Nov. 9, 3 p.m.:
From Editor Charlie Deitch
After our live podcast last night
and our general malaise this morning over election results, we thought it was only appropriate to make a final entry in our election blog. Definitely check out the podcast if you haven't already, you can watch me slowly dying as I monitor the election map.
Photo by Luke Thor Travis
The above photo from last night's Allegheny County Democrats' watch party at the IBEW Hall on the
Photo by Luke Thor Travis
South Side sums up a lot of feelings today. Every poll in the free world got it wrong
and it left a lot of people shocked and awed over what had happened. I must admit, I attempted this morning to write something to try and put some perspective on this, but I'm at a loss. Of course I am just a journalist whose place in Trump's America has been clearly pointed out.
Not that I want to write something negative, per se, but I'm sorry to admit it, there aren't many positives rolling around in my head. I even wanted to just focus on the silver lining of this whole election, but after writing my lead: "Fuck it, let's be positive," nothing at all trickled out. That's because you can't turn on a switch that says, let's pull together when we've spent the last year or more hearing a candidate explain to us how his plan is to blow us all apart. It's not our job to reach out here. It's the job of the incoming administration to assure us that he's not going to do all this crazy stuff from building walls to giving banks carte blanche
to do anything they want in name of an allegedly stronger America. Add those things to his desire to defund Planned Parenthood, appoint extremely conservative Supreme Court Justices to try and roll back the clock on Roe V. Wade and same-sex marriage as well as continue to alienate immigrants, African Americans and anyone else that doesn't see things his way and, quite frankly, there's not a whole lot to be hopeful about. He'll get a small window to unite the nation, but who really has faith that there will be much of an effort to reach out?
In preparation for what the next four years will bring, there's an "Emergency Meeting: Let's Unite To Stop President Trump
" event at 6 p.m. tonight at the Ace Hotel. So far, more than 500 people have signed up to attend. According to the event page:
"Donald Trump is president. The Democratic Party establishment has failed to stop him. The only way to stop him is to unite and fight. We need to move forward as a united movement. We will come into this meeting to discuss — collectively — how we might form a coherent, viable, and powerful strategy of self-defense and liberation under President Trump. There is no group of powerful people who can solve this for us. We will have to solve it ourselves, together. It's the only way."
We will have coverage of the event online tomorrow.
Nov. 9, 2:30 p.m.
From Staff Writer Ryan Deto
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, like most local democratic politicians, spent most of election night at the IBEW local 5 watch party that is held every presidential cycle. The night started out hopeful, but quickly became nerve-wracking for Democrats as now president-elect Donald Trump won North Carolina and Florida.
Before the election was called, a frustrated Peduto left and went to his favorite watering hole, Cappy’s Cafe in Shadyside to watch the final results. By night's end, Trump had won the White House, Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey won re-election, the U.S. House stayed in GOP control, and the Pennsylvania State Senate earned a Republican super majority, giving it the ability to override Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s vetoes.
In other words, it was a shitty night to be a Democrat. But the next morning, Peduto regrouped and looked to a future battle, saying that Democrats have to start preparing for 2018 now.
“This has to be a clarion call, this has to be motivation to so many people to do more,” Peduto said during a previously scheduled interview with CP
this morning. “If people getting motivated behind this election and the Democratic party becomes united, I think this pendulum swings back rather quickly.”
Voting shows that Hillary Clinton won large metropolitan areas across the U.S., by a wide margin, while Trump won most rural and suburban areas. Given that outcome, Peduto said he will advocate Trump’s administration to not leave progressively minded cities like Pittsburgh out of the equation.
“The Trump administration may not have a domestic policy agenda right now, but they are going to have to create one, and if it is to harm cities, it would be short victory [for Trump].”
From Stephen Caruso
As polls prepared to close throughout Oakland, voter turnout across the voting stations was at usual levels, if not higher than average.
No lines were extending out into the dark, drizzly night. In the William Pitt Union, Alethea Sims, 61 of East Liberty, served as election judge. She said around 1,800 people voted, which was high but still 400 off of the peak she saw during Obama’s first election.
