November 4th, 2008
03:47 PM ET
5 years ago

Man asked to leave Philly polling place

Voters checked in a Philadelphia polling place Tuesday.
Voters checked in a Philadelphia polling place Tuesday.

(CNN) - A man wearing what appeared to be a black outfit with a beret and holding a nightstick was asked by police to leave a polling location in Philadelphia Tuesday, according to Philadelphia County Board of Elections Supervisor, Bill Rubin.

Rubin says the man left without incident. He says another man wearing similar attire had a poll watcher certificate and was allowed to remain at the polling site at 1221 Fairmont Avenue.

A video posted on Youtube, by electionjournal.org, shows two men standing several feet in front of the entrance to Guild House West, the polling location for the 4th Division of Ward 14 in Philadelphia. The cameraman in the video asks a man with a nightstick who he's with and the man responds, "I'm security." The cameraman later says "I think it might be a little bit intimidating that you have a stick in your hand."

Rubin says local election rules state a person cannot be within 10 to 15 feet of the entrance to a polling place unless that person is voting, is a poll worker, or has a poll watcher certificate.

Rubin says anyone practicing voter intimidation outside that 10 to 15 foot perimeter could pose a public safety issue and would be handled by the police.

Cathie Abookire, a spokewoman for the Philadelphia District Attorney's office, says the office is not investigating the matter, calling it a "non-incident." Abookire says, "We have had no complaints from any voters that they have been intimidated."


Filed under: Pennsylvania • Voter Problems
soundoff (559 Responses)
  1. Lee from FL

    i agree...lets keep it clean

    November 4, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Tony

    A "black outfit and beret"? C'mon, CNN. Just call them what they are: Black Panthers.

    November 4, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    This isn't an isolated incident. There are stories out there that it is happening elsewhere.

    CNN pls. follow up with this story!!!

    November 4, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. Jen Canada

    It's like watching a third world country go through the election process. Seriously, things have got to change.

    November 4, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. vote! OBAMA-BIDEN NOV.4th

    THIS IS GOOD SECURITY WORK, PROTECT OUR VOTERS, BE SAFE. VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN

    November 4, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    You need to leave joe the plumber alone

    November 4, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. Sam

    When McCain predicts his own victory he calls it "being enthusiastic, being fired up" etc. etc...When Obama has an election night rally, McCain critizes him for being pretentitious...Sounds like double standard to me :-)

    November 4, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Baby Daddy

    But I thought only white male racists practiced voter intimidation?

    November 4, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Noah

    What did you expect? These thugs are resorting to the old school "Chicago-style" politics of voter intimidation. That is perfectly suited for a presidential race that features a Chicago politician. Obama should have cast his vote in philly, he would have felt right at home with these digusting tactics

    November 4, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. Marcy

    Joe the plummer's arguments do not make sense. He started all the trouble and he can't back anything up. He can not buy a business and does not understand what it means to him if he votes Republican. But what he cares about is not voting for a black man.

    November 4, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. JB

    Nothing fuels the conspiracy theorists and rabid partisans like the 24 hour news cycle.

    from the sound of it everywhere, confirmation bias is in full swing.

    November 4, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. SH

    I get the distinct feeling that with all the time spent in the days and weeks leading up to today advertising the "CNN vote help line", that CNN is ignoring incidents like this and pretending that all problems are created by the Republicans.

    November 4, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Jude

    So much for those GOP claiming "Black Panther" charges!!!

    November 4, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. Rick

    That's your modern-day democrat party.....every low-life scourge of society is a democrat. Certainly not your father's democrat party.

    November 4, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. marie - ohio

    why should we think any different. I'm sure the district attorney's office is like the new channels...........................LIBERALS and voting for Obama. Sad day for America.

    November 4, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. Marchelle

    Is anybody really surprised by this type of incident? Such a shame.

    November 4, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. THE END OF AMERICA by OBAMA

    Want to give our country to obama???????? Well, this is just the tip of the iceberg!

    November 4, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. vic

    CNN was doing a great job of covering the election today....until...they started talking about joe the plumber. GOOD GRIEF! This man is nothing but a liar (he's not a real plumber) and does not even pay his taxes! Why give him any air time ot credibility at all? You insult yourself and your viewers by shoving this man down our throats.
    ENOUGH ALREADY!

    November 4, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Blue in Red AZ

    This type of incident is not needed nor welcome from EITHER side Republican or Democrat! EVERYONE deserves to cast their vote for their canidate of choice even if they are making the wrong choice by voting for McCain/Palin

    November 4, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. paulie_nj

    Come on CNN, a man who "appeared" to be wearing a black outfit with a beret holding a night stick"? Are you blind? Why don't you just state the obvious instead of beating aroiund the bush. The man was a member of the Black Panthers and was there to scare away white voters, period. He should have been arrested!!!

    November 4, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. Veteran for McCain

    Crazy LIBS. Don't try and oppress our votes!!!! Let's go McCain there is still time to win this thing!!!!

    November 4, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  22. jimmy

    THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS STOPPED GIVING FUNDS TO THE ACORN ORGANIZATION ACCUSED OF SUBMITTING FRAUDULENT
    VOTER REGISTRATION FORM WITH NAMES OF PERSONS WRITTEN BY ONE PERSON AND FICTITIOUS NAMES, DAED PEOPLE'S NAMES, FELONS, IN ADDITION TO PAYING PEOPLE TO
    REGISTER AND VOTE FOR A CERATIN CANDIDATE.

    November 4, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  23. bruce

    Well at least they are out in the openand have been handled...not like those in white sheets in south that hide and intimadate ,,,yes the Klan still exists in the south,,,and intimadates....

    November 4, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. Jeff

    I agree with Tony's comment...using language like "men wearing what appeared to be a black outfit with a beret and holding a nightstick" and not including the phrase "Black Panther" is obviously intentional and very transparent. Of course, we don't KNOW that the guy was actually a BP, so maybe it's a libel issue.

    November 4, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Ooooooo-
    Scary men in berets.

    More evidence this country is going socialist like the French.

    C'mon. No one was intimidated. No one was arrested. Non-story unless you are one of the many fearful folks, scared into voting for McCain.

    Praying for Obama Victory in WI

    BO08

    November 4, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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