NEWARK (CN) – New Jersey has unconstitutionally threatened to arrest reporters on criminal charges if they conduct exit polls within 100 feet of polling places this year, major media groups claim in Federal Court. ABC, CNN, The Associated Press and others say the state threatened them with “severe criminal penalties,” if they do so.
The new groups say that forcing them away from the polling sites “reduces the statistical reliability and accuracy of their exit polls.”
CBS, NBC and Fox News joined in the complaint against New Jersey’s Attorney General and Secretary of State. The media groups say they selected 40 polling places at which to hand out anonymous questionnaires asking about race, gender, various issues and how people voted in a “scientifically pre-determined pattern.”
Being forced to stand 100 feet away from polling places “reduces the statistical reliability and accuracy of their exit polls,” according to the complaint.
The news groups say the American public wants to know about the information they collect, and their demographic analyses. For example, in 2004, polls showed that views on the Iraq war were a “strong predictor of the vote” and in 2008, polls showed that Senator John McCain’s age “may have played a more important role” than President Obama’s race, according to the complaint.
The news groups are represented by Kevin McKenna with Gibbons P.C.