Elections and campaigns

Ohio Attorney General argues against state election-related speech law in U.S. Supreme Court

Cindy Gierhart | Libel | News | March 5, 2014
March 5, 2014

The Ohio Attorney General argued against its own election-related speech law in a brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.

In Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether two organizations can challenge an Ohio law that makes it a crime to knowingly make false statements about a candidate for office or ballot proposition.

Rather than defend the law, the Ohio Attorney General admitted it “raise[s] a number of potential constitutional issues.”

N.D. law banning campaigning on Election Day ruled unconstitutional

Lilly Chapa | Prior Restraints | News | November 1, 2012
November 1, 2012

A federal judge Wednesday banned the enforcement of a century-old statute that prevents North Dakota citizens from campaigning on Election Day, calling the law “archaic” and “unconstitutional.”

Wisconsin radio reporter locked out of Romney campaign event

Jack Komperda | Newsgathering | News | August 23, 2012
August 23, 2012

Campaign staffers for presidential candidate Mitt Romney barred a local radio reporter from covering a Republican Wisconsin senator’s stump speech Wednesday on behalf of Romney because of the actions of one of the station’s on-air personalities.

Dylan Brogan, a reporter for WTDY Radio in Madison, was assigned to cover the appearance of U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. Johnson’s appearance was billed in a press release as a talk about Romney’s plan to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class.

Supreme Court reaffirms corporate speech freedoms in Montana case

Amanda Simmons | Prior Restraints | News | June 25, 2012
June 25, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Montana ban on corporations’ political contributions today, reaffirming on the state level its 2010 ruling against federal regulations of corporate and union speech.

Minn. high court rules sealed absentee ballots not public

J.C. Derrick | Freedom of Information | Feature | November 17, 2011
November 17, 2011

In the latest legal dispute involving Sen. Al Franken's contested 2008 U.S. Senate election, the Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld a lower court decision to keep rejected absentee ballots from being released to five television stations seeking access to the information under the state's open records law.

Reporters Committee argues for release of voter records in federal appeals court brief

Press Release | October 21, 2011
October 21, 2011

Voter registration applications are public records under federal law that cannot be withheld from release simply because of an arbitrary promise of secrecy by state officials, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press argued in a friend-of-the-court brief filed today.

Colorado court rules that digital ballots are open records

Jamie Schuman | Freedom of Information | Feature | September 30, 2011
September 30, 2011

In a decision that will make it easier for journalists to cover controversial elections in Colorado, the state’s appellate court ruled Thursday that digital versions of voters’ ballots are open records.

Disclosure of expunged records does not invade privacy

Kristen Rasmussen | Privacy | Feature | February 23, 2011
February 23, 2011

Disclosure of a political candidate’s expunged criminal record cannot give rise to an invasion-of-privacy claim, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

Case against reporter for photo in polling station dropped

Stephen Miller | Newsgathering | Feature | October 20, 2010
October 20, 2010

A West Virginia judge Monday dropped all charges filed against the publisher of a West Virginia monthly paper who photographed a worker inside a polling station during an election, according to court documents.

Texas mayor drops libel suit for $50,000 and a retraction

Cristina Abello | Libel | Quicklink | February 17, 2010
February 17, 2010

A Texas man who took out an ad that said a former mayor broke laws in a city land acquisition must pay damages of $50,000 and take out an ad that retracts his allegations as part of a settlement, The Keller Citizen reported.