In Pittsburgh’s Hill District, a definite choice to vote in-person

By: - November 3, 2020 9:06 am

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Most of the voters waiting in the spaced out, socially distant line outside Ebenezer Baptist Church in Pittsburgh’s Hill District didn’t even think of voting by mail.

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“I didn’t trust Trump,” said Fred Davis, a 65-year old resident of this historically Black neighborhood.

“The machine … it’s for me ,” added Mark Scoggins, another voter. He was in a bit of a huff as he left, however, due to some teething issues. 

The poll workers, Scoggin said, did not seem to know how to use the new scanners that are needed as part of a statewide voting machine update, aimed at increasing election security.

“I just don’t like the confusion,” Scoggins said of his early morning poll run, though he was confident his ballot was counted.

Others, like Beatrice Hines, an elderly woman who showed in her wheelchair to vote, said the morning went smoothly for her.

She voted for all Democrats, like she always has, Hines said. But she also dislikes Trump.

“He’s a liar, he’s a cheat, you just name it,” Hines said.

Karen Beatty requested a mail-in ballot earlier this year, but decided to vote in person anyway. She brought the envelope with her, signed the poll book, and cast a ballot on the machine.

“I didn’t want my ballot to be lost,” she said. When she left, Beatty still had the mail-in ballot in hand, however.

She also reported a malfunctioning machine, a report that other voters mentioned, though the line to vote kept moving.

Turnout looked about average for a presidential election, according to a Democratic ward leader at the polling place.

A half hour later, a county technician showed up. He was in and out in about five minutes. There was no issue with a machine, he said.

“Technology,” he said with a shrug as he left.

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.