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. Danielle

    I hope the media doesn't make this out to be more than it is. You have a wanna be robocop on the loose which was handled by the people who should be handling idiots breaking the law. Move along – nothing more to see.

    November 4, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. I Like Cats

    They are Black Panthers CNN!!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    If Obama is elected, i hope he survives. I've heard people say he may be "killed by his own".

    I voted for him though. Can't stand GI John it that Alaskan retard

    November 4, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. Kris

    To: 47 year old male for McCain: You are a prime example of what is wrong with this country. Also....grow up! (From: 59 year old white female for Obama)

    November 4, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Archie C. Williams

    30 YEAR OLD REPUBLICAN MOM..yes lets get real.. and get Bush and that nut chenney out of office. He should be put in jail for war crimes. There is something wrong with your mine if your think this nut is ok. What a low life we had as president..Time to turn over a new and great page in American Histroy. A Great day to be an American.. your inner self and be real.

    November 4, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. logic

    did we forget about the skins heads this past week?? atleast this poser didn't threaten to kill mccain who is one blood drop away from a being with god. face the facts america is still racisit im an educated multiracial man and im ready for change Obama/Biden 08-16 Clinton 16-24 lets go democrats

    November 4, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. Dee

    I don't want no McSANE in the White House !
    You Go Barack, I am praying 4 you and your family ! I know God will do the right thing !

    November 4, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Laura (American abroad)

    Come on, CNN. Call this what it really is. A non-incident? I in no way think Obama had anything to do with this or that he would condone this but I'm tired of being called a racist because I don't think he is qualified.

    Voter intimidation is wrong no matter who is doing it. It should never be dismissed or called a "non incident". That was America's past. I'd hate to think we've learned anything at all. Calling it a "non-incident" is an insult to everyone, no matter what race or party they are.

    November 4, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. nick


    November 4, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. S. Boatman

    Black Panthers? Do They Even Exist Anymore? Ha Ha. . . . Be Afraid Mccain Supporters! . . . Or The Big Bad Black Panthers Will Beat You With Their Sticks! Ha Ha! You Better Not Try To Vote Mccain Supporters! The Black Panthers Are Watching You! Ha Ha!

    November 4, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. today..

    I am an African-American woman, I would like to say that no matter what happens, I want to thank EVERYBODY and thank God for letting Barack Obama get this far!

    This election is a healing moment in this country and I just want to let you all know how thankful I am.

    Regardless of who you are, what race you are, we are all Americans and I'm very proud to be a citizen of this country.

    God bless America's spirit and hope. Let us wake tommorrow as Americans UNITED.

    November 4, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. vahe

    cant waith to see mccain lose.... Mccain is a crook thats what i can tell to Americans

    November 4, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. Samantha

    We should all keep in mind that AMERICA was founded on CHRISTIAN MORALS AND VIEWS. Now we have a man running for office who find our national anthem OFFENSIVE and our pledge of allegiance disgraceful.....WHAT ABOUT THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE DIED SO YOU CAN THINK THAT WAY!! MCCAIN/PALIN 2009

    November 4, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. Hope-a-Dope

    So the Clinton News Network reports what appears to be a democratic irregularity and the neo-coms start spewing anti-republican garbage as if they had anything to do with it. That's rich.

    Maybe the media will try to come back to the center after their shameful pro-Obama campaign coverage. I doubt it though.

    November 4, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. Obama Mama in Acadiana

    There was no mention fo race. I also pictured some half-witted guy who's watched Taxi Driver one time too many ("You talkin' da me?!). Race never entered my head. This is a scary place and will get scarier if we don't unify. Only 1 team on the ballot can do that. Vote Obama/Biden 2008! God bless America!

    November 4, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Magenta

    All the FOX News fear-mongers need to pack there bags and head for Canada – there is new hope for America coming...and all us bleeding heart liberals will be left to re-create a country that works towards peace and a future for ALL of humanity

    November 4, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Leslie

    I was told at my polling place this morning in Missouri that I would not be allowed to vote until I turned my "Hillary" T-shirt inside out – paying homage to what could have been 😉 after being yelled at for several minutes while I simply refused, the poll worker called her supervisor over who told me that I could keep my shirt on and proceed to vote...Hillary isn't even a candidate. My 15 year old daughter who was there with me was proud that I stood my ground....It was beyond ridiculous!

    November 4, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. David in red neck Texas where the hill billys roam

    Sure would be nice to go vomit after the election tonight and discard that last eight years of FAILED HUMAN BEHAVIOR

    November 4, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. gail

    black panther? before the news makes a call like that, get the story straight just another example of trying to make Obama the boogie man. I voted for Obama and im proud of it, I believe in his policies and I thought he ran a decent uplifting campaign, as a white grandma I am appalled at sarah Palin she does not represent me as a women, she is vile and evil with every hateful word that she has used

    November 4, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. vote! OBAMA-BIDEN NOV.4th


    November 4, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. Will

    If that was a white guy carrying a night stick in front of a polling place the DEMS would be screaming at the top of their lungs......

    November 4, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. Was independant, but now McCain 2008

    I guess I could scream cheating or stealing the election by the democrats along with the violations of ACORN, but then I would sound like a democrat when they say the Republicans stole the 2004 election or anything that goes wrong this election is the Republicans that are trying to steal the election again.

    Get over it people. No one stole any election. The democrats lost in 2004!!! No ones stealing 2008 even with ACORN and whatever people are saying in Philly.

    Whomever wins, wins and I will support although I may not agree. I am proud to have voted for McCain because I believe more in line with his stance on the issues more than Obama's.

    For all of you who seems to believe that because I don't believe the same way you do that I am uninformed, ignorant, etc. it only shows your the wealth of your ignorance that you could possibly think you know what's best for everyone.

    I also find it comical and insane that Bill and Hilary Clinton talks about getting us out of 8 years of mistakes by the Republican party when he is the one that created the banking fiasco by forcing banks to loan money to those that could not qualify for loans on their own. I cringe everytime I think about more of the same from Obama and the Democratic party.

    November 4, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. NavyGirl82

    Why is it "OK" for intimidating Black Panther Gang Members to stand in front of the door where people go to vote?
    And to think they are baring weapons. Where is the police presence in Philadelphia??

    November 4, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. Dee - VA


    November 4, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. pooty


    November 4, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23