Questionable Early Voting in Philadelphia

Drudge has the siren out again:

Before voting even began in Philladelphia — poll watchers found nearly 2000 votes already planted on machines scattered throughout downtown… One incident occurred at 2601 N. 11th St., Philadelphia, Pa: Ward 37, division 8… pollwatchers uncovered 4 machines with planted votes; one with over 200 and one with nearly 500… A second location, 1901 W. Girard Ave., Berean Institute, Philadelphia, Pa, had 300 votes already on 2 machines at start of day… INCIDENT: 292 votes on machine at start of day; WARD/DIVISION: 7/7: ADDRESS: 122 W. Erie Ave., Roberto Clemente School, Philadelphia, Pa.; INCIDENT: 456 votes on machine at start of day; WARD/DIVISION: 12/3; ADDRESS: 5657 Chew Ave., storefront, Philadelphia, Pa… Developing…

There may well be an honest explanation for this–perhaps they have legitimate on-site early voting–or it could be an attempt by one side to cheat. This is why we have pollwatchers.

Update (1012): There’s no legally sanctioned early voting in Philadelphia:

Before giving hope to any Pennsylvanians, let me quickly add that this state is doing its election the old-fashioned way. Polls open here at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m., and voters must show up in person to cast a ballot, although the standard procedures apply for absentee voters whose ballots must be received by the county elections department by Friday, Oct. 29.

We’ll see what the story turns out to be. I’d prefer something more concrete than a Drudge blurb.

Update (1100): Drudge now has a story link up but no more information.

FILED UNDER: 2004 Election, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bithead says:

    Well, let’s recall that the areas he lists were dirty in 2000, showing something on the order of 130% trunout… and going to Gore by about 20%.

    Do the math.

  2. Michael Angier says:

    Fox is reporting on this now. According to the local D.A. who is examining the voting machines, the counter read by poll watchers was for the lifetime of the machine, not this election.

  3. ken says:

    Hmm, and Howard Stern is reporting on his radio show that all the planted votes where for Bush.

  4. James Joyner says:

    Color me a mite skeptical when Howard Stern is the source.

  5. ken says:

    You may be skepical James but Stern’s claim is certainly worthy of widespread dissemination. Let’s just report what Stern says about how Bush is trying to steal the election all over the nation. Then let the people decide what to do about it.

  6. Terry Ott says:

    The news from Milwaukee this morning has tires slashed last night on 30 vans or shuttles that were parked overnight on the city’s NW side for the GOP to use in getting people to the polls.

    Not that something so minor will cause a setback. Just makes people angry, that’s all.

  7. Paul says:

    Taking a cue from CBS, Ken goes for the “bogus but important” defense of Stern.

    BTW James the story is bogus.

  8. McGehee says:

    Let’s just report what Stern says about how Bush is trying to steal the election all over the nation. Then let the people decide what to do about it.

    Here’s what I’m doing about it:


  9. Anjin-San says:

    Hmmm, Turns out the reports of machines with votes already on them are total crap. A federal judge has found that GOP “challengers” are indeed acting illegally in South Dokata.

    The bush stop the vote forces are hard at work…

  10. LJD says:

    In the typical left-o-crat fashion, we’re talking about old news here. In June, Tom Daschle argued against requiring Native Americans to have I.D. to vote. Again in August, the NAACP and People for the American Way made the same charge.

    It is now November 2nd. Those who wanted to vote in the Presidential election have had 6 months to acquire some sort of identification.

    As far as I know, the judge struck down the requirement to provide I.D. at the polls. There was no charge (I can find) that the GOP has acted “illegally” in any way. Of course, again, you have not substantiated any of your claims.

    Now Daschle charges that GOP poll observers have been crowding voters, making notes as they voted and writing down license plate numbers of cars bringing them to vote. Presumably, because they are not required to present ANY identification. (And the Dems would all LOVE to vote twice).

    Ohhh, how terrible! They just couldn’t bring themselves to vote in the PUBLIC election with all of those people, um, watching them! If some one truly wants to cast their vote, there is nothing to stop them. I am sure the local Police would be more than happy to assist….

    So now Tom Daschle wants to discount the absentee ballots. Likely many of them are from troops overseas. Where Gore went before, so the Dems follow today. What a disgrace!

    When, Oh when, will you stop your crying?

  11. McGehee says:

    Nice spinning, Anjin-san. As usual, your acquaintance with the truth is distant and contemptuous.

    The Daschle camp didn’t get what they really wanted. The judge — a longtime Daschle personal friend who should never have been put in such a spot — threw his friend a bone by ordering poll watchers not to write down license plate numbers. The Republicans won on every other point and Daschle got a whole bunch of bad publicity that will be told as the final nail in his political career.

    Not sure how writing down license plate numbers after the drivers have already voted can be construed as voter intimidation.