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 Post subject: News groups sue Ohio elections chief over poll access
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:38 pm 
Donewaiting.com Staff
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Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2002 6:26 pm
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Location: Park Slope
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Six national news organizations sued Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell on Monday over a policy that would prevent exit polling within 100 feet of a voting place.

Five television networks - ABC, CNN, CBS, Fox News and NBC - and The Associated Press filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, seeking additional access at the polls Tuesday. The organizations have formed a consortium to collect exit-polling data in Ohio and other states.

The news organizations said the prohibition hinders their ability to gather information about the political process and violates constitutional guarantees of free speech.

In a separate action, the Akron Beacon Journal asked a federal judge to block any attempt by Blackwell or the Summit County Board of Elections to enforce the policy. Judge Paul Matia ruled Monday against the newspaper, which will appeal the order.

The networks and the AP said exit-poll reporters were allowed to conduct interviews within 100 feet of polls as recently as the March primary.

According to the suit, Blackwell told county boards in February that since state law does not specifically regulate exit-polling, "in keeping with Ohio's past practices, exit pollsters should not be disturbed solely because they are conducting exit polling within the 100-foot-boundary."

Blackwell spokesman Carlo LoParo said Monday that in February, media interest in the Ohio election was much less. Anticipating a crush of voters and media on Tuesday, Blackwell told boards to enforce a state law that bars anyone besides voters, election officials, challengers and witnesses from inside the 100-foot limit, LoParo said.

Dave Tomlin, AP assistant general counsel, said exit polling isn't intrusive and provides insight into how people vote.

"Everyone who really wants to understand what happens on Election Day, including the secretary of state, is interested in the information we intend to gather and report," Tomlin said in a statement.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:09 am 
Godzilla
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Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2003 1:10 pm
Posts: 6351
no "photographers". Not sure how I feel about this (keeping "challengers" away from the polls is what the Dems wanted, btw). it's a tough call--free-speech/freedom-of-the-press versus voter poll access, and maintaining anonymity in the voting process..I think I come down on the side of voter access over press access on this one. Especially important given the expected increase in voter turnout..


then there's shit like this...

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/conte ... _1101.html
Quote:
Deputy tackles, arrests journalist for photographing voters
By Jane Daugherty
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 01, 2004

A widely published investigative journalist was tackled, punched and
arrested Sunday afternoon by a Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy who
tried to confiscate his camera outside the elections supervisor's
headquarters.

About 600 people were standing in line waiting to vote early when James
S. Henry was charged with disorderly conduct for taking photos of
waiting voters about 3:30 p.m. outside the main elections office on
Military Trail near West Palm Beach.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:28 pm 
Donewaiting.com Staff
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Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2002 6:26 pm
Posts: 11658
Location: Park Slope
Quote:
In addition, at least one paper -- The Columbus Dispatch -- has registered newsroom employees as election challengers so they gain access to polling places.

"We filed to be challengers because election officials said they would strictly enforce laws regulating who can be in polling places -- voters, poll workers and challengers only," Dispatch Editor Ben Marrison wrote in a column. "Dispatch staffers are registered as challengers for every precinct in Franklin and Delaware counties."


http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp ... 1000697509

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