It's Election Day and election officials and voters who have not already voted via mail-in ballot or during the early voting period can head to the polls today between 7am and 8pm.
The 2020 presidential race made one final stop in the Lehigh Valley Monday afternoon when Democratic Vice President nominee Kamala Harris appeared at Dutch Springs in Lower Nazareth Township. "The path to the White House leads through Pennsylvania. yes it does," Harris told hundreds of supporters at the invite-only drive-in rally. Harris told them Joe Biden would unite a divided country if he wins today.
Election officials report 80-percent of the three-million mail-in and absentee ballots requested by Pennsylvanians have been returned. More than 60-percent of those have been returned by registered Democrats, fewer than 25-percent were from registered Republicans and the rest were from registered independents. Voters who have mail-in ballots but have not yet returned them, are being told to either drop them off at your county's elections office or at one of the designated county ballot drop-boxes. Mail-in ballots cannot be dropped off at polling locations.
Pennsylvania's Secretary of the Commonwealth says it'll take some time to count votes here. Kathy Boockvar says it'll take longer than usual, but added the "overwhelming majority" of votes cast will be counted relatively quickly. However, Boockvar says it'll be "a matter of days" until all votes are counted. Some of the delay will come in counties like Cumberland where mail-in ballots will not be counted until Wednesday. Boockvar says she's attempted to convince them to not wait. "The idea is not to wait. They should be counting them as soon as the 8pm time frame passes and the new ballots start coming in, so those will be canvassed," Boockvar says. Cumberland County elections officials say their staff is too small to run a traditional Election Day and count all those early, mail-in ballots at the same time.
President Trump is pledging to fight Pennsylvania ballots that are received in the three days after today's election. "Philadelphia is known for bad things happening with voting and it's been known for that for a long time. I'm very concerned when the court allows you to go outside the November 3rd date," the President says. Pennsylvania's Supreme Court allowed the three-day extension and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block it. The President called the ruling a terrible decision.
The Lehigh Valley's representative in Congress will be decided today. Democrat Susan Wild is seeking a second term on Capitol Hill representing the Lehigh Valley and parts of Monroe County. She is opposed by Republican ex-Lehigh County Commissioner Lisa Scheller.
There are a lot of state House races on local ballots today. In the 131st District, Democrat Kevin Branco is opposed by Republican Milou Mackenzie in the race to replace Justin Simmons, who did not seek re-election. In the 132nd, incumbent Michael Schlossberg is running against Republican Michael McCreary. The 133rd race features incumbent Democrat Jeanne McNeill and Republican David Molony. In the 134 District, incumbent Republican Ryan Mackenzie is opposed by Democrat Marc Basist. Democrat incumbent Steve Samuelson is challenged by Republican Scott Hough in the 135th and in the 137th race, incumbent Joe Emrick faces off with Democrat Katelind Brennan. The 138th District race has Democrat Tara Zrinski takes on Ann Flood to see who replaces the departing Marcia Hahn. In the 183rd, incumbent Republican Zach Mako is opposed by Democrat Jason Ruff and in the 187th District, incumbent Republican Gary Day is opposed by Democrat Michael Blichar Jr.
Pennsylvania's row offices are up for grabs on today's ballot. Incumbent Attorney General Democrat Josh Shapiro is looking for a second term in office. He's being challenged by Republican Heather Heidelbaugh, who is an Allegheny County trial attorney. Pennsylvania will get a new Auditor General because Eugene DePasquale has decided to run for Congress instead. Democrat Nina Ahmad and Republican Timothy Defoor are seeking that job. Current Treasurer Democrat Joe Torsella is seeking another four years. He's opposed by Republican Stacy Garrity. The Libertarian and Green parties both also have candidates on the ballot for all three races.
Voters won't have to worry about getting wet today if they're stuck in long lines. However, Accu-Weather's Joe Lundberg says you may have to worry about staying warm. "It's not going to be a warm day today. We're only expecting a high of 51 and with the winds it'll feel like it's in the 30s a good bit of the day today and if you're in a shaded area, you're going to feel that even moreso," Lundberg says. He says if you don't get a chance to vote until well after sunset, tonight's low is expected to sink down towards the freezing mark.
Saucon Valley High School will be closed until November 16th after five coronavirus cases were reported over eight days. All high school extracurricular activities are also canceled. The school's gym is used as a polling place today and will be open after being cleaned and disinfected.
New Jersey residents are voting on whether or not to legalize marijuana, which is possibly one of the biggest state issues this election. The question on the ballot asks residents if they want to approve a constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana for those 21 and older. A Fairleigh Dickenson poll from early October shows voters are likely to give it the thumbs up. Gov. Phil Murphy has made a huge push for this in the past, but didn't get enough support from lawmakers.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported Monday 3969 new cases of coronavirus over a two-day period. That brings the overall state total to 211,996. 11 new coronavirus-related deaths were also reported during that two-day time frame, pushing the state total to 8823.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is looking to limit the size of Thanksgiving gatherings as New Jersey officials warn the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has already arrived. Murphy says this year won't be the one for traveling to large celebrations, citing the growing risk of COVID-19. New Jersey reported more than 1300 cases Monday, the 16th consecutive day that more than 1000 cases were reported. Murphy is asking residents to gather around a smaller table this year so everyone can hope to be around a larger table next year.
The Phillies' Alec Bohm is one of the three finalists for the National League Rookie of the Year. Bohm hit .338 with four home runs and 23 runs batted in in 44 games.