Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway turned to a federal appeals court Wednesday in his effort to preserve a state law that bans electioneering close to polling places, calling the buffer zone an important safeguard against Election Day shenanigans. With the general election less than three weeks away, Conway moved quickly with his motion to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in an effort to keep the law in place — pending an appeal — to insulate voters from campaign activities outside the polls. The filing came a day after U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman ruled that the law’s 300-foot anti-electioneering buffer violates First Amendment speech rights. The judge issued a permanent injunction blocking the law’s enforcement. Conway wants the appeals court to block Bertelsman’s ruling, which caught the attention of local election officials in Kentucky.
Leslie County Clerk James Lewis said he worries the absence of the electioneering law would bring back the days when candidates’ supporters flocked outside voting places to try to influence voters in his eastern Kentucky county. “Voters had to run a gauntlet through these people just to get to the door,” Lewis said.
Lewis flatly said the judge’s ruling amounted to “a major setback for fraud-free elections in the state of Kentucky.”
Full Article: Conway tries to preserve Ky. electioneering law.