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The Incline’s 2021 Procrastinator’s Guide to the Election

It’s almost time for you to do your civic duty and vote! But we know that sometimes these elections can be confusing at best and overwhelming at worst. So in keeping with Incline tradition, we present to you this year’s Procrastinator’s Guide to the Election. We took a look at some of the biggest races happening and provided some info and links to do your research. Still have questions that you need help finding answers to? If so, let us know by sending an email to [email protected].

Ready to do your civic duty?

❓FAQ

When is Election Day? Tuesday, Nov. 2

When are the polls open? From 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If I am voting by mail, how can I return my ballot? You can mail your ballot to the County Board of Elections or return it to the County Office Building Downtown at 542 Forbes Ave. Ballot return will begin on the Wednesday prior to the election during regular business hours, but extended hours will also be provided on the weekend.

  • Tip: Be sure to follow the instructions that come with your ballot, as the Pennsylvania Department of State has redesigned the declaration envelopes. Now, voters must only sign their name and put the date of signing on the outside of the envelope. And don’t forget your stamp! While the envelopes are larger than ones in the past, a regular, first class stamp will work fine. Just make sure your ballot is received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 2.

How do I know where to vote? Pittsburgh City Paper shared a really nifty new online tool that makes finding your voting precinct easy-peasy. Just visit the website, enter your address or the address of the voting ward or district you want to determine, and hit the “search” button. The ward will be listed in the upper left corner, and you’ll see a map of the precinct boundary too.

How do I know what will be on my ballot? If you know your municipality, ward, or district, you can find an example of what your ballot will look like through this link at the Allegheny County website.

How do I know if my ballot was received? You can track your ballot using this link courtesy of PA voter services.

🗳️ Mayor:

Back in fall 2020, Mayor Bill Peduto didn’t have any challengers in the 2021 mayoral election. That changed by May of this year, and the primary race was between Peduto, Rep. Ed Gainey (D-Lincoln-Lemington), math tutor Michael Thompson, and former Pittsburgh Police officer Tony Moreno.

For the first time in modern Pittsburgh history, an incumbent mayor was defeated in the spring primary, leaving Gainey to be the presumed first Black mayor of Pittsburgh. That was until former Pittsburgh Police officer Tony Moreno hopped party lines to run against Gainey as a republican.

📰 Relevant articles:

  • Neighborhood groups try to curb shootings as Pittsburgh’s mayoral campaign puts political focus on gun violence (Public Source, October 2021)
  • Pittsburgh mayoral candidates address housing, policing in testy debate (90.5 WESA, October 2021)
  • Black elected officials promote anti-violence events, including one bringing police to a church (90.5 WESA, October 2021)
  • Gainey shares thoughts on UPMC, vaccines and COVID relief as he awaits mayoral election (Public Source, August 2021)
  • Tony Moreno, who lost Pittsburgh mayor race as a Democrat, now running as a GOP (Pittsburgh City Paper, June 2021)
  • Ed Gainey Reflects On Winning Tuesday’s Primary In A ‘City That Wants To See Justice’ (90.5 WESA, May 2021)
  • ‘The rebel becomes the establishment’: Peduto and Gainey reflect on a historic election (Public Source, May 2021)

📝 Extra reading: Pittsburgh City Paper reporter Tereneh Idia wrote an open letter to the next mayor of the City of Pittsburgh

🗳️ Pennsylvania Supreme Court:

The state’s highest court has made many important decisions that affect everyday Pennsylvanians over the last decade. This includes its ruling against the state’s gerrymandered districts, which were drawn along partisan lines. Currently, five Democrats and two Republicans make up the court. The race is between Democrat Maria McLaughlin and Republican Kevin Brobson. Learn about notable recent decisions by the court and each candidate’s endorsements in the articles below.

