Even at this early hour, I am already getting reports of problems in Pennsylvania. Sigh...
The court-appointed "Minority Inspectors" are being tossed out of polling locations in several Philadelphia wards. The Minority Inspectors are Republicans and the Head Judges of Elections who govern the polling locations and who are making the decisions to toss them out are Democrats.
Reports I received show that the following locations are affected:
Ward 32, Div 13
Ward 43, Div 14
Ward 56, Div 1
Ward 56, Div 22
Ward 32, Div 28
Ward 32, Div 28
Ward 12, Div 17
Ward 39, Div 1
Ward 24, Div 9
Ward 18, Div 25
Ward 43, Div 14
Ward 29, Div 18
Ward 65, Div 19
Ward 20, Div 1
Ward 6, Div 11
More troubling: the New Black Panthers are back, brazen enough to show up at the same polling location where they were accused of intimidating voters in 2008. Here is a photo I was sent:
That is just from one state, from the first hour of voting.
It's going to be a long day.
Remember, keep calm, stay strong, and stay in line.
UPDATE: I got an email from a reader about this story and just wanted to add that I have personally seen this type of intimidation. One of the polling places in Florida where I was a poll watcher in 2008 had a New Black Panther standing outside the door.
To be fair, his conduct was no where near the threatening conduct reported about Philadelphia that year, but it was still not what you would want to see at a polling location. He was not blocking the door but was standing very close, so people had to almost touch him to get through the door. He would move to the side if he saw an Obama sticker or pin. He was very tall, over six feet, and was wearing a hat and jacket with Black Panthers on it. He kept one hand in his jacket pocket.
Again, to be fair, I did not see him touch anyone or say anything. The supervisor of elections employees asked him to step away from the door because he was not entering or exiting, was not there to vote, and was within the 100 foot boundary, so he left without problems. I never saw him again.
Again, this is not "a story I heard" or "something I read on some website." I was there, I saw this happen in person, and would happily testify under oath about what I observed.
UPDATE II: Here's the video from Fox News that was mentioned in the comments.
This is unacceptable for someone to be just standing outside the door at a precinct. He is not there to vote, he's not a poll worker, and has no purpose for being there.
UPDATE III: The Pennsylvania GOP posted a press release earlier today. They successfully got court orders to allow the Minority Inspectors back in the polls:
Obama Supporters Muscle Out Election Inspectors But GOP Wins Initial Challenges to Seat Election Workers
PA GOP Will Continue to Fight for a Fair Election
HARRISBURG, PA—Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released the following statement regarding the first court order issued by the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to seat Republican Minority Inspectors in Philadelphia Polling places:
“This was a shameless attempt from the Obama campaign to suppress our legally appointed Republican poll watchers in Philadelphia and they got caught,” Chairman Rob Gleason said.
“We’ve seen these shenanigans before and it’s clear that Democratic operatives and the Obama campaign are desperate; trying to shield Republican Minority Inspectors who are employees of the City of Philadelphia today from monitoring election activities. It certainly raises the question, what are Democrats doing in the polls that they are working so hard to shield folks from monitoring this election?”
So far this morning, Democratic operatives prohibited 75 legally credentialed Republican election workers from accessing polling places in heavily Democratic areas in Philadelphia. Incidents ranged from judges of elections refusing to seat Republican Minority Inspectors and Clerks, to reports of Democratic election operatives announcing that “No Republicans will be allowed in the polling place.”
As a result, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania petitioned the Court to issue formal orders to force Democratic judges of elections to seat Republican minority inspectors and clerks. The Court said that they will issue around 6-12 Orders with approximately 6 – 10 names per Order.