FREE SPEECH BUFFER ZONE AT POLLING PLACE

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August 7, 2018


Request:  Is the statutory buffer zone protecting individuals who are entering a polling place from being solicited measured from the entrance to the room in which voting is taking place or from the entrance to the building? Is there a right to gather signatures at a public event held in a public building?

Conclusion: In order to protect voters from being approached from solicitation for sale or gathering of signatures, the 100 foot buffer zone may be measured from outside any entrance leading into a polling place. An entity may have a free speech zone policy that restricts gathering signatures at most events. However, in the particular situation of gathering signatures outside a polling place during voting, the free speech policy  may not prohibit the gathering of signatures except in the polling place or within 100 feet from any entrance leading to the polling place while open for voting.

Opinion: 2018-L-04

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