NYC Obama Volunteers Watch Polls; Some Believe ‘Purge’ Implemented in PA
A third year law student identifying himself as Andrew was working outside a poll in South Philly earlier today. He said he was one of “about 200” volunteers the Obama Campaign bussed down to Pennsylvania to help protect voters who have problems at the polls. He said there were no problems at the poll at 13th and Jackson Streets, as he stood alongside a volunteer with the Republican City Committee, who also reported no problems.
The bus was part of a My.BarackObama.com event, which noted, “turning out ALL our Pennsylvania voters on election day. The work we’ve been doing all year comes down to this one day, and Pennsylvania is counting on New York volunteers to help the President win.” He greeted voters as they walked into the polls and thanked them for voting as they left, but did not openly identify as an Obama volunteers with any clothing items or what-have-you.
Andrew said he believed there were volunteers with the Obama campaign at almost every polling station in Philadelphia.
The buses left early this morning, went all over Pennsylvania, and are heading back to Manhattan at 8 p.m., when the polls close.
But there doesn’t seem to be much those volunteers can do, at least now, about problems being reported at the polls.
Some are wondering if there was an unreported voter purge in Pennsylvania—that’s what the Election Protection Coalition told Mother Jones, at least — due to the number of provisional ballots that have had to be cast in Philadelphia and other cities and Democratic strongholds across Pennsylvania, a state which seemed to come into play over the past week.
As Mother Jones reports:
“We suspect there has been an unreported purge of voters in Pennsylvania,” said Barbara Arnwine, head of the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights. There are “too many voters being affected by this for us to think it’s voter error or voter confusion,” Arnwine said.
This is in addition to Voter ID confusion being reported throughout the state. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Meredith McCoy of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law said many polling sites do not have newly registered voters in their poll books, forcing provisional ballots to be cast across Pittsburgh. In PA, those ballots are counted several days after the election on a county-by-county basis: if a voter was forced to vote provisionally after not being found on the rolls, it is up to election officials to determine their eligibility, though if it’s a photo ID issue (new voters in PA today were required to show it) it is up to the voter to provide local elections officials with ID proof in coming days.”
Voting closes at 8 p.m. Which means you must be on line to vote by then.