At Posvar Hall, which saw many first time voters, and around 940 total, poll worker Bonnie Krous said she got through her nearly 15 hour day with “coffee, chocolate and good friends.”
At the dual locations on Semple Streets, a total of 1474 voters showed up, mostly students according to workers there.
Diane Henderson-Webster, a poll worker for 20 years, agreed with Sims that only more voters had come out for Obama’s 2008 election.
At Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, Blithe Runsdorf, who’s worked polls for two decades, said turnout was at about 50 percent for the district, with 1635 voting, turnout only rivaled by the Bush-Gore election in 2000.
However, she said had to file about 50 provisional ballots, a special ballot used when a voter’s registration is questioned, which she blamed on the high amount of youth registration by activists groups.
“I usually [only] see one or two [provisional ballots,” Runsdorf said.
From News Editor Rebecca Addison
The day we've been waiting what has felt like decades for is winding down in Pittsburgh as last minute voters head to the polls to cast their ballots.
At East Liberty Lutheran Church 57-year- old Robbin Washington just voted in her first election.
"We have to vote because of what could happen," Washington said. "I don't really like either one of them but it was important for me to vote because I feel really uncomfortable about [Trump]. If there is a god, Hillary will win."
During a lull when the room was void of any voters, conversation among the poll workers quickly turned to attacking Trump.
A poll watcher at the location said the day had gone smoothly. Initially he said there were rumors circulating that people planned to stand outside of polling locations with firearms, but no one has reported such voter intimidation tactics in Pittsburgh.
According to several poll watchers throughout the day, the only problems have been voters turning up to the wrong polling place or finding they weren't registered. In these situations election protectors have driven them to the correct location or helped them fill out a provisional ballot, respectively.
And soon voters will have nothing left to do but wait.
"I just hope and pray Hillary wins," said Kim Hamby. "We need her in there, not Trump. I'm scared."
From Intern Stephen Caruso
Both Pitt College Republican and WPTS, Pitt’s college radio station, claim they were kicked off Allegheny County Soldiers and Sailors grounds today.
Photo by Stephen Caruso
Students in front of Soldiers and Sailors Hall in Oakland
Peter Brath was handing out flyers for Lenny McAllister when someone who “looked official” but lacked any identifying marks for Allegheny County or a Democratic “vote protector” asked them to move down to the sidewalk from outside the hall’s entrance.
Kayla Greygor, WPTS’ Director of Promotion, said they were asked by Pitt College Democrats to play music for lines of supporters waiting to vote. However, they were denied access to an electrical outlet, and left the premises.
According to Allegheny County property records, the land is owned by Allegheny County. Pennsylvania state laws says that all canvassing activities must occur at least 10 feet away from a polling entrance.
Soldiers and Sailors could not be reached for comment.
At the foot of the monument, food trucks, sponsored by NextGen Climate, an environmentally focused Super Pac funded by billionaire Tom Steyer, handed out free food — from espresso and apple cake to tacos and hot dogs — to anyone willing to brave block-long lines.
Easily identified by their orange shirts, NextGen has 200 paid staff — along with nearly 2,000 volunteers — canvassing across the Keystone state.
While described as non-partisan, the group officially endorsed Clinton for president and Katie McGInty for Senate in Pennsylvania.
NextGen Pennsylvania Communications Director Aleigha Cavalier described the festivities as “celebrating election day.”
“Students are really excited to get out their vote,” Cavalier said.
From Staff Writer Ryan Deto
Most media outlets have spent the last few days analyzing how large the anti-Donald Trump vote could be. Trump has made comments many consider offensive toward Mexicans, Muslims and women throughout his campaign, potentially fueling voters in those demographics to come out in force to block him from reaching the White House.
Photo by Ryan Deto
But another anti-vote is also brewing: the LGBT vote against Trump, and more specifically, his running mate Mike Pence. Pence has supported “religious freedom” laws that LGBT groups say would increase discrimination and has opposed laws that prohibit LGBT discrimination in the workplace. City Paper reported last week
how LGBT-rights leaders in Pennsylvania were wary of what impact a Trump-Pence presidency would have on the LGBT community.
