Exit Polls to Protect the Vote
by : Martin Plissner
Sunday November 7, 2004 - 22:08
Published: October 17, 2004
WASHINGTON - Since the 1960’s, the exit poll, that staple of election-night television, has been used along with other tools to declare winners when the polls close in each state, and its accuracy is noted later when the actual vote count proves it right. A landmark exception, of course, came in 2000, when the networks initially gave the decisive Florida vote to Al Gore.
But now exit polls are being used in some places to monitor the official vote count itself, either to validate the outcome or to mount a challenge to it.
That has happened in several countries in the last year, and in the United States one organization plans to use exit polls in five closely contested states in November to measure whether there have been impediments to voting.
Last fall, an American firm, whose polling clients have included Al Gore and John Edwards, was hired by some international foundations to conduct an exit poll in the former Soviet republic of Georgia during a parliamentary election. On Election Day, the firm, Global Strategy Group, projected a victory for the main opposition party. When the sitting government counted the votes, however, it announced that its own slate of candidates had won. Supporters of the opposition stormed the Parliament, and the president, Eduard A. Shevardnadze, later resigned under pressure from the United States and Russia.
Bonjour Americans - Wake Up!
In August, exit polling figured in a bitter fight in Venezuela over what amounted to competing landslides for and against a recall of the sitting president, Hugo Chávez, a socialist with ties to Fidel Castro.
The recall’s proponents sponsored an exit poll, supervised by Penn, Schoen & Berland, an American firm whose clients have included Bill Clinton and Michael Bloomberg. Sometime before the polls closed on Aug. 15, Penn, Schoen reported that 59 percent of Venezuelan voters had said yes to throwing the president out of office.
A few hours later, the official count, by an election commission under Mr. Chávez’s control, declared him the winner, with 58 percent of the total. Both the Organization of American States and the Carter Center, the Atlanta-based human rights organization founded by Jimmy Carter, said that their observers had seen no irregularities at the polls. In response to the exit poll, they called for a random audit at selected polling stations and again found nothing suspicious.
Mr. Schoen acknowledged in an interview that the poll’s field workers were recruited by a group that helped organize the recall, but he said the volunteers had been trained to conduct the poll professionally, and that his firm would have no reason to put its reputation at risk by participating in a fraudulent poll. The recall’s supporters continue to believe the election was stolen.
In Afghanistan, ballot counting in last weekend’s presidential election may not be over for a few weeks, and a United Nations panel is investigating claims of irregularities. But a survey of voters leaving the polls projected that Hamid Karzai, the current president, had received enough votes to avoid a runoff. The poll’s sponsor, the International Republican Institute, is a Republican-run, federally financed vehicle for promoting democracy abroad. (The Democrats have one, too.)
Could exit polls also play a role in the American presidential election on Nov. 2? The potential is there.
Votewatch, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, plans to conduct exit polls in selected states to monitor election procedures and record impediments to voting, including voting equipment flaws, confusion over ballots and perceived discrimination by polling officials.
Steven Hertzberg, a San Francisco systems engineer who founded Votewatch, said he planned to use volunteers supplied by civic groups like Common Cause, among other recruits, and that they would be trained and supervised by polling professionals.
From its exit polling, Votewatch hopes to go beyond anecdotal indicators and get a measure of how many people encountered which kind of problems, Mr. Hertzberg said.
The group has also decided to ask people whom they voted for, or meant to vote for, to assess whether one candidate’s backers are more affected by irregularities. But Fritz Scheuren, president of the American Statistical Association and a principal adviser to Votewatch, said it was important to note that "we are not competing with the networks, and we don’t want to appear to be."
In any event, its backers say, Votewatch won’t be projecting who will win or lose in November - only the incidence of voting problems that might affect the outcome.
— Martin Plissner, a former CBS News political director, is the author of "The Control Room: How Television Calls the Shots in Presidential Elections."
