Special Report

America Votes

Pennsylvania race narrows

A street corner in South Philly shows support for Joe Biden.

Attention is shifting to Pennsylvania as Trump’s campaign secured the right to watch votes being counted from six feet away. With 763,000 to remain counted as of Thursday morning, anxiety continues to increase throughout the key battleground state. The gap between the two candidates has shrunk to less than  2 percent, with overwhelmingly  blue mail in votes left to count.

In response to Trump’s recent tweet and urgency on Wednesday to “Stop the Vote” demonstrators gathered in Philadelphia and marched into the night chanting “Count Every Vote”. Earlier in the day, demonstrators were met with opposition at the Philadelphia Convention Center, where the votes are being counted. Trump supporters held signs reading “The Polls are Closed.” Pam Bondi, Trump’s campaign attorney and former attorney general of Florida, stood outside the center with court orders.

“We plan on entering that building right now and legally observing,” said Bondi. “If there is one illegal vote cast, it takes away from the great men and women of Pennsylvania who came out and issued a legal vote.”

While some Philadelphia residents stay glued to the news awaiting updates on results, others tried to ignore it. 

Sofia Pejcic, a 17-year-old and first time poll worker from Philadelphia, said she doesn’t see the point in following the updates. 

“It’s one of those things that already happened, it doesn’t make sense for me to stress about it minute by minute” said Pejcic. “I was following the news before the election but now that it’s already happened, I don’t see the point too much unless there is something actionable I could do. I feel like all we really need is patience right now.”

As the results poured in during the 2016 Presidential election, Pejcic felt the anxiety. Like many, back then, it shocked her as she did not expect the results to come in the way they did. And while it’s upsetting to her to see there is still a close divide, she’s more content with the possibility of Trump winning the 270 electorates this year.

“It’s an acceptance,” said Pejcic. “Once you’ve done everything you can — you’ve worked the polls and you’ve tried to increase voter turnout —  but at that point, what the people vote, is what they vote.”

When Gray Lepley, a 34-year-old citizen of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, went to bed the night of the election, Trump was leading by 11%. But when her husband came to bed at 2 a.m. the number did not budge. It upset her, especially in light of the social unrest and other issues that have come up in the wake of the global pandemic. She thought more people would have been gung ho to vote out Donald Trump.

“I thought we were in a better place.I thought it would be even more split towards blue, “ said Lepley, 34, a resident of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania and mother of two. “I find it really disheartening.”

Until recently, Leplay identified as a conservative. A moderate, but definitely a conservative. Largely in part due to the events of this past year and the President’s response, she switched her party registration to Democrat. She acknowledges that Trump’s policies would likely be better for business, but right now, that’s not the most important thing to her. 

“I think this election has put into sharper focus, what are things that I actually care about in my life, and is it the economy? To a certain extent yes, I work in finance, but to me social justice and the future of our country are more important to me than a few years of maybe better economic situation,” said Leplay. “The way he has handled the pandemic, honestly atrocious.”

According to 538, Pennsylvania is one of the most evenly divided political states, making it one of the most competitive political states in the country. Driving across the state, one will see rural stretches of farmland and small towns, to diverse cities and suburbs like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. 

As of Wednesday evening, the votes that have been tallied indicate this divide. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, in Philadelphia, its surrounding counties, and Allegheny County, Biden led by about 660,000 votes. Outside of those counties, Trump had a roughly 918,000-vote advantage.

John Burke, a 30-year-old resident from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, acknowledged the pronounced political divide throughout the state. Burke’s mother works for the Election Board of Bucks County, a county that has not yet been called in Pennsylvania. 

“If Trump does pull off Pennsylvania, it won’t necessarily shock me,” he said. “You get the suburbs — Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Allegheny County — that typically lean left, but driving around the state — Scranton, Allentown — you see sign after sign for Trump. It’s’ just two different opinions and there is a lot of support one way or the other.”

Burke thinks Trump will take the Pennsylvania win, but Biden will win the overall election. 

“I think it’s over,” he said.” It’s a matter of when in my opinion of when that will happen at this point.”

