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Judge Rules Polling Buffer 'Unconstitutional'

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Earlier this month, a federal judge in Kentucky ruled a state law that established a 300-foot buffer zone around polling places to be unconstitutional.  The ruling, however, won’t affect the November 4th election because an appeals court issued a stay while the Attorney General Jack Conway appeals the ruling.  Allison Martin is Communications Director for the AG’s office.

“The law was enacted for a reason,” Martin said. “And that was to stop chaos around the polls. To prevent voter intimidation that could take place. To prevent any nefarious activity that may be occurring around a polling place.”

Martins said the appeals court ruled electioneering can occur on private property, even if the property is within the 300-foot zone. 

“The only change that the judge allowed to remain in effect was that if you have private property you can have a sign in your yard if you’re within that 300 foot boundary, like if you’re across the street from a school or church that is used as a polling place, you can still have a sign in your yard.”

State law still applies to public property.

The case was brought by a northern Kentucky businessman who protested having campaign signs removed from his business, which located across the highway from a polling place.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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