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Problems, Panthers surface at Pa. polls

  • Ed Lippman, 58, wears a message on his jacket on Election Day while walking home, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Hoboken, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)Ed Lippman, 58, wears a message on his jacket on Election Day while walking home, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Hoboken, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • Voters cast their votes at the Boys and Girls Club Tuesday on Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/The Daily Progress, Andrew Shurtleff)Voters cast their votes at the Boys and Girls Club Tuesday on Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/The Daily Progress, Andrew Shurtleff)
  • Poll worker Leon Levy attaches stickers to a tabletop on election day on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. After a grinding presidential campaign President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, yield center stage to American voters Tuesday for an Election Day choice that will frame the contours of government and the nation for years to come. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)Poll worker Leon Levy attaches stickers to a tabletop on election day on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. After a grinding presidential campaign President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, yield center stage to American voters Tuesday for an Election Day choice that will frame the contours of government and the nation for years to come. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
  • A man tries to hand his ballot, top right, to an election worker, standing in the doorway, as voters crowd an apartment building hallway, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in the Coney Island section of New York. Voting in the U.S. presidential election was the latest challenge for the hundreds of thousands of people in the New York-New Jersey area still affected by Superstorm Sandy, as they struggled to get to non-damaged polling places to cast their ballots in one of the tightest elections in recent history. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)A man tries to hand his ballot, top right, to an election worker, standing in the doorway, as voters crowd an apartment building hallway, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in the Coney Island section of New York. Voting in the U.S. presidential election was the latest challenge for the hundreds of thousands of people in the New York-New Jersey area still affected by Superstorm Sandy, as they struggled to get to non-damaged polling places to cast their ballots in one of the tightest elections in recent history. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
  • An unidentified person votes at a polling place located inside a car dealership in La Vista, Neb., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)An unidentified person votes at a polling place located inside a car dealership in La Vista, Neb., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
  • Voters pack the South Starkvile Voting Precinct trying to get their vote in before heading to work on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in Starkville, Miss.  (AP Photo/Kerry Smith)Voters pack the South Starkvile Voting Precinct trying to get their vote in before heading to work on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Kerry Smith)
  • A light wet snow covers the roof and ground around the Jenkins Town Hall as early voters casts their ballots Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in Jenkins, Minn. Jenkins is located in Crow Wing County in northern Minnesota. (AP Photo/Tom Olmscheid)A light wet snow covers the roof and ground around the Jenkins Town Hall as early voters casts their ballots Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in Jenkins, Minn. Jenkins is located in Crow Wing County in northern Minnesota. (AP Photo/Tom Olmscheid)
  • Citizens fill the voting booths on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, at the Stockton Community Center in Stockton, Minn.  After a grinding presidential campaign, Americans headed into polling places across the country. (AP Photo/Winona Daily News, Andrew Link)Citizens fill the voting booths on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, at the Stockton Community Center in Stockton, Minn. After a grinding presidential campaign, Americans headed into polling places across the country. (AP Photo/Winona Daily News, Andrew Link)
  • Susan Mardas celebrates Election Day by wearing a festive hat Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, while waiting for her mother to vote in Scarborough, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)Susan Mardas celebrates Election Day by wearing a festive hat Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, while waiting for her mother to vote in Scarborough, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
  • Poll Manager, Melvin Davis Jr. unlocks the voting machines  at Grady High School,  Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, John Spink)Poll Manager, Melvin Davis Jr. unlocks the voting machines at Grady High School, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, John Spink)
  • Dave Reyes II waits to be the first voter in his precinct outside of the polling station set up in the garage of the Gallegos residence in Stockton, Calif., Tuesday, Nov.  6, 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Dave Reyes II waits to be the first voter in his precinct outside of the polling station set up in the garage of the Gallegos residence in Stockton, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
  • Mervel Parker fills out his ballot to vote in the election at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/The Montgomery Advertiser, Julie Bennett)  Mervel Parker fills out his ballot to vote in the election at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/The Montgomery Advertiser, Julie Bennett)
  • Voters cast their ballots in the general election at Kirkwood Community Center Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Kirkwood, Mo.  (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Voters cast their ballots in the general election at Kirkwood Community Center Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Kirkwood, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
