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Why don't we just get our shit together and start an independent national exit polling organization?

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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-08 11:33 PM
Original message
Why don't we just get our shit together and start an independent national exit polling organization?
Exit polling is one of the last protections we have. Exit polling has been used in countries throughout the world to indicate fraud.

the exit poll system in the united states is run by the media and is untrustworthy. we already know that they fudge the exit poll numbers as the evening goes by and you can only get the raw unfudged exit poll numbers if you are very diligent (thank you Jonathan Simon).

So why don't we put some resources together and organize an independent exit polling organization? Maybe the media will ignore it at first, but I'm sure it could get endorsement from many organizations like Common Cause and others, and eventually it could be recognized internationally. Then they would have to take notice.

The organization could set as a goal to take a larger sample than what the networks do, and therefore have a lower margin of error.

In 2004, I believe the sample size was about 13,000 people.

It seems to me, if we put our heads together, get a little funding, get some expert statisticians involved, we could figure out a way to ask 13,000 people who they voted for on their way out of the polls. Maybe not in time for this election but definitely for the next.

Just a thought on a late friday night.
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yourout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-08 11:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. The Reicht wing would slam them as biased and the MSM would help.
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-08 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Neither the GOP or the GOP-controlled media have any room to talk. n/t
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. slam as they want, if the UN and other international orgs endorse it, they'll look pretty foolish.nt
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 02:01 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Why don't you ask the UN, Carter Center, et al if they recommend exit polls
to verify election results then?

It would save a lot of time and needless diversion from things like getting out the vote and counting it if they say they don't.
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Hestia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-08 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. The group who did them for decades was reliable and non partisan, give them real tools again
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 01:52 AM
Response to Original message
5. is it possible someone is currently doing unbiased polling already, but we're
just not hearing about it?
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I'm sure we'd know about it. n/t
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 09:22 AM
Response to Original message
8. If we had our shit together, we wouldn't still be hanging hopes on exit polls. n/t
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
9. The media will not touch exit polls because they were fudged with during the 2004
election and they no longer trust them at all. So we haven't seen any exit polls or specific voting patterns since then. Remember the 'reluctant responder theory'. Some scientist studied it and decided the GOP people often wouldn't respond so numbers were skewed and it looked like Kerry had one by 2PM. People stayed home from voting if they were Dems, people went out and voted with renewed vigour if they were Repukes. IMHO

I don't think we want to go through that again. Faulty exit polls have followed Karl Rove from Texas. We need to stay away from them. And the press would not report on them if they existed.
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democraticinsurgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. oh, they will touch them again
...i can guarantee you that. Edison Research aka Edison Mitosky is contracted again for national exit polling. I have worked for them in the past and will again on this election day, as a contract pollster.

They will be used. Question is, how?

Time will tell.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. During the 2006 election they just asked people where they stood on issues
during the exit polls. They didn't ask them how they voted. I would imagine the same sorts of questions would be asked this time around. We nobody reporting or asking that one question: "who did you vote for?".
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. sorry, this simply isn't true
Edited on Sat Sep-20-08 06:57 PM by OnTheOtherHand
The 2006 exit polls were conducted much like the 2004 exit polls.

ETA: Here's a link to the exit poll in my home state Senate race. Clinton won. It was not a nail-biter.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Well they were not reporting said exit polls on the news. I haven't done
a study on it but know that Tom Brokaw and others have said they'd never trust exit polls again.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. sure, there is renewed caution in interpretation
Doesn't mean they don't use them -- they were in evidence in the primaries, too -- but the networks were very cautious about their calls. Even in 2004 they were very cautious, in part because the exit pollsters set up a conference call on election day afternoon to warn that in many cases they didn't trust their own numbers.

As you know, I don't think that anyone rigged the exit polls, although of course I can't prove it. I just think they were wrong.
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. they wouldn't even release the raw exit poll data
Congressman wants 'raw' exit poll data
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-12-09-poll...

Media Refuses to Release Raw Exit Poll Data
http://www.solarbus.org/election/articles/1222-media.ht...


they should always release the raw exit poll data, period.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. why?
What on earth was Conyers going to do with the raw exit poll data? He was just listening to advisors who didn't know any better.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Who cares what he was going to do with the raw exit poll data?

At that point in time, you grab every possible piece of evidence.

But by three + years later, Kucinich didn't mention exit polls in his Articles of Impeachment where he pounded the abuses of 2004 Ohio.

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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. did he try to impound the ballots?
That's not a rhetorical question -- I can't remember. I don't fault Conyers for trying, but....
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. NVRI went to court for that. n/t
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. why should you care what he's going to do with it?
the point is whether or not we should be able to see it.

I don't care if he wants to wipe his ass with it. It should be public information. it's our votes.

if the exit polling is doine by private companies and is "proprietary information" then screw them and let's have our own. it's bullcrap.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Again, I think it's his perogative (and a good idea) to try to grab up what he can.
How far you can get trying to obtain "proprietary information", what luck you'll have arguing about what it means is quite another. And that's before I'm convinced of the chain of custody of that data. Think about ALL of that.

Why do we need our own exit polling company if RHP/TIA said that they got enough data to prove the election went to Kerry?

And where has that gotten us?

And why would I want to go down that road when the "other guys" form their own company and come up with a different result? You think a court will step in and void an election based on the disagreement? Do you think people will take to the streets over it?