Risk of UK resident dying preventably 38,000 times greater than terrorism death
Tuesday 16 - 08:50by Dr Gideon Polya
Palestinian reconciliation at crossroads
Monday 15 - 10:15by Nicola Nasser
NATION OF COWARDS
Sunday 14 - 18:52by JOHN CHUCKMAN
American Republic Army looking for recruits to defend against ISIS rebels
Sunday 14 - 15:26by William Morgan
Obama’s Iraq War & Obama’s Syrian War will both involve 12 kinds of war crimes
Friday 12 - 09:21by Dr Gideon Polya
9 key reasons why Scots should vote Yes for an Independent Scotland
Friday 5 - 04:00by Dr Gideon Polya
PENETRATING THE DARKNESS COVERING TWO MALAYSIAN AIRLINE DISASTERS
Thursday 4 - 20:07by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Kick Russia Out Of SWIFT, UK Demands
Wednesday 3 - 14:59by Tyler Durden
THINGS MY MOTHER NEVER TOLD ME
Wednesday 3 - 12:47by JOHN CHUCKMAN
letter of september to Obama
Monday 1 - 11:10by kakine
The Guardian Australia censors the Iraqi Genocide renewed by the US & Australia
Sunday 31 - 04:42by Dr Gideon Polya
Iran’s lost billions: Tejarat Aria Gostar Iranian Navid Co may have questions to
Thursday 28 - 15:13by kanopia
Christophe Mazurier lobbies for U.S. model for financing arts
Thursday 28 - 14:14by hyuem
A Nation of Monday Morning Quarterbacks
Monday 11 - 21:26by Richard John Stapleton
Nuclear Weapons Ban & BDS to save world from Nuclear, Poverty & Climate threats
Monday 11 - 09:20by Dr Gideon Polya
Top Australian columnist loses job for criticizing latest Israeli Gaza Massacre
Friday 8 - 07:52by Dr Gideon Polya
WW1, ongoing Palestinian Genocide, latest Israeli Gaza Massacre & Western lies
Tuesday 5 - 15:20by Dr Gideon Polya
Weapons System offered to Hamas and the People of Gaza
Monday 4 - 15:57by William Morgan
Israel’s Attempted Genocide Must Fail: Lessons from Genocide in ’Canada’
Monday 4 - 05:20by Denis Rancourt
BEYOND THE EURO: THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE
Saturday 2 - 15:34by Co-ordinating of the Left against the euro, Italy
letter of august to president Obama
Friday 1 - 09:36by kakine
55 anti-racist Australian MPs condemn Israel’s Gaza Massacre and war crimes
Thursday 31 - 08:31by Dr Gideon Polya
Hell, No—We won’t go! We won’t fight for Texaco!! - Rebellion in *west* Ukraine
Wednesday 30 - 21:47by Daniel Patrick Welch
Tejarat Aria Gostar Iranian Navid Co.: Why the end of sanctions against Iran may
Wednesday 30 - 17:59
"I got my eyes on your fatty"
Tuesday 29 - 04:28by BenAMarine
"If I forget about them, may God forget about me"
Monday 28 - 19:12by Daniel Patrick Welch
Refutation of false Zionist one-liners behind the latest Israeli Gaza Massacre
Saturday 26 - 00:21by Dr Gideon Polya
IS RELIGION HUMANITY’S DEADLIEST INVENTION?
Friday 25 - 12:46by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
Israeli Gaza Massacre: Nobel Laureates & others call for arms embargo on Israel
Monday 21 - 02:44by Dr Gideon Polya
Escalation of Shelling in Eastern Ukraine by Kviv After Tragic Crash...
Sunday 20 - 20:11by Roger Annis
Malaysian Airlines MH17 atrocity & ongoing Apartheid Israeli Gaza Massacre
Saturday 19 - 03:56by Dr Gideon Polya
On How Reality Happens
Tuesday 15 - 15:50by Richard John Stapleton
The world must stop Apartheid Israel’s latest massacre of Palestinians in Gaza
Saturday 12 - 09:20by Dr Gideon Polya
REVOLT (peacefully): Open Letter to Young People over $220 trillion Carbon Debt
Friday 11 - 02:58by Dr Gideon Polya
$10 trillion per year increased Carbon Debt for young people & doomed (?) planet
Tuesday 8 - 02:52by Dr Gideon Polya
Truth Crushed to Earth: Why Ukraine, as part of a global struggle, won’t be solv
Monday 7 - 21:57by Daniel Patrick Welch
letter of july to president Obama
Friday 4 - 21:41by kakine
Horrendous global deaths means make Fourth of July Independence from America Day
Friday 4 - 09:09by Dr Gideon Polya
BOYCOTT HOBBY LOBBY
Thursday 3 - 04:30by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
A report on the Hindu nationalist circuit in the United States
Tuesday 1 - 11:51