And at least one Pittsburgh voter confirmed he was voting to block Pence’s anti-LGBT policies from infiltrating the country’s second highest office.
“I am not going to vote for a candidate, and especially a vice presidential candidate who say hurtful things about my community,” said Matt Russak, who identifies as gay.
The Lawrenceville resident voted this afternoon at Butler and 52nd streets for Hillary Clinton and was proud to support the Democratic candidate. “It’s beyond time for a woman president,” said Russak.
From News Editor Rebecca Addison
Rev. Maureen Cross Bolden has been answering phones at the Black Political Empowerment Project's Election Protection headquarters for several hours. While she says there have been few people calling to complain about having problems voting, the office did receive a call an hour ago about an altercation at a polling location in Penn Hills.
"Trump had some people there who were heckling voters," says Bolden.
According to Bolden a group of Donald Trump supporters were harassing voters at a polling place on Graham Boulevard and one was arrested. Allegheny County spokesperson Amie Downs said they have not received any information about the incident. Neither the Penn Hills Police Department or the Allegheny County Sheriff's office could be reached for a comment.
Other than this incident, Bolden says the day has gone smoothly. This year, B-PEP's Roll to the Polls initiative that provides people with transportation to vote has had more volunteer drivers than in years passed.
"Overall, other than Trump's people trying to cause chaos, I would say people are really trying to make the vote happen," Bolden says.
From News Editor Rebecca Addison
On the outside of two North Side polling places in the Mexican War Streets area are signs urging voters to vote "no" on today's judicial referendum.
"It's a judicial pay raise and a judicial pension grab," the signs says.
While not as flashy as the presidential election, the referendum has far reaching implications. It would extend the mandatory judicial retirement age from 70 to 75.
"They should be able to serve as long as they want," said Irene Bower who voted in support. "These people have spent a long time being educated and if they've spent a long time serving why should they be penalized for their age."
"They're old and they're stuck in their ways," said Tyrone Currington who voted against it. "It's time to have new judges."
"I'm a lawyer and I've practiced in court for over 30 years and I've dealt with a lot of excellent judges," said Clare, who voted no and did not want to give her last name. "But I just think there comes a time when people need to move aside to make room for some younger people."
While most people interviewed by CP over a two hour period said they voted against extending the retirement age, everyone CP talked to was atleast a little confused about the wording of the referendum. They said they wished they had been given more information in advance.
"I'm not too happy with the disingenuous way it was worded," said Carson Lane, who voted no.
"I wish I'd done more research on it," said Stephanie Johnson who also voted against the referendum.
The ballot question's wording has been challenged in court and is awaiting a ruling that could invalidate the results of today's election.
"The way it's phrased should be criminal," said Susan who voted against the referendum and did not want to provide her last name. "I'm afraid it's going to pass because it's deceptively written."
Art Airector Lisa Cunningham put together a compilation of the best election cartoons by our syndicated cartoonist Jen Sorensen. Here's a freebie, but you'll have to go here for the rest
CP Photo by Ryan Deto
Polling location across street from Penn Plaza in East Liberty
From Staff Writer Ryan Deto
Unofficial reports from some Allegheny County districts are predicting high voter turnout before the polls close at 8 p.m.
Many polling locations in the area had long lines before the polls even opened this morning, and now some poll volunteers are indicating on social media that voter turnout is booming.
Helen Gerhardt is volunteering outside a polling location right across from the Penn Plaza complex in East Liberty. She reports that the district exceeded 200 voters already, “more voters here so far than ALL voters in 2012,” she wrote in a tweet to City Paper.
Gerhardt has been monitoring the polling spot all day and says on Twitter the “Vast majority of voters here today have been black, with big proportion of elderly and persons with disabilities.” This East Liberty district voted for President Barack Obama by an astounding 98 percent of the vote.
Outside of the city in Ross Township, Stuart Strickland, another volunteer, is also indicating a big voter turnout. He says more than 360 votes have been cast so far and the total registered voters is only around 790.
