No deal yet on Post-Gazette access to polling places

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A conference in the U.S. Courthouse today failed to yield a final settlement of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's lawsuit seeking access for reporters to polling places.

Attorneys for the newspaper and for defendants Allegheny County and Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele left the closed-door status conference and declined comment, other than to say there will be argument on the case in open court on Monday at 9 a.m.

Thursday the Post-Gazette and the county sent to U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer a proposed settlement agreement. It 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" but bar them from recording or interfering with the casting of ballots.

An attorney for Ms. Aichele would not say today whether the state opposes the proposed pact.

The Post-Gazette sued the county and Ms. Aichele in July, 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 sued in part because this election is the first in which voters will have to show photo identification, a controversial requirement that critics say could disenfranchise some voters. breaking - electionspa

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


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