Skip to content

Court blocks Minnesota law that limits exit polling

Post categories

  1. Newsgathering
A federal judge in Minnesota on Wednesday issued an injunction blocking a state law that would have prohibited news organizations from conducting exit…

A federal judge in Minnesota on Wednesday issued an injunction blocking a state law that would have prohibited news organizations from conducting exit polls within 100 feet of a polling place.

U.S. District Judge Michael Davis issued the order in American Broadcasting Companies Inc. v. Ritchie at the request of six national news outlets – ABC, The Associated Press, CNN, CBS, Fox News and NBC. The news groups complained that the statute, passed by the Minnesota Legislature in April, inhibits their First Amendment rights by preventing anyone not voting or registering to vote from being “within 100 feet of the entrance to the polling place.”

The injunction prevents enforcement of the new statute only as it pertains to exit polling, since the state presented “no evidence” that exit polling “in any way has a detrimental effect on the orderly and corruption-free polling place.” The order is a preliminary injunction, which blocks the statute only until the court can resolve the underlying dispute about the its constitutionality, though the court also found that the organizations are likely to prevail.