📰 Relevant articles:

  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Maria McLaughlin vs. Kevin Brobson (Pittsburgh City Paper, October 2021)
  • A voter guide to Pennsylvania’s 2021 judicial elections (90.5 WESA, October 2021)
  • Powerful special interests are pouring millions into the 2021 Pa. Supreme Court race (Spotlight PA, October 2021)
  • A full guide to Pennsylvania’s 2021 Supreme Court election and other appellate judicial races (Spotlight PA, October 2021)
  • The Election for Pennsylvania’s High Court (Wall Street Journal, October 2021)
  • Candidates for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Say that the race is not partisan even though they run under party labels (KDKA-TV, October 2021)

🗳️ Allegheny County Common Pleas Court:

These judges are responsible for overseeing and delivering sentences for criminal, civil, and family case trials. This election cycle, 18 candidates are running for 10 open seats, which could be a prime opportunity to reform the county’s criminal justice system. Learn about each candidate’s endorsement and where they stand on issues like equitable justice at the links below.

📰 Relevant articles:

🗳️ Pittsburgh City Council District 4:

This district represents Beechview, Bon Air, Brookline, Carrick, Overbrook, and parts of Mount Washington. The race is between incumbent Democrat Anthony Coghill and Green Party candidate Connor Mulvaney. Learn about each candidate, their endorsements, and where they stand on issues related to housing, policing, and infrastructure at the links below.

📰 Relevant articles:

  • Pittsburgh City Council District 4: Anthony Coghill vs. Connor Mulvaney (Pittsburgh City Paper, October 2021)
  • Pittsburgh Councilman Anthony Coghill faces challenge from Green Party’s Connor Mulvaney in District 4 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 2021)
  • Pittsburgh Councilman Anthony Coghill faces election challenge from Connor Mulvaney (TribLIVE, October 2021)
  • Anthony Coghill faces Green Party Challenger in district 4 council race (90.5 WESA, October 2021)

🗳️ Allegheny County Council District 1:

This district represents sections of Western Allegheny County and some northern suburbs including Findlay, North Fayette, Moon, Coraopolis, Glen Osborne, Aleppo, Haysville, Glenfield, Kilbuck, Ben Avon, Ben Avon Heights, Emsworth, Ross, and West View. The incumbent councilor, Republic Tom Baker of Ross, is not seeking re-election. The race is between Democrat Jack Betkoski and Republican Joe Wise. Learn about each candidate, their endorsements, and where they stand on issues related to public transportation, paid sick leave, and development at the links below.

📰 Relevant articles:

  • Allegheny County Council District 1: Jack Betkowski vs. Joe Wise (Pittsburgh City Paper, October 2021)
  • County council hopefuls in north, west suburbs share policy goals, split on progressives’ advocacy (90.5 WESA, October 2021)

🗳️ Allegheny County Council District 3:

This district covers some North hills suburbs and Allegheny River towns including Reserve, Millvale, Shaler, Etna, Sharpsburg, Aspinwall, O’Hara, Fox Chapel, Hampton, Indiana, and West Deer. The race is between council incumbent Democrat Anita Prizio and Republican Meredith Dolan. Learn about each candidate, their endorsements, and where they stand on issues related to fracking, jobs, and flood control at the links below.

📰 Relevant articles:

  • Allegheny County Council District 3: Anita Prizio vs. Meredith Dolan (Pittsburgh City Paper, October 2021)
  • Ideologies clash as progressive defends Allegheny County Council seat (90.5 WESA, October 2021)

🗳️ Allegheny County Council District 8:

This district represents Braddock, Braddock HIlls, Chalfant, East McKeesport, East Pittsburgh, Edgewood, Monroeville, North Braddock, Pitcairn, Plum, Rankin, Swissvale, Trafford, Turtle Creek, Wall, Whitaker, and Wilmerding. Democratic incumbent councilor Paul Zavarella is not seeking re-election, and the race is between Democrat Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis and Republican Eric Casteel. Learn about each candidate, their endorsements, and where they stand on issues related to public transportation, environment, and policing at the links below.

📰 Relevant articles:

  • Allegheny County Council District 8: Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis vs. Eric Casteel (Pittsburgh City Paper, October 2021)
  • County council candidates in Pittsburgh’s east suburbs debate what council has the power to do (90.5 WESA, October 2021)