Even Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney Screwed Up His Mail-In Ballot

Plus, a Philly actor with lots of Oscars buzz. And child poll workers in Delco.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who screwed up his mail-in ballot for the Philadelphia 2023 election, seen here after a movie premiere in October (Getty Images)

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who screwed up his mail-in ballot for the Philadelphia 2023 election, seen here after a movie premiere in October (Getty Images)

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Even Mayor Kenney Screwed Up His Mail-In Ballot

As if you, oh civic-minded reader, didn’t already know, Election Day throughout all of the Commonwealth is Tuesday. The polls open at 7 a.m. But lots of people are instead opting for those convenient and not-uncontroversial mail-in ballots.

The thing about mail-in ballots is that you’ve got to be very careful when completing them. You have to make sure they’re enclosed in that secrecy envelope, lest your ballot be relegated to the pile of so-called naked ballots. Forgot to sign it? That’s no good. Didn’t date it? We could have a problem.

In Philadelphia alone, thousands of residents make mistakes on their mail-in ballots every time we have an election. It happens. It even happens to the mayor. Late last week, the Philadelphia City Commissioners (those are the elected officials in charge of Philadelphia elections) released lists of problematic mail-in ballots. And Mayor Jim Kenney was on one of them, because he forgot to date his ballot, just as 1,448 of his constituents had done.

If you filled out a mail-in ballot, check to see if your name is on one of these lists. And if you did falter in your handling of your mail-in ballot, you have two choices. You can go to Room 140 at City Hall today or Tuesday to resolve. But the much easier option is just to go to your designated polling place (find it here!) on Election Day and request and fill out a provisional ballot.

Stay tuned for our soon-to-be-released guide to Election Day in Philadelphia.

Cherelle Parker in the New York Times

Speaking of Election Day in Philly, the former City Councilmember who is about to become the next mayor of Philadelphia just found herself featured in the New York Times. Definitely worth a read. In the profile by political reporter David Chen, Parker acknowledges “I’m not Superwoman,” going on to explain that the city has lots of problems and that she’s going to need lots of help and teamwork to try to solve them.

Chen spoke with Jim Kenney as well. And what does Kenney acknowledge? That he’s a white guy. “There’s a cultural shift that needs to be made,” Kenney told Chen. “Not that I’m not progressive or that I’m not understanding of people of color’s struggles, but I’m still a white man.”

Meanwhile, one barista told Chen he was choosing Parker over her Republican opponent, David Oh, because Parker is the “lesser of two evils.” A ringing endorsement if ever there were one.

Speaking of Ringing …

I know you’ve been wondering for the last decade what happened to the Bicentennial Bell, the bronze-and-tin bell Queen Elizabeth II gave to the United States in 1976 on the occasion of the Declaration of Independence’s bicentennial. The Bicentennial Bell, a replica of the Liberty Bell, used to hang in a tower at 3rd and Chestnut streets until workers demolished the tower in 2013, sending the Bicentennial Bell off to storage.

Centennial Bell photo courtesy National Park Service

Centennial Bell in 1976 (photo courtesy National Park Service)

Of course, I’m kidding. You never even knew we had a Bicentennial Bell. If you’re like me, you’ve never even been to see the Liberty Bell, except maybe for a field trip in elementary school. (I honestly can’t remember.)

In the case of the Bicentennial Bell, nobody could actually see it, because it was way up in that tower. But now, workers just broke ground on the Bicentennial Bell Garden at 3rd and Walnut streets. There, the Bicentennial Bell will be proudly displayed for all of Philadelphia (or, more likely, tourists) to enjoy.

I know the United States isn’t all that popular in the world right now. But just in case there are any world leaders out there looking to give us a gift for our sestercentennial, sometimes called a semiquincentennial, in 2026, please, I beseech thee: No more bells!

Local Talent

Rustin, the biopic about civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who hailed from West Chester, came out on Friday. Overbrook High School grad Colman Domingo stars as Rustin. And the Best Actor buzz is strong.

Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin in the new Netflix movie Rustin

Colman Domingo (center) as Bayard Rustin in the new Netflix movie Rustin (photo courtesy Netflix)

But you know who else the Best Actor buzz favors? Also-formerly-local Bradley Cooper. The folks who have seen Cooper play Leonard Bernstein in Maestro say he’s all that and then some in the film, which he also directs. Maestro gets a limited theatrical release on November 22nd. As of December 20th, you’ll able to watch it on Netflix.

As for the Oscars, they’re currently scheduled for March 12th, assuming the Hollywood strike doesn’t doom them.

By the Numbers

15: Age of some of the people helping out at the polls in Delco. Yes, some of the people lending a hand at the polls aren’t even old enough to vote. Love it. An excellent way to get kids engaged in the political process. More counties should start doing this.

30: Months since Broad Street’s Sporting Club at the Bellevue has seen people working out. That all changes today.

$650: What you’d win in February if you placed a $100 bet today on the Eagles winning the Super Bowl, should they do so. Oh, and $575 for that same bet on Kansas City. The bookies say that a rematch of last year’s big game is the most likely matchup at Super Bowl LVIII.

100 percent: Likelihood that Super Bowl LVIII will be completely and utterly overshadowed by Taylor Swift, should such a rematch occur and should the Taylor and Travis romance last that long.

