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

Man asked to leave Philly polling place

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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, 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. converned

    CNN scares me, to me you are biased and against the average, decent American. If you dislike America so much, why don't you locate to the middle east where there is a big need for people like you guys. Seems like you are trying to bite the hand that feeds you: America. Are you sure you do not work for the ACLU?

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Delroy

    Only idiots vote Republican

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Philly Phanatic

    Maybe he was a Phillies baseball player......we did win the World Series you know...

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. Boomer

    Goodbye Caribou Barbie! Begone vile plumber! Back to the senate McCain! President elect Obama! Free at last!

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Jeff

    I think CNN has done a great job covering the election. They exposed Hillary for the power-grabbing shrew she is and the closet racist Bill Clinton is. CNN has also pointed the way to exposing McCain as a washed-up old has-been with archaic ideas that belong in the 20th Century.

    CNN is the leader of progressive ideas and weeds out the GOP view for the bunk that it is.

    Thank you CNN,

    Please keep up the good work, and remember, the hard work is just beginning. Obama will need the same help from CNN in his presidency that you selfishly gave during his candidacy

    I have nothing but praise and adoration for CNN in elevating Obama to the presidency. WE NEED OBAMA

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. In the middle

    Get that guy out of there!!!

    This is what gives us a bad name!

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Hammer

    His name is JOE THE BLACK PANTHER. The media has just found out he owes back taxes and isn't a licensed Clubber

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. Me

    Racism is alive and well in our country. It is very sad, and you are all to be pitied. Read the story. There is no proof they were affiliated with that organization.

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. JLH

    Sorry folks....they were NOT hired to "protect" anyone. They were hired by Republicans to intimidate and scare away poor voters. The GOP is a VERY conniving, unethical organization...don't put ANYTHING past them!

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. Chi4Obama

    To: "47yo male for McCain November 4th, 2008 4:16 pm ET"

    Your comments sicken me. You sir exemplify what is "wrong" with America.

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. Shaun

    Seriously! Are we so media hungry that this even rates a STORY? The media is just hyping things up so they can keep you tuned to this web site and /or station.

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

    McCain will win! The polls are all wrong because of the Bradley effect. You'll see after we get the tally back from our computer systems that are manufactured by the same big corporations that have made me good $$ off the war. McCain will win – for America! For my permanent 7.5% tax on all the money I make in the stock market. Too bad for you suckers that have to work for a living.

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. Connie- Minnesota

    OMG. I just read through all of the comments. It's not the man in the beret who scares me it's some of you folks. Go Obama/Biden.

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Tim in Seattle

    And, judging by the posts below, the far right finally show their racist colors...these guys are the fundamental problem with this nation...thanks for finally showing us who you REALLY are...

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Greg

    8 years ago, I commented that Bush would be our worst president in my lifetime (42 years) and was lambasted by those who loved him. I was called unpatriotic and all kinds of crap. My concerns were that Bush was too far to the right, idealistic with no common sense, and very unitelligent, among other things.

    In most cases, I hate to say "I told you so", but its really too bad that I was right in this case. Our country is in such terrible condition and anyone with any sense could see it coming from the time he was running in 2000. Its going to take decades to fix his debacle.

    Its about time people finally realize that it takes some common sense and intelligence to govern.

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. Pat

    I read this entire article. Nowhere did it say this was a black person, nor did it mention that the person was a Democrat. With the type of campaign that John McCain and the RNC and Republican PAC have been running, it would not surprise me to find out, probably days from now, that this was a Republican ploy, trying to scare the public. In the beginning, I had a great deal of respect for Senator McCain. After the way he has sold out, and permitted these horrible commercials to run, trying to scare the American people, I am ashamed to think I ever thought he was a good guy. I talk to Republican friends every day who early voted for Obama because they are so ashamed of the behavior of their party, and of the outrageous comments that anonymous Republicans have made on the internet blogs. You can bet that most of the "stories out there" are fabricated. FYI, I am not African American, just a citizen who is shocked at what I have seen happening during this presidential campaign.

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. tedious898

    Stay cool Americans. This is our time! People just need to vote and lets all give them that chance.

    Forget the political banter at this point. If you missed an opportunity to bash the opposing side this late in the game....come back in 4 years .

    OK......? Now let's get the current administration packed and the place prepared for the next team.

    Thanks for Playin...I LOVE AMERICA...HOW BOUT YOU?

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. ZANE

    it was truly amazing how low the Republicans stooped this election. John McCain, Sarah Palin , Ted Stevens, and Elizabeth Dole, all, I hope get their just desserts tonight .....out the door!

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

    I can promise you that Barack Obama would not condone this type of attire at a Polling Location. The fact that we are about to Elect the First Black President is proof that there is No Need for organizations like the Black Panthers. This election has even the playing field and there will be alot of Black Americans walking around with their head held high... Rightfully so, they have come along way in the last 60 years.

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. Ms. F

    Wow. Some of these racial comments are disturbing..

    I can't believe people are that ignorant and narrow minded. Its so sad in this day and age for both blacks and white.

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. stupid dems

    So after four years and obama does a crap job of fixing our problems now without even doing anything about his new goals all you idiots will be complaing when he loses that they rigged the election, very sorry but you can have the popular vote and still lose an election. Don't try to talk about things you have no idea about

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    its funny how neither one of the canidates ever looked in the camera and said +i love you to all americans.

    November 4, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  23. Stefanie, Texas

    I just went and watched the video on Youtube. You didn't catch this guy intimidating anyone. The cops apparently made him leave and let the other guy who didn't have a stick stay because he was a poll worker. This sounds like a non-story to me. No voter suppression here.

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

    47yo male for McCain: "This is the way blacks function".

    Wow, now THAT'S a ringing endorsement for Obama if I've ever heard one. Thanks, 47 year old male for McCain! Keep up those comments and make sure to take a picture of yourself when you open the paper tomorrow and see Obama raising his arms in victory. That picture would be priceless!

    November 4, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  25. VA Commonwealth

    Sam, the double standard is the Republican way. That's why I switched and am now a registered Democrat.

    November 4, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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