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. Mark

    Hopefully some of the swing voters hear this "tip of the iceberg story" about the Black Panthers security and make the only credible choice – McCain!!

    November 4, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. nick

    I really dont mind that a black man is running for president , but what erks me is that with all the allegations that have been thrown at obama , why hasnt thier been any security checks or pollygraphs given to obama , i mean for a man like him running for president why is he getting away with this , i know if i was getting a job with homeland security or nsa , they would have done a back ground search on me , its not fair

    November 4, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. Disappointed

    Look up "Liberal" in the thesaurus and here is what you get: Open minded, Broadminded, Moderate, Noninterventionist, Free thinking,
    Tolerant, Generous

    I am PROUD to be called a liberal, as I believe that this is what represents FREEDOM! Go Obama, us "Libs" are behind you 100%!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. josh in boise

    just because someone was standing there doesn't mean he was anything. the story doesn't even say he was a black man. get off it.... a couple of you were right though.... non-story.

    and quit drinking the non mentioned brand name high sugar drinks(dont want to cross copyrights) both candidates have major problems and it is a sad state in american politics when these are the choices we are left with. i hate elections when i have to vote for the lesser of two evils. i cant stand either of them and i dont think either one has americas best interests at heart.

    November 4, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. stupid dems

    What magical thing is obama gonna do when he gets elected in, he can't even do half the things he says its a bunch of hype to get people who don't know anything to vote for him

    November 4, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Sammy

    I will remain skeptical about the nature of the incident until things are checked out. If the other guy does have a legit reason to be there someone must have given him the paperwork. The reason I will remain skeptical... considering its only been a few hours... are things like how during the first few hours of the Oklahoma City bombing everyone said Islamics did it. Of course it turned out to be a white guy.

    As for some of the posters here.... get off the racist comments you make. All you do is play into the stereotypes that say why groups such as the Black Panthers exist in the first place.

    November 4, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. Michael

    It looks as if Ohio, Florida, and Colorado will be deciding this election. What is interesting is, if the people are really suffering in these states, why is it that they are electing to stick with what got them where they are today? They are electing four more years of the same.

    November 4, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. Tim

    To 47 year old voter for McCain:
    I don't recall anything in the article saying the man was black.
    You can stop with the racism and fear tactics. The election is over.
    Save it 2012 when your cronies run for office again. You people have destroyed this country. I vote the republican party be banned and disbanded as the nazis were in Germany.

    November 4, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  9. OhioForObama

    It's comments like, "They don't know any better" is why I am thrilled we are about to have a black president. I am a white southerner in my mid-thirties and have had to listen to that racist crap my entire life. Obama is the best thing to happen to this country since JFK and Clinton. I am honored that this man is an American and about to represent us to the world. Say what you want but economics trump color any day of the week. Just look at the polling numbers.

    November 4, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. Babu

    This is democracy. I am a republican voted for Obama but I respect others who are for McCain/Palin for their own personal reasons. Thanks

    November 4, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. IA guy

    Wrote in Hillary today and proud of it. Neither McCain or Obama deserve the presidency. McCain is too old and Obama is a lier.

    November 4, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. topflyer

    My question is a valid one. Does anyone know what obama means by a Civilian National Security Force?

    November 4, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. New President

    Vote fo me. I should be the new president.

    November 4, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. mb

    If you vote for Obama then you are doomed to hell becuse that is where the country will be going

    November 4, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Jason

    Come on, have back bone people, walk right through the guy and vote. I dont care for whom, just do your civc duty and be proud. The only intimidation that goes on is because YOU the voter allow it to happen. I am so sick and tired of the hate speech that has gone on in this country since 2000. Yes, Bush has been a horrible President, but today it all changes and which ever direction you go Dem, or GOP hold your head high knowing that you took part in the democratic proccess and deal with the results. The 2000 election has changed politics and elections for the rest of our lives unless we stop this hate. I love this country, but this hate is making us the laughing stock of the world.

    God Bless America

    November 4, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Obama is the Messiah

    It's amazing the skepticism when it is against your party, and the acceptance when it is for your party. Wake up.. Vote the new Messiah into office to begin the end of times!

    November 4, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. our youth

    so the "least educated finally will vote this year", does that mean that in 2004, the most educated voted and still picked Bush?

    November 4, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. dp

    I fear for the country to live under the extreme Liberal, socialist views of the Obama camp. It is scary to see all these voters come out of hiding without a clue as to what the issues. GOD BLESS America and I pray America gets it right for our children and country

    November 4, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. Tyrone

    If you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. What a disgrace that the Black Panthers are allowed to spread this kind of racism. But, we'll overlook it because white folk is supposed to feel bad about being white.

    November 4, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. MN for Obama

    TO Mike in MN....
    Please move to Alaska. We don't want your bigoted beliefs in MN anymore.

    November 4, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |

    The Democratic Party has always been the most corrupt Party, dating back to it's conception. If you know anything of history and how they have stolen elections by voting "early and often". Study 1960 election where Joe Kennedy used his old collegues in the mob in Chicago and Lyndon Johnson's Texas machine to steal the election for John Kennedy. This year with the media, Hollywood,ACORN and Rainbow Coalition and other 527 organizations, McCain has no chance!

    November 4, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. T

    The problem is that everyone believes the news way to much. Let's start thinking for our selves for a change. All I have heard from Obama is that he is bringing change?? What change?? Come on people let's look at the true facts instead of believing everything that the news is teling you!!

    November 4, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. April

    Best comment ever made by someone for McCain.
    "Why is anyone thinking this Country is in financial turmoil"? "Only 4 out of 10 people are being affected adversely by this economy". "That's only 4 percent".......really? that's not 40 percent? Hmmmmm....scary!

    Obama all the way!

    November 4, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Elizabeth

    4sure wrote:
    The least educated voters will finally vote this year, and they will make an uneducated decision. God have mercy on this country.
    Uneducated only for Obama? I think not.
    My husband is a nuclear engineer and I worked a technical position (with high-level security) prior to my job going to India. Apparently we have no problem in this country sending sensitive high tech jobs overseas.
    We have both voted for Obama along with many well-educated Republicans we know.
    I believe that all Americans deserve the right to vote whether they are supporting my candidate or not. That is why so many have died for this right. It is not a matter of educated vs. uneducated or black vs white.
    Your sentiments for sure tell me the kind of person you are, and that kind of person is exactly what is wrong with our country.

    November 4, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. Jessica

    The kkk still exists too again has nothing to do with the election!

    November 4, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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