Philadelphia City Commissioners said that they are investigating after a Wednesday video reportedly showed a GOP poll watcher being kicked out of a Philadelphia polling place.
A video posted by Human Events editor-in-chief Will Chamberlain showed Gary Feldman, the GOP poll watcher, asking two poll workers, “so you’re not letting me in?” One of the workers replied, “no.” (RELATED: Trump Campaign Threatens To Sue Philadelphia City Commissioners For Allegedly Not Allowing Poll Watchers)
[Note: The author of this post is engaged to Will Chamberlain, who posted the video.]
“Call the police, do it,” the male poll worker told Feldman. “If you legal, call the cops.”
“I have a citywide watcher’s certificate,” Feldman said. The female poll worker tells him that “it’s not for this location.”
Feldman told them that his certificate allows him to poll watch at any location in Philadelphia. Feldman’s watcher’s certificate, which was posted by Chamberlain and a copy of which was seen by the Daily Caller, stated that the “certificate authorizes the individual to watch in any ward/division in Philadelphia.” Each candidate or party is allowed one poll watcher per voting room at a time, the certificate stated.
Feldman told the Daily Caller that when he arrived to observe the polling place at the Mitchum-Wilson funeral home in South Philadelphia, someone stopped him at the door and asked for his certificate. The person told Feldman that the ward and division on his certificate were not valid for that location and that he was not allowed in, Feldman said.
“Gary Feldman, a certified poll watcher, was illegally denied entry to the Mitchum-Wilson funeral home, despite presenting his certificate that guaranteed entry to polling places citywide,” Philadelphia Election Day Operations (EDO) Spokesperson Rachel Tripp told the Daily Caller. “Mr. Feldman’s experience at the polls is one of over a dozen instances of election interference reported across Philadelphia in just three hours since polls opened this morning.”
“These blatant, desperate, and illegal attempts to prevent certified Republican poll watchers from ensuring the integrity of the electoral process is clearly a last ditch effort by desperate Democrats to influence the election through obstructive and dishonest means,” Tripp added.
The Philadelphia City Commissioners, a 3-member board of elected officials who are in charge of Philadelphia elections, said on Twitter that they would investigate the incident.
“Can you please DM us more details such as location?” the Commissioners wrote on Twitter. “We will investigate this. Need Ward and division. Thank you.” The Philadelphia City Commissioners did not respond to a request for comment.
A spokesperson with the Commissioner’s office told Buzzfeed reporter Jane Lytvynenko that the poll worker was going off of a previous law which assigned poll watchers to specific wards, which the spokesperson called an “honest mistake.” They also said that the poll watcher was later allowed to enter.
“This person was allowed to enter and is there now,” spokesperson Kevin Feely told Buzzfeed news.
Feldman denied Feely’s account.
“I never went back to that polling place,” Feldman told the Daily Caller. “I don’t know Kevin Feely. Nobody from the Commissioners office has got in touch with me if the incident.”
“I was in that Poll and immediately forced out of that Poll,” Feldman said. “Countywide Watcher Certificates have been around since 2002, and is now an 18 year rule. I was never apologized to by the Commissioners Office.”
Feldman had reportedly been sent to the polling location at the Mitchum-Wilson funeral home because of reports that other poll watchers had been denied entry, a source familiar with the matter told the Daily Caller. A document obtained by the Caller showed that a complaint was filed by a different poll watcher who was allegedly denied entry at the same polling location.