Philadelphia has never faced a shortage of political grudge matches and for that we here at PhillyClout are eternally grateful. One of the most fascinating feuds has been the Philadelphia City Commission, which runs elections here, versus the Committee of 70, a non-profit watchdog group.
The Committee of 70 in June released a report on the May 18 primary election, with the title: "Five Easy Ways to Improve Local Elections." The group suggested the City Commission bring its web site "into the 21st century," clamp down on electioneering at polling places, take charge of finding polling officials, mandate training for those officials and invite public feedback and then take it seriously. You can read the five-page report here.
Bob Lee, the Commission's voter registration administrator, this week released the first of five responses and its a fair reading of his 11-page missive that he found the Committee of 70's report lacking. Lee spends a page and a half rebutting what 70 had to say about his wife.
Allow us to explain: Lee joked at a Commission meeting on May 19 that his wife showed up at the wrong spot for her polling place on election day. The Committee of 70 then used that as an example of how confusing it is in the city for voters to find polling places. Lee notes that his wife didn't check before heading to her polling place to see if it had been moved and that there was a sign on the door directing voters to the new location across the street.
"Is Seventy implying that because I personally did not remember to tell my wife of the change, that it is indicative of anything more than that?" Lee writes, adding that "there is no way I can personally inform all 1,064,000 registrants of their polling place location." You can read Lee's response here.