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. manda

    this is so sad. if a member of the klan, were to show up at a poll, just for " security" the NAACP would be there so fast it would make your head spin, and he WOULD have got arrested. So who really has the double standard??

    November 4, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. Stephen R

    Perhaps an introduction to the new civillian militant force Obama has promised? Anyone study 20th century history? Wake up. See the video and listen to the dialog before you smite your keyboards.

    November 4, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Musicpromo Glandale Ca

    Yea not a story.... When ask to leave he did. But pleae watch fax news and see what they are doing with this no story. They have carl rove saying all kind of crap... Who said this guy was a black panther anyway? Maybe he just likes black cloths.

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

    Usual Republican Fear-mongering

    November 4, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. True Blue Ohio

    And if he was a Black Panther, so what. That's not beside the point. He was in violation of the rules. And having the night stick was inappropriate.

    November 4, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. Tony SFL

    Are you sure it wasn't Carl Rove?

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

    The country is screwed. Obama sucks and you will all realize it very soon.

    November 4, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Harris

    It funny...any and all issues happen up north. In Tennessee, we respect each others opinion and right to vote. Plus, we are not intimidated very easily.

    November 4, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. ZELDA

    " what appears to be a black outfit and beret"..that's it–I have tuned into cnn for the last time. Change is what we need and that means changing what is being put before our eyes and ears. This election season as been like watching The Stepford Wives.

    November 4, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Renita

    I believe that we should vote for a person who ran a good campaign, told us what he believed in and what he wanted to do for our country and to unite this divided world. I believe in Barack and all that he has told us and how much he loves the United States of America, I have read his plan and it is best for me and I will be voting for him and for change, in McCains own words he voted with Bush 90% of the time more than his republican colleges but when he campaigned for President all of a sudden he was different than bush, he has the same beliefs and that will not change. Palin was picked so that all of women would vote for him because no matter what our beliefs were just because she is a woman and poor Hilllary didn't get the nomination we would turn to him, anyone who would vote for McCain because Hillary didn't get the nomination was not voting for change in our politics and belief in policy change but simply because she was a woman, how sad. I am a vote for Obama and I am very informed and watched every debate and read every word of each of their plans and if half the people voting today did that, it would be a landslide for Obama for sure. Shame on any racist casting a vote against a black man for president.

    November 4, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. david

    Go Obama. These comments are obviously from the same people that voted Bush into office and that all that's what the next four will bring if the McCain is voted in

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

    Sounds like the republicans on this page are intimidated by a strong black candidate and he doesn't have a night stick! Everyone has radicals Obama has this guy and McCain has Paulin! None of this has anything to do with Obama's Success tonight! American's are not ignorant just republicans!

    November 4, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. LouAnn

    Hmm, looks like the unfiltered video didn't make it through the filter.

    You can find the video on Y o u T u b e. It's called "Security patrols stationed at polling places in Philly."

    That way, you can determine for yourselves without the media filter.

    November 4, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. ed

    vic why not they they shoveh OBAMA down our throats day and night.

    November 4, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. vlad

    He in fact, was black. Personal friends of mine told me he was hitting the stick against his hand and calling for "An end to white supremacy."

    Instead of fighting the terrorists, elect someone who supports them!

    November 4, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Voice of Reason

    1) The man left WITHOUT incident when asked to leave by the police. 2) Nobody said the man was intimidating or threatening anyone. The news cameraman suggested to him that some people might see him in that light. So you sick right wingers, who are crying that this is a Black Panther --oooh! scary!!- up to no good... Sit down! (In the spirit of national unity, however, I'm inviting you all to my place tonight, for dinner. I'm serving Sour Grapes Salad, a main course of Crow, and Humble Pie for dessert. RSVP)

    November 4, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Justin

    Wow. One black guy with a stick in one polling place negates YEARS of voter intimidation from the Rethugs? I don't think so...

    November 4, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. KayStar

    Why is it that we have a difficult time staying focused? This man didn't say he was black, white, or other. Why is it that it always has to be a black man? Even if it was, why is it that McCain's people couldn't have hired him? Think about it, why put a black guard with a stick at a black polling place? Stay focused!! Our country is in a mess and you worry about someone who the police didn't give a second thought to.

    November 4, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. KC from Philly

    Wow, 47yo male for McCain, you are ignorant.

    November 4, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Texas Lady

    I'm going home early and locking my doors and staying there. I'm terrified of what's going to happen next.

    Intimidation against other races is not allowed, but if a white woman feels intimidated, then it's fine and can be ignored.

    November 4, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Liberals Unite

    @sarah - They did kick him out. That's what wrong with you read only a little and we know what a little knowledge is........a republican (dangerous).

    November 4, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. cu buff

    sketchy man standing there. It doesnt say that he was saying things to people, no threats, and he left when they told him to leave without a fight. I am not seeing why this is a big deal. He was a man standing there incase something happened, he was protecting the people. He just happened to have bad fashion choices.

    November 4, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |

    Joey and Jarvis the dude probably thought it was a crack house.

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

    I resent being called a low life scum just because I am a Democrat. There are low life scum in every party, every social/economic level, etc. Grow up–politicians call each other names - must we continue and perpetuate this nonsense???

    November 4, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. AMY




    November 4, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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