Urge The Media To Report Unadjusted Exit Polls
Press Release/Action Alert
Please take action to urge the media
to report the unadjusted exit polls for the 2008
Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International will again conduct all exit polling in 2008 for the National Election Pool, comprised of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press. Exit polls will involve polling more than 100,000 actual voters, remove sources of polling error and can be extremely accurate. In 2004 John Kerry was showing a 7 point lead in the unadjusted exit polls, but then on election night the computers were down for several hours and when they came back on-line a flip had occurred and Bush now narrowly led. This was not because of a change in the actual polling but because the exit polls had been "adjusted," i.e. "corrected" so as to conform to the vote count assuming that count was correct. Investigations into the election in Ohio later raised serious doubts about the accuracy of the actual vote.
Voters should be provided with the unadjusted exit polls and if adjustments are made to the final polls they should be explained publicly. Major media outlets are urged to archive all of the interim exit poll results to allow independent analysis later. Election integrity advocates must push for greater transparency since large-sample exit polls can and should be used be used to audit vote totals.
When the U.S. government audits the vote in a foreign country, the tool of choice is always a large-sample exit poll, which will identify problems in the vote totals. Yet, in the United States, even with the documented problems we have had in voting, our own government does not use the best tool available.
News and political divisions of the major networks must plan to archive all of the preliminary exit poll results since the overall survey will quickly be adjusted by the vendor to match the published vote totals, and will thus no longer be useful as an audit of the integrity of the vote totals.
Please send a letter to the networks by clicking here. The letter demands that the unadjusted exit polls be made public, that the preliminary exit polls be archived and that any adjustments be explained so that the National Exit Poll can be used as a tool to audit the election results.
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