Plenty of Voter Intimidation, But No Voter Fraud

Bloggers on the far right are having fits of hysteria over supposed “voter fraud” in several Philadelphia voting locations.

Amanda Carpenter at Townhall.com calls it “A Repeat of 2004 Philly Voter Chaos, Fraud.”

GOP Election Board members have been tossed out of polling stations in at least half a dozen polling stations in Philadelphia because of their party status.

A Pennsylvania judge previously ruled that court-appointed poll watchers could be NOT removed from their boards by an on-site election judge, but that is exactly what is happening, according to sources on the ground.

It is the duty of election board workers to monitor and guard the integrity of the voting process.

Denying access to the minority (in this case Republican) poll watchers and inspectors is a violation of Pennsylvania state law. Those who violate the law can be punished with a misdemeanor and subjected to a fine of $1,000 and sent to prison between one month and two years.

Those on site are describing the situation as “pandemonium” and there may be video coming of the chaos.

Some of the precincts where Republicans have been removed are: the 44th Ward, 12th and 13th divisions; 6th Ward, 12th division; 32nd Ward, Division 28.

“Election board officials guard the legitimacy of the election process and the idea that Republicans are being intimidated and banned for partisan purposes does not allow for an honest and open election process,” said McCain-Palin spokesman Ben Porritt in a statement to Townhall.

John Hinderaker accuses Democratic officials in Philadelphia of following a “time-honored tradition” of “commandeer[ing] the premises and … running ballots through the machines, voting for Democrats.” He goes on:

Both campaign finance fraud and voter fraud have become significant elements of the Democrats’ electoral strategy. Reform is urgently needed, but the Democrats won’t let it happen.

Take a chill pill, John — the only irregularities in this instance are GOP poll watchers trying to shadow every single voter as they fill out their ballots. Guess what? That’s against the law:

Leventhal [a Fox reporter who was on the scene] spoke to a Republican poll watcher who said he’d only be allowed “intermittent” access to watching people vote; a Democratic poll watcher said the same thing. That’s because it’s the law — observers can check in and make sure everything’s running as it should, but watchers can’t just take up space in a crowded precinct and watch every voter pick up a ballot.

Which is not to say voters aren’t having problems at the polls today. But most of it is the kind that disenfranchises Democratic voters, not Republican.

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