Post staff report
Adding to the lawsuits surrounding today's election, the three major television networks and other news organizations on Monday sued Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell for imposing new restrictions on exit polling.
Last week, his office informed news organizations they would be prohibited from conducting exit polls -- brief interviews of voters leaving their polling places about how they voted and why -- within 100 feet of the polls.
The restriction limits electioneering and other activities outside polling places, but never before -- including as recently as the March primary -- has been applied to exit pollers, according to Monday's lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati.
"Exit polls provide accurate data about voter behavior because of the near certainty that the persons interviewed have actually voted," the lawsuit said. "The greater the distance from the polling place that the polling reporter is required to stand, however, the less reliable is the information gathered."
The suit, filed on behalf of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Network and Associated Press, said Blackwell's office has provided no explanation for the change in policy.
The suit seeks a court order banning Blackwell from enforcing the new standard.