Bluestine said at 10:30 p.m., "We have a staffer there who's aware of the situation."

D.A.'s Office: 'We haven't seen any surprises today'

The District Attorney's Election Fraud Task Force had investigated 95 incidents at the polls as of 6 p.m. Tuesday – a number on par with investigations from 2012 elections.

None were out of the ordinary, officials said.

"We haven't seen any surprises today," said Cameron Kline, DA Seth Williams' spokesman. He said the kinds of incidents the task force investigated – from electioneering to machine issues to voter assistance – were also typical.

The fraud hotline buzzed all day, Kline said, with most incidents resolvable over the phone. Some voters simply had general questions about the election, he said, or had issues that were solved with a call to an election judge.

People complained about electioneering – campaigners handing out pamphlets too close to a polling place's door, for example – and the functionality of voting machines. Others called to report seeing two people in a polling place.

The election fraud task force was formed in 2014, two years after the last presidential election, but the DA's office traditionally investigates such issues. By the same time in 2012, the office had investigated 97 alleged election fraud incidents.

The local GOP said that about thirty minority observers had been turned away from their polling places, though a few had returned after the party hashed it out in election court. Kline said he wasn't sure what had taken place in election court, but that the DA's office had sent investigators to three polling places where minority observers were reportedly turned away.

"We receive these calls every single election," he said. "Sometimes it's a coordination issue. Sometimes two people, for whatever reason, have the same job. We work with local election boards to put the court appointed individuals where they need to be."

Kline said fears of vigilante poll watchers threatening voters never materialized. The office was investigating one brief confrontation between a poll worker and a person outside the polling station.

As for the results of the DA's investigations – "we're not there yet," Kline said.

--Aubrey Whelan

Here are highlights from polling places around the region earlier today, reported by our staff:

No intimidation, plenty of frustration, Committee of Seventy finds

The Committee of Seventy, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said there were "no detailed reports of voter intimidation or harassment" among the 1,130 responses to its survey of Philadelphia-area voters as of 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

  • Unprepared poll workers and machines

  • Lack of signage or direction

  • Difficulty completing write-in ballots

  • A confusing city ballot and unhelpful poll workers

The last man in line

High turnout in South Philly with a few hours left at the polls

An hour earlier, at Barry Rec Center in South Philadelphia before a crew of IBEW workers finally showed up to hang Hillary Clinton signage alongside the half-dozen Trump signs on the fence in an area of the city where Democrats outnumber Republicans three to one.

Short lines were forming at the 26th Ward, Division 6 polling place, where 377 voters had cast ballots out of a total registered number of 666.

Judge of elections Louis DiRenzo was trying not to read too much symbolism into that number. "It's going to be an unbelievable turnout," he said.

Dorsey had been working since 4 a.m. and hadn't considered the historic nature of the day much. But asked, she said, "I want to hear Hillary roar! No more bare feet in the kitchen and having babies. No more disrespecting us and making us into objects and taking our rights away."

-- Samantha Melamed

In heavily Latino Fairhill, "Going after Mexicans was interpreted as going after all of us"

In Fairhill, a section of north Philadelphia that is 80 percent Latino, and largely Puerto Rican, the bigger than normal voter turnout is a backlash against Donald Trump's attacks on Mexican immigrants, said Debbie Toro, a 7th Ward Democratic committeewoman, whose parents were born in Puerto Rico.

While Trump focused his fire on deporting Mexicans, said Toro, he misjudged how much empathy and intermarriage there is among Spanish speakers. "Puerto Rican-Dominican, Dominican-Mexican, you have mixed families everywhere," said Toro. "Nobody wants to lose a mother, or a sister-in-law, or a cousin," to deportation.

"Going after Mexicans was interpreted as going after all of us," she said. "The Hispanic community at large took offense."

-- Michael Matza

Philly Republicans claim inspectors barred from polls

Philadelphia's GOP chairman, Joe DeFelice, said about 30 to 40 Republican minority inspectors had been refused access to their polling places in precincts around the city.

"It's really a shame we couldn't prevent this," he said.

DeFelice said he couldn't speculate on why inspectors had been turned away, but said some poll workers had told minority inspectors they did not want Republicans in the polling place.

