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. Purple Florida

    I love how none of the people that were calling this news story "fake" in previous ticker posts are as quick to comment in this particular thread.

    Republicans arent the only ones that use dirty tricks.....think otherwise and you may find yourself in their exact same position in 4 to 8 years.

    November 4, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. j in mich

    black panther?!? i didn't see him giving out free breakfast.

    November 4, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. C from MT

    Why didn't CNN report that is in the tank for McCain? One glance at their YouTube postings makes that crystal clear. Can't win an election fairly, I guess you try to steal one.

    November 4, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  4. mb

    You actually need to see the tape. That reporter could have walked in and done what he needed to do. The reporter started it and the guy just wasn't going to back up, bow his head , and say yes suh.
    The reporter asked who he was and the man in turrn asked hime who he was. A republican reporter just starting something.

    November 4, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. B16

    Yes, ice fishing. She's quite good at it. Last time out she caught over 200 pounds of ice. She almost drowned her whole family when she tried to fry it.

    November 4, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. ADC

    You'll always have a few idiots out there that think they can intimidate people just by looking "scary". Anyone who observes these morons outside their polling area should mimic their behavior by standing at least 15 feet away from them dressed like Sarah Palin in fatigues and holding a dead moose head in they're hands. Talk about BOO!

    November 4, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. Jude

    Its very interesting how most (the majority) of these election problem are "only" in the battleground states. I wonder why is that? I wonder if the GOP has anything to do with that? Is this voter suppression?

    Hey, we don't even know if these guys were black according to this report and some are calling them "black panthers"? Voter intimidation is bad but it isn't as bad as voter what the GOP is doing...sending out those "jokes" about voting Nov. 5. Not sending out some people's ballots.

    2 thugs scaring people doesn't measure up to the deceit and fraud put up by GOP.

    November 4, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Jeff

    We do not need another bogus election like we have had in the past. To protect people's vote is the most important right we still have!

    Vote OBAMA-BIDEN for a change in the right direction so we do not have same same old BS!

    November 4, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. ObamaVoter

    Thank you PA LAW!!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. Hillary supporter for obama

    Millions have voted early with no incident- why not mention that, a positive twist instead of a negative one!!!!

    Be positive about today-- millions of people, young and old and first timers are voting today, it's really amazing!

    November 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Houston Boy

    A black man at a polling location? How outrageous. He even left when he was asked to. On top of that, nobody felt intimidated – this must be some conspiracy by Dems.

    November 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. KLEE

    hmmm.......not just a lot of noise sounds like to me.....i don't have enough information to go on but it seems like some of the respondants on this page are pushing the "FEAR" button "AGAIN" – go back to your cave – we don't want you lurking out hear with your baseless accusations.

    November 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. Nick

    It is a non issue. The man left without incident. His counterpart displayed proper paperwork. It's security, making sure nothing goes wrong, and there are no outbursts if something does go wrong beyond the control of the poll workers.

    Here there were people watching polls that some voters questioned why they were their, obviously never voting before and not knowing that some people may abuse their poll worker position, and thus a poll watcher is there to keep everything on the up and up.

    November 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. Micah

    I recently visited Kentucky. Factories had closed and I saw alot of depressed areas with McCain/Palin signs in front yards. I guess things airen't be that bad, afterall, the people are sticking with what got them where they are today.

    November 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. Nan in NV

    Neither McCain nor Obama have anything to do with the actual voting process. If you have a problem with that, including security, do something constructive for once and contact your state's official election committee or your Secretary of State.

    November 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. Anonymous


    November 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. Tiff of lithia springs

    Did the guys say that they were black panthers.

    Tony you are just makin' things up. Obviously a Palin fan. Spewing devisiveness and oppositions.

    November 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Karen

    Open your eyes and be matter what side you are on. Noah would not be saying such malicious things if all of the candidates were white. When will people like you get it, we might make some progress in race relations. Stop the ignorance and do something to fix the problems instead of contributing to them!

    November 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. nicci

    Since when do they need "security" where people are going to cast their votes?? This was clearly done to intimidate voters, also how can anyone say that this is not about race?????? Why is it that when you say that you are voting for McCain you are a racist? People are voting for Obama based on his race, there are tons of people that have no clue about any of his views on ANYTHING, they are voting based on race and race alone. I would love to see a black president one day but this man is not the right one. He is absolutely the wrong man for the job. He couldn't even make ONE state better, how is he supposed to better the country????

    GO McCAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. NOBAMA

    Kep it clean. They were right to kick this morone out, what does he think this is a militant meeting......There's so many crazies out there...

    November 4, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. Hillary supporter for obama


    November 4, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. Mark

    McCain sucks i hope he doesnt win this country will be headed down the hole even worse if that war monger takes over

    November 4, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. Phil in KC

    I'm very concerned and disappointed by the various under-handed or intimidating actions I've been reading about today. I'm sure these are a minority, but they put a question mark over the election if the vote is close. These text messages and fliers that have been handed out telling Democrats to vote tomorrow, for example – how many elderly or gullible will be fooled into thinking that is real? Could that be enough to create a different outcome in those states and, consequently, in the election? This is being pooh-pooh'ed, but I think it's a very real threat. The culprits need to be tracked down and prosecuted. Make an example of them and it won't happen again.

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

    o please give me a break Obama will be in the house!!

    November 4, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  25. thomas bentley

    GO Obama..Beat MCCan't

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