Election 2020

WESA's coverage of the 2020 election, including campaigns for the Pennsylvania state House and Senate, statewide offices, Congress, and president. 

Pennsylvania Statewide Row Officers Sworn For 4-Year Terms

Jan 19, 2021
Andrew Harnik / AP

Pennsylvania’s top prosecutor, its elected fiscal watchdog and the official who handles billions in state money were sworn in on Tuesday to serve for the next four years.

Jose Luis Magana / AP

On today's program: Rep. Mike Doyle describes the scene as supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the grounds of the United States Capitol during a Congressional joint session to certify the November election results; Marc Levy of the Associated Press breaks down attempted actions from Republicans in the Pennsylvania State Legislature to overturn certified election results on Tuesday. 

Commonwealth Media Services / Governor Tom Wolf Flickr

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf pointed to a “deliberate disinformation campaign” by Pennsylvania’s state and federal lawmakers as a partial cause for Wednesday’s violence at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump that temporarily disrupted the certification of the nation’s electoral college votes and resulted in at least one death.

Liam James Doyle / NPR

Members of Congress are formally counting the Electoral College votes. A group of Republicans are planning to object to the results, citing false claims of widespread voter fraud. President Trump continues to baselessly claim that he won the election rather than Joe Biden, who is set to be sworn into office on Jan. 20. Watch the proceedings live.

8 PA House GOP Members To Oppose Biden's Electoral Votes

Jan 5, 2021
Andrew Harnik / AP

Eight Republican members of Congress from Pennsylvania, falling in line with President Donald Trump, said that they will oppose the state's electoral votes being cast Wednesday for President-elect Joe Biden.

COURTESY OF THE COMMITTEE TO ELECT JIM BREWSTER AND FRIENDS OF NICOLE ZICCARELLI

A day before Pennsylvania state lawmakers will be sworn in for a new two-year session, state Senate Democrats said Monday that the Republican majority is trying to “steal an election” by objecting to letting a Democratic member take his seat for a fourth term.

Matt Rourke / AP

As the Pennsylvania legislature begins a new session next month, Allegheny County will find itself unrepresented among top leadership in the state House.

Jessica Griffin / Philadelphia Inquirer

A week before the Nov. 3 election, state officials urged voters not to risk a late arrival of their ballot through the mail and instead to return it in person.

Andrew Harnik / AP

 The 2020 election brought Pennsylvania renewed national attention as a battleground state, and was the place that both handed President-elect Joe Biden his electoral victory and delivered Republicans broad down-ballot victories.

PA Election Officials Are Burnt Out And Leaving Their Jobs After 2020 'Nightmare'

Dec 21, 2020
Karen Vibert-Kennedy / Sun-Gazette

In the weeks before the general election, Sara May-Silfee’s office was overwhelmed. Phone calls from voters were incessant. Lines of people formed outside the building to apply for and cast mail ballots. In one instance, she said, impatient voters began chants outside her office that the waiting times amounted to voter suppression.

The Monroe County elections director even got in the habit of closing her office’s shades at night, she said, because voters would knock on the windows, as late as 9, looking for assistance.

Visible Protests Absent From PA's Electoral College Meeting

Dec 15, 2020
Commonwealth Media Services

Despite the potential for protests during Monday’s Electoral College vote, Pennsylvania’s routine certification ceremony was just that.

Between 40 and 50 people gathered in an auditorium on the Capitol grounds, and because of the pandemic, all sat far apart and wore masks. Only the 20 electoral college members, required state leaders and staff, and a handful of media were allowed inside. A morning snowstorm might have discouraged any outside crowd from forming.

Attorney General William Barr, an outspoken proponent of conservative values and an expansive view of presidential power, will leave office before Christmas, President Trump announced in a tweet Monday afternoon.

Trump said he and Barr had a "very nice meeting" at the White House and that their "relationship has been a very good one."

Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen will become acting attorney general, Trump said.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received the needed majority of votes in the Electoral College on Monday in another step putting them closer toward taking the White House in January.

Updated at 9:18 p.m. ET

On the day electors around the country voted to reaffirm his victory, President-elect Joe Biden called for Americans to come together in unity and healing, vowing to help pull the nation through the coronavirus pandemic and criticizing the dangerous and false rhetoric of election malfeasance that some Republicans have promoted.