And from the Hurts-So-Good Sports Desk …

The Eagles scored first in yesterday’s contest with the Dallas Cowboys, on a run by a somersaulting Kenny Gainwell.

But Dak Prescott and the ’Boys came right back and tied it up. Did we mention it was Jason Kelce’s birthday? He’s now 36. Another penalty, this one on Nakobe Dean, may have saved a TD but gave Dallas a first-and-10 at the eight, and they scored on a pass to KaVontae Turpin, then got the extra point on a doink: 14-7. We took over at our 40 post-punt, and a DeVonta Smith catch and D’Andre Swift run took us to their 20. Then, disaster: a Swift fumble, and a Dallas recovery and run. Or was it a fumble? The call was overruled, thank God. A Brotherly Shove … and tie game.

On the next drive, Brandon Aubrey nailed a 51-yard field goal: 17-14. The Eagles took over with 1:15 left at the 25, and a nice pass to Brown got the first down. Tick … tick … tick … a big sack of Hurts, and he was slow getting up. That knee … but he stayed in, to cheers from the crowd.

In the second half, the Birds and Jalen were back; Hurts to Smith for 29 yards put us up again, 21-17.

A Dallas hold wiped out a good carry, and a Zach Cunningham punch-out of a Jake Ferguson catch helped force the punt. The Eagles took over, and hey, an A.J. Brown touchdown! The Cowboys got going, though, at the top of the fourth, and when they went for it on fourth-and-short, a skirmish broke out. Nick Sirianni challenged the first-and-goal spot that resulted, but the call stood. Cunningham broke up one try, Tony Pollard ran to the four, Darius Slay and Cunningham upended Dak — and Dallas got in. Well, no; on review, it was ruled a stop. We wound up punting, though. The Cowboys scored a TD, but Dak just missed the run for a two-point conversion, leaving us up 28-23. On social media, Dallas fans were not happy about the referees.

Our ball at the 25, but we went three-and-out. A Cowboys drive, and finally, finally, a Brandon Graham sack. And another sack! Two-minute warning! A miss on fourth-and-eight, and the ball belonged to the Eagles. Time-outs galore on both sides — OMG, D’Andre Swift collided with A.J. Brown and fumbled, and the Eagles’ rookie right guard, Tyler Steen, in his first-ever start, just barely recovered.

We punted, and the Cowboys got the ball at the 15. James Bradberry was flagged for interference at the 50-yard line, a roughing-the-passer call on Reddick, a catch at the 11 — both our corners were out hurt, we had no time-outs, and there were 27 seconds left. It was like being on a seesaw: an offsides call on Jalen Carter! A sack by Josh Sweat! A failed Hail Mary — and a delay-of-game call on Dallas. A completed second pass, to Lamb, and Slay stopped him just short of the goal line. God, what an ugly win. But it was a win, and we’ll take it: 28-23.

Whew. How’d the Sixers Do?

On Saturday at 1 p.m., which is about as inconvenient a time as you can schedule, the Sixers hosted the Phoenix Suns. Robert Covington, back in town after the Harden trade, got a nice welcoming ovation from the home crowd. The Suns hit a three right at the first-quarter buzzer to make it 25-24 Sixers. Both teams were cold at the start of the second, but Kelly Oubre Jr. got hot, and we were up 43-33. Tobias Harris got slapped with a T after he was mauled and had the audacity to complain about it, and Joel was called for a Flagrant 1 for elbowing Jusuf Nurkic in the face. (Nurkic bricked both shots!) But an 8-0 Suns run — and 13 Sixer turnovers — kept it close at the half: 52-45 Sixers. Oubre had 17 points, the most on our side.

Nurkic didn’t come out for the second half, and the Sixers jumped out to a 14-point lead halfway through the third. Joel Embiid had a lovely slam despite a foul and managed to withstand his urge to celebrate. The Suns fought back to within five with an 11-2 run, and Nurkic returned after being evaluated for a concussion. The Sixers couldn’t buy a basket till Joel sank a three at the buzzer. End of the third: 80-75. That’s about where it hovered till a long Furkan Korkmaz three followed by a T on Drew Eubanks got us jump-started again and out to a 10-point lead halfway through. Big game for Paul Reed, in for Embiid through the whole fourth quarter in the 112-100 win — our fourth in a row. Cue the song!

The Sixers play again tonight, still part of this lengthy home stand. They’ll face off against the Wizards at 7.

The Flyers also played. Several times.

And on the College Gridiron?

In a Wildcats face-off, Villanova’s felines beat New Hampshire’s, 45-33; Ursinus’s Bears ground down the Gettysburg Bullets, 48-35; and the Penn Quakers crushed Cornell, 23-8. Weird score. At the Linc, the Temple Owls roared back to life with the return of QB E.J. Warner, who’d missed the prior two games while in concussion protocol but threw for 402 yards in a decisive 32-18 win over Navy. Care about Penn State? They, um, made soup out of the Maryland Terrapins, 51-15.

Just Like That, It’s College Hoops!

Alert! Local men’s college basketball starts tonight. Penn gets things started with a 6 p.m. tip-off at home against John Jay. Lafayette comes to visit St. Joe’s at 7. The American U. Eagles face the Villanova Wildcats at 7:30 and Maryland Eastern Shore visits Temple at 7:30, too.

All Philly Today sports coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.