“That's heading for darn close to 95% voter turnout by day's end,” wrote Strickland on Twitter. He didn’t post any demographic information, but that area is a Republican stronghold. Mitt Romney carried this northeast Ross Township district with 58 percent of the vote in 2012.
With more than five hours still left in the voting day, who knows how high turnout will climb.
From News Editor Rebecca Addison
The dislike for Donald Trump was strong at the Pressley Ridge polling place in the North Side today.
"There's no way I could let Trump get into office," said Michael Piotrowski. "He scares me. And it scares me that he made it this far. And what really scares me is that half of this country is behind him. We need to do something to get this country back on track, but he's not going to do that."
Piotrowski was there to vote with his daughter Carly, a 21-year-old first-time voter who was inspired by her dislike for the Republican presidential nominee.
"My generation is going to be impacted by the next president for years to come," said Carly. "Trump has no political background. He ran a reality-TV show. We have no idea what he would do to taxes, who he would tax. We have no idea how he would impact us trying to buy a house, and he wouldn't raise the minimum wage."
There wasn't much of a line at the Pressley Ridge location, but there was a steady stream of overwhelmingly Democratic voters going in and out of the building.
"I don't want the enemy in the White House, someone who's going to destroy this world," said Donzella Addison.
In addition to hating Trump, Addison said the country needs a woman in the White House.
"Hillary is a good person and it might be good to have a woman," Addison said. "I always say if women had been given the chance years ago, we'd be in better shape. Women — we keep our houses in order."
From Stephen Caruso
On Semple Street, deep within Oakland, two polling places are back-to-back in a joint community-center and fire-station building. It’s quiet around midday, as students slip in quickly between classes to cast their ballots along with a handful of locals.
Photo by Stephen Caruso
College Republican Arnaud Armstrong hands out flyers for Congressional candidate Lenny McAllister
While the midday voting crowd is weak, Rebekkah Ranallo, who works for the polling place's owner, Oakland Planning and Development Corps, says voters were wrapped “around the building” this morning. A Democratic party official at the sister station just 200 feet away said the line was out the door at the fire station.
Outside, Arnaud Armstrong, a college Republican at Pitt, is flyering for Lenny McAllister, the challenger to Democratic 3rd District incumbent Mike Doyle. Armstrong is approaching every passerby to convince them of McAllister’s status as a “reform Republican,” a title Armstrong, “coined ... today”, who hasn’t yet backed Trump.
“It’s tough for urban Republicans,” he said.
Heading inside, Marie Minor, an Oakland resident, took the flyer, but isn’t too concerned with the down-ballot race.
“I’m basically here for the presidential election,” Minor said.
From News Editor Rebecca Addison
Despite two Pence signs and one Make America Great Again hat, when CP
visited the St. Catherine's School voting location in Beechview, supporters of Hillary Clinton were well represented.
"We don't like Donald Trump for many reasons," said Janette Warren. "My dad just became an American citizen five years ago, and he always told us voting is a privilege."
19th Ward Democratic Comitteewoman Phyllis DiDiano said the turnout had been steady. Although she said presidential elections always have a larger turnout, today's turnout had been higher than usual.
"We've had a lot of mothers taking pictures with their daughters in front of the Hillary sign," DiDiano said. "I've seen women crying on their way out. This is really important."
In addition to handing out slate cards, DiDiano also helped Beechview resident Lisa Davis whose daughter was having trouble voting. The daughter had recently moved to Dormont, and while she changed her voter registration address, the system was saying she should be voting in Forest Hills. DiDiano advised Davis to fill out a provisional ballot.
Davis said she's always made a point of showing the importance of voting to her children.
"I'm coming from two minorities because I'm African American and a woman," Davis said. "People sacrificed for me to vote. People were spit on. People died."
While she said she voted for Clinton, she adds that the candidate does have her faults. "She's the least bad of the two of them," said Davis. "They both have baggage. But she's more intelligent."
The following is a midday voting report from Allegheny County spokeswoman Amie Downs:
"Polls this morning were extremely busy, and remain steady in many locations at this point. We still do not have any issues that are raising red flags, but are continuing to receive notifications on concerns and issues.
