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Judge questions legality of limit on exit polling

Published October 21, 2006



A federal judge raised doubts Friday about the constitutionality of a Florida law barring exit polls within 100 feet of a voting place, a restriction being challenged by the Associated Press and five television networks.

U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck indicated he would likely rule in favor of the news media in time for exit polling to be done during the Nov. 7 election.

"I'm convinced there hasn't been any disruption of the voting process by exit polling," Huck said while hearing arguments.

A law passed in 2005 bans a number of activities within 100 feet of polling places, including solicitation, distribution of campaign material, selling goods, seeking contributions or, in the case of the media, asking departing voters how they voted.

The news organizations jointly conduct exit polls to project winners in key races and analyze political and social trends. They contend their methods are not disruptive or confrontational.

Attorneys for Secretary of State Sue Cobb, who oversees Florida elections, argued that voters need to be protected from possibly feeling harassed.


Clinton campaigns for Klein against Shaw

Former President Bill Clinton campaigned Friday for state Sen. Ron Klein in his bid to unseat Republican Rep. Clay Shaw in a race that has become close as the GOP struggles to keep control of the House.

"Ron Klein is part of a massive movement that across America includes nine Iraq war veterans, one retired CIA agent, one retired FBI agent and one retired three-star admiral that commanded an aircraft carrier battle group, all running for Congress as Democrats," Clinton said at an airport rally. "Doesn't sound like a 'cut and run' crowd to me," he added, quoting a term President Bush uses against Democrats.


Federal appeals court turns down Rolling

A federal appeals court in Atlanta on Friday turned down the latest appeal of Danny Rolling, 52, who is scheduled to die in Florida State Prison Wednesday for the slayings of five college students in Gainesville in 1990.

Rolling's attorney challenged the chemicals used in executions and cited an America Bar Association report critical of Florida's system. Courts rejected similar claims from Arthur Rutherford, who was executed Wednesday for the 1985 murder of a woman.


Latest poll: Nelson 26 points ahead of Harris

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson leads his Republican challenger, Rep. Katherine Harris, by 26 percentage points in a new poll.

Nelson led 57 percent to 31 percent among 625 likely voters, according to Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. The rest are undecided or favor other candidates. The error margin was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Nelson led 53 percent to 35 percent in a poll last month.

The latest poll found 48 percent had a favorable opinion of Nelson and 16 percent an unfavorable opinion, with about a third of the respondents not feeling strongly either way. For Harris, it was 30 percent favorable, 46 percent unfavorable and 17 percent neutral.


On Biketoberfest's first day, 3 riders die

Three motorcyclists were killed in crashes on the first day of Biketoberfest, authorities said.

Paul Morley, 70, of Sanford was killed Thursday when hit by a car. A 44-year-old man from Alaska, as yet unidentified, lost control and died when his machine crashed on International Speedway Boulevard. Another unidentified motorcyclist was struck by a vehicle in a head-on collision and died.

Biketoberfest runs through Sunday. Last year five people died during the event.


[Last modified October 21, 2006, 00:41:23]

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