*What press, media, or news activities are allowed in a polling place?

posted Jan 22, 2013, 7:26 AM by Carole Young-Kleinfeld   [ updated Jul 24, 2013, 8:31 AM ]

In 2000, LEAD Director Mike Kozik drafted a letter, on behalf of then-Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, regarding exit polling. This letter included the Secretary’s directive regarding media at the polls on Election Day, pursuant to General Statutes 9-236.  It stated that “News media personnel may enter the voting room to observe the election (which includes taking photographs or video-taping)…” but that the law also states that any such news media representatives who interfere with the orderly process of voting may be evicted by the polling place moderator. Interviews with voters may not take place within the room where voting is taking place, but may take place either outside or inside the 75-foot limit. 

According to Av Harris, Director of Communications for Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, in a recent message to Westport’s registrars of voters, “We have not changed our interpretation of this statute since then, and our instruction to media has always been that still photography and stock video footage are allowed in the polls according to state statute.  The photo and/or video teams can photograph a general scene of voters casting ballots, but are not to focus on any person's ballot choices or be disruptive in any way at the polls.  If media are found to be disruptive or violating voter privacy by focusing on their ballot choices they can be asked to leave by the moderator…”

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