There were reports of several precincts asking voters for ID. Federal and state law require that a voter show ID the first time they vote and the first time that they vote in a precinct. They can also be asked to show ID if identification is being questioned. Judges at those locations have been reminded of the law.
A report was made that a polling place in Homewood was without power. We have not been able to confirm that report. Electricity has been flickering at a site, but voting has still been able to continue.
A report was made that machines at a West Deer polling location were switching votes. Again, the voter has the ability to review their ballot before casting it and to correct any incorrect votes. The machines will be re-tested to verify that votes are being cast accurately and will be done with elections officials as witnesses.
As noted previously, the Judge of Elections in Springdale Borough did not report this morning and duplicate materials had to be delivered so that the polling place could open. The location opened around 9:30 AM and voters before that time were directed to a nearby polling place to vote by emergency ballot. The Judge of Elections, Margaret Vernon, was located by the Sheriff's Office. According to the Sheriff's Office, she will be charged by summons, delivered at a later date, with failure to perform duties, a misdemeanor. She advised the deputies that she was ill this morning."
From Rebecca Addison
From 10 to 11 a.m., the line to vote at North Way Christian Community Church stretched outside the door. During the hour, the location had a consistent line of 50 people.
"It's a right that I have and I cherish that right," said Cheryl Phillips. "Our soldiers are fighting for our right to vote and hopefully it will change this country."
Residents from both Districts 3 and 4 were assigned to vote at the church, which caused confusion for some voters and led to the long line. According to poll workers, the county voting website was crashing, and it took them five to 10 minutes to look up each person to see which district they were in.
But the wait didn't turn people away.
"It's your civic duty to vote," said Ian Hay. "And even though people say it's throwing your vote away, the more people who vote for a third party, the less we'll get the insanity that is the Clinton/Trump machine."
While yard signs were posted telling people not to post political signs in the grass, a single poster for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was taped to a lamppost.
From Ryan Deto:
There has been no sign of GOP poll-watchers in Pittsburgh's black communities so far.
One SUV parked on North Lang Avenue in Homewood, a predominantly black community in Pittsburgh's East End, was sporting a Donald Trump bumper sticker. Other than this small Trump sign, many polling places in four majority African-American neighborhoods have seen no sign of a Trump or GOP presence on Election Day morning.
Trump, at multiple rallies in Pennsylvania last month, emboldened his supporters to monitor polling places in "inner city" areas that typically overwhelming vote Democratic. However, City Paper
stopped by seven different polling places in Garfield, East Liberty, Larimer and Homewood, and saw no Trump-supporting poll-watchers.
Many of the sites were fairly quiet, with a slow trickle of voters walking in and out. People passing out pamphlets outside the polls estimated that turnout was fairly good, with some noting the last time this many voters showed up early in the day was to vote for President Barack Obama.
Kevin Wells, vice chair for 12th Ward Democratic Committee in Larimer, said that more than 20 people were lined up before doors opened any 7 a.m. and another 50 people lined up about an hour later.
"Obama's election was the only time I saw people waiting before the doors opened," said Wells.
Wells laughed at the idea that Trump poll-watchers would come to Larimer. "Ain't no Trump poll-watchers coming to the hood," said Wells. "But we would welcome them."
At a poll location across from the Penn Plaza site in East Liberty, there was also no sign of any GOP poll-watchers.
Local activist and assigned Democratic poll-watcher Helen Gerhardt said the East Liberty poll was fairly quiet, but noted the site had more than 100 voters in the first two hours of opening.
Twitter user @PittCabe is a Democratic poll-watcher in the Hill District and he tweeted "no GOP presence" at his polling location as well.
In Homewood on North Lang Street, pamphlet passers told CP
that turnout has been relatively small, about 30 voters, but they expect there to be a lunchtime rush and even larger turnout when people get off work in the evening.
From City Paper intern Stephen Caruso reporting from the University of Pittsburgh:
In Oakland at Pitt’s Posvar Hall, mostly young student voters were already lined up by 7:30 a.m..
