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. GO McCain!

    Well if the Panthers can intimidate people then bring on the Klan! The last thing this country needs is for Obama to be president.

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Joe

    Obama respected the Kitty Hawk '03 venture while McCain ran into 5.5 years trouble as Hanoi POW. Troubles continue in Watts, but Newark has rebounded since the latter 1900's. May all of us vote to keep the rose from falling off the bloom.

    November 4, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. topflyer

    What does Obama mean by "civilian national security force"? Is it anything like the black panthers encountered at a polling place in PA?

    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. Chi4Obama

    So this is what the Republicans have been complaining about all day???

    One nut case in Philly, does not constitute Voter Disenfranchisement by the entire Democratic party.

    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Amanda

    You know, I am reading through these comments and realizing how thankful I am that the McCain voters are the ones with brains... It is so obvious that the ones pointing fingers at other and calling them "racist" are the only ones making race an issue (Obama voters)- as most always. We do not fear black men in berets with nightsticks – we only fear that this country could possibly be run by a group of people just like the Obama voters – ludacris and ill-informed... bring it on Barack Castro!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. sammy

    just who are people praying to when they pray for an obama vote? Are they sacrafising chickens and bulls too? (this has been reported as standard Obama family practice in Kenya)

    If I wanted to be a socialist I'd move to Europe.

    If America elects Barack Obama, where can a real American go to live in a land that is free, a land that treats all equally.... a land that doesn't murder 1.2 million of its own babies every year?


    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08' !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. vf

    It doesn't matter who the man was or what he wanted to be claimed as,what matters is he was asked to leave and he left without incident,so basically no one was intimidated or let it bother them that he was there,people still wwent in and voted,and for all you racist people leaving your disgusting remarks you all really need to get a life and just accept that america is fed up with this crap from the republicans and we all need a change!!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Billie

    What;s wrong republicans? Can't take a taste of your own medicine??!?!?!?

    I have on my car "Vote for Obama" and I caught a guy trying to rub off "Obama." So....some black guy scared you in Philly??? Your party's legislation has been terrifying people for years!

    I agree, this is not a story....nor is this a clean fight...

    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. TN4McCain

    He shouldn't have been that close to the entrance without proper ID. We are supposed to represent fair elections around the world and you know this was meant as intimidation...plain and simple. But remember this:
    Rev. Martin Niemoeller, a German Lutheran pastor who was arrested by the Gestapo in 1938 wrote, “In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.”

    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. Brian Raben

    I am just laughing at some of the idiotic comments made on here. You left wing morons are actually trying to justify guys holding sticks yelling people at the door when they are trying to vote.

    Ill bet your not upset to hear that voter officials in places like Dayton Ohio are telling Elderly that voted for McCain that they should change their mind before turning their ballot in.

    What I dont understand is the left wing whackos out there that want Obama to be elected, and cant even mention anything factual about why they are voting for him other than the fact he says he is a democrat, when is actually a commuist.

    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. rebmtb

    I agree with anonymous from wisconsin!!!! Nothing happened.

    People need to vote for the right reason not color!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    voting for a change!! also praying for an obama victory from Wisconsin

    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. PG

    The reason I rarely visit CCN is due to the un-educated Republican fools that post here. The ignorance these people spread is mind boggling. See ya I'm outa here.

    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. Ryan

    That will also be the scene for the public "union votes" for employees of small companies. Vote for the union or you will be wearing this nightstick!

    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. Tim from Colorado

    Vote NO for OBAMA – bin – BIDEN. They will sell their souls along with the USA and they will spread your wealth. I want to decide who gets my wealth and how much. Obama has SO MANY questionable friends.....WHY???? He is not even a US citizen!!!!!!!!!!

    VOTE MCCAIN / PALIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. Are we in Russia?

    Americans have come along way... we fear no one! answer for no ones sins. Land of the free!!! never more proud, than today. I voted for the best man for the Job . (Obama/Biden ) The world will watch us rise high and gain the respect we lost.

    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. ciara mc crory

    i agree wholeheartedly

    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. JAYNE

    I look for alot of voting machines to malfunction especially in key battleground states. It's the last cheat card left to play by the Republicans. And play it they will.

    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. winner

    Fox news is currently running this story as a black panther that was intimidating voters.

    November 4, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. mccain's affirmative action pick


    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. Stphdys

    Noah you don't have a clue to about any thing in Chicago because if you did you would know that Obama is not connected to the machine. In fact many of the machine poweres weren't going to support him until Hillary was removed. You need to research instead of reciting some thing some one told you. You need to grow up and learn to thing for your self. Please don't vote for Obama we don't need your vote. People that have a box of hair for brains are a waste of time, and it's time to move on.

    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. vote OBAMA

    OMG...are you serious?
    ummmmm...i have on all black today...does that make me a threat, or a black panther?
    Some of you are ridiculous...and need to be ousted along with that coo-coo Palin to your own island, where you can all live in a fantasy land together!

    so so sad!

    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. A Republican voting for Obamba

    Sarah Palin...Why is her medical records not an issue? What is the vice-presidential candidate trying to hide? She claims that Obama is hiding things...She might want to clean out her own closet. I am surprised that the media is not all over this...a letter from a doctor is acceptable to the media...not to me!

    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. Steve


    Voter supression is not just a GOP tactic, sadly it has become all to commonplace in general.

    This honestly makes me wonder what Obama supporters are going to do in the unlikely event he does lose.

    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. Rose

    Go John & Sarah !!!!

    November 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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