Felice said the party has taken those complaints to election court and was eventually able to get some minority inspectors back into the polling places, but that others had left and "aren't going back to vote because they feel so uncomfortable."

This is a developing story. We will have details from election court as they arrive.

 — Aubrey Whelan

 What is the '2016 Voter Protection Team?'

In a handful of West and North Philadelphia precincts, small groups wearing buttons saying "2016 Voter Protection Team" stood nearby,  apparently with an aim of providing legal help if voters felt they were facing intimidation.   One man with the team  said his group was "with Hillary." He declined to provide his name.

An administrator with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law said it had fielded the teams and directed a reporter to an affiliated group in Washington, D.C., for more information.   Confusingly, that group, the Voter Protection coalition,  said it was not involved in the Philadephia effort.

— Craig McCoy

Gadfly reports he busted 'a pastor bus'

Political gadfly James O'Keefe, infamous for undercover stings purporting to show Democratic misdeeds, released a video on Twitter in which he said he is undercover in Philly, looking for illegal activity and following "a pastor bus" that's taking voters to the polls. Click here for more.

It was a rough day for Barbara M., a 58-year-old poll watcher at Bible Way Baptist Church in West Philly, who learned two hours into her noon-to-6 p.m. shift that she had been hired by the Republican City Committee.

"I did not know that, because I would not work for Donald Trump. I feel [angry]. I need the money but not that bad," said Barbara, who is being paid $100 for the day.  Click here to read more of the story.

Republican poll watcher: Sent to the back of the room

Printing error in S.J. makes election ballots unscannable

Committee people in South Philadelphia are really hedging on Hillary Clinton and just trying to talk voters into sticking with the rest of the ticket.

There were a few incidents this morning at Guerin Rec Center, where about eight 26th and 48th Ward Divisions vote. One was an antiabortion protester who was shouting at the people handing out Democratic sample ballots; another was an agitated voter who was having trouble finding his polling place.

But turnout was high: by 1 p.m., over 1,400 votes were counted across eight divisions. Poll workers said that might be the total for the entire day in a typical election.

Francine Weisman, 59, a committeewoman with the 26th Ward, 12th division, said she thinks her division might split evenly for Trump and Clinton. She's afraid to tell voters that she supports Clinton, and is just urging them, no matter who their presidential pick, to stick with the rest of the Democratic ticket.

"This is different. In all my years of working the polling places I never been through anything like this before. There's a lot of haters out there. No fighting so far, but there's been a lot of strong words: How could you vote for her?" she said. "I'm scared this election."

It also may not help matters that Clinton declined to fund the city's Democratic operation. Committeeman John DellaRocca, 26th Ward, 10th Division, remarked: "A lady came and said to me, 'How come there are no Hillary signs?' [Because] she didn't give me any. She didn't put any money into Philadelphia."

— Samantha Melamed

Can 'inactive voters' still vote?

If you haven't voted for several years, when you get to your local polling place today you might be told you're under "inactive voting status."

Don't fret.

You may need to show some form of government ID or proof of residence, but you still have a right to cast a ballot.

"Even if they're considered 'inactive,' they're still registered," said Wendy Murren,  spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of State.

If you haven’t voted for several election cycles, your county probably tried to send you a notice. If the notice was returned — or you didn’t respond — the county marked you as inactive.

"Voters have two federal elections before they're removed from the rolls," said Tim Dowling, a Philadelphia chief deputy city commissioner.   "The purge used to be two years, now it's seven-and-half to eight years before they can be removed."

Dowling, who said turnout at the polls was "very high," said his office had received no inquiries about inactive voter status.

The issue of inactive voter status was flagged this morning by Electionland, a project of, a nonprofit and nonpartisan news organization. The project monitors Google Trends to sound out potential electoral irregularities. This morning, the project noticed dozens of searches for "inactive voter status" in the Philadelphia region (the exact number wasn't available).

If you've already voted, how was your experience at the polls? Please let us know by clicking here. The Inquirer and the Daily News have 17 reporters checking on irregularities across the region.

For more information about voting in Philadelphia, visit

 — Sam Wood