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Civil Liberties Group Loses Voting Battle

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The American Civil Liberties Union in New Jersey has lost a court battle to educate voters about their rights as they go to the polls.

A three judge appeals court has upheld a state directive barring anyone from distributing materials within 100 feet of the polls. But Legal Director for the ACLU in New Jersey, Ed Barocas says there's a real need to get out the facts, which he says organizers can't do from down the block.

BAROCAS: There are a number of problems that we've seen and the ability to provide information to voters prior to them entering the polls would've been helpful.]

REPORTER: Barocas says voters often don't know they have the right to a provisional ballot, their right to have someone in the polling booth if they need assistance, and other protections.

New Jersey formalized the new requirements last year out of concern over partisan efforts to influence peoples' votes.

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