Media Demands Room To Conduct Exit PollsTue Sep 30, 2008 @ 06:41PM PST
By Eriq Gardner
Six major media organizations are challenging a new Minnesota law that they argue would make it tougher to conduct exit polls in this November election.
The Associated Press, CNN, Fox, CBS, ABC and NBC have filed a joint lawsuit against the Minnesota Secretary of State to block a law passed by the state legislature in April that restricts anybody but voters and election officials from coming within 100 feet of a voting station. Exit polls conducted in the last two election cycles were taken at 25 feet away.
The complaint argues that exit polls have extraordinary value in providing the news media and scholars with insight on voting patterns. The plaintiffs claim a 100-foot buffer zone violates First Amendment free speech rights. (A similar argument has been against laws that protect celebrities from paparazzi.)
The plaintiffs are represented by John Borger at Faegre & Benson.