-long push to take down the controversial Frank Rizzo statue become a reality.

  3. The World takes us inside the drive-in arena where Mexico City’s lucha libre wrestling show goes on.

Your Daily Dose of | Music

Voters were treated to music filling the air outside the Delaware County Courthouse recently. Musicians from the New York Philharmonic, American Ballet Theater, Broadway and Met Opera drove all the way from New York just to use their talents to make voting more pleasant.