Now, when you argue that we own the votes...that's a different story! Shouldn't we take control of the ballots and the machinery and audit all of it?

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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. yeah, that too. my suggestion
to start the exit polling organization was just because it's somethinge we CAN do. We've been trying to take control of the ballots and machinery and audits for at least 4 years and I feel like we're not getting very far

I'm not saying to stop all the work we're doing on the machines....

The bottom line is, we need a federal law. it's the fastest way back to a democracy. if the dems have control of congress for 2 more years and do nothing, I don't know what I'll do. We'll probably be in a depression by then anyway...
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. I certainly realize you aren't recommending abandoning other reform efforts.
I just don't see us getting too far with an exit poll effort, either in deterring or arguing the existence of a stolen election. Better to GOTV and get poll watchers deployed and advocate for audits, paper, etc.

I've been pretty down on the idea of the Fed coming up with law. But if we've got Congress AND the White House, perhaps we could get something going...like paper ballots/optical scan for our friends in VVPAT-less states, risk-based audits, and Holt's Precinct Tabulation bill. I'm thinking most in the ER community would be OK with those measures. But who knows...LOL!

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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #29
38. 'most in the ER community would be OK with '
let's not go there

there is not much we can get this "community" to agree on. it is sad.

I think a law banning DREs and mandating audits would be a major step forward. If people fight against such a bill, simply because it's not handcounting 100% of the ballots, they are shooting themselves in teh foot.

If they do draft a bill, and let's hope they do... Banning DREs is easy... audits is a tough one. There are so many different ways to do an audit, I have tried to learn a bit about the different methods. I am intrigued by Simon's method of sampling X% of every polling place instead of sampling all of the ballots at X% of the polling places, and doing on election night. But I would like to see some peer review of this method before I totally sign on. But they're not going to care what I think anyway.. I think New Jersey and Connecticut have OK audit laws
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #38
41. Audits are tough to push. But NJ wound up with a risk-based audit. That's good news.
CT doesn't thrill me. A flat 10% audit is way too much for some elections, and no where near enough for tight races. Plus, there are reports that auditing involves running ballots through a scanner all over again. Really bad idea.

I think the Brennan center reviews a few of the suggested methods. Take Simon's as a nice effort...but...


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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #41
48. but what? n/t
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #48
61. Inefficient. n/t
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #61
74. less efficient than hand counting all the ballots? n/t
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #74
76. I'm saying inefficient because 10% is too much sometimes, and way to little at others.

I feel better about the risk-based audits. With them, you audit against the machine count.

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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #76
98. why I like Simon's method
my state of vermont is small... there are less than 200 precincts I think. So to audit 2% of the precincts means a whopping total 4 precincts get audited. Some of the precincts are VERY small. I'd much rather see every precincts have to count 10% of their ballots on election night. But I agree, Simon's method is not getting the recognition it needs to be considered for a bill.

I would almost guarantee our Sec of State has no idea what risk based audits are. (I've also seen it called "risk-limiting"). I wrote to her a few weeks ago and asked what the confidence level of our audit will be. They said they have no idea. How did they decide that 2% is what we need? They just guessed.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #98
101. I forgot VT has a flat two percent audit.
That ain't going to be enough.

Look at what Bill Bored wrote below with regard to implementing Simon's audit.

5% would be @ one precinct per county. Enough for most but the closest statewide races.

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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #101
104. Actually we don't have a flat 2% audit
Edited on Tue Sep-23-08 12:28 PM by garybeck
we have whatever the SoS feels like doing. there is no law. this time she said she's auditing 4 precincts. only two are random. the other two, she chooses. It's done AFTER the election is certified so it's worthless.

I counted 7 items in the list of audit recommendations in the Brennan Report that are not being followed.



ps something seems to be wrong with the DU posting. I keep trying to put this under your "I forgot VT has a flat 2% audit" comment, but it gets placed here regardless. hence, ignore the "ignore" comments.
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #101
105. IGNORE -
Edited on Tue Sep-23-08 12:26 PM by garybeck
ignore
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #101
106. ignore
Edited on Tue Sep-23-08 12:26 PM by garybeck
ignore
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #61
75. Not so inefficient except for not-so-close races but...
...it's hard to implement this method.

It requires warm bodies to take random samples of ballots at every precinct and other warm bodies to add up the samples from ALL the precincts on election night, at a time when we don't even know if the voting system itself is doing that correctly. If a problem seems to be found, then there is no clue where to look for additional problems, or even whether it's due to aggregation of precinct samples, whole precincts, or miscounts within the precincts, and if so which precincts.

So there has to be a universal expansion of the audit to see if the discrepancy gets larger or smaller or goes away. There might have to be a full recount ON ELECTION NIGHT. If it's not done at that time, then you have the same chain of custody problem as you have with a post-election audit of whole precincts.

With either audit, there also needs to be an independent check on the precinct aggregation(s).
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #22
44. ethics
It's a confidential survey. You want these people to screw around with confidential data because Conyers is just kind of curious? Or is there actually a compelling public interest at stake?

Conyers could have sued -- and, in my opinion, he would have lost. The whole issue is contrived.

