PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – While there were long lines throughout the Pittsburgh area, that wasn’t the case in the city. Some polling places got crushed early, but after that it was a trickle.
This is in large part because it appears that most city voters have already cast their ballots at drop-off centers or in the mail.
The city has a 5-to-1 Democratic registration and county elections figures show that Democrats have been much more inclined to vote by mail-in or absentee ballots than Republicans.
— Andy Sheehan (@AndySheehankdka) November 3, 2020
In Allegheny County, 242,000 ballots from registered Democrats were in Tuesday evening compared with 59,000 Republican.
Lynn and Bill Buchanan voted for Joe Biden weeks ago and believe most of their neighbors did the same.
“I think a lot of people in this neighborhood especially are my age. We’re the white-haired generation. We didn’t want to come out to the polls for fear of the coronavirus and I think a lot of the good Democrats voted early,” said Lynn.
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Republicans in the region hope to match and exceed those mail-in votes with their strong turnout today. About 60,000 mail-in ballots were counted Tuesday evening before the polls closed.
As for conduct at the polls, the county reports a couple of minor incidents involving poll watchers. Some voters accused two poll watchers in Penn Hills of voter intimidation. The county says the watchers voluntarily left, but vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
In the North Hills, the Christ Episcopal Church in Ross Township saw some long lines. This polling spot usually gets busy because there’s two precincts that cast ballots inside the one church.
There was a time where the lines wrapped around the building.
Some voters waited in line for an hour to go into the one precinct’s entrance, only to find out their voting precinct is inside the other entrance or vice versa. That definitely caused some headaches.
Allegheny County Board of Elections member Bethany Hallam told KDKA’s Meghan Schiller confusion over when to make a voter use a provisional ballot was the biggest issue she’s been hearing about in the North Hills so far.
WATCH: KDKA’s Meghan Schiller reports
“But unfortunately it seems there’s been a lot of miscommunication about that because I’ve been hearing not just from my own experience, but from other voters in different areas of the county as well, who were supposed to spoil their ballot and vote completely regularly and instead were forced to vote via provisional ballot,” Hallam said.
If you brought your mail-in ballot and the envelopes, they’ll spoil your ballot and you can vote with a regular ballot. The only time you need to vote with a provisional ballot is if you lost it or simply don’t have it with you.
WATCH: KDKA’s Royce Jones reports
In the South Hills, KDKA’s Royce Jones was told the line wrapped around the South Side Presbyterian Church on the 1900 block of Sarah Street — more than 100 people within the first hour of opening.
Some people stood in line for more than an hour to get inside and vote.
Volunteers who have been coming for decades tell KDKA that it was among the biggest turnouts they’ve ever seen there.
But with hours to go before the polls closed, a few last minute voters were walking straight in.
WATCH: KDKA’s Jennifer Borrasso reports
Jennifer Borrasso was out as polling places were closing, and most places were pretty quiet.
At the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department, the elections judge said it was a two hour wait in the morning.
It was a similar scene at the Carnegie Municipal Building. In the evening there was no line, but the election judge said the precinct was packed in the morning. The lines dwindled down as the day went on.
No lines at Carnegie Municipal Building. Elections Judge says precinct was packed in the morning. It got less and less as the day went on. He said 25%of voters who requested mail in ballots showed up to vote in person. There are 4 districts here. @KDKA pic.twitter.com/zHLTjZebj5
— Jennifer Borrasso (@JenBorrasso) November 3, 2020
He said 25 percent of voters who requested mail-in ballots showed up to vote in-person.
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