He delivered a clear rebuke to President Trump, who continues to challenge the results unsuccessfully. "In America, politicians don't take power — people grant power to them," Biden said.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Pennsylvania’s 20 Electoral College members cast their votes Monday for president-elect Joe Biden.

Similar votes are happening around the country. Despite President Donald Trump’s many attempts to overturn the election results through the courts, the final electoral college vote will make official a result that has been clear since November: Biden won the electoral college, as well as the popular vote.

Electoral College Vote A Big Step To Move Past Election

Dec 14, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

When the 20 Pennsylvania loyalists selected by President-elect Joe Biden gather to cast their electoral vote ballots on Monday, it will be a big step toward leaving behind the chaos of the election and its aftermath.

The ceremony at the Capitol Complex in Harrisburg will be unusual not only for its pandemic restrictions, but also for its importance in officially anointing the president-elect amid a deluge of lawsuits and browbeating of state officials by President Donald Trump in an effort to overturn Biden's victory in the state.

Analysis: Short Work By High Court Of Trump's `Big One'

Dec 13, 2020
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

It didn't take the Supreme Court long to make short work of what President Donald Trump called “the big one.”

Matt Slocum / AP

On this week’s Explainer:

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine mandated new restrictions on Thursday, aimed at reining in the coronavirus as it continues to spread rapidly across the state.

Firm Ran PA Senator's Campaign And Worked With Super PAC To Attack Opponent, But Denies Coordination

Dec 9, 2020
Kent M. Wilhelm / Spotlight PA

As state legislative races go, the one between Republican Sen. John DiSanto and Democrat George Scott was one of the most hotly contested in Pennsylvania’s November election.

Trump Election Dispute Puts Republicans Into Contradictions

Dec 9, 2020
Matt Slocum / AP

The drive to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the battleground state of Pennsylvania over President Donald Trump is forcing Republicans into contradictions with one another.

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: The new executive director of Common Cause, Pittsburgh native Khalif Ali, explains why he thinks democracy is under attack, and how to remedy it; and WESA health and science reporter Sarah Boden dives into why a statewide shutdown hasn’t been adopted, despite a worsening pandemic.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The Supreme Court has rejected Republicans' last-gasp bid to reverse Pennsylvania's certification of President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the electoral battleground.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Republicans' last-gasp bid to reverse Pennsylvania's certification of President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the electoral battleground.

Evan Vucci / AP

President Donald Trump’s campaign has lost another round in a flurry of Republican lawsuits over Pennsylvania’s election, with the state Supreme Court refusing Tuesday to hear its appeal over fewer than 2,000 ballots in a suburban Philadelphia county.

Trump Campaign Appeals Another Ballot Case In Pennsylvania

Dec 7, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

President Donald Trump's campaign continues to press lawsuits over Pennsylvania's election, appealing another case it lost to the state Supreme Court, this time over fewer than 2,000 ballots in a suburban Philadelphia county.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: An epidemiologist explains why recently released health data for Pittsburgh women and children continues to fall along racial lines; President Donald Trump performed well in Pennsylvania, but it’s unclear if that GOP support will carry beyond his tenure; and a we hear a few suggestions for getting outside, even as the cold weather arrives.

Courtesy of Jeffrey Stroehmann

Before casting a ballot for President Donald Trump this year, Brenda Baer had never voted. The 53-year-old mom of four just didn’t see a reason.

Elections Shaping Up To Become Major Issue In Legislature

Dec 4, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania who are still questioning without basis the validity of the Nov. 3 election are drafting a boatload of voting-related legislation, with top Democrats quickly accusing them of setting up a sham process and undermining faith in elections.

Jared Murphy and Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania certified Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election weeks ago. But President Trump’s campaign and some allies are still fighting the outcome in court. For the final installment of our Split Ticket series, 90.5 WESA asked four Western Pennsylvania voters – who we’ve been following for the last year – how they feel about the outcome.


Pandemic, Partisan Attacks Exposed Gaps In PA's New Mail-In Voting Law

Dec 3, 2020
Matt Smith / Spotlight PA

Before any threat of a deadly, fast-spreading coronavirus disrupted daily life in every way across Pennsylvania, state lawmakers had approved a new way of voting that gave residents an alternative to going in person to the polls.

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