Exit pollsters: We will behave

Published: Wednesday, November 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 1, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
TALLAHASSEE - Exit polling contractors said Tuesday they will assure Florida election officials in a letter that interviewers will not be disruptive during next week's elections.
The letter will inform county supervisors of elections about a court order that struck down a 100-foot buffer around polling places.
U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck in Miami last week ruled the restriction was unconstitutional as it applies to exit polling, saying there is no evidence it is disruptive or threatens access to voting. He left the buffer zone intact for other activities including the distribution of campaign literature, solicitation and peddling.
As a result, exit poll interviewers will be stationed just outside where voters leave selected polling places next Tuesday, according to the letter from Edison Media Research and Mitsofsky.
"Our exit poll reporters will also be instructed not to interfere with or obstruct voter access to the polls or engage in disruptive behavior," the letter said.
The companies will be polling for The Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News at certain polling sites.
Secretary of State Sue Cobb has not yet decided whether to appeal the ruling, but it will not be before next week's election, spokeswoman Jenny Nash said.
"Our main priority was that the supervisors still had the ability to maintain order at the polls," Nash said. "It was a win for everybody."

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