Settlement on the table in Post-Gazette effort to observe elections

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The Post-Gazette and Allegheny County today submitted to a federal judge a proposed settlement to the newspaper's lawsuit demanding access by journalists to polling places during the voter sign-in process.

The proposed settlement, which U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer can accept or reject, would allow media members to enter polling places "to observe members of the electorate as the voter signs in to vote at the polling place" and as elections officials determine their eligibility. Media would be barred from interfering with any part of the voting process, or from recording the actual casting of ballots.

The Post-Gazette sued both the county and the state, saying a statute barring anyone other than voters and elections officials from coming within 10 feet of polling places was unconstitutional as enforced. The newspaper would withdraw its claim against the state if the pact with the county was approved, according to the proposed order.

The Post-Gazette sued in part because this election is the first in which voters will have to show photo identification.

breaking - region

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542.


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