A judge has issued a court order mandating that a mural of President Barack Obama on the wall directly behind voting booths at a Northeast Philadelphia polling place be covered up.
“Unreal: Obama mural inside polling place in Philly,” Deputy Communications Director at the Republican National Committee Tim Miller tweeted this morning. “No wonder they are kicking out GOP officials.”
Miller was referring to a number of minority-party inspectors that were reportedly turned away from the polling places they were dispatched to monitor for voter fraud this morning. A Common Pleas judge issued a court order early this afternoon mandating that the inspectors be allowed inside.
The mural on the wall of Benjamin Franklin Elementary School on the 5700 block of Rising Sun Avenue in Lawncast depicts Obama holding a microphone with his eyes turned downward. One side of the portrait bears an Obama campaign mural and the word “hope …” The other side is painted with the Obama quote, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
“Is that even legal? Someone needs to complain,” one viewer commented on the picture. “Doesn’t that count as political propaganda? And as such is not allowed within like 1000 feet of a polling place?” another commenter wrote.
The mural has since been papered over pursuant to a judges order, which ruled that it violated Pennsylvania Election Code.
According to the Code, campaign materials are not allowed within 10 feet of a polling place, although political watchdog Committee of Seventy has urged the City Commissioner’s Office to observe a larger buffer, citing that the 10-foot rule is only a minimum requirement.