Historically, states have banned electioneering in areas immediately adjacent to voting places to prevent voters from being harassed--perhaps even bribed--by zealous candidates, campaign workers and others. This no man's land normally runs from just outside the building containing the voting booths to as far as 600 feet away in Louisiana and 1,000 feet in Hawaii.
But the ban on electioneering in most states is a reasonable 100 feet or less from the polling place. That is the current law in California.
The prohibition against anyone contacting a voter would be extended to 300 feet from the polls in California under a bill that has narrowly passed the Legislature with solid Democratic support and solid Republican opposition. That is the length of a football field. The target is not unethical electioneering or harassment of voters on their way to cast their ballots, however. The single goal of the bill is to thwart the efforts of pollsters attempting to interview voters after they have left the voting booth.
The Democrats are upset in particular about network-television broadcasts in the past two presidential elections of the mounting landslides in favor of Republican President Reagan while voting still was under way in California. Some of these reports were based on exit polling in California and other states. Some of the reports, in the 1984 election in particular, were based on actual votes cast in other states before the polls closed in California.