DA's office to deploy task force to monitor Philly primary election

Mark Abrams
May 15, 2019 - 1:34 pm
First Assistant District Attorney Robert Listenbee

Mark Abrams/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia district attorney's office plans to deploy an Election Task Force to monitor the polls during next Tuesday's primary election.

First Assistant District Attorney Robert Listenbee says that, with a large ballot that includes candidates for mayor, city council, judges and ballot questions, there's a potential for misconduct at the polls.

"Approximately 50 assistant district attorneys and about 20 specially assigned district attorney detectives will be deployed throughout Philadelphia when the polls open at 7 a.m., " Listenbee says. "And we will remain at our posts until the polls close."

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That's 8 p.m., or until the last voter on line at that hour votes.

Andrew Wellbrock, an assistant DA who oversees the task force, says one of the biggest complaints it has received in past elections is "electioneering," which is campaigning too close to a polling place.

"It is a very large ballot this time around, and there'll be many candidates outside of polling places," he said. "It's important to remember that, as long as they are 10 feet away from the doors, they are fine. We often get questions about the distance, it is 10 feet."

Wellbrock says the task force will be looking for irregularities and relying on the public for tips.

"We're concerned with crimes. If you see something that does not look like it should be occurring on Election Day, please call us. That goes for voters, that goes for the board workers, and it goes for poll watchers working on behalf of candidates," Wellbrock said. 

Also, those requesting help in casting their ballot must have certification of their disability.

Telephone tip lines for Election Day complaints to the DA's task force are being set up. 

Election hotlines

  • 215-686-9641
  • 215-686-9643
  • 215-686-9644