  • A voter signs in to cast a ballot at the old Brown School on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in rural Wellsville, Kan. After a grinding presidential campaign President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, yield center stage to American voters Tuesday for an Election Day choice that will frame the contours of government and the nation for years to come. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)A voter signs in to cast a ballot at the old Brown School on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in rural Wellsville, Kan. After a grinding presidential campaign President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, yield center stage to American voters Tuesday for an Election Day choice that will frame the contours of government and the nation for years to come. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Indiana gubernatorial candidate Libertarian Rupert Boneham laughs as he's told by poling place volunteer Carol Mapier that he "has a great body" as he greeted voters outside a poling place in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.  Boneham faces Democrat John Gregg and Republican Mike Pence in the gubernatorial race. Boneham was a contestant on the reality show Survivor. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)Indiana gubernatorial candidate Libertarian Rupert Boneham laughs as he's told by poling place volunteer Carol Mapier that he "has a great body" as he greeted voters outside a poling place in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Boneham faces Democrat John Gregg and Republican Mike Pence in the gubernatorial race. Boneham was a contestant on the reality show Survivor. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
  • Hal Pigg casts his vote, reflected in an image of a flag, on Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Jamul, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Hal Pigg casts his vote, reflected in an image of a flag, on Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Jamul, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
  • A resident in Atlantic Highlands, N.J., walks to the Atlantic Highlands Emergency Services Building to vote Nov. 6, 2012, as power outages from superstorm Sandy forced the town to condense all the districts into one location. (Associated Press)A resident in Atlantic Highlands, N.J., walks to the Atlantic Highlands Emergency Services Building to vote Nov. 6, 2012, as power outages from superstorm Sandy forced the town to condense all the districts into one location. (Associated Press)
  • Mike Maloney briefly stops traffic so Elizabeth Rahn can cross the street to get to her polling place, outside the Rochester Senior Center, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in Rochester, Minn. Maloney was  encouraging people to vote. (AP Photo/The Post-Bulletin, Jerry Olson)Mike Maloney briefly stops traffic so Elizabeth Rahn can cross the street to get to her polling place, outside the Rochester Senior Center, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in Rochester, Minn. Maloney was encouraging people to vote. (AP Photo/The Post-Bulletin, Jerry Olson)
  • After voting, Mike Weigart, 30, carries his ballot and his surfboard to the ballot box at the polling place at the Venice Beach lifeguard headquarters in Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Weigart said "It's awesome the polling place is where I surf." (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)After voting, Mike Weigart, 30, carries his ballot and his surfboard to the ballot box at the polling place at the Venice Beach lifeguard headquarters in Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Weigart said "It's awesome the polling place is where I surf." (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
  • William Wright, left, and India Johnson, right, both freshman at ODU, wait on line  to vote at Larchmont Elementary School in Norfolk, Va. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Wright and Johnson, both 18 and from Richmond, were excited to cast their first votes in the Presidential election. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Amanda Lucier) William Wright, left, and India Johnson, right, both freshman at ODU, wait on line to vote at Larchmont Elementary School in Norfolk, Va. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Wright and Johnson, both 18 and from Richmond, were excited to cast their first votes in the Presidential election. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Amanda Lucier)
  • Victor "Snake Mann" Wolder, marks his choices while voting during Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) Victor "Snake Mann" Wolder, marks his choices while voting during Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
  • A sign directs people to a polling site in a school that is also serving as a donation site for victims of Superstorm Sandy in the Midland Beach section of Staten Island, New York, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.  Voting in a the U.S. presidential election was the latest challenge for the hundreds of thousands of people in the New York-New Jersey area still affected by Superstorm Sandy, as they struggled to get to non-damaged polling places to cast their ballots in one of the tightest elections in recent history. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)A sign directs people to a polling site in a school that is also serving as a donation site for victims of Superstorm Sandy in the Midland Beach section of Staten Island, New York, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Voting in a the U.S. presidential election was the latest challenge for the hundreds of thousands of people in the New York-New Jersey area still affected by Superstorm Sandy, as they struggled to get to non-damaged polling places to cast their ballots in one of the tightest elections in recent history. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
  • Early morning voters were not deterred by the cold rain Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, as they come to cast their ballots at Haverhill Town Hall, northeast of Rochester, Minn.  Americans are heading to polling places across the country Tuesday.  (AP Photo/The Rochester Post-Bulletin, Jerry Olson)Early morning voters were not deterred by the cold rain Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, as they come to cast their ballots at Haverhill Town Hall, northeast of Rochester, Minn. Americans are heading to polling places across the country Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Rochester Post-Bulletin, Jerry Olson)
  • Voters wait in line tocast their ballots at a polling station, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Miami. After a grinding presidential campaign President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, yield center stage to American voters Tuesday for an Election Day choice that will frame the contours of government and the nation for years to come. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald, Tim Chapman)  MAGS OUTVoters wait in line tocast their ballots at a polling station, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Miami. After a grinding presidential campaign President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, yield center stage to American voters Tuesday for an Election Day choice that will frame the contours of government and the nation for years to come. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald, Tim Chapman) MAGS OUT