You want to run your own exit poll, fine, I just hope you won't do it with anyone who otherwise would have been working on election integrity.
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #44
47. bullshit
if the results of the exit polls are confidential or proprietary, then they're bullshit.

I am really really amazed that you, someone who spends significant amounts of time in this forum supposedly advocating for open and fair elections, would think there is any legitimate argument to having exit poll numbers kept from the public.

if they're being done by private companies who don't want to release the data, then we should just ignore them and the goverment or an independent agency should be responsible for exit polling - someone who will release the data to anyone who wants to see it.

Can anyone fathom a single legitimate reason to withold exit poll data from the public?

That's what open and fair elections are about. That's what democracy is about. If you can't see that why are you wasting your time in this forum.

your question:

"You want these people to screw around with confidential data because Conyers is just kind of curious? Or is there actually a compelling public interest at stake?"

do I really have to answer that, or are you that blind?

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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #47
53. go ahead and shoot the messenger
Edited on Sun Sep-21-08 03:02 PM by OnTheOtherHand
"if the results of the exit polls are confidential or proprietary, then they're bullshit."

Umm, OK, then why in hell are we talking about them? By the way, have you noticed that the exit poll questionnaires say "confidential" right on them? Something to do with the secrecy of the ballot, I guess. :shrug: It's actually kind of amazing that the folks who pay for these data give them away -- but they protect the precinct identifiers.

If you can't be bothered to make an argument why releasing the precinct identifiers is in the public interest, then you have no basis for linking this issue to "open and fair elections" at all.

It gets weirder....
Can anyone fathom a single legitimate reason to withold exit poll data from the public?

That's what open and fair elections are about. That's what democracy is about.

Exit poll data is what democracy is about?! Are you kidding me? The map is not the territory; my finger is not the moon; the exit poll data are not democracy.

Now, are you going to attempt an argument, or are you just going to hiss at me? Whatever.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #53
58. Data
Are you saying the public has no interest or right to the data? There being no other way to examine the numbers given us, it seems the exit polls are of paramount interest. You yourself have made a name for the examination of said data, and we have had one poster here, a Brit, who has claimed to have seen all the data. But you think the rest of us should be excluded?

Of course the theory goes that the exposing of the data would be the smoking gun leading to the criminals. So, it follows that the reason we can't see the data is to protect the criminals.

I don't know why you constantly argue for protecting the criminals, but you do.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #58
62. this is mostly unreadable
Edited on Sun Sep-21-08 06:23 PM by OnTheOtherHand
Am I saying the public has no interest to the data? I don't even know what that means. "There being no other way to examine the numbers given us"? I don't know what that means either.

The apparently unconsidered, unsubstantiated assertion is that the data would somehow provide a smoking gun, yes. No one seems to have any idea how, and no one seems to care. Febble cared. Some others here, not so much. Remarkably unserious.

(edited for clarity and tact)
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #62
70. On the subj. of confidentiality...
Edited on Sun Sep-21-08 11:00 PM by Bill Bored
...I don't think anyone who wants the "raw data" released is asking for anything other than the answers to the question, "For whom did you vote today for President?", or however it was phrased. Are they?

It's not as if they want to know that in a precinct with hundreds of voters, there was one White male Christian between the ages of 40 and 45 who earned $50,000 a year, went to church every 2 weeks, had 3.2 kids, drove a Honda and voted for Nader. It's that there was a one VOTER in the precinct who voted for Nader, and 20 for Bush, and 30 for Kerry, etc.

I don't see how that information would violate confidentiality, unless there's only 1 voter in the precinct.

So maybe you can explain this confidentiality thing -- not that I think having this data would prove who won or lost the election -- but just for the record with respect to the "ethics" claim.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 05:28 AM
Response to Reply #70
80. sure, I'm happy to explain it again
Basically all the exit poll data, including the 2004 exit poll data, are archived with the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. The 2004 exit poll data were also available for unrestricted public download for almost a year. These data contain one record per questionnaire that the interviewers phoned in, with answers (if there were any) to all the questions on the questionnaire, including a bunch of demographic questions. The records have arbitrary precinct IDs, intended not to be matchable to physical precincts. (Nevertheless, some enterprising DUers dove in and apparently matched many of the Ohio exit poll precincts.)

It doesn't really matter whether you personally want to know the demographics. This isn't about you. ;) That's how the data are collected, that's how they're used by many analysts (media and eventually academic), and that's how they're released. And that offers enough information on individual respondents to compromise the privacy of at least some of them.

Now, lots of people are saying that what they really want to know is the precinct totals. Fine, but the individual data have already been released. Some people say that this time, the pollsters should have withheld the data that they always release, so they could release the aggregate results with precinct identifiers instead. Or some think the pollsters should have just let it all hang out because, after all, these data are so important.

Except that no one seems able to explain why these data are so important, and there's reason to think that they actually aren't. One reason is simple logic: indirect evidence on maybe 50 precincts in Ohio is trumped by election data for all the precincts in Ohio. Another is empirical analysis: we know from ESI that in Ohio, there is no significant relationship between red shift and change in Bush vote share 2000-2004, which is a strong indication that the precincts with big red shifts had bad poll results. If that weren't the case, then the change in vote shares would be much smokier than the exit poll result in itself. Mebane and Herron actually looked at the election data. The people who trumpet the urgent need to release precinct identifiers, not so much. Interesting.
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Febble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-10-08 03:58 AM
Response to Reply #70
121. Well, the problem is
that all that data is enormously valuable and is always released. To have NOT released it in 2004 would have been counter to what is always done, and a complete pain to all the political scientists and other academics who find it so valuable.

