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. jAYjAY

    It's good this is pointed out. How many votes did this stop?

    how many votes have been supressed by .....machines flipping votes.......not enough machines?.............organized misinformation?.........purging votors from rolls?.............
    why are all the voting machine malfunctions in major (black/hispanic) districts?

    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. worriedmom

    Saw the video on drudgereport.com and yes it is very intimitading! They were Black Panthers outside the door and the guy was swinging a nightstick stating he was security. This is exactly what I have been fearing! This was in Philadelphia. And we are accused of being racists because we vote for McCain! Amazing!! Well you will get what you wanted!

    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. ROSE

    WE NEED TO SEE A BIG CHANGES WITH HEALTH CARE FOR THE POOR AND NEED TO SEE HELP FOR THE CHILDREN THAT ARE IN SCHOOL MY SON NEED THE HELP

    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Thomas

    So now anyone wearing black and a beret is a black panther?! Get real. The key is "We have had no complaints from any voters that they have been intimidated." So all you republican idiots can stop claiming racism, intimidation (which none of you can spell correctly), or asking for him to be arrested (no crime was committed).

    If you had focused all this energy on finding a decent candidate then maybe you wouldn't be in such a position of desperation right now.

    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. PC 11

    haha that guy would not have wanted to try to scare me away hahaha

    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Steelerfan

    watch the youtube video. I think white racists would do this type of crap to scare black voters. In PA, I would not be suprised. I hate racism. -

    White mama for Obama

    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. robert

    it is too bad the man was not arrested.

    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. NS from PA

    GO OBAMA/BIDEN! Praying for a BO victory in PA!!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. USA USA USA

    I wonder how many Xanax's McCain took today hahahahah ....

    We need change, McCain, Bush and the Republican gang bangers sucked this country dry ..... what a scam .....

    GO Obama!

    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. Al Heskett

    What a crock. "A man...wearing a black outfit.."...the fellow that called the police was a poll watcher, who described the "man wearing the black outfit" and told reporters and police what the man said and did. You can see what he reported on FOX.

    Let's not report anything derisive about people who need to be reported about CNN.

    It will be more of the same after this election and for a very long time to come.

    CNN is so chicken. What hypocrites.

    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. jim

    The real question is, how fashionable were these so called "berets"?

    November 4, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. 4sure

    I just hope people are happy once Obama is elected. Communism will not be fun. That is why I am moving to Canada. It is a joke. Yes Bush was bad, but lets not throw common sense out the window just to get something different. I am probably one of the few black people that will not be voting for Obama. I care more about the president then just what skin color is. I will Hillary was a candidate so we could get Bill back in the White House. Oh well, hello Toronto.

    November 4, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. kendrick

    Whomever this man was needs to sit himself down. What are you doing? What security do you need to have? This is a polling place there is nothing going on but casting votes. With cameras everywhere I am sure no one is willing to do anything stupid there. Now what could happen is votes not being counted for, people not given correct ballots, or complete ballots. Those things occur in the building not outside. So again I ask what the hell are you doing? Please go sit down and stop making a fool of yourself, and give no reason to have your race "whatever it may be" made a fool of even though they will not think of it aimed at them but America will.

    November 4, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. Alex

    Watch the video in youtube and you decide...

    November 4, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. CHANGE YOU CAN WAIT FOR

    OBOY THE LIBERAL BLOGGER NAZI'S HAVE ARRIVED, JUST WAIT YOU ARE GOING TO GET LIBERALS ACROSS THE BOARD. I'M A DEMOCRAT BUT ONE PARTY RULE- RECIEPT FOR DISASTER ON THE HORIZON, WAIT TILL 2010 WHEN THE FULL IMPACT OF LIBERALISUM TAKES EFFECT. NO MONEY FOR BAILOUTS AND NO GOOD NEWS. ALL THOUGH JUST THINK WE WON'T BE CUSSING GW., IT WILL BE BO YOU SUCK THATS CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN, HA HA HA NOW ITS THE LIBERALS TURN .

    November 4, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. Bill Thompson

    He'll never admit it, but John McCain should have dumped Sarah.

    November 4, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Jim

    "Intimidating"? No, try ridiculous. Some Guardian Angel wannabe with a bit of a complex trying to fool himself into thinking that he has some authority ... for a day.

    Then tomorrow, it's back to stocking shelves at Target fantasizing about that cop job that never was...

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

    I am much more concerned about reports that, in Virginia, voters may be illegally turned away because of malfunctioning voting equipment OR illegally being handed provisional ballots!

    This is serious! We flaunt our "right" to vote ... want to spread "democracy" around the world ... yet, minority groups – specifically registered Democrats – ALWAYS seem to fall victim to "malfunctioning voting equipment", a shortage of paper ballots, or otherwise prevented from voting! Republicans wait in the shadows to challenge the validity of votes when their candidate(s) isn't doing well, but, as long as the Democrats can't vote, the Republicans are quiet!

    Regardless of who wins this time around, Americans concerned with the preservation of their fundamental right to cast a vote for the candidate of their choosing, should organize and begin ensuring, first, that the electoral vote is abolished and, thereafter, ensuring that the voting process ACROSS THE NATION is uniform ... whether ballots be paper or electronic w/paper trail .. the process itself should be uniform throughout the nation!

    November 4, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. nanapas

    The lack of intelligence by our registered voters is one scary thought! How can people so completely brainwashed or braindead?!?!? Wake up people! Do you truly keep your heads up your butt all the way through election day?!?!? Get real and get out and vote for the true American who deserves to win and represent America...McCain!! Not the one that refuses to salute the flag and wants to change the constitution! Good grief!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. brian

    PS- These guys were wearing an emblem on their chest that actually said: "New Black Panthers"...so how much more evidence do you need. C'mon CNN tell it like it is...."a man wearing a dark outfit"–HAHAHA...

    November 4, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. Please Vote Today

    See, if more law-abiding citizens owned firearms and applied for concealed weapons permits, thugs like this would not come out of the wood-work.

    "Thug" applies to people in black suits as well as white hoods.

    No matter who you vote for, you should be allowed to do so without fear.

    November 4, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Jessica

    I had on a black outfit when I voted this morning. I'm a law abiding, hard working citizen. If I weren't missing the beret, would I also be the target of all this hatred talk? Be reasonable citizens, not sore losers. Obama '08

    November 4, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. joe

    obama landslide 321 electoral votes,.. it truly is a great day in America

    November 4, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. Joe

    I like how the CNN article calls them "wearing black outfits"? How PC is that? Call them what they are "Black Panthers". If the KKK was out intimidating voters you guys at CNN would be all over them but since CNN is in bed with the democrats they water it down.

    November 4, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. jason barnegat,nj

    Are you kidding me? CNN why don't you report the fact that this was a BLACK PANTHER???? What is wrong with you people. SHOW AMERICA THE PICTURE OF THE BLACK PANTHER STANDING THERE WITH A NIGHT STICK!!!! I don't understand what your problem with reporting the truth is. There is also a picture of this "security" person giving the camera person the middle finger!!! What is going on with your integrity. PLEASE, I've tried posting numerous different times and my comments are never posted. Please have just a smidge of decency and allow this comment to be posted.

    November 4, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23