Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Jeff Polsky


The author offers evidence that television and radio coverage of elections prior to the closing of polls nationwide influences election results and thereby interferes with the electoral process. The author examines several possible solutions and concludes that the most effective solutions are restrictions on exit-polling and prohibitions against early broadcasts of election result projections. Acknowledging that such restrictions or prohibitions raise first amendment issues, the author argues that the primary purpose of the first amendment is protection of our system of self-government. The author concludes that broadcasts of early election projections deter people from voting and that the first amendment right to broadcast these projections must yield to the more basic right of the American people to exercise their right to vote unaffected by early election projections.