MAYOR NUTTER on Friday announced the creation of a six-member "fact-finding" team to examine voting problems in Philadelphia in last month's presidential election.
Confusion at the polls led to an increase in the number of Philadelphians who were forced to cast provisional ballots. That created "a dark cloud over what should have been . . . one of the most exciting elections in the history of the United States of America," Nutter said.
The "fact-finding" - Nutter stressed it was not an "investigation" - will look into "the accuracy and integrity of our voter-roll system," the training standards for poll workers and other issues.
City Managing Director Rich Negrin will lead the team. Other members are Hope Caldwell, deputy to the city chief integrity officer; Jordan Schwartz, who works for the mayor's chief of staff; Terry Gillen, the city's liaison with the federal government; the Rev. Kevin Johnson, of Bright Hope Baptist Church; and Nicole Harrington, a deputy in the Inspector General's Office.
The three city commissioners, who oversaw the election, released findings this week that most of the 27,000 voters forced to cast provisional ballots didn't need to because they were properly registered.
Nutter previously called the City Commission, which had a tumultuous year of infighting, a "three-ring circus," but he backed away from that Friday. The commissioners have pledged to cooperate with the probe, he said.
"I'm not Dr. Phil. I'm the mayor of the city, and they are adults and they'll figure it out," he said.
City Controller Alan Butkovitz had previously announced that he was investigating the election.
Mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald said that Nutter "feels it is inappropriate for the controller to be engaged in an inquiry into the officials who are overseeing [the controller's] election."
Butkovitz said that "doesn't make any sense" because he is "responsible for auditing all city departments all of the time."
"The problems with this election are of such significance that I think it's a good idea for as many eyes as possible to take a look," he said.
The day before the announcement, Nutter met with all three commissioners behind closed doors. The state Sunshine Act requires that meetings be open to the public when there is a quorum, or a majority, of an agency's members "deliberating agency business."
McDonald said the meeting was private and did not break the law.