Weekend Reads: 2020 Election Guides | Five for Your Weekend

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 23: Signage at an early voting center on September 23, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minnesota residents can vote in the general election every day until Election Day on November 8. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Happy weekend, everyone!

This week, the Capital-Star launched its 2020 Election guides.

If you would like to read more about our coverage plan for the election or would like to submit election questions, check out: How the Capital-Star will cover the 2020 Election: What you need to know, how to help

If you have questions about voting, registration status, deadlines, etc., visit our page on voting FAQs: Election 2020: Your guide to voting in Pennsylvania.

And lastly, to learn more about the candidates, who will be on the ballot and detailed job descriptions for the seats at stake, visit: Pennsylvania General Election 2020: Your guide to the Nov. 3 presidential and statewide elections

If you have any election-related questions or story suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

As always, the week’s top stories are below.

Cheers to a leisurely weekend,

Cassie Miller | Associate Editor

1. Pgh cop under investigation for misconduct is one the city’s highest-paid employees

PITTSBURGH — According to public salary information for the City of Pittsburgh, Paul Abel Jr., a police officer currently under investigation for potential misconduct for an aggressive arrest he conducted near the Squirrel Hill farmers’ market, made $156,106 in total compensation last year.

That makes him among the most highly-compensated city employees last year. Abel took home $73,601 in base pay  and $47,221 in premium overtime, holiday, and special events pay.

On Sept. 6, Abel was working a special event duty at the Squirrel Hill farmers’ market when a patron asked Abel why he was wearing a mask designed with the Thin Blue Line, the symbol of the Blue Lives Matter movement. The man, Michael Holc, confronted Abel, then Abel told Holc to move, and shortly thereafter, Abel then arrested Holc, eventually charging him with six misdemeanors.

According to the video of the arrest, Holc says, “I didn’t do anything,” as Abel is grabbing him by the shoulder. Then, Abel pulls out his taser, grabs Holc by the collar, and shouts, “Turn around and put your hands behind your back! Now!”

2. Election 2020: Your guide to voting in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvanians will have the chance to vote for state legislators, row officers, members of Congress, and, of course, the President on Nov. 3.

The Capital-Star wants to help. This guide has everything you need to know to find your way to the polls, whether you’re casting your vote in-person or by mail.

If you have a question we didn’t answer here, we invite you to get in touch with us – submit your question using this form.

A note: All of the information below is current as of Monday, Sept. 21. State lawmakers are debating legislation that could change some deadlines for voting by mail, but those proposals aren’t guaranteed to become law. We’ll immediately update this guide if and when the rules change.

3. White protesters, shouting racial slurs, try to disrupt Cheyney U. classes

Cheyney University, the nation’s oldest Historically Black College and University, was the scene of a demonstration that attempted to disrupt classes on Tuesday.

According to sources, a small group of white protesters entered the campus which sits astride Chester and Delaware counties around 1:30 p.m. The group then began shouting racial slurs and biblically-themed rhetoric at students and anyone else passing through an area of the campus known as The Quad. There were no incidents involving students and the demonstrators left the campus around 4 p.m..

4. How Pa. politicians reacted to the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to be appointed to the nation’s highest court, died Friday, aged 87. The cause was complications from metastatic pancreas cancer, the New York Times reported, citing a statement by the Supreme Court.

In a statement released late Friday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he plans to move ahead to fill the seat, setting up the potential for a brutal political battle ahead of the Nov. 3 general election.

Below are reactions from Pennsylvania politicians to her death.

5. As COVID-19 deaths cross 200K, Trump barnstorms PGH, mocking Biden for wearing a mask

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A week before the presidential candidates are set to meet in their first televised debate, President Donald Trump riffed on Vice President Joe Biden’s insistence on wearing a face mask — and Biden’s face itself.

“I wonder in the debate, when him and I get on stage, is he going to walk in with a mask?” Trump joked. “I’ll be honest, he feels good about the mask, and that’s okay, whatever makes you feel good. I mean honestly, what the hell did he spend all that money on the plastic surgery if he’s going to cover it up with a mask?”

Trump’s visit to the Pittsburgh area came the same day the number of reported deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 200,000.

University of Washington epidemiologists, whose models have been widely cited since the start of the pandemic, now project the total death count will reach 378,000 by the beginning of January. The same model estimates that if the country universally wore face masks starting now, it would prevent some 100,000 deaths in the same time frame.

And that’s the week. We’ll see you back here Monday. 

Cassie Miller
A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.