Philly Election Day Fail: Too Cold to Vote

Polls have been open for about five hours in Pennsylvania with another eight to go, and based on the latest report from non-partisan election watchdog group Committee of Seventy, it is going to be a very, very long day. Committee of Seventy president and CEO Zack Stalberg says that the intensity of calls to their 866-OUR-VOTE hotline is “unprecedented.”

Here’s the newest update from the Committee of Seventy:

Seventy’s Election Day volunteers are fielding a lot of calls from voters reporting problems with voting based on their voter registrations not being present in the poll books when they arrived at their polling place to vote this morning. These calls are coming in from Philadelphia.

Seventy has numerous reports on its Election Day Program Hotline (1-866-OUR-VOTE) from voters in multiple divisions where their names are not listed in the poll books. For any voters whose registrations were processed after October 23rd, their registrations were supposed to go into a Supplemental Poll Book, and an issue seems to be whether all these new, late-processed registrations made it to the polling place on time for Election Day.

Seventy has brought these numerous reports of voters complaining they’re not listed in the poll books to the City Commissioners. The voters are voting by provisional ballot. Seventy is also hearing of some polling places where judges are declining to allow voters to vote provisionally, and has alerted the Commissioners about this related issue as well. We’ll keep you updated about this important, emerging problem throughout the day.

A polling place is reported down in the 28th Ward, at the Richard Wright School at 2728 Dauphin Street. Both voting machines have been down for at least two hours, according to our Seventy volunteers in the field. Voters are being told to vote provisional ballot, but some voters are just walking away – at least 30 voters, according to our volunteers at the polling place. The judge of elections has called city elections officials to come deal with the problem. Several voters have confirmed this problem to Seventy, which has notified the Commissioners.

The mayor of Conshohocken is reportedly inside a polling place in Conshohocken in Montgomery County – without a watcher’s certificate. Seventy has gotten numerous callls from voters about this electioneering inside the polls – which is against the state elections code. Seventy volunteers are on their way to the location now to look into it.

Seventy has a report of a polling place in the 21st Ward in Roxborough where the heat has shut down in the polling place. With temperatures dropping into the 30s today, the poll workers and voters alike are suffering from some frigid conditions. Some poll workers want to shut the polling place down until the problem gets fixed. The location is at Cinnaminson Street and Ridge Avenue. Elections officials are searching for space heaters. The location is a city firehouse.