The problem is that BECAUSE it is always released, precinct vote totals can't be, or not without "blurring" - and in fact "blurred" data was prepared and released for Ohio, as you know.

But I agree, if there was no tradition or expectation that the full questionnaire details would be released, exit poll response totals and vote totals could be. But there is, so they couldn't.

Or, not without blurring.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-09-08 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #62
108. I'm sorry
I forgot that one must write to you at an eight grade level. My apologies.

I wrote:"There being no other way to examine the numbers given us"?
You replied: "I don't know what that means"

It means that the numbers given us by the electronic voting machines -via bushco- are not able to be examined due to the nature of the systems used, therefore the only way we had to audit those numbers is through the exit-polls.

And yes, the data from the exit-polls we were able to examine is a smoking gun leading to the idea that the electronic voting machines stole millions of votes.

There ya go. Eight grade level, just for you. Can ya grok it, dude?
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-09-08 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #108
113. flame bait
Edited on Thu Oct-09-08 03:29 PM by OnTheOtherHand
Your premise is wrong: if "the numbers given us" refers to the electronic returns, those can be compared with past returns. That is probably more informative than comparing them with exit poll results. (ETA: By the way, it's also just plain silly to say that the electronic voting numbers can't be "examined," so you must mean something else.)

And, no, the exit poll data are not a smoking gun. You're flat-out wrong.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-09-08 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #113
115. Of course
To some degree electronic records can be examined. Usually only after a court trial, etc. like what happened in Sarasota 2006. Where it was found 18,000 votes simply disappeared. And the republican won by 300 some odd votes. After that, Fla. got rid of the DRE's.

If the DRE's weren't some bad shit, do you think Fla. would have done that? And remember the Hursti hack in Fla.? So, yes, a limited exam can be done, and in the few instances that exams have taken place, the machines were found faulty. Problem is, in 2004, no machines were examined. All we had was exit-polls.... and the past returns which showed whenever there was a big turnout, democrats won.

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Febble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-09-08 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #22
109. Sigh
The raw data were released. They always are. They were even free online for a year. I downloaded them myself.

What wasn't released were the precinct vote totals, because that would have meant the precincts could have been identified, and thus compromised the confidentiality of the respondents. However, "blurred" totals were released for Ohio, and more could have been commissioned. But weren't. The most likely reason being that it was pretty apparent from the Ohio data set that they weren't very informative.

However, as you know, I had access to the unblurred numbers, because I reanalysed them for Mitofsky. And my most important finding was released into the public domain by Mitofsky himself. This was the finding that the precinct level discrepancy was completely uncorrelated with advantage to Bush. It is extremely difficult to see how this could possibly be consistent with widespread electronic fraud.

And at precinct level, the data is far too noisy to tell you whether any one precinct was fraudulent. It only makes sense if you analyse a large number of precincts (and there are only tens of precincts polled in each state - Ohio was worth looking at because there were a relatively large number: 50. Still a tiny number for useful statistics.

Gary, exit polls are simply a very poor way of checking on the vote count. They don't tell you what you want to know. They have sensitivity but no specificity. They are unlikely to match the count if the count is fraudulent, but they are perfectly capable of not matching the count even it the count is correct. They are likely to be particularly misleading in an election conducted in an atmosphere of distrust.

What is required is diligent oversight, and you can do this, this time, even where audits aren't mandatory. Make sure the precinct totals, where available, match the county tabulations, and if not, find out why not. Be observers at precincts. Debrief voters leaving the precinct on any troubles they might have had. Collect data, including anecdotes (data may not be the plural of anecdote, but many anecdotes amount to data).

But exit polls are not what you want here. Tests that give false positives are as useless as tests that give false negatives.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-09-08 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #109
111. Says who?
I've got a quote from you somewhere to the effect that you have worked for exit-poll organizations and been paid for doing so. Right? Do I really need to go dig it up?

So, given that exit-polls generate income for the workers employed, and that the bill in 2004 was @ $10 million for the work, (paid for by the networks who used the polls) it seems rather odd that any employee of the pollsters would so dastardly discount their efforts. Even when, for example, the most recent exit polls in the primaries were used by the same networks to call elections as soon as polls closed.

You see why I have such a problem accepting your statements as truths?
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-09-08 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #111
112. And
Look below to the post of mine titled "They Blew the call". Would be interested in your take.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-09-08 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #111
114. huh?
"so dastardly discount their efforts"?

I can't tell whether you are actually this confused, or not. Whatever.

"Even when, for example, the most recent exit polls in the primaries were used by the same networks to call elections as soon as polls closed."

In which states? I assume you noticed that the competitive states were not called "as soon as polls closed."

"You see why I have such a problem accepting your statements as truths?"

Nope, not a clue. I've never worked for the pollsters, so I'm sure you'll trust me, right?
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Febble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-10-08 03:54 AM
Response to Reply #111
120. You don't need to look it up
It's right there in the post you responded to.

Perhaps you didn't read it?

In which case, why bother respond?