  • Kezia Gipson, 3, waits with her grandparents Doris Ross and Freddie Irvin in a voting line at the International Longshoreman's Association Office in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. After a grinding presidential campaign President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, yield center stage to American voters Tuesday for an Election Day choice that will frame the contours of government and the nation for years to come. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald,Joe Rimkus Jr. )  MAGS OUTKezia Gipson, 3, waits with her grandparents Doris Ross and Freddie Irvin in a voting line at the International Longshoreman's Association Office in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. After a grinding presidential campaign President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, yield center stage to American voters Tuesday for an Election Day choice that will frame the contours of government and the nation for years to come. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald,Joe Rimkus Jr. ) MAGS OUT
  • A person walks through a makeshift shelter in a gymnasium at Toms River East High School on the way to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Toms River, N.J.  Voter turnout was heavy in several storm-ravaged Jersey shore towns, with many voters expressing relief and even elation at being able to vote at all, considering the devastation. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)A person walks through a makeshift shelter in a gymnasium at Toms River East High School on the way to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Toms River, N.J. Voter turnout was heavy in several storm-ravaged Jersey shore towns, with many voters expressing relief and even elation at being able to vote at all, considering the devastation. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
  • Snow surrounds the polling precinct in Terra Alta, W.Va., as Peter Hough heads to work after casting his ballot on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)Snow surrounds the polling precinct in Terra Alta, W.Va., as Peter Hough heads to work after casting his ballot on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
  • Early morning voting is under way at Bishop Molloy Recreational Center on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Point Lookout, N.Y., one of several voting locations that were created as a result of superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)Early morning voting is under way at Bishop Molloy Recreational Center on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Point Lookout, N.Y., one of several voting locations that were created as a result of superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
  • Poll workers (from right) Eva Prenga, Roxanne Blancero and Carole Sevchuk try to start an optical scanner voting machine in the cold and dark at a polling station in a tent in the Midland Beach section of Staten Island in New York on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. The original polling site, a school, was damaged by superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)Poll workers (from right) Eva Prenga, Roxanne Blancero and Carole Sevchuk try to start an optical scanner voting machine in the cold and dark at a polling station in a tent in the Midland Beach section of Staten Island in New York on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. The original polling site, a school, was damaged by superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
  • Voters fill out their ballots under a tent at a consolidated polling station for residents of the Rockaways on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in the Queens borough of New York. Turnout was heavy in several storm-ravaged areas in New York and New Jersey, with many voters expressing relief and even elation at being able to vote at all, considering the devastation. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)Voters fill out their ballots under a tent at a consolidated polling station for residents of the Rockaways on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in the Queens borough of New York. Turnout was heavy in several storm-ravaged areas in New York and New Jersey, with many voters expressing relief and even elation at being able to vote at all, considering the devastation. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
  • Two National Guard members stand by in their truck at Bishop Molloy Recreational Center, where voting took place on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Point Lookout, N.Y., one of several voting locations that were created as a result of superstorm Sandy. Election Day turnout was heavy in several storm-ravaged areas in New York and New Jersey, with many voters expressing relief and even elation at being able to vote at all, considering the devastation.  (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)Two National Guard members stand by in their truck at Bishop Molloy Recreational Center, where voting took place on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Point Lookout, N.Y., one of several voting locations that were created as a result of superstorm Sandy. Election Day turnout was heavy in several storm-ravaged areas in New York and New Jersey, with many voters expressing relief and even elation at being able to vote at all, considering the devastation. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
  • Leslie Fabian reacts after successfully voting electronically on Election Day at the 24-hour Su Nueva Laundromat in Chicago's 13th Ward on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)Leslie Fabian reacts after successfully voting electronically on Election Day at the 24-hour Su Nueva Laundromat in Chicago's 13th Ward on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
  • As voters cast their ballots, a cat that resides at the Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilition Center wanders through on Election Day, Tuesday Nov. 6, 2012, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)As voters cast their ballots, a cat that resides at the Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilition Center wanders through on Election Day, Tuesday Nov. 6, 2012, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)
  • A voter walks through a makeshift shelter in a gymnasium at Toms River East High School on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, on the way to the polls in Toms River, N.J. Voter turnout was heavy in several storm-ravaged Jersey shore towns, with many voters expressing relief and even elation at being able to vote at all, considering the devastation. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)A voter walks through a makeshift shelter in a gymnasium at Toms River East High School on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, on the way to the polls in Toms River, N.J. Voter turnout was heavy in several storm-ravaged Jersey shore towns, with many voters expressing relief and even elation at being able to vote at all, considering the devastation. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Problems at the polls surfaced early Tuesday in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, with Republican election monitors being turned away from polling places and members of the New Black Panther Party appearing at voting sites in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania Republican officials said 75 election monitors from the party were turned away from polling places in heavily Democratic sections of Philadelphia Tuesday, but a judge has ordered them reinstated.

