2020 Election

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

Voting rights activists – as well as Democrats – are pinning their hopes for a big turnout in this year’s election on mail-in voting. But some voters in Black communities don't plan to just sit back and mail it in.

Screenshot (left), Sarah Kovash (right) / 90.5 WESA (right)

Republican Congressional candidate Sean Parnell claimed victory in a voting rights lawsuit this week that challenged county election procedures, while Allegheny County officials called the challenge “a waste of time” that resulted in no change in those procedures. 

Courtesy of Scalo Solar Solutions, LLC

Trains still carry coal past the now-abandoned Mathies Mine, located on the Monongahela River in Washington County. Metal fencing blocks the mine entrance, a cave-like opening where hundreds of miners once trod miles of tunnels.

Gene J. Puskar / AP


On today's program: The Department of Agriculture mandates federally-funded Farmers to Families Food Boxes include a letter from President Trump; a rare bird was discovered in Westmoreland County; and the Black Lives Matter movement finds support in rural Pennsylvania. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP


On today's program: The NFL deals with its first coronavirus outbreak; one man is crossing Pennsylvania to distribute thousands of yard signs before the election; and the dispute over a successor to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg adds more tension to a divisive election year.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA


On today's program: A recap of the key takeaways for Pennsylvania voters after the first presidential debate; the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance has unveiled a new brand to market the area to businesses and individuals; and a local nonprofit is working to make sure Pittsburgh’s Latino community counts in the 2020 census.

Alan Diaz / AP


On today's program: Initial reports suggest nine ballots from military personnel found discarded were a mistake, not voter fraud; air passenger traffic at Pittsburgh International Airport has plateaued after a slight bump; and the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people mourn. 

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA


On today's program: The long-lasting impacts of redlining are still felt in some Pittsburgh neighborhoods; the Pittsburgh Art Commission plans to debate the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue in Schenley Park; and Puerto Ricans living in Pennsylvania after being displaced by Hurricane Maria look forward to voting in the U.S. presidential election. 

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Hours before the doors even opened for President Donald Trump's rally at a Pittsburgh International Airport hangar, hundreds of supporters were gathered to welcome their champion on yet another stop in western Pennsylvania.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP


On today's program: A federal emergency assistance program for people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic is running out of money well ahead of schedule; voters can choose from multiple ways to cast their ballots this November; and local arts organizations say they’ve been harmed by a ticketing service that’s not holding up its end of the deal.

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

For years, the Democratic Party has struggled to retain support from Catholic voters in southwestern Pennsylvania, and it will likely be hard for Democrats to reverse that trend in November – even with a ticket led by a Catholic presidential nominee.  

Image courtesy of Remember What They Did

Artist Nate Lewis spent nine years as an ICU nurse in the Washington, D.C. area. And the Beaver Falls native has been more than a little aggrieved by public discussions of the coronavirus, especially how Donald Trump has downplayed the pandemic. But a new billboard campaign is giving Lewis and other artists a chance to shape the debate themselves.

Trump campaign livestream

President Donald Trump characterized himself as a law-and-order president in a characteristically disordered campaign speech in Latrobe Thursday evening – a visit that likely heralds a busy fall election season in western Pennsylvania.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Usually, college campuses are fertile ground for voter registration groups, teeming with young people who have never voted before. But as colleges and universities bring students back during the pandemic, activists have found themselves trying to navigate COVID-19 protocols just a few months before the 2020 election.

Jared Murphy and Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Gun sales and gun violence have increased during the coronavirus pandemic, but the issue has been largely absent from the 2020 campaign. For WESA’s Split Ticket series, we’re following four Western Pennsylvania voters for a year, asking them about the issues that could sway their decision at the ballot box.

This month, they weighed in on firearms. But while they shared common ground on some changes to gun laws, the gun debate is still divisive.

screen grab / YouTube

Western Pennsylvania Republican Sean Parnell was given a primetime spot to address the Republican National convention Monday night. 

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

Recent revelations that the U.S. Postal Service will likely struggle to deliver mail-in ballots in time for Election Day has worried voters, campaigns and election officials across the U.S. But the stakes feel particularly high in battleground states like Pennsylvania -- and with less than three months until November, election officials are trying to address mail delivery problems and voter fears.

screen grab

The pandemic has created plenty of questions about voting logistics ahead of the November election, but a voting rights group is using data to take some of the guesswork out of election day.

Matt Rourke / AP


On today's program: The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh joins other organizations in a lawsuit against Pennsylvania over mail-in ballot procedures; the history and politics of the U.S. Postal Service; and a new episode of the PBS show “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” addresses the pandemic and how to talk about it with your kids. 

Matt Rourke / AP


On today's program: Allegheny County plans to open all polling locations, recruiting more than 6,500 poll workers for the November election; and two years after the Pennsylvania grand jury report on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, some say more changes need to be made. 

Pennsylvania To Cover Cost Of Stamps For Ballots In Election

Jul 31, 2020
Alan Diaz / AP

Pennsylvania will foot the cost of postage for voters to mail in ballots in November's general election, officials said Friday, a move that Gov. Tom Wolf has made a priority as the coronavirus pandemic unexpectedly fueled high interest in voting by mail under a new state law.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Vice President Mike Pence made a campaign stop outside the Greensburg Police station in Westmoreland County Thursday, to stand with law enforcement and denounce those who are calling to defund police departments.

Alan Diaz / AP


On today's program: The Trump campaign is suing 67 Pennsylvania counties over mail-in ballots; a key demographic that elected Donald Trump in the 2016 election is changing; and Carnegie Mellon University is using a phased approach to bring researchers back to the lab.

Michelle R. Smith / AP


On today's program: A presidential memorandum on the U.S. Census could impact historically undercounted communities; the Biden campaign’s recommended climate change policy and the impacts on the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania; and how the candidates' policies on climate change might influence voters in the November election. 

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

A new poll of Pennsylvania voters shows former Vice President Joe Biden with a strong lead over President Donald Trump — but the voters themselves may not quite believe it.

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

Despite a pandemic, high voter turnout, and a new election law, Allegheny County finished tallying votes in the June primary before most counties in the state. Now, the people behind that process are looking at what went right -- and what needs to be changed ahead of November.

Matt Rourke / AP


On today's program: President Trump’s re-election campaign is suing the Pennsylvania Department of State over the June 2 primary; the Heinz History Center is reopening with a new exhibit highlighting historical Pittsburghers; and environmental groups are working towards anti-racist actions. 

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

The Allegheny County Board of Elections met Monday morning to review how the county handled the June primary -- an election that took place amid the unprecedented circumstances of a pandemic, a new mail-in voting law and voter turnout that was twice as high as expected. But while Democrats and Republican board members said the overall process was smooth, both sides saw areas for significant improvement.



On today's program: Applications for SNAP benefits are up; today is the deadline for mail-in ballot requests; a preview of one state House election; and a Pennsylvania company pivots from making football jerseys to face masks. 

Courtesy of Friends of Chris Roland and Friends of Summer Lee

One of the most contentious primaries for the state House next week pits Democratic state Rep. Summer Lee against North Braddock borough councilor Chris Roland. While Lee is an ardent progressive, Roland says he favors a more moderate approach. Their race brings long-simmering tensions within the Democratic Party to the surface.