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. Allan G.

    For the elections of 2012, Obama will have it like the unions want it, no secret ballot. You either vote for me, or get tossed. At least you won't have to worry about a guy with a stick, the military will be watching. Obama will then get 100% of the vote just like Sadam Hussein got in his last election. I wonder what country will eventually come to our rescue.

    November 4, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Kate

    CNN cannot be trusted to report on Obama. It blatantly ignored this story all day long and it was the biggest "voter problem" of the day that CNN asked its viewers to report. So if it is scrary, threatening Black Panthers blocking a voting entrance, that is not problem enough for CNN? The bias is absolutely unbelievable.

    November 4, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Avraham Clemintz

    Come on! Get it right . . . the guy was a Black Panther there to intimidate white voters . . . the liberal media including CNN is sooooooooo sleazy

    November 4, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Elizabeth--a military wife for CHANGE!

    I can't wait for tomorrow morning when I can wake up knowing we will have a president who will bring change. I can't believe all the misinformation and downright lies that are being spread to uneducated/uninformed voters out there. Stop being afraid! CHANGE is a beautiful thing! Let's rebuild America.

    November 4, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. GlenR

    Stop whining McCain supporters! One guy at one polling place is nothing compared to the phony 'you'll be arrested for parking tickets when you vote' and all the other sleazy tactics the GOP uses every election. Your phony martyrdom is silly.

    November 4, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. Jill

    That stupid Joe the Plumber really thinks he's going to be the next John Wayne. What an idiot he is.

    November 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |

    It did say one of them had a certificate and that made him legit even if he was "barring" the door.

    Sounds, to me like some F@@k the News ploy.

    Obviously, the DA felt the same way.

    November 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. pm

    prob no worse then the bs the gop will pull this time around

    November 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. McCain Palin

    Quit suppressing our votes. Vote McCain Palin, a team that won't foster socialism, invite illegal immigrants, provide socialized medicine, raise your taxes, or sit down with outlaw regimes.
    Only McCain Palin!

    November 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. Peter (CA)

    No place for this behavior on Election Day.

    No place for voter suppression of any kind. (And yeah, all those flyers telling Democrats to vote tomorrow are not just a joke).

    November 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Kelly Joyner, Warner Robins, GA

    I think he was a Republican trying to make Dems look bad. This story is all over Fox News as BLACK PANTHER INTIMIDATION. I read it about 3 hours ago.

    November 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. independent for Obama

    I just saw the video on Fox News, umm exactly on Fox News. Who cares Republicans did it last 2 elections. Democrats turn. Just push them out of the way. simple as that.

    November 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. obamaisafraud

    You can clearly see the "BLACK PANTHER" uniform, medalion and beret in the video. You can also see the night stick and the menacing tone in the video.


    If this was anti-McCain you would have a crew and it would be non-stop until the FBI and Homeland security were all over it.

    November 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Rob

    There's your change for ya. If Barry can't bring it in with the dead vote and people voting multiple times, just bring in a couple thugs to threaten people.

    Nero fiddled while Rome fell. Barry will be dancing in Chicago with Oprah and Diddy while America falls.

    P.S. Chicago can say goodbye to the Olympics. They'll be rioting if Barry steals the election, but even more rioting if enough sensible people vote and tell the Failed One he's nothing but hot air.

    November 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. Joseph

    The thing that gets me is obama voters will celebrate with some md20/20 and crack tonight and tomorrow they still wake up black so let them celebrate one thing. They'll soon realized that they been dissed and start calling bama uncle tom in 2 years when alls they get from him is a bigger piece of govt cheeze.

    November 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Patriot

    This election has disintegrated into a circus where the issue is the first black president or the oldest president. My question still is where is Obama's experience to lead on the world stage? The president is commander in chief of the armed forces...from where does Obama draw his experitise from? McCain's record in this area speaks for itself. This is not a popularity contest...if it was elect Robin Williams and we all can get a good laugh. But this is serious business with our next 4 years at stake. The world looks to the US for leadership and this is in jeopardy if we elect the president with no concern for his foreign affairs experience.

    November 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Paul DObro

    owww a black man with a stick, RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN

    fear no more
    Obama 08

    November 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. Lady Mac

    the video is on youtube...go see for yourself

    November 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. J from NY

    Very Odd. But my vote goes for Nader/Gonzalez 08

    November 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. Jeffrey

    Someone here said to leave Joe the Plumber alone? He just voluntarily spoke to CNN today. He's as much of a media hound as the rest of the crooked GOP. Thank God they're going away for the next 4-8 years after today. Let 'em take Joe and Palin with them.

    November 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. Kristin

    Not this time!!! Fired up and ready to go for CHANGE!!! They can use all the intimidation they want but it will not stop destiny!


    November 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. Waterlewd in TX

    CNN should change there slogan to "Every little problem gets magnified here. CNN."

    November 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  23. Roger

    Look out America!!! If NOBAMA gets it, Hang on to your wallet!

    November 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  24. Sonixfan

    Jimmy can't spell...

    November 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  25. fj in PA

    Pleaseee this is such rare incident, don't act like all obama supporters sit outside polling places with sticks to imtimidate people. You all are clinging to anything you can get to justify why john mccain is going to lose. Pack it up and get over yourselves. Then get the hell out of the white house, president obama is comingt through!

    November 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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