Ohio Judge Blocks Trump Supporters from 'Exit Polling'

Pete Williams
Final blitz before elections

A federal judge in Ohio issued an order Friday barring supporters of Donald Trump from trying to intimidate voters.

Effective immediately and until the voting is done, they are barred from hindering or delaying a prospective voter from reaching the polling place and casting a ballot.

The order, issued by US District Judge James Gwin, also applies to pro-Trump operative Roger Stone. It forbids questioning voters "under the guise of the purported 'exit polling' or 'citizen journalist' operations organized and encouraged" by Stone and a group called Stop the Steal.

The judge acted after Ohio Democrats complained that Stone was planning to engage in his own version of exit polling, which they claimed was intended to hassle voters

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Gwin's order specifically bans unauthorized poll watching inside polling places as well as within a 100-foot buffer zone around the polls. It prohibits coming closer than ten feet to voters in line outside the zone.

Banned practices include "challenging or questioning voters or prospective voters about their eligibility to vote, or training, organizing, or directing others to do the same."

In an apparent desire to be even-handed, the order also applies to "groups associated with the Clinton for Presidency campaign."

Similar lawsuits have been filed by Democrats in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, and Nevada.