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Philadelphia never fails to deliver memorable moments, and Tuesday was no exception.
Arguably the most Philly of the modern Philly things voters did was vote blue, as the city’s Democratic 7-to-1 registration advantage would predict.
We don’t yet know how many votes former Vice President Joe Biden will get in the metro area, and how that affects the balance statewide, because election officials across the region are still carefully tabulating mail ballots. As of Wednesday morning, just over 185k had been tallied in Philadelphia proper, about 45% of the total.
The level of turnout is also still unclear, but the city did end up heading into this election with the highest number of registered voters in more than three decades.
What is clear is that with the eyes of the world tuned in, the city marked the occasion in its own unique way. Here’s seven of the most Philly things that went down on Election Day 2020.
Maybe the most perfect banner plane ad flew
Well, that’s one way to win over some undecided voters. An airplane flew a banner reading “TRUMP ❤️S JERRY JONES & THE COWBOYS” over Philadelphia on election day. Philly’s ad declaring the current president’s love for the Eagles’ mortal enemies and the team’s owner was paid for by Rural America 2020, a nonprofit whose goal is to expose how “Trump’s policies have devastated rural America,” according to its Twitter account
So does Trump love Jerry Jones? Probably. The duo had a well-documented friendship, and Jones recently came out to defend the current president’s lackluster COVID-19 response.
The Economist got blasted for its cliché dunk
With a lead that compares Philadelphia to North Korea and mentions the one time Eagles fans booed Santa Claus like 50 years ago, the Economist rolled out a hyperbolic editorial about Philly being the most important city in the “in the world” for one night (lol).
Who can say if anyone read beyond the introduction, since the rest of the piece is behind a paywall. Truth is, you don’t have to. But you should read the way Philadelphians owned the Economist in its comments and quote tweets for that cliche, lazy spotlight on the city.
Music and dance performers brought ‘Joy to the Polls’
A music, arts and voter engagement campaign called Joy to the Polls first touched down in Philly a couple weeks ago, cha cha sliding through town during early voting.
The initiative returned on election day with guitar performers from the Settlement Music School in the Northeast, bell players in Germantown and the Resistance Revival Chorus lifting their voices from a floral-decorated flatbed truck for voters at City hall.
Fletcher Street urban cowboys GOTV in West Philly
Four urban cowboys clip-clopped down 52nd Street for a last-minute GOTV effort. The horses and riders drew a crowd at 52nd and Locust, in front of artist Kehinde Wiley’s Rumors of War sculpture. Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club president Ellis Ferrell spoke to those gathered about the importance of voting.
“There had been people telling me my vote didn’t count,” said Ferrel, who is 81 years old. “I found out that’s not true.”
Farm animals got out the ‘gote’ in South Philly
Did you know interacting with goats can be therapeutic? Some voters in South Philly probably found out yesterday when the Philly Goat Project visited the polls. Perfect for this anxiety-inducing election and subsequent stretch for final results.
Love prevailed at the polls
Celebrating love during major social and political moments is starting to get the local stamp.
There was the couple who took their wedding photos in front of a protest against police brutality on the Ben Franklin Parkway over the summer. Then, there was the pair who got engaged in front of riot police during a protest over the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. in West Philly.
And on Election Day, two volunteers with South Philly State Rep. and former WHYY journalist Elizabeth Fiedler got engaged at the polls. Love wins, as they say.
Horn players entertained voters waiting in line
The cadre of local horn players and drummers traveled around the city to keep voters entertained. They were also joined at times by NY-based brass funk band the Lucky Chops, NYC’s Brassic Rock and the Brass Queens, also from New York.