Election violations in Philadelphia
Reports of corruption and violations during today's primary election have kept the Committee of Seventy on its toes.
As Philadelphia voters approach their polling places today, many will be hit with a barrage of materials, sample ballots and t-shirt clad advocates continuing to vie for a vote up until the last minute before polls close at 8 PM. The pamphlet-passers and supporters for unions, candidates and policies are within their legal right—as long as they stay 10 feet away from the room where citizens cast their vote.
However, the rules aren't always followed in Philadelphia.
"That's normal," voter registration administrator Gregory Irving said. "Sometimes people aren't aware of the rules."
However, the Committee of Seventy received hundreds of complaints from all over the city of individuals repeatedly breaking the the 10-foot-rule and intimidating voters. Many of the incidents occurred in the 36th district, which encompasses parts of Grays Ferry and South Philadelphia, where real estate developer Ori Feibush reportedly recruited candidates to run.
"There have been a lot of issues in that area all day long," Committee of Seventy Ellen Kaplan said. Upon hearing complaints, Committee of Seventy sends authorized volunteers to polling places. Kaplan said that those causing trouble would respond by moving to another polling place at the sight of volunteers.
"36th is a mess," she said.
Other districts, including the 7th, 14th and 19th districts in lower Northeast Philadelphia, have reported complaints of voter harassment, electioneering problems and even voters being asked to show ID.
As far as crossing the 10 foot line and passing out materials or advocating for candidates near polling places, Kaplan said, "that we've heard repeatedly during the day."
Stay tuned for more updates.