Elections
Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Lester Lefkowitz - Getty Images. Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Lester Lefkowitz - Getty Images.  

Supplanted election inspectors reinstated by Pennsylvania court

A Pennsylvania judge ordered that court-appointed Republican poll inspectors be seated at Philadelphia polling sites after being refused entry by Democratic voting chief judges today.

A group of 75 legally credentialed minority voting inspectors were reportedly removed from polling sites in several highly Democratic Philadelphia precincts as they attempted to verify the identity of voters and watch for fraud or disenfranchisement. The ousted poll watchers were being replaced by Democrats.

“This was a shameless attempt from the Obama campaign to suppress our legally appointed Republican poll watchers in Philadelphia and they got caught,” said Rob Gleason, chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.

Election Journal tweeted that Democratic voting officials were not complying with the judge’s order to seat Republican voting inspectors and that the sheriff’s department was being sent to enforce the decision. The same account tweeted that one woman had been forcibly thrown out of one polling station.

Jerry Jackson, a member of the black-supremacist New Black Panther Party, stood unarmed outside one polling site. Jackson was charged with voter intimidation in 2008, along with Minister King Samir Shabazz. In a decision decried by many conservatives, the Department of Justice eventually dropped the charges against Jackson.

Other New Black Panther Party members reportedly showed up at a second polling place in Philadelphia on Tuesday morning.

The party stirred controversy in 2008 when members, some armed with batons, formed clusters outside of polling sites, but there have been no reports of intimidation or violence on their part in this year’s election.

A group of retired Navy SEALs, along with other special ops members, dispersed to Philadelphia, Cleveland, Miami and Las Vegas to counteract any intimidation efforts. Navy Capt. Benjamin Brink, who organized the effort, told Philadelphia radio station IQ 106.9 FM that his men would watch for intimidation and report it to the proper authorities without provoking confrontation.