It's a busy day out there at the polls in Philly. Here are the first two updates from watchdog group Committee of Seventy about any problems going on:
Election Day Update from the Committee of Seventy
First update, 9:25 AM - "Problems at the Polls"
"It's looking like a messy election."
That was Zack Stalberg, President and CEO of the Committee of Seventy, yesterday
Stalberg's comment looks accurate - already.
Here's what's happening out there already, according to Seventy's volunteers on the phones and at the polls.
* Election Court is dealing with a host of minority (Republican) inspectors being denied access to their polling places in Philadelphia.
* The New Black Panthers are back. They're reportedly at the polling place at 11th and Germantown Streets.
* There are "You need a photo ID to vote" signs at a number of polling places. Seventy has asked the City Commissioners to have Judges of Elections take those signs down immediately. We're also hearing that judges of election at at least two other polling places have been telling voters they need a photo ID to vote. You don't need a photo ID to vote today in Pennsylvania, though elections officials are supposed to ask you if you have one.
* A polling place at 7th and Cayoga Streets - in the city's Latino area - has numerous voters who do not speak English - and reportedly no interpreter in sight.
We'll be delivering you updates all day long as we hear them from our army of 800 volunteers here at Seventy, working in Philadelphia and throughout the Delaware Valley to help voters on Election Day, 2012.
Update, 9:45 AM. New Black Panthers, Nowhere in Sight
Seventy dispatched volunteers to the Philadelphia polling place at 11th St. and Germantown Avenue this morning, where reports surfaced earlier today that the New Black Panthers were back in Philly and at this polling place. Neither Seventy's volunteers, nor City officials who visited the polling precinct and checked in with Seventy, saw any signs of the New Black Panthers. We'll keep you posted, but as of now, no hard evidence that this report is true.