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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #16
42. Oh they could have been rigged if the GOP sent out a meme to the
minds of the fundies to ignore exit polls. Or non voting GOPers could have shown up at the polls and pretended to be Democrats when asked the question. There are numourous ways those polls could have been played with. That is where I think the error was. How it happened I do not know. I just believe that the exit polls were where the "mistake" was .... I don't believe it was the machines that stole votes en mass.

I believe in the "reluctant responder" theory put out right after the election by a professor. Though how GOPers became reluctant all of a sudden is up in the air for me.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
14. I agree completely. I think that's the scientific answer.
Just look at the responses in this thread about how "unreliable" exit polls are. But that isn't true at all.

In FL 2000 the exit polls were deadly accurate, and reflected the exact number of spoiled ballots in Palm Beach and Duvall counties.

The media response was to disband Voter News Service (VNS), the ones who made the correct analysis, and hire Edison/Mikofsky, who pledged not to repeat the same mistakes made by VNS. Only VNS got it exactly right, they never made any mistakes. Their election night data was extremely accurate. They knew that night about the 50,000 missing votes for Gore that were later verified to be missing.

This effort to discredit exit polling is one of the biggest attacks on science that has been committed by this fascist regime. It's an all-out attack on mathematics, the foundation of all science.

I would like there to be action taken by the schools. It seems like it would be a good thing to add to any high school curriculum, and the kids could actually get credit for participating. If the whole operation was conducted in an open, public, and scientific manner, it could teach and at the same time be a useful safeguard against the kind of chicanery that has been so prevalent in our recent elections.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. malarkey
50,000 votes would have been well within the exit poll's margin of error -- as I think you know. So what on earth are you trying to say? The "exact number of spoiled ballots in Palm Beach and Duvall counties"? That isn't mathematics, it's hokum. Who needs hokum?

(VNS wasn't disbanded until after 2002.)

I really don't mind if people want to experiment with exit polls -- although I worry about the distraction from other more pressing tasks -- but I'd like the rhetoric to be rationally defensible.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
25. Malarkey? How can that be? Within the exit poll margin of error?
Over 20% spoilage rates.

One in five votes not counted.

How is that within any MOE?

I must be stupid or something.

Or maybe I just refuse to believe the earth is flat.

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #25
34. What, you don't think there can be a 20% MoE in one precinct?
In how many precincts were the exit polls taken in Palm Beach County, and how many voters did they survey?

Oh crap! There I go wasting time on those bloody exit polls again! Never mind.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. Precint results from Duval county (spreadsheet).
http://www.netrinsics.com/Duval/Duval.csv

I don't see how one-in-five ballots being spoiled is within any margin of error of any exit poll.

Perhaps you can explain how that could be.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #37
67. Well, if you exit poll 165 voters, there's a margin of error of +/- 10%
If you exit poll 40 voters, there's a margin of error of +/- 20.4%. These is for a 99% confidence interval and of course it assumes the sample was random.

So how many voters were exit polled in the county in question?
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #67
68. How many of the respondents said they voted for two presidents?
Edited on Sun Sep-21-08 10:58 PM by Usrename
What would be the MOE for that response?

On edit> Sorry about the original sarcastic response, but I would imagine that in practice spoilage is s weighting factor based on historical data and what type of voting equipment is being used. How do you think MOE affects the actual amount of ballot spoilage that is established when the votes are counted? Does one thing have any effect on the other, in your opinion? I really don't understand your reasoning here.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #68
72. My reasoning is that there are NOT enough voters polled in a precinct
to accurately tell how the precinct voted. This may also be true for a county since they exit poll less 1 precinct per county on average.

If you're saying that the unadjusted FL exit poll showed that Gore should have beaten Bush by 50,000 votes, and this is about the number of spoiled ballots in Palm Beach (or whatever) county, that's a different argument than saying that the exit poll of that county showed 50,000 spoiled ballots.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #72
78. That's right.
The exit poll showed that the spoiled ballots would have gone heavily for Gore. That's why VNS called FL for Gore early, before the polls even closed, IIRC.

No one knew anything about any spoilage until the returns were coming in later that night.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 06:45 AM
Response to Reply #78
82. what's right?!
It's right that you are saying that the statewide exit poll showed that Gore would have won the state by 50,000 votes?

And from that you are inferring that the spoiled ballots would have gone heavily for Gore?

If not that, then what? What is your argument, and where is the supporting evidence?
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #82
84. I think you are being intentionally obtuse.
Why don't you try and explain how the ballot spoilage is outside the exit poll MOE. That might be more productive.

There are studies that were done on this subject.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #84
86. you think *I* am being intentionally obtuse?
I am marveling at your ability to deflect straightforward questions.

What does ballot spoilage have to do with the exit poll MOE? I'm still waiting for an argument.

There are indeed plenty of studies on ballot spoilage, but I don't recall any that assume or demonstrate that the exit polls somehow revealed the number of spoiled ballots in advance, or whatever it is that you think you are arguing.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #86
88. What is it you don't understand?
VNS called FL early for Gore. Right? Is that what you don't understand?

They did this because of the high overvote rate in heavily Gore precints. Right? Is this the part you don't understand?

What is in dispute here? You don't believe the overvote statistics are real?

I've posted many links in this thread. It isn't that difficult to research this stuff. Use your google.

