Philadelphians have their say in vital midterm elections

midterm elections Philadelphia
Nate Willison

Porsha Torres called her mother and sisters on Election Day to make sure they had a plan to vote.

“It’s important to me,” she said after casting her ballot at Cherashore Playground in Fern Rock. Torres told Metro she favored candidates who promised to protect abortion access, adding: “I just don’t want anybody to tell me what to do with my body.”

Philadelphians went to the polls Tuesday to make decisions in two nationally-watched contests — the races for governor and U.S. Senate — and pick new City Council members and state lawmakers.

Katie Parlante, who cast her ballot at an airplane hangar in the Far Northeast, said she feels the “the country’s falling apart” due to illegal immigration and other issues. She’s confident the GOP will emerge victorious in the midterms.

“I think Republicans are going to take it the whole way, as long as there’s no interference, of course,” Parlante said.

Another voter who emerged from the hangar minutes before, Debbie, said she thought it was a disgrace that the Republican nominees for U.S. senate and governor, Mehmet Oz and Doug Mastriano, tied themselves to former President Donald Trump.

“I’m a never-Trumper,” said Debbie, who declined to give her last name. “I believe in democracy.”

Voters in the Far Northeast cast their ballots in an airplane hangar.Jack Tomczuk

Kensington resident Francisco Garcia told Metro he came to Lewis Elkin School to vote for Jose Giral, a friend of his and a Democrat who is running unopposed in the 180th state house district. But Giral is the only Democrat who got his vote.

“I’m maybe one of the 50 Republicans in this district,” he said. “I have a conservative way of thinking.”

At Cherashore, a total of 175 people had voted in two divisions by 11:30 a.m. Longtime 49th Ward Democratic City Committeeman Clarence Church was bullish on turnout, based on the morning traffic.

“I say we should be a good 80% of the vote today” in his precinct, Church said. “Because it’s not raining, we got numbers.”

Canvassers continued to go door-to-door Tuesday in the Lawndale section of Northeast Philadelphia, handing out flyers urging support for Democratic nominees Josh Shapiro and John Fetterman.

Nate Willison

Charles Cerrone, after voting at Towey Playground, near the Market Frankford Line’s Berks Station, said he was “not thrilled” with Fetterman, but he did not want to see a senator from New Jersey, referring to Oz.

“I’m going to be angry if the Democrats lose,” Robert Bates, a Fern Rock voter, said. “We all know what’s at stake here. It’s our kids’ future.”

In-person voters mentioned gun violence and inflation often when asked about the most important factors behind their decisions.

“That is what is affecting me and my family on a day-to-day basis,” said John Boyle, of the Far Northeast.

“I wanted to vote because I want to see the city change,” Julia Guzman said after casting a ballot with her husband at Towey. Her top concerns were crime and gas prices.

Angel Acuna, another Towey voter, seemed weary of the advertisements and constant campaigning.

“It kind of gets in the way of the conversation,” he said.

Meanwhile, at a cavernous warehouse on Roosevelt Boulevard, election workers began extracting, flattening and scanning mail-in votes.

Election workers process mail-in ballots Tuesday, Nov. 8, at a warehouse in Northeast Philadelphia.Jack Tomczuk

On Tuesday morning, the City Commissioners, the three-person board overseeing elections in Philadelphia, decided to reinstate a process to check for double votes while the count is occurring.

The decision was made in response to a recent court ruling, and officials said the move could push back results.

Election experts in recent weeks have said not to expect clear-cut winners on election night, particularly in close races, because mail votes could not begin being processed until 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Through 9 a.m. Tuesday, nearly 1.2 million mail-in and absentee ballots had been returned in Pennsylvania, including more than 120,000 in Philadelphia.

Officials planned to continue counting votes at the Northeast Philadelphia warehouse overnight and into Wednesday.

More from our Sister Sites