Pennsylvania Voting FAQ

WESA answers your questions about voting in person, secrecy envelopes, incorrectly filled-out envelopes, and more.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Justices Deny Fast, New Look At Pennsylvania Ballot Deadline

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it would not grant a quick, pre-election review to a new Republican appeal to exclude Pennsylvania absentee ballots received after Election Day.

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Politics & Government

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it would not grant a quick, pre-election review to a new Republican appeal to exclude Pennsylvania absentee ballots received after Election Day.

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

Election Day is November 3rd, but casting a ballot will look different this year. WESA reporters have compiled a list of candidate profiles, issues and legal updates.

We've also answered your questions on Pennsylvania mail-in ballots and voting in person.

Valerie Gaydos and Michele Knoll

Pittsburgh’s western suburbs may not have seen as much of the coronavirus as other areas, but the pandemic is still a key concern in the race for state House District 44. First-term Republican House member Valerie Gaydos says she has been encouraged to see that residents of her district — which sprawls from airport-area suburbs like Moon to Ohio River Valley communities like Sewickley — follow COVID guidelines. She says residents will make “smart” decisions on their own, but the state’s guidance has been confusing and should be more transparent. 

Science, Health & Tech

Matt Rourke / AP

The coronavirus is spreading throughout all corners of Allegheny County.

Matt Rourke / AP


On today's program: Hospitalizations for COVID-19 cases are rising, but an infectious disease expert says hospitals in the Pittsburgh region aren’t stretched too thin; Riverlife is looking for public suggestions on how to fill the gaps in the loop connecting the city’s riverfronts; and a preview of a local House race where a long-term incumbent is facing a stiff challenge.


Pennsylvania Schools Need An Additional $4.6 Billion To Close Education Gaps, New Analysis Finds

3 hours ago
Heather Khalifa / Philadelphia Inquirer

Pennsylvania’s public school children are being shortchanged by $4.6 billion — and those in the poorest school districts, who have fallen the furthest behind, are owed the most, according to a new analysis commissioned by advocates seeking to overhaul the state’s education funding system.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Nearly 50 teachers and parents asked the city school district’s board Monday to reconsider its plan to return students to classrooms in-person on November 9.

Good Question!

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Brunot Island Once Hosted Explorers, Automobile Races And Now, Lots Of Wildlife

Brunot Island sits quietly in the Ohio River. Overgrown grass carpets the banks of the island and driftwood thuds against remnants of old steel slabs and “No Trespassing” signs. Electrical towers loom over the tallest trees, connected by dozens of wires.

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Identity & Justice

Body Cam, 911 Tapes In Walter Wallace Killing To Be Released

1 hour ago
Matt Slocum / AP

The police commissioner in Philadelphia said Wednesday that her department will release 911 tapes and footage from police body cameras “in the near future” in the shooting death of a Black man following two nights of protests that set off clashes with police and break-ins of stores on the other side of the city.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA


On today's program: The Tree of Life community continues to live with the aftermath of the 2018 attack; a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp and the Tree of Life worshipper shares his story; and a writer documents the resilience of the Squirrel Hill community in a new book.

Development & Transportation

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Dozens of Hazelwood residents and people from surrounding communities spoke out against a non-profit sponsored shuttle service at a public meeting Wednesday evening. Nearly 200 people joined the video call, which lasted just over two hours. 

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The 2018 shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue was the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history. As such, it’s readily contextualized alongside the spikes in nativist rhetoric and white-nationalist violence that have plagued the country in recent years.

Courtesy of the Miller Institute for Contemporary Art

“Abuse of Power Comes As No Surprise.”

“Protect Me From What I Want.”

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On a chilly October evening, Vicki Potter stands in a gravel parking lot in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. The scent of popcorn mixes with the gasoline from nearby idling cars. Patrons are masked and sitting in the beds of trucks and trunks of minivans as an old-timey concession stand advertisement blares over the loudspeakers.

Environment & Energy

Fracking Project At U.S. Steel Plant Denied Local Permit Extension

Oct 23, 2020
Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

A controversial natural gas well at a US Steel Plant near Pittsburgh suffered a setback Thursday night. The East Pittsburgh Borough zoning hearing board denied an appeal by a fracking company to have a lapsed permit for the well reinstated. 

Report: Radiation Levels Higher Downwind Of Fracking Sites

Oct 16, 2020
Ralph Wilson / AP

A team of Harvard researchers found elevated levels of radioactivity on air particles measured downwind of fracking sites around the country.

Economy & Business

Courtesy of York County Food Bank

More than one-third of respondents in a recent WESA/Campos survey said their financial health has changed for the worse due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People without a bachelor’s degree were more likely to say their finances were worse off than those with a degree, and Black survey respondents were more likely than whites to say their finances are now worse.

Local Headlines

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On this week’s Explainer:

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

On this week's Explainer:

WESA’s Lucy Perkins outlines what happened that caused nearly 29,000 misprinted ballots to go out to Allegheny County residents. County elections officials are blaming the error on a third-party vendor.

Food & Drink

Wolf Offers $20M Relief Plan For Bars And Restaurants

Oct 23, 2020
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pennsylvania plans to offer $20 million in relief to the state’s beleaguered hospitality industry, the governor announced Thursday, an amount trade groups called woefully inadequate for helping bars and restaurants survive the pandemic.

National & International

Philadelphia officials issued a citywide curfew on Wednesday after consecutive nights of protests — which at times turned violent — following the fatal police shooting of a 27-year-old Black man, Walter Wallace, Jr.

He was holding a knife when police shot him.

The curfew goes into effect on Wednesday at 9 p.m., lasting until 6 a.m. Thursday, Mayor Jim Kenney said. Kenney also lamented the looting and property destruction that's taken place during nighttime protests.

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