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All eyes are on Pennsylvania | Morning Newsletter

Everything you need to know to follow the election.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a drive-in rally at Heinz Field, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Pittsburgh.
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a drive-in rally at Heinz Field, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Pittsburgh.Read moreAndrew Harnik / AP

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Pennsylvania, it’s time.

It’s almost like both campaigns have been treating this election like it’s a race for Pennsylvania. That’s where you could find President Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Mike Pence, and Kamala Harris making their Election Day Eve pitches.

However this plays out, you can follow the election with The Inquirer for what the early returns mean — and don’t mean.

How to follow the election with The Inquirer:

Stay up to date with all the latest real-time election news on our live election blog. It’s where you can quickly find breaking news on the race, deeply reported Pennsylvania voter stories, and vital analysis on the latest polls all in one place.

Our reporters, who are committed to getting you news you can trust, have spread out all over the state to bring you the latest. More on our approach here.

Voting in-person today? We’ve got all your questions about that answered.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman,

It’s been said that Pennsylvania is “the knife’s edge on which the race is balanced,” and it’s given candidates a shiny blade on which to heap attention — and plenty of it.

At times, some of the most salient issues here have ceded the spotlight to one: voting. Just yesterday, after months of slashing baseless attacks on the process, Trump leveled his most incendiary attack on a peaceful election yet. For Biden’s part, holding onto his polling edge over Trump in Pennsylvania and other battleground states in the final hours, he urged Pennsylvanians to vote in record numbers.

It was always going to be about Pennsylvania, and early signs in other battleground states have only conspired to make Pennsylvania’s electoral votes appear even more coveted.

Not to bring up ancient history, but in 2016, Trump became the first Republican to carry the Keystone State since 1988 when he won it narrowly. And now with everyone watching, there’s the complexity of kaleidoscopically intricate election laws at the federal, state, and local levels shifting, which I’ll let Jonathan Lai clear up for you.

He’s been telling us about how the count could take days before the pandemic. Pennsylvanians have voted by mail to a degree never seen before this year. It’s even strained the system. And without state guidance for fixing flawed ballots, there’s a dense patchwork of procedural discrepancies on the county front that could make a meaningful difference. Lai spoke with elections officials about their plans.

In only the biggest change to the system since 1937, it’s the first year that any Pennsylvania voter could vote by mail. Demand for mail-in ballots surged, but far from everyone has actually turned their ballots in. In fact, only one-third of 2020′s historic 9 million registered Pa. voters did.

That leaves, well, a lot of people potentially lining up to vote today in the most bracingly charged election we can remember. A series of new factors mean it might take a while to tally it all. Assuming proper safety measures are in place, you should at least be able to vote safely.

Before you step out, here’s what you should expect if you’re voting in-person today.

🗳️ More election coverage all in one place:

  1. What we will and won’t know on election night in Pennsylvania.

  2. Your complete guides to how to vote in person and who and what are on your ballot.

  3. And got a 2020 voting question? Ask away.

  4. These are the Pa. counties you should be watching as the election results roll in.

  5. Break the echo chamber. These Pa. voters spent eight weeks talking to people on the other side of the aisle for our election roundtable. The biggest surprise: How well it went.

  6. Look out for an extra edition of this newsletter with our story on the 2020 election results when they’re confirmed.

Plus, misinformation can spread quickly. It may take some time before we know who wins this week’s presidential election. That’s not fraud, that’s not the election being stolen, it’s just the votes being counted over time. We urge everyone to use and share information from credible sources. Know that our reporters and editors will be working tirelessly to bring you the latest, verified information on Election Day and beyond.

What you need to know today

  1. Pa. voters who plan to hand in mail ballots and vote in-person just add to concerns about Election Day waits.

  2. All these rookie poll workers are facing down an unprecedented challenge.

  3. These Pa. counties won’t even start counting mail ballots until Wednesday.

  4. Spotlight PA investigated how Allegheny County came to rely on a company that sent 29,000 ballots to the wrong voters.

  5. Contact tracers are doing everything they can to track the spread of the coronavirus. Here are the forces conspiring to stop them.

  6. And COVID-19 hospitalizations in Pa. and N.J. have doubled.

  7. The USPS is throwing all its weight behind delivering those ballots. Meanwhile, here’s what’s going on with the rest of your mail.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Seems like a good day for this pro-democracy pile of bricks. Thanks for sharing, @therowhousecity.

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. 🗳️ This is how losing loved ones to COVID-19 sealed Trump’s fate for these voters in mourning.

  2. 🦀 The blood from horseshoe crabs are highly prized in the medical field for testing. They go for $15,000 a pop for a quart. It’s possible it could help scientists create a coronavirus vaccine, but here’s the problem.

  3. 🦅 Doug Pederson has a plan for Carson Wentz.

  4. 🍽️ Michael Klein writes about City Tavern, the colonial-theme Old City restaurant that has closed.

  5. 🍸 We looked at how West Chester’s uniquely popular outdoor dining scene will forge ahead in winter during the pandemic.

  6. 🍕 Here’s your complete guide to free election day food and drink day deal offerings if you vote in Philly.

  7. 🦃 Less is more rarely applies to poultry at the Thanksgiving feast, but what if gatherings dwindle this year? Will the turkeys get tiny? Here’s what the farmers say about our gastronomic interests in the traditional bird centerpiece. And here’s where you can get a truly fresh turkey and other trimmings in Philly.


“President Donald Trump says ‘bad things happen in Philadelphia.’ He’s about to learn to keep Philly’s name out of his mouth. We don’t take kindly to outsiders knocking our city or making false claims about poll watchers and our election process. Philly, it’s time to put a stop to Trump’s attempt to MAGA-tize our country.” — columnist Jenice Armstrong writes that a vote against Trump is a vote for returning America to some semblance of normalcy.

  1. Mayor Jim Kenney and City Commissioner Lisa Deeley write to ask Philadelphians for patience on Election Day while counting the votes accurately and fairly takes significant time.

  2. A former chief of police, Brandon del Pozo, writes that one way to reform Philly policing would be training on firearms as life insurance, not problem-solving tools.

What we’re reading

  1. Politico explains why Pennsylvania is the tipping point state that Trump and Biden kept heaping attention on.

  2. A Newsweek columnist writes that women of color in Pennsylvania are more energized to vote than ever before.

  3. And if you’re looking for a distraction, Philadelphia Style introduces us to this month’s new openings.

Your Daily Dose of | Dancing

Some believe that the most qualified leaders of movements are the reluctant ones. Most certainly, it’s usually the most reluctant ones who have the best moves.

And it took some time before parents María Moreno Fabio Rodolfo Vásquez decided to try to channel their emotional energy into dancing after losing their daughter who died of renal insufficiency. But they decided to go for it.

Obviously, the pair went viral and won top prizes for their effortless fancy footwork from the salsa to the merengue. Instant fans have even matched their choreography with their own contributions to their routines.