Black panthers intimidating voters 2016
Problems at the polls surfaced early Tuesday in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, with Republican election monitors being turned away from polling places and members of the New Black Panther Party appearing at voting sites in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania Republican officials said 75 election monitors from the party were turned away from polling places in heavily Democratic sections of Philadelphia Tuesday, but a judge has ordered them reinstated.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has turned his attention to Pennsylvania in the final days of the race, as polls there have tightened in a state that President Obama’s campaign believed it would win fairly easily. Romney turned out about 30,000 supporters Sunday night at a rally in the Philadelphia suburbs.
The New Black Panther Party was back at the polls Tuesday in Philadelphia, where its members provoked a complaint of voter intimidation in 2008.
On Election Day in 2008, three members of the New Black Panther Party stood outside a polling place in Philadelphia, with one of them brandishing a nightstick or baton. Bush filed a civil complaint again three Black Panthers — Minister King Samir Shabazz, Malik Zulu Shabazz and Jerry Jackson — charging them with violating voter rights by using coercion, threats and intimidation.
The Obama administration later dismissed most of the case, even though the Black Panthers had not contested the charges.
However, a judge ruled more than a month ago that no identification was required for this election, and a Democratic official told the newspaper that the mailer seemed “very suspicious.” Matthew Keeler, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, told The Washington Times that the department had sent out the mailer, but that happened more than a month ago before the judge’s ruling.He said the department had not sent out the mailer in recent days.The developments come just as hundreds of federal observers have fanned out across the country to monitor elections and polling places in 23 states, including closely watched Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.The Obama Justice Department let the New Black Panther Party off the hook for voter intimidation in a federal election but this week the radical group leader, King Samir Shabazz, who led that effort got busted on gun charges.
New York police spotted Shabazz wearing a bulletproof vest in Harlem, stopped him and discovered he was carrying a loaded and unlicensed gun, according to a newspaper report in Shabazz’s hometown of Philadelphia.Government officials, lawyers from both parties and watchdog groups are looking for irregularities the could tilt the outcome of the most expensive presidential election in history.