"It certainly raises the question, what are Democrats doing in the polls that they are working so hard to shield folks from monitoring in this election?" state Republican chairman Rob Gleason said in a statement.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has turned his attention to Pennsylvania in the final days of the race, as polls there have tightened in a state that President Obama's campaign believed it would win fairly easily. Mr. Romney turned out about 30,000 supporters Sunday night at a rally in the Philadelphia suburbs.

The New Black Panther Party was back at the polls Tuesday in Philadelphia, where its members provoked a complaint of voter intimidation in 2008.

A reporter for Philadelphia Magazine found a "uniformed member of the New Black Panther Party" Tuesday morning at the entrance to a polling place in the 1200 block of Fairmount Avenue in Philadelphia. The reporter, Victor Fiorillo, told the man he was going to take his photograph.

"No pictures, please," he replied. When the reporter asked the black panther if he was there to provide security, the man replied, "No comment."

Other Black Panthers reportedly showed up at a second polling place in Philadelphia Tuesday morning.

On Election Day in 2008, three members of the New Black Panther Party stood outside a polling place in Philadelphia, with one of them brandishing a nightstick or baton. The Justice Department under President George W. Bush filed a civil complaint again three Black Panthers — Minister King Samir Shabazz, Malik Zulu Shabazz and Jerry Jackson — charging them with violating voter rights by using coercion, threats and intimidation. The Obama administration later dismissed most of the case, even though the Black Panthers had not contested the charges.

Separately, Republicans had to go to court Tuesday to get a Barack Obama mural covered up in the voting room at a north Philadelphia precinct.

The wall at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, which was just inches away from at least one voting machine, includes an image of Mr. Obama, his campaign's familiar "O" icon, an excerpt from his 2008 victory speech, and that campaign's "Hope" and "Change" slogans.

Meanwhile, Democrats in the key battleground state were concerned about a mysterious last-minute mailer, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The newspaper wrote that a voter in Harrisburg, site of a close state senate race, reported recently getting a mailer that purported to come from the state's Department of State saying identification is required to vote.

However, a judge ruled more than a month ago that no identification was required for this election, and a Democratic official told the newspaper that the mailer seemed "very suspicious."

Matthew Keeler, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, told The Washington Times that the department had sent out the mailer, but that happened more than a month ago before the judge's ruling. He said the department had not sent out the mailer in recent days.

The developments come just as hundreds of federal observers have fanned out across the country to monitor elections and polling places in 23 states, including closely watched Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Government officials, lawyers from both parties and watchdog groups are looking for irregularities the could tilt the outcome of the most expensive presidential election in history.

The Committee of Seventy, an election watchdog group in Philadelphia, said Tuesday there was much confusion at polling places in Philadelphia and its suburbs about the voter ID law. It said many polling sites around the region were distributing old information indicating that voters must produce ID to vote.

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