Pennsylvania Continues Counting Mail-In Ballots


On today's program: Ballots are still being counted in Pennsylvania and other swing states; and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museums, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Carnegie Institute. 

Voters, campaigns wait on election results in Pennsylvania, other swing states
(00:00 — 5:59)

Key battleground states, including Pennsylvania, have yet to be called for the presidential election. According to the Associated Press, Joe Biden needs just one more state to get the required 270 electoral votes. In the meantime, campaigns can only wait—and maybe file suit.

Last night, the Allegheny County Elections Division finished counting most of the mail-in ballots it received. They have about 34,000 mail-in ballots left to count, says WESA government and accountability reporter Lucy Perkins. An estimated 29,000 of those ballots were affected by a printing issue that resulted in incorrect ballots being sent to voters. Corrected ballots were sent out at the end of October.

The Elections Division will wait until 5 p.m. Friday to reconcile the affected ballots. They are also waiting until then to begin counting provisional ballots and ballots that “need more examination” because of issues like a missing date or difficulty scanning the ballot.

The Trump campaign filed suit in Pennsylvania to try and temporarily stop vote counting, citing a lack of transparency. President Trump on Twitter also said ballots received after Election Day shouldn’t be counted, but, the President has no control over state-run elections. The Pennsylvania Department of State asked all elections divisions to segregate ballots postmarked by November 3 and received by November 6.

Find more election updates on the Election 2020 Live Blog.

Former “Carnegie Institute” celebrates 125th anniversary
(6:01 — 18:00)

On November 5, 1895, Andrew Carnegie presented a gift to the people of Pittsburgh—what he called “his monument”—the Carnegie Institute. The building houses the Carnegie Library, the Carnegie Museum, and its musical hall, which was the home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

The gift was a “birth of culture” in Pittsburgh, says Mary Frances Cooper, the president of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

“He really did want to make a gift to the people of Pittsburgh that would demonstrate his belief and love for this community, and that’s what he did,” she says.

The Carnegie Institute building still serves as a cultural hub and a fixture for formal and informal learning in Pittsburgh.

“Creating a space for learning and bringing all culture together and bringing people together through that culture was certainly a part of the vision,” says Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra president Melia Tourangeau.

Though the institutions’ roles in the city’s cultural landscape have adapted during the pandemic, the institutions’ leaders say their goals remain the same as they were 125 years ago.

 “It’s still that same mission of giving people access to the objects and stories that surround them, objects that will inspire and enlighten them,” says Steven Knapp, the president of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. “And that is, I think, true to the original vision that led to the founding of these three great institutions.”

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.