The First Amendment has long been held to protect the right of citizens to gather information. In 1980, the Supreme Court articulated a two-pronged test in Richmond Newspapers v. Virginia, which examined both the “experience” and “logic” of granting public access to criminal trials. The jurisprudence of lower courts has since extended this qualified First Amendment presumptive right of access to civil trial and administrative hearings. This Comment examines the extension of this constitutional test to the governmental process at work at polling places. This Comment argues that the public, via the powerful vehicle of the press, ultimately meets the “experience and logic” test and possesses a qualified First Amendment right of access to the polling place. Finally, this Comment notes that a constitutional presumption of access need not infringe upon the individual rights of voters.
Andrew D. Howell,
A First Amendment Right to Observe Elections: Fulfilling the Dream of Richmond Newspapers by Extending It to the Polling Place,
Cath. U. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.edu/lawreview/vol65/iss1/10