Judge Rules Polling Buffer 'Unconstitutional'

Oct 27, 2014

Credit Author: RRZEicons, Wikimedia Commons

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.