November 4th, 2008
03:47 PM ET
6 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. Kevin

    Now another Democrat President and Congress will lay the groundwork for the next 9-11. History teaches harsh lessons.

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. American

    It's sad how partisan this country has come. Racist slurs and caustic remarks are not supposed to be part of a presidential election. Instead of bashing the opposition, support your own side. Elections have become a place to tear people down, why not make them more positive events, wihout the hateful comments and slurs?

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Lisa

    If you earn less than $250,000 (that would be 95% of America for the mathematically challenged, Obama is your man.

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Nader4us

    U have to love seeing people of color in the their mid 50's and above getting out to vote for the first time....gimmie a break

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Stacey

    Pardon me, but this looks like a predominantly minority neighborhood (not a white face in the pic). It seems to me as if the misguided folks who were providing "security" were there to fend off anyone stopping people from voting and not trying to keep anyone away. As for Black Panthers, when's the last time you heard ANYTHING from them?

    Let your voice be heard and VOTE!

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. Doc

    Wake up! This is clearly a Black Panther weilding a nightstick. See the footage yourself on youtube or foxnews. No big deal right? Wrong!

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. arnie

    isn't it time to squash all the racial stuff and get back to BASICS..the US economy
    something drastic gonna have to happen!!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Holly

    Having Joe the Plumber and Hank Williams Jr. as endorsements really didn't help. They were GROSS.

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. 50 States Blue

    47yo male for McCain or should I say 17...grow up!

    Take your racist commnets to Fox News. Just like that crazy girl in Pittsburgh who blamed Obama supporters when it is not true..get a life and deal with it, you man is LOSING and will loose BIG!

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Jon

    I cannot wait for Obama to WIN so we can hear all the conservative talk show hosts make up stories on how/why they lost....I am so tired of Limbaugh and his rhetoric ... GO OBAMA/BIDEN !!!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. Royce in KY

    Have any of you heard of unity. Everything these days is overstated and misunderstood. Joe the plumber is doing what any of you would do, taking advantage of the opportunity that Obama gave him. McCain put the poor smuck on center stage by dropping his name 20 plus times during the debate. But the truth is, if Obama had ignored him and not given him the time of day none of us would know his name. Now about the idiot with the stick lock him up. I don't care what his race is he has no business at the polling place with a stick. What appears to black outfit...are the observers color blind. It doesn't matter what color his outfit. If he is not a sworn officer in an official police uniform and on duty he shouldn't be there with any sort of weapon period.

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. Fed Up

    newsflash...

    If you don't make over 250,000 a year YOU ARE NOT A REPUBLICAN!

    I am sick of these pretenders...

    Go OBAMA/BIDEN GO!

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. Fan

    Please vote for obama please please please

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. Craig

    A stick? God and Guns rule the day!

    Obama 08

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Ram, Minneapolis

    A man in black outfit, eh? Why was he not frisked? He might still be an innocent bystander. Given the highly charged atmosphere of a polling booth, it seemed prudent to chase him away, although he might come back or go to a different location to foment trouble, maybe.

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. indianapolis

    These ridiculous comments from the right are the perfect demonstration of a lack of intelligence. Period.

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. Make your voice heard

    R~u~serious???? Like they said I too can't wait for this election to be over... I just pray One day this country can look past people skin color and FOCUS on what really matters!! Just VOTE!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. slickingdom in N.J.

    For:
    47yo male for McCain

    What do yo call 450 years of oppression and another 150 years
    of segregation and discrimination ? I'd call it UNGODLY IGNORANCE !
    This is how YOUR PEOPLE RAISED YOU TO FUNCTION !!!

    Obam/Biden '08/'12

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. Angel Chico

    Are we forgetting these last horrible eight years? Come on! America needs a facelift. We should represent power, change, all that is hip, new, and diverse. Let's gift our great America a new shield of proudness and true meaning of democracy, that will eventually burst out and shine though all our american people. Let's puddle up our streets with tears of joy and let those same tears wipe out the fire from the evil of our minds. America the Great must be born again! Peace and Love. Vote for Obama. Thanks!

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Real Life

    In Pittsburg Obama had tens of thousands of election-day votes. BEFORE the polls opened. Across the country reports of people asking elderly people if they really want to vote. Military votes being lost.

    The only thing missing from this picture is an ACORN soup kitchen and Michelle Obama doling out other people's pie.

    Billions of dollars of corporate funding, hype and hyperbole, and old-school Chicago strong arm politics have done it. Kenya's Native Son has eveything going for him. America, however, is doomed.

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Aimee

    GO OBAMA!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Bennie

    why is everyone jumping on the black panther thing? I agree with an earlier poster where I pictured a white ex marine psycho.

    November 4, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. RealityKing

    When is the self-annointed "best team in politics" going to start giving Americans unfiltered truth over coverups, misrepresentation, glossovers and outright liberal fabrications? Obviously journalistic integrity is now dead at CNN.

    November 4, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. Dan

    " A man wearing what appeared to be a black outfit with a beret and holding a nightstick. " ?

    Why don't you just call him what he was CNN? He was a "Black Panther" trying to "intimidate the vote".

    November 4, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. steve

    Look at the video, it's not just "a stick". It is a night stick like the police or military use. Both african american men, with military style clothing, boots,berets and attitudes. Looked intimidating to me. The one with the stick was asked to leave by the police.

    November 4, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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