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. Archie C. Williams

    Lee, don't be a fool. If the Black Panthers still exist the news will insure every person in the world know about them. But skin heads exits, neo nazis still exist, and they don't hide, they are all over the place including other organizations that are nothing but hate groups. If you know your true history. You will know the Black Panthers only existed in their own neighborhood to protect them from some cops that were raping women and controlling black neighborhoods. If they went out of their neighborhood they would have been killed..Man think about it, this was in the 60's and early 70's. Where were they going to go except to protect their own neighborhood from low lifes like you. Again but the KKK and others were all over the place and still is. Why not mention them MAN. Whats wrong with you.

    November 4, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. Que Quedas

    I voted Obama.....and man a feel better

    November 4, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. Gloria Filerino

    Paranoia runs deep for all you losing Mccainn voters .shows he and sarah love Fear ,they got you all scared ! War hawks have a way of doing that Chaney and his lying banditts .some ole GOP LIES.

    November 4, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. Stopbeingsoscared

    I guess that no one bothered to read: Abookire says, "We have had no complaints from any voters that they have been intimidated."

    I hardly think that the boogeyman is out to get us, people.

    November 4, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Greg

    This past summer in Philadelphia there was a Black Panther rally against Obama because of his mixed ethnicity. The Black Panthers don't believe he is "pure" enough and took to the streets to protest against him. The chance of this being the Black Panthers is not that outrageous.

    November 4, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. John from STL

    Black Panther? Chicago – style? You can't be serious?...One guy stands out there in a black colored outfit with a stick and you call it the BP party? WOW you are really paranoid...Barack is a new era for us and our country vs McCain represents more of the same type of politics...his campaighn showed that again and again. Perhaps you should take a moment to follow the rest of us into a new era...we are better people than that...Cmon Noah – rise above your ignorance or at least try...and Joe the plumber should shut up...his taxes actually go down under Baracks plan...he and Noah are brothers from a differant mother...

    November 4, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. Danny Keton

    It doesn't matter if you're a black panther, white panther, yellow panther, or red - any color of a panther cannot withstand another 4 years of the last 8.

    November 4, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    I'm praying for an Obama win.
    And, at the same time, I don't like anything that can be deemed voter suppression or voter intimidation. Like
    the misleading phone calls that tell people that if they show up to vote they'll be arrested OR
    the flyer which says because of heavy turnout, Reps should vote Tuesday, Nov 4 and Dems should vote Nov 5. Funny, when do Indies vote?

    So, that kind of stuff bothers me. I think Obama will win, and we don't want anything that will taint that likely victory.

    November 4, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. VOTE OBAMA '08-stilltime left

    GO VOTE FOR THE REALEST- OBAMA/BIDEN 08 THERE'S STILL TIME ;-)

    November 4, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. Donna

    Where in the story did it say this was a black man? It said he was wearing a black outfit.

    November 4, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. bill from AT

    I hope everyone is enjoying the circus. Soon you might get some bread. Regardless of who is elected nothing will change. This is a game to keep everyone divided.

    November 4, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Juan

    Hey PA Law. The black panthers don't exist as an organized group anymore? Better lay off the kool-aid and come to Dallas. The bp's are occasionally on the news around here and they carry shotgun's, not nightsticks.

    November 4, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    CNN – I copied a hateful comment from Rick and changed the word democrat to the word republican and you wouldn't even put it in moderation.

    Guess we've always known you're for the old white, wealthy idiot.

    November 4, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. sandee in Portland

    The guy was probably a republican. Seriously, if this was really a black panther initimidating voters, he would have been removed by the police or asked to leave. Two of them were dressed the same; one was asked to leave, the other was left alone. How you dress does not determine who or what you are or believe in. Give it a rest, people. If there's ever been a party who practices deception, it is the republicans.

    November 4, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. yo lip

    Yo Lip, Don't give me no Lip!

    Obama/Biden '08!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. Mark

    "PROTECT OUR VOTERS, BE SAFE. VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN" If that is what you think, then why are you voting for Obama & Biden. You should be voting for McCain and Palin if you want protection and safety.

    November 4, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. JLH

    ACTUALLY they're a private (mercenary) security firm, much like Blackwater. I was listening to Ed Shultz on the radio and he was talking about how the GOP is hiring these very shady Republican-owned firms to "monitor" the polls. Really, they're only there to intimidate voters. Do you see the lengths through with the GOP will go to supress the poor and/or minority vote all to maintain power? This Republican Party is a mere shell of its former self. They're a sad, sick bunch.

    November 4, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. Enlightened 1

    Wow, you people are INSANE! It was an idiot who didn't do anything to anyone. Let's blow it completely out of proportion and say he was a nazi, YEAH, a nazi sent back through time to crush America with a Go$#amn nightstick! My gosh, take it down a notch people, you are all ranting like bunch of moronic howler monkeys.

    November 4, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. LIP

    I'll try again to leave a little bit of trivia.
    They are making (?) sacrifices in Kenya right now to insure that Obama wins. It's back to the stone age for us folks.
    Please get out and vote and stop this path to madness.

    November 4, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. angel

    what about those of us who are educated and want to work for a living., rather than take a handout from the government, lets vote McCain and Palin. socialization of health care is not the answer to our problem.

    November 4, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. Chi4Obama

    Black Man with a nightstick = "Crazy Black Panter trying to intimidate white America".

    Why is this story such a big deal in the media; and on you tube??
    Here we go again with more fear mongering.

    November 4, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. obama's yo mama

    I ridicule Obama and don't get posted yet your blog is full of nasty McCain comments. I wonder who CNN would like to see win this election?

    November 4, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. JackH

    It's probably one of Michael Moore's security guards. The fat slob must be trying to vote again.

    November 4, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. gorn by any other name

    This is what the official person on the scene has to say:

    " 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." "

    Seems to me we ought to listen to the person on the scene with official responsibility, who is saying this is a non-story.

    Or, we can listen to the flaming rightwingnuts as they dissemble in fear and agony.

    November 4, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Previous post:

    Pat November 4th, 2008 3:57 pm ET

    "We never questioned Bush for 8 years? Look what we got. Anyone who raises questions is shouted down (notice how the pundits overtalk their guests when they don"t agree?)

    I think Sara is a fine young lady – serving our country is getting harder and harder to do – especially when you don't go with the mainstream.

    Remember Hitler's rise to power – and beware."

    Hitler?!?!?!?!?!?!?! What exact are you saying Pat?

    November 4, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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