And YOU are the one who was chiding me about overvotes being within the MOE. I never brought up anything about MOEs. That was YOU, bub.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #88
91. "They did this because of the high overvote rate in heavily Gore precints."
And you think you know this how?

"What is in dispute here? You don't believe the overvote statistics are real?"

You must be joking. No one has contested the overvote statistics. It's the linkage to the exit polls that you keep failing to make.

OK, so, are you going to support the assertion that I've quoted in the subject, or not? When comes the time that you either support or retract your fabulous assertion that "the exit polls... reflected the exact number of spoiled ballots in Palm Beach and Duvall counties"? When, Usrename, when?
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #91
92. Malarkey ring any bells.
Are you suffering from short term memory loss?
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #92
93. flame war is your best play?
Oh-kay.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #93
95. Flame war? What is wrong with you?
YOU:

"15. malarkey
50,000 votes would have been well within the exit poll's margin of error -- as I think you know. So what on earth are you trying to say? The "exact number of spoiled ballots in Palm Beach and Duvall counties"? That isn't mathematics, it's hokum. Who needs hokum?


How do spoiled ballots affect the MOE? You brought this up. Not me. What does one thing have to do with the other?

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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #95
96. I'm damn sick of your stonewalling
Edited on Mon Sep-22-08 07:33 PM by OnTheOtherHand
Am I supposed to walk back through this thread and collate all the questions you've refused to answer? Do you actually not see them?

No, no, no one said that spoiled ballots affect the MOE. If you were to attempt to answer my question in #91 -- which is the same question I posed in my very first comment -- maybe you would begin to comprehend why MOE enters into the discussion.

And you presume to pontificate about attacks on science. I'm aghast. You seem to have no clue what a scientific argument about inference from the poll to the election results would look like, or else you just have no interest in making one. You do understand that it is necessary to infer from the poll to the election results, right?

ETA: So, do you really think you offered a mathematical argument in any of your posts in this thread? If so, maybe you could point to it.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #96
99. You keep accusing me of behavior that I haven't done.
What is this argument that you want to have about mathematics?

I only mentioned mathematics once, in my first post, the one you called malarkey.

My argument about mathematics is simple enough. I argued that mathematics are the building blocks of all science.

Is that the malarkey you are talking about?


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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 05:00 AM
Response to Reply #99
102. the thing you "haven't done" is to support your claims
Edited on Tue Sep-23-08 05:00 AM by OnTheOtherHand
No, not the claim that "mathematics are the building blocks of all science" -- although you didn't support that claim either, but hey, whatever. Your claims about the exit polls. Which apparently you believe are self-evident.

We might as well look back at that post for a moment:

This effort to discredit exit polling is one of the biggest attacks on science that has been committed by this fascist regime. It's an all-out attack on mathematics, the foundation of all science.

I was being generous when I called that "malarkey." If you didn't just accuse many of my colleagues (who have questioned the accuracy of exit polls, and whom you therefore presumably would score as part of the "effort to discredit exit polling") of complicity with a fascist regime, then maybe you literally have no idea what you are saying. So far you seem to have no particular idea what mathematics has to do with exit polls. The mind reels.

Let's see if it got any better on the other branch. Maybe there you explained the "deadly accurate" business.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #72
79. Here's a simplified illustration of what happened in Duval County.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #25
40. the MoE within individual counties?
The problem is, you are making assertions without an iota of support. If you were to spell out your mathematical reasoning, we could all see whether it made any sense, or why it doesn't.

50,000 votes statewide is less than 1% of the votes. That's within the statewide MOE. It's likely that the exit polls could have detected large spoilage in individual precincts, not that there was any need to do that. It's less likely that the exit polls could be used to estimate the spoilage, not that there was any need to do that either.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #40
43. Glad you cleared that up.
What is is you don't understand?

I posted the link to the returns from Duval County.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. it isn't a matter of "understanding"
Edited on Sun Sep-21-08 01:00 PM by OnTheOtherHand
You claimed, "In FL 2000 the exit polls were deadly accurate, and reflected the exact number of spoiled ballots in Palm Beach and Duvall counties." How in hell do you think you know that?

I guess a bonus question would be, what in hell do you think the official returns have to do with it? But maybe you could focus on supporting your original claim.

ETA: One you might think about for yourself: when high residual rates are concentrated in precincts with very high Gore vote shares, how, specifically, does that affect the exit poll results? (Of course the answer will depend on how one interprets "concentrated.")
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #45
51. I didn't know any of what I claimed was in dispute.
I know what happened because I saw it. On election night 2000, the VNS guy went live on TeeVee on in order to explain why FL was un-called for Gore. He had a teleprompter and he circled Palm Beach/Broward and Duval areas on the screen and explained that those were the two areas where votes were missing in the returns. It was well known that night to start looking for a lot of spoileballots in certain heavily Democratic precints.

Are you saying that everything I witnessed is in dispute? I wasn't aware of any dispute about any of this.

As to your question, I would think this would not affect the exit poll results at all, as the two things are completely unrelated, as was shown on election night in 2000.

I guess you may be suggesting, like Edison/Mitofsky is want to do, that the exit polls should be re-weighted (after the fact, when the discrepency is observed) in order to account for the missing votes and in order to bring the exit poll results into concurrence with the actual returns. I don't know why anyone would want to do that. (Actually, I do!)
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #51
56. "where votes were missing in the returns"
OK, help me out here -- are we talking about exit polls at all? Because, I'm sure you're aware, the returns are not exit polls.

