A federal appeals court agreed with a lower court’s ruling that Kentucky’s electioneering laws banning campaign signs within 300 feet of a polling place was unconstitutional. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the last year’s federal district court’s ruling. The case was sparked by a Northern Kentucky business that displayed election signs on private property near a polling place. U.S. District Court Judge William Bertelsman in an October 2014 ruling found Kentucky’s electioneering sign law too broad. The law banned signs on public and private property within 300 feet of polling location. Kentucky’s attorney general and secretary of state appealed the ruling.
The issue became a federal case after Campbell County deputies took down political signs from Campbell County Auto Body during the May 2014 primary. The shop is across Alexandria Pike from First Baptist Church of Cold Spring, which serves as a polling place.
The owner, John Russell, felt the action violated his free speech rights, and so he sued Campbell County officials as well as Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Sheriff’s deputies had also taken down signs from his property during the 2012 elections.
The Sixth Circuit held that the statute is unconstitutional because it is too broad and does not contain a private property exception.
Full Article: Appeals court: KY electioneering law unconstitutional.