City Commissioners: No $$$ to put primary returns online

Who voted and how? Don't look for real time results

Last year, activist Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg petitioned for access to the city's password-protected election-returns Web site. Traditionally, only city bigwigs and paying members of the media could access the site on election night.

The city acknowledged the request, and the city commissioners - who run elections and voter registration - made returns available on a public site for the November general election. The $350,000 cost of getting the site up was covered by federal funds.

But that money isn't available for the primary election, and the city cannot afford the $30,000 in fees to host the site, said Bob Lee, an election administrator at the Philadelphia Board of Elections.

Lee said that the city is upgrading its online system and should have a permanent public site up for this November's general election. But for the primary, he said, residents will have to access results through the media or they can go and look at returns as they are being tallied by election officials in their office at Delaware Avenue and Spring Garden Street.

"It's a one-election issue," he said.

Urevick-Ackelsberg said that he was shocked by the news. "It's mind-boggling. It's against what the city already said," he said.