Honestly, I'm flummoxed.

As long as we're talking about some VNS guy, can you remember what network he was on and roughly what time of night? Then I might be able to judge relevance.

"As to your question, I would think this would not affect the exit poll results at all, as the two things are completely unrelated, as was shown on election night in 2000."

Let me try it this way: how would it affect the relationship between the exit poll results and the official returns? How, if at all, would the exit polls reveal the number of spoiled ballots?
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #56
65. Yes, you do seem to be flummoxed.
As long as we're talking about some VNS guy, can you remember what network he was on and roughly what time of night? Then I might be able to judge relevance.


It was on a local station in FL, sometime after midnight, I believe about 2:00AM, and I believe it was WESH, but I'm not sure.

It was definitely after returns were starting to come in showing the crazy numbers of spoiled ballots. And that is the point, isn't it? The exit polls showed that the spoiled ballots would have gone heavily for Gore.

Unless you are one of those people who would argue that one out of every five people who waited in line for hours to vote in overcrowded polling places actually intended to vote twice for president, and did so.

You should know that this argument has quite a history in the Jim Crow south, and it's the reason why butterfly ballots were made illegal in the states covered by the Voting Rights Act. It's an old gotcha game that was used for decades to disenfranchise voters. Just double-punch the ballots and they don't count. Or, do you beleive that one in five voters intended to vote twice for president? It's such an old trick I saw movies about it in elementary school.

Let me try it this way: how would it affect the relationship between the exit poll results and the official returns? How, if at all, would the exit polls reveal the number of spoiled ballots?


The exit polls show a snapshot of the election. What you are looking at is "how" the respondents "believe" they voted. In FL 2000 this was an accurate snapshot.

The incredibly high number of spoiled ballots in Duval and Palm Beach counties actually changed the outcome of the election. This is a fact that I also don't think is in dispute.

My entire argument is that VNS had an ACCURATE snapshot of the election in FL 2000, on election night, in real time, and it showed that Gore was missing some 50,000 votes.

Four years later Edison/Mitkofsky was declaring that they would not repeat the mistakes of FL 2000. So, do you understand the problem now with your whole attitude about this? It just isn't very scientific, just like E/M wasn't very scientific when they vowed to not repeat the mistakes of 2000.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 05:52 AM
Response to Reply #65
81. you say it's the point, but you aren't supporting it:
Edited on Mon Sep-22-08 06:38 AM by OnTheOtherHand
ETA: I forgot: thanks for the lead on, maybe, WESH. So your impression is that the VNS person gave an interview to the local affiliate? If so, that seems a bit weird to me, but I dunno.

And that is the point, isn't it? The exit polls showed that the spoiled ballots would have gone heavily for Gore.

How?

Please offer your mathematical explanation of how the Florida exit poll reveals how the spoiled ballots were voted. I bet yowzayowzayowza is curious as well, and probably for the same reason.

(No, I don't think that people deliberately voided their own ballots.)

What you are looking at is "how" the respondents "believe" they voted. In FL 2000 this was an accurate snapshot.

Unfortunately, what I am looking at is a lot of hand-waving assertions. You seem to think you know what the exit poll data revealed, but when pressed for specifics, you seem either to retreat or to change the subject.

My entire argument is that VNS had an ACCURATE snapshot of the election in FL 2000, on election night, in real time, and it showed that Gore was missing some 50,000 votes.

Well, there has been no argument yet. I keep asking for one. Trying to ask pointed questions hasn't helped, so perhaps you should just try to lay it out on your own terms.

So, do you understand the problem now with your whole attitude about this?

You mean, my "attitude" when I ask you to support your claims? Seems pretty scientific to me.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #81
83. Yes, it was odd to me that the VNS guy was on live.
That's one reason it's so memorable. And he also had a telestrator with a satelite map of FL, which also struck me as odd. I guess they watch the weather too, in order to refine their data.

So what exactly is your point?

There are many studies of the ballot spoilage in FL. I very quickly found a few using the google. It's not all that complicated.


Democracy Counts
The Media Consortium Florida Ballot Project


The overvoting also showed a very notable difference in which candidates were
named on the overvoted ballots. Gores name appeared on 80,772 of the overvotes
compared to 40,073 for Bush, indicating that overvotes may have had the largest impact
on Floridas election. Voters included both Bush and Gore on 11,409 overvoted ballots.
Only 4,384, or 3.9 percent, of overvotes had neither Bush nor Gore included.


http://www.aei.org/docLib/20040526_KeatingPaper.pdf



U.S. Civil Rights Commission Report

Approximately 11 percent of Florida voters were African American; however, African Americans cast about 54 percent of the 180,000 spoiled ballots in Florida during the November 2000 election based on estimates derived from county-level data. These statewide estimates were corroborated by the results in several counties based on actual precinct data.


http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/vote2000/report/exesum.htm


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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #83
87. is this intended as satire?
You've made claims about the exit polls that you refuse to explain or to support. In this post, you offer two links about the spoiled ballots as if they somehow support your claims about the exit polls. What gives? That's my "point."
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #87
89. This is a very simplistic graph for you.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Even you should be able to grok this stuff. It isn't very complicated.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #89
90. no, your claim was about EXIT POLLS
Are you going to support it, or are you going to keep on blowing smoke? or do you somehow not even realize that you are blowing smoke?