With backpacks in tow and sipping coffee cups, some students waited nearly an
Photo by Stephen Caruso
Pitt students waiting to vote this morning at Posvar Hall
hour to vote due to a disorganized process — first voters needed poll workers to check their registration, then sign the voter rolls, then vote. Instructions were not often forthcoming.
Waiting on line, Maddie Adams had to leave the line to make her mandatory work rotation as a Pitt pharmacy student in her last year. As she waited, she still was undecided.
“I have inclinations but this is the worst election ever,” Adams said, though she declined to reveal her inclinations.
Around 9 a.m., Democratic Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald arrived to look over the polling place. He voted earlier in the day, waiting in line45 minutes.
“The lines are the longest I’ve ever seen,” Fitzgerald said. Fitzgerald, who’s stumped for Clinton multiple times throughout the campaign, was also confident in her victory tonight.
Outside, James Kirwan, wearing a Clinton campaign sticker, was happy to have finally cast his ballot after watching the election for a “year-and-a-half.” Like Fitzgerald, he’s confident of a Clinton victory, but is prepared for a Trump win.
“I would have to respect the democracy itself,” Kirwan said.
See anything unusual happening at the polls today? If so, we want to know about it. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 412-316-3342, X166
From Charlie Deitch:
City Paper staffers are reporting long lines in a lot of polling places across the region. Also remember that unless it's your first time voting, you do not have to show any form of identification. If you're asked for it, be sure to point that out to your poll workers if they ask and also don't be afraid to speak up if it's happening to someone else in line.
CP photo by Luke Thor Travis
Hillary Clinton at her Nov. 4 appearance in Pittsburgh
The polls are open in Pittsburgh for Election Day 2016. After a campaign season that felt unusually long thanks to the constant flow of vitriol from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump
and continued unrest from opponents of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton
(including fellow Dems who support her primary opponent Bernie Sanders
), it seemed like this day would never come.
But the presidential election isn't the only reason to head to the polls today. For Pennsylvanians, the choice for the U.S. Senate
seat is equally important. This race
pits incumbent Republican Pat Toomey against Democratic candidate Katie McGinty. More than $160 million was spent on the campaign, setting a record for the most money spent on any U.S. Senate race ever.
Another important race is for Pennsylvania attorney general
. After the mess left behind by former AG Kathleen Kane
, Democratic candidate Josh Shapiro and Republican candidate John Rafferty will be tasked with cleaning up the office.
Also on the ballot is Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District
seat. Here democratic candidate Erin McClelland faces off with incumbent Republican Keith Rothfus faces off for the second time.
Follow along for reports from polling places during the day and election watch parties later tonight.
Looking for the best polling place locator, stick with Google.
According to the ProPublica’s Electionland live map of Google searches, there was a flurry of election related searches across the Pittsburgh region on the afternoon of Nov. 7. (For example, Gibsonia saw an 1000 percent increase of “provisional ballot” searches around 1 p.m.)
Voter interest is a pulsing and those wishing to visit the booths on Election Day may search online to find where they cast their ballots. City Paper
has reviewed Allegheny County residents’ options to look up their poll location online, and Google, per usual, is the clear winner.
By simply Googling “polling location” or “Where do I vote” or clicking on the Google homepage image, a nifty box
shows up at the top of your screen, with a bar to enter in your address. Once entered, your polling place will be shown with name, address and a map of the voting site. (CP
confirmed multiple known addresses across the region, and it works like a charm.)
The device also offers tabs of a sample ballot, and requirements to vote. Remember folks, you never need a photo ID to vote in Pennsylvania. (If it is your first time voting at your booth location, just show some proof that you live at your current address, a utility bill works.) Information for Google’s poll locator was sourced from the Voting Information Project, Center for Technology and Civic Life and Democracy Works.
In contrast to Google’s easy polling locator are the state and county websites. While Allegheny County’s poll locator
is fast and accurate, users must know the ward and the district of their municipality. The state’s website
, which was riddled with errors during the primary, is also accurate, but can be slow and requires users to input their mailing address and not their town address. (For example, if you live in Bellevue, you can’t type Bellevue, because the mailing address is technically Pittsburgh.)
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.