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. Jeff Brown

    OOOOOH, the GOP sore losers are scared of the black man in a beret!

    November 4, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Pat

    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.

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

    Black Panthers still exist. I thought they only existed in the 60's and 70's. Who are they trying to intimidate, African American, Latinos or Whites.? Good get rid of that guy.

    November 4, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. PA Law

    One nut doesn't make for a Black Panther group. ...and, catch up with the times. The Black Panters don't even exist as an organized group anymore.

    PS: Lived in Philly for years, still live/work in the area. 12th & Fairmount is a diverse neighborhood...hippies, yuppies, minorities, etc. It's Obama country. Who was he there to intimidate? There is a half-way house/shelter nearby...think he ventured out. Non-story.

    November 4, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. TESAP; SAVANNAH, GA

    UMMM BLACK PANTHERS DON'T CARRY NIGHTSTICKS.......... AND NO ONE MENTIONED RACE... LETS JUST CALL THEM WHAT THEY ARE........ CRAZY..............

    AND SO DID ANYONE CALL THE REAL SECURITY OR POLICE????

    November 4, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. ObamaVoter

    Go Obama/Biden 08. At least you are not jumping the gun like McCain. He really thinks he is going to win at the end. (yea if they cheat for the 3rd time) I think Jeb Bush should be deatined while all this is going on right now

    November 4, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. ines

    It is never usually a great idea to promote the obscure.

    This is not an idea of how things are going in most all the polling places. We need EVERYONE to exercise their RIGHT to vote. Why would you want to intimidate anyone from going to their polling place?

    November 4, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Sherri

    Really, it is amazing to me that he would go that far..... oh that's right he went all the way to Alaska to find Palin – go figure

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    November 4, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. Marc PDX

    I thought Dems were against intimidation and monitoring of citizens???

    November 4, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. Blue in Red AZ

    one last thing....this question is for all you Faux News followers coming over to CNN to rant & rave for your Politician.... what makes you so sure those people were voting for McCain??? just because their white they must be voting for him??? LOL... You CRAZY Repubs.... so stuck in your racist thinking ways! You guys are funny....really you are! :)

    November 4, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. Roby

    It is probably Joe the Plumber with a Plunger in his hand.

    November 4, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    YES WE CAN! (and apparently) YES WE WILL!

    November 4, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Mrs.L

    ONCE AGAIN FOR YOU WHO ARE IGNORANT

    KNOW THAT WEARING BLACK DOES NOT
    I REPEAT
    DOES NOT MAKE YOU A BLACK PANTHER

    JUST AS WEARING ALL WHITE DOES NOT
    I REPEAT
    DOES NOT MAKE YOU A MEMBER OF THE KKK

    GET A GRIP PEOPLE

    THESE IGNORANT REMARKS BURN ME UP

    November 4, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. Looking at the stock market today...

    So glad this will end soon...

    Interesting that the stock markets world wide and in the US are going up today... What message is that? Who are they expecting to win Obama or McCain? Obama has the poll edge. Seems like the financial markets are thinking an Obama win is a positive.

    Vote!!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. mms

    hey baby daddy where did it say he was black? what story were you reading?

    November 4, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Griff

    You never like my Questions CNN. I came to this part of the World, for a Better Life for my Kids, and their Kids to come. The USA have had it all for so long, and they want to throw it all away because None/Productive Entities, want to ruin what they will never have.. Can't have because therir interst is in other area's...

    November 4, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. Mike from MN

    This must be a prelude to our new Civilian Security Force Mr. Obama is mentioning. What a disaster you Democrats have brought upon us. Shame on you all for supporting this Marxist twit.

    November 4, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Texas Democrat

    Come on! Please your vote is needed let no one keep you from doing what others have trying to do. Please get out there and make a voice for tomorrow. Don't let it be said that you wasted this precious time. Now get up and do it: "BARACK THE VOTE, DON'T DROP THE VOTE BACK, BARACK THE VOTE, DON'T TIP THE VOTE OVER!"

    YES WE CAN!!!!!!! BARACK THE VOTE

    November 4, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Dj

    It's too for the scare tactics... The video shown on FIX news shows that the situation is being blown out of proportion.

    November 4, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. JT

    There are radicals everywhere. Quite the hate-talk people.

    Everyone should vote. Everyone should be safe.

    ONE COUNTRY. We're together in this.

    November 4, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. ARE YOU KIDDING CNN?

    Other news outlets are reporting the real news. This man is a member of the black panthers who was intimidating elderly people. After he was escorted out he came right back. Likely still there now. How biased can cnn be?

    November 4, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  22. Anthony

    Fact of the matter is – that is a a mostly black neighborhood in Philly. What was he trying to do? Scare away McCain supporters? McCain would be lucky to get 10 votes in that section of the city...

    Voter scare tactics and misinformation are despicable and shouldn't be tolerated.

    I'm glad the police intervened.

    Obama / Biden '08

    November 4, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. Trevor

    It's amazing to see how the people suffering in key battleground states stuck with what got them where they are today. Just desserts may be coming their way.

    November 4, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. Texas for Obama

    There should be no tolerance for voter intimidation. With that said, you can't say that two nutcases acting independently at one polling location equals wide-spread voter intimidation.

    I suspect that Faux News was all over this story. They probably made an attempt to link the two men to the Obama campaign. So predictable.

    November 4, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. LIP

    There is still a couple of hours left to vote along the east coast. Your votes can still make a difference. Let's stop this madness and vote for Ameica and McCain/Palin

    November 4, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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