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. brian

    Go to for the real story. These guys are known/public members of the "new black panther party" in philadelphia. Its ridiculous that CNN won't tell the truth...THEY'RE BLACK PANTHERS

    November 4, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. Ben

    What's the big deal? A black man standing around and people got scared – yeah he probably was a Black Panther. Even us liberals think those guys are a bit wacky.

    Read the story – the police were called and the man was asked to leave without incident. Nobody reported feeling threatened and the man has left. This isn't evidence of a grand "Black Conspiracy" to steal the election – there are just as many reports of black voter intimidation in other parts of the country.

    These stories are going to come out but they're ISOLATED incidents that should and will be handled by local law enforcement. They aren't indicative of *either* party trying to "steal" the election – just misguided folks who are worried about their voting rights or who think that they're somehow "helping" their side.

    November 4, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. Sherri

    The mexican newspaper that predicted that "Obama Wins" got it right.
    And as far as the democrat party of our fathers goes, get a life, my father was a die hard democrate, dixiecrate and he would be proud to see Obama win, in fact he predicted it over a year and half ago, before he died! Put that in you pipe and smoke it!

    November 4, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Nicole

    GO McCAIN/PALIN!!! We need someone to actually help our country not hinder it and make it a joke! They are what they are and it just shows where we are headed if NOBAMA is elected!

    November 4, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Milly

    The fix has been in on this Election for 2 years . George Soris Bought and paid for it.

    November 4, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Tom from Texas


    ^^^^^That is scary. This is not security it is intentioanl intimidation!!! Completely unAmerican and completely deplorable. I don't care whose party their from.....that's just sickening.

    November 4, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. Tom Woolf

    Pat – I'm not sure if I should suggest you get of whatever drugs you are on, or that you take your prescribed medication...

    November 4, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. Cory

    Where did the terrorist Black Panther get poll observer paperwork? Did the Democrats hire them?

    November 4, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. Carol

    ""We have had no complaints from any voters that they have been intimidated." sic


    The only people making claims of Black Panthers and complaining are McCain supporters from several states away.

    No one mentioned race and the description of the one person could be anything. Really grasping at straws aren't you?

    November 4, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. 30-m-PA-voted McCain

    Several news sources note these were black panther members. When one man approached the black panthers one of the black panthers said, "a black man will win no matter what, " and, "we're tired of white supremacy." Isn't that nice? I guess we can look forward to more of this if Obama is president (sigh).

    November 4, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. jim

    this is what the people are in for and they cant even grasp it.....this is going to be the biggest scare in american history....they think there layoffs now,you wait.....

    November 4, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. Tre'

    Great, I'm glad they were there. I looked at the YouTube video and there was a guy whereing a white shirt (probably KKK) who was probably intimidating black voters. We need to get out and take up our own arms like this brother. If I see any supppression, I'd do like this man and get me a knight stick to fight back.

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Just call the dude what he is--British Petroleum!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. Dave

    RE: PA Law: Black Panthers don't exist as an organization anymore? Funny how they turned up, as a organization, in the Duke rape case, marching, ARMED in the streets. Next you'll tell me that the KKK doesn't still exist as an organization. Since I am color blind, I see no difference between the KKK and the Black Panthers at this point.

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. RC

    That is a bit much. Leave the black outfit , beret and nightstick at home. Voting is supposed to peacefull.

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. James

    Just another story to fuel the fear-mongers. This election is going to get sorted out, and the landslide that is to come will come, and America will be better for it. The Party the runs the country down is getting voted out. Just as it has always been and should be. People are calling Obama such a radical, but he's so more moderate and stable than anything the Republicans have put out in the last 10 years or more.

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. Dennis

    I was on the bus with this guy this A.M. He is one of the leaders from the new "black panther movement". Also keep in mind that he doesn't support Obama (he actually hates him) and he doesn't support McCain (because he is white). I asked the guy this morning while on the bus if he had voted for McCain..He looked at me with the look of death and told me to "get the **** out of his face"...LOL

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. Stephanie

    It's time for a change America....GO OBAMA!!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. Peggi

    come on CNN...intelligent people are SICK of Joe the plumber. I am sure there are much better stories to report.

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Rick Sanchez was a real jerk to JOE the plumber. His finances does not prohibit him from asking a hypothetical question to Senator Obama. Is this what we are going to have if Obama is president that a citizen cant ask a question without being ostracized or a news station is boycotted because they ask a tough question. Rick is cuban and maybe he should remenber that his folks live through that at home.Now i know why i dont routinely watch cnn

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. Michelle

    Those repubs are such a violent group of people. It would not surprise me if that were a McCain supporter.

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Karl

    Relax folks! It'll soon all be over: no more Mac Attacks or that sickening feeling that goes with it, no more Airheads giving us geography lesson about her state. And freedom! Freedom from eight years of darkness. Come what may, it can only get better.

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. ILS SC

    That's your modern-day democrat party…..every low-life scourge of society is a democrat. Certainly not your father's democrat party.

    Yes Rick another pearl penned by a Republican. Your party has done more damage to this country then we will have time to repair. Try not to cry to hard when ole' cranky pants gets his A$$ kickeed on national tv.......

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Maria

    I just love how it took CNN hours to even report this, and Fox had it over 3 hours ago. I'll put money on this story not even APPEARING on the MSNBC website.

    I see a pattern emerging here – kick off reporters of newspapers who don't support you, put in people from Ebony magazine, bring out the Black Panthers, dig up lies about a normal man who DARED to ask you an unscripted question.

    Welcome to the Obama-Nation.

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. Not liking either candidate

    Castro's campaign motto was : TIME FOR CHANGE

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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