 


Other Stories in Special Report: America Votes

America Celebrates the Election

The staff of Pavement Pieces November 11, 2020

New York celebrates historic win

Thomas Hengge November 8, 2020

BIDEN WINS

Tori Luecking November 7, 2020

Biden win brings relief

Addison Aloian November 7, 2020

The energy of Election Day in New York City

Tori Luecking November 6, 2020

Boarded up, buttons for sale and a Republican viewing party on Election Day in NYC

Michelle Diaz November 6, 2020

Arab Americans of Dearborn vote Biden

Quratulain Tejani November 4, 2020

Amid national tension and uncertainty, Joe Biden scores big in Michigan.

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi November 4, 2020

Three black women, three walks of life, one presidential election

Jada Okoye November 4, 2020

Voting in Clifton, New Jersey

Kaity Assaf November 3, 2020

Taking the temperature of voters

Journalistic Inquiry November 3, 2020

Students wait and watch

Lana Green November 3, 2020

Students strategize on mail-in or in-person voting 

Lana Green November 3, 2020

Following American politics from the other side of the pond

Lexi Hobbs November 3, 2020

Union Square polling site sees lower turnout, but passionate voters

Yunlai Silvia Gui and Yi Lily Yang November 3, 2020

Early voter visits Texas polling site Election Day to support sister on the ballot

Zoya Hasan November 3, 2020

Voting For The Lesser Of Two Evils

Kirill Bykanov November 3, 2020

NYU student flies over a thousand miles to vote

Addison Aloian November 3, 2020

Two coasts, two Biden votes

Bry Leberthon November 3, 2020

Young voter from Maryland can’t find meaning in the vote

Vanessa Handy November 3, 2020

 Bilingual coordinator in Yonkers, N.Y. helps Spanish-speakers vote

Maria Jinu Kulapurathazhe November 3, 2020

Americans in China Watch and Worry

Jennifer Ren November 3, 2020

To some voters in Stuytown, the president is “deplorable”

Michael Morris November 3, 2020

Election Day

Photojournalism Class Project November 3, 2020

Soho Trump supporter cast his vote

Mengyang Zeng November 3, 2020

Voting in Lower Manhattan

Paola Michelle Ortiz November 3, 2020

New Yorkers on edge as the city prepares for a turbulent election night

Emily Welsch November 3, 2020

Denise Scudder says the stakes are high for Black Voters

Calen Razor November 3, 2020

In 2020, Election Day may rhyme with unrest. At least, that’s what officials fear

Edith Rousselot November 3, 2020

Brooklyn polling site sees small crowd on Election Day

Alessandro Malave November 3, 2020

First time voter ponders America’s future

Marie Louise Onga Nana November 3, 2020

Masked, Boarded Up, and Subdued: Election Day in Times Square

James Pothen November 3, 2020

NYU student casts ballot for Biden-Harris campaign 

Angela Choe November 3, 2020

New Yorkers are ready to VOTE

Photojournalism Class Project November 3, 2020

West Village streets quiet as voters brace for outcome

Abby Rupert November 3, 2020

Virginia Prepares for a Turbulent Election

Julia Gregory November 3, 2020

The Message of “Law and Order” Resonates with TriBeCa Mother

Michael Campanella November 3, 2020

Latino voter chooses Trump

Emma Shores November 3, 2020

Poll worker keeps it moving

Norah Hogan November 3, 2020

NYU sophomore casts ballot for Biden at dorm polling station

Sofya Akcayoglu November 3, 2020

Elderly black voter does not take the right for granted

Nya Etienne November 3, 2020

A reluctant voter makes a choice

Shivani Chauhan November 3, 2020

Smoke clears over Bay Area as voters take to the polls

Karina Gamez November 3, 2020

Fears of violence in the aftermath of Election Day have citizens uneasy

Mikayla Rivers November 3, 2020

First time voters in Long Island worry about election outcome 

Christina Strippoli November 3, 2020

The pandemic can’t stop Generation Z from voting

Jaeguk Lee November 3, 2020

Trump Tower mail in voter for Biden

Shea Grant November 2, 2020

For some, early voting means long lines and lots of rain

Vaishnavi Naidu November 2, 2020

Harlem sees rain showers, fast lines ahead of Election Day

Hanna Gebremichael November 1, 2020