2020 Election

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.

Matt Rourke / AP

Less than two weeks before the primary, Pennsylvania House Republicans are asking the state to reverse its approval of Allegheny County’s limited in-person voting plan, saying it will create long lines at polls and disenfranchise voters.

Photos courtesy of the candidates / 90.5 WESA

Republican Mike Turzai represented the 28th state house District for nearly two decades before announcing his plans to retire at the end of this year. None of the three Republicans vying for his North Hills seat would have the same legislative clout as Turzai, the outgoing Speaker of the House. But they still believe they can help guide the state through the coronavirus pandemic.

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

In its last public meeting before the June 2 primary, the Allegheny County Board of Elections met Tuesday to run through final details and plans for the upcoming election, which could lead to higher-than-normal turnout despite the threat of a global pandemic.

90.5 WESA

The Allegheny County Elections Division has been sending vote-by-mail applications to every registered voter in the county ahead of the June 2 primary, but those applications may not reach every voting bloc.

Mel Evans / AP

Allegheny County plans to conduct the June 2 primary with just one-eighth of the polling places it usually offers to voters, with just one voting center for each of the 129 municipalities other than Pittsburgh.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County's efforts to encourage mail-in voting for the June 2nd primary may be almost too successful: A state database has apparently sent out duplicate ballots as it struggles to keep up with demand – although the county says no matter how many ballots come in the mail, no one will get more than a single vote.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

The NAACP of Pittsburgh says it was "disheartened" that U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle said he couldn't attend a debate with Democratic challenger Jerry Dickinson -- though on Thursday Doyle appeared to change his ground by saying he might be able to appear after all.


Jared Murphy and Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

During the first few months of this year, the 2020 presidential race dominated the country’s attention – until the coronavirus arrived. 

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

Thanks to the coronavirus, voting in Allegheny County will look very different this June. The Board of Elections voted Thursday to reduce the number of polling places from more than 1,300 to less than 200, to try and limit the spread of the coronavirus by encouraging residents to vote by mail, rather than in person.

Former Vice President Joe Biden addressed an online convention given by Pennsylvania’s AFL-CIO Tuesday, mixing praise for union workers and criticism of President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus.

Courtesty of Marco for PA and Friends of Lissa

The 30th State House district has long been a Republican bastion. But Democrats in the North Hills district have a choice this primary season between candidates who agree on many issues, but differ over the natural gas and petrochemical industries.

Matt Rourke / AP

A measure to delay Pennsylvania's primary election by five weeks, potentially past the spike of the state's spreading coronavirus cases, could fly through both chambers of the state Legislature to Gov. Tom Wolf's desk on Wednesday.

Emily Previti / PA Post

Social distancing directives and COVID-19 fears didn’t do much to deter voting in special statehouse elections Tuesday. Some poll workers in those districts declined to work on Tuesday, but voting wasn’t disrupted as enough workers reported for duty despite worries about potential health consequences.

Matt Rourke / AP

Former vice president Joe Biden had a good night Tuesday. 

As of midnight, he had won Mississippi, Missouri, the key swing state of Michigan and was leading in Idaho. It was too soon to call races in Washington and North Dakota.

Biden declared that his campaign “is taking off” but celebrating those victories was a little more difficult.

Andrea Pekelnicky / Courtesy of Carnegie Science Center


On today's program: The Carnegie Science Center names one of its own as permanent director; the broadband industry is in no hurry to fix PA’s rural internet problem; one advisor counsels patience after a shaky week for U.S. markets; and how Super Tuesday shapes the way Pittsburghers get to vote. 

Marc Levy / AP

On today's program: Three decades into the ADA, Pittsburgh still has a long way to go; how fracking could influence the 2020 election; a new book explores how grassroots organizing is upending the democratic process; and questions remain about whether Allegheny County is pursuing facial recognition technology. 

Alan Diaz / AP

More than 20,000 Pennsylvanians have already applied online to vote by mail in the upcoming presidential primary, the first under a new state law that allows the practice.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania is trying to get more college students registered to vote in the general election in November.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA


On today's program: The nearly century-old former home of the YMCA in the Hill District is getting a new purpose; a look at what it’ll take to get Pittsburgh ready for 5G; state Attorney General Josh Shapiro goes after medicaid fraudsters and JUUL; and some local progressives aren’t happy with the county Democratic committee’s endorsements. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A challenger in what will likely be among the most closely-watched Democratic primaries in western Pennsylvania has amassed a considerable war chest in his bid to topple state Rep. Summer Lee. And building-trades unions are already playing a notable role in the Monongahela Valley-based terrain of state House District 34.   

Courtesy of Nick Pisciottano for State Representative

The phrases “Monongahela Valley” and “new political blood” are not often found in the same sentence. But if Nick Pisciottano has his way, Democrats will see a generational shift in leadership after the surprise retirement announcement of state Rep. Bill Kortz earlier this month.

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

Speaker of the state House Mike Turzai, a key figure in western Pennsylvania Republican politics for the past two decades, announced Thursday that he will not run for re-election this year and hopes to find work in the private sector. 

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

The path to presidential victory runs directly through Pennsylvania. The state holds 20 electoral votes and Donald Trump’s 2016 win was decided by less than 50,000 votes, or less than one percentage point. 

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's legislature has been controlled by Republicans for nearly a decade, but progressive organizers hope to shift the balance of power in this year’s election.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Pennsylvania Congressman Conor Lamb joined two other Democratic officials with military backgrounds in endorsing Joe Biden Sunday afternoon, formalizing a commitment that has long been obvious.

Courtesey of Bill Brittain

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: a member of the politically notable Costa family has drawn a progressive challenger in a Democratic primary. But state Sen. Jay Costa is hoping the family resemblance ends there.