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What is Philadelphia Hiding?

Folks on the left tell us that actual voter fraud is not nearly the problem that Republicans imagine. I would tend to agree that it’s likely not extremely widespread, but I’ve seen enough close elections in my lifetime that it’s not something I am willing to risk. However, I have to question just how widespread it might be when I see Philadelphia election officials fighting oversight at every turn.

Hours before polls opened today, the Philadelphia election officials booted 75 Republican poll watchers from multiple polling places. The GOP has minority inspectors who were told by election officials that “no Republicans will be allowed in the polling place” at all today. There are some reports that the ban on Republicans in polling places got violent and that GOP inspectors were assaulted. The election officials who refused Republicans entry had to be ordered by the courts not to ban people based on their party affiliation.

Meanwhile, these same election officials set up voting machines right in front of a giant Obama mural promoting his 2008 campaign messages. Somehow, it escaped their notice. Yeah… And it took a court order to get it covered after it had been on display for hours.

This is a city that has unbelievably bloated voter rolls that they know contain dead people and others not eligible to vote. Clean elections advocates admit that their voter registration rolls are ripe for fraud because of how many invalid folks they have on them.

About two of every three residents of Pennsylvania’s largest city are registered to vote – more than 1 million of the city’s 1.5 million residents – and that doesn’t sit well with Zack Stalberg of the Committee of Seventy, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that works for fair and open elections.

Stalberg said the city has not done enough to trim its voter rolls to remove inactive voters, dead voters and former voters who have moved out of the city. Bloated voting rolls increase the chance for fraud to take place, he said, and in a one-party town like the City of Brotherly Love that can be a particular concern.

“The numbers have been out of whack for some time now,” Stalberg told PA Independent. “It just defies logic to think that two out of every three people living in the city can be registered to vote.”

Yet, the city’s elected officials opposed voter identification measures at every turn. They have even opposed the education efforts to let people know about voter identification laws that will be in effect for the very next election. At some point one has to wonder, what exactly are they afraid Republicans will see in Philadelphia?

7 Responses to “What is Philadelphia Hiding?”

  1. Arnie says:

    This news has gone national. Fox and Limbaugh are reporting it.

  2. Andy B. says:

    Has this news been reported by any media sources? There have been too many incidents recently of rumors springing from one hearsay source in the blogosphere, and spreading like wildfire as genuine “news,” reported in those media who wanted to believe it. And I see people quoting discredited reports as genuine, all the time.

    Guess I’ll go listen to KYW.

    That said, Republicans never fare well in most of Philly. I remember many state rep races where the ratio was on the order of 13,000 votes for the D, 800 for the R. I even remember one race where the ratio was like, 13,000 D, 200 R, 600 Libertarian.

    • Bitter says:

      Yes, most of it has been documented. There are court orders on most of the incidents at this point. In fact, the officials at the campaign mural place refused to cover up the Obama campaign logo and other stuff, but his face. So now the GOP is having to go back to court to get them to tell the election officials that they really need to cover it up.

      If you clicked through the first link, you’d see that it goes to a Philly Inquirer reporter.

      • Andy B. says:

        I stopped short to go listen to KYW 1060 AM, all news. Yes, both stories were verified but given minimal coverage. The one about excluding Republican poll watchers was kind of dismissed as “resolved.”

        The one about the Obama poster reminds me of our classic situation of, the law saying public officials can’t do something, but leaving open the question “But what if they do?”

        Now, from personal experience: I never worked the polls in Philadelphia, but in places where I did in New Jersey, I found that (to overtly introduce race for the first time) black election officials seemed to be real sticklers for the letter-of-the-law. But part of that was manifested by a sense of “community,” such that they seemed to resent us as outsiders coming in to work at “their” polling places; however they insisted on nothing more than strict adherence to the law, e.g., insisting we be the required distance from the actual polls. But, they held all to the same standards.

  3. Oranje Mike says:

    GOP poll watchers are much too extreme for Philly. They prefer the local Black Panther Party to oversee their elections.

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