It isn't just to me. Bill Bored asked a cogent question about the number of exit poll precincts per county, and you sidestepped as nimbly as if the subject had never arisen.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #90
94. What is it exactly that you think I am claiming that is smoke?
Seriously, dude.

The facts I am presenting are not in dispute at all, as far as I know.

If my comprehension of the events is all smoke, why don't you enlighten us all about what really happened?

You are the one who is trying to obscure the simple facts, with nonsense about MOEs and such. Talk about sidestepping the issue. This is farce, right?

What is the relationship you imagine exists between MOEs and anything that I have claimed?

OBVIOUSLY, the MOE was such that they made the call early for FL. That is OBVIOUS isn't it? What more do you need to know?

What is it that you cannot figure out?
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #94
97. "OBVIOUSLY, the MOE was such that they made the call early for FL."
Edited on Mon Sep-22-08 07:32 PM by OnTheOtherHand
The call wasn't based on the exit poll data alone. They waited for actual vote counts, and then blew the call.

Even if that weren't the case, how would it support your claim that the exit polls "were deadly accurate, and reflected the exact number of spoiled ballots in Palm Beach and Duvall counties"? Do you have any basis for assessing the accuracy of the exit polls? Do you even know what accuracy means?

(edit for clarity)
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #97
100. You think they blew the call?
Now I finally see why you are having so much difficulty with this whole topic.

What are you saying exactly?

Did they blow the call and somehow the actual vote was exactly like their blown call?

Is that what you are going on about?

:rofl:

How did that twist of fate occur?

They blew the call, but then their blown call matched the actual returns.

You are worse off than I imagined.

:rofl:

And to answer your question for the second time, I witnessed it. By morning the story was already well known and widely reported that to understand why the early call for Gore was made you'd have to look at the spoilage in Duval and Palm Beach counties.

Is that the part that has you flummoxed?
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 05:21 AM
Response to Reply #100
103. you are amazingly obtuse
Certainly, from their standpoint, they blew the call, twice, and had to retract it both times. That isn't disputed, any more than the undervotes and overvotes are disputed. But you once again -- coincidentally, no doubt -- ignored the main point: no one made any call based on the exit poll data alone. That fact may have implications for your analysis, if you have an analysis. I can't tell, since so far you have refused to reveal it.

(There is a subtler sense in which making any call as early as they did was a blown call by definition -- but obviously we aren't ready for subtlety yet. Maybe in a post or two.)

"...somehow the actual vote was exactly like their blown call?"

Well, you are teetering toward actual substance there, for a change. What would we need to know in order to know whether "the actual vote" was "exactly like" their "blown call"?

Since you have steadfastly refused to make an argument, I am now reduced to guessing what your argument might have been, had you made one. Let's see how this goes. I have to make up a lot of stuff for you -- I apologize, I spent a lot of time trying to avoid it.

"The Florida exit poll sample indicated that Gore won with about 49% of the vote to 48% for Bush, with other candidates getting most of the rest of the vote. But the election results indicated that it was roughly 47/47, with 3% residual votes -- much higher in some counties. We can reconstruct that if the residual votes had been counted in accordance with voter intent, Gore would have won with about 49% of the vote to 48% for Bush. So, the exit polls revealed how many residual votes there were, and who they went for."

Is that, maybe, perhaps, something like the argument you would have made, if you had made an argument?

Perhaps you would like to refine the argument -- and then support it.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-09-08 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #103
107. "THEY BLEW THE CALL!!"
Gawd, I can believe you said that. Anybody else and it would have been a huge surprise.

It is somewhat surprising that you do claim the the exit polls in Fla. 2000 "BLEW" the call, only because you finally showed yourself for what you truly do here. And that is: obfuscate. Disrupt. And condone stolen elections.

We all know bushco stole the Fla. 2000 election. And that the exit polls called the true vote. But here you are exposing yourself, blatantly claiming otherwise. You, sir, are a true minority! Of one!
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-09-08 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #107
116. yeah, they blew the call
Florida required a full recount -- which it never received. The pollsters had no business calling it on election night. They certainly had no basis calling it on the basis of an exit poll sample (and they didn't). That's why, at the end of the night, they had withdrawn both their calls, and left the state "too close to call."

This has nothing to do with who won Florida. (As I think you already know, I think Gore would have won a full recount, and would have won by more if votes had been counted as intended.) It has to do with the limits of the exit pollsters' knowledge.

But, hey, rant on.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-09-08 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #116
118. They called Florida correctly
If you can show they didn't (you can't) lets hear it. What you are putting down here is just the side story about the politics surrounding the situation. Exit-polls are not about politics, they are about science. The science said Gore won Florida, and he did.

They didn't blow the call. They were dead on. But if you want to go on saying they were wrong, I can't stop you. Heck, keep on, it's amusing.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-10-08 05:03 AM
Response to Reply #118
122. no, they should not have called Florida at all
The science says that it was too close to call based on an exit poll sample of that size, even if the exit poll sample was unbiased.

But it's a bit late in the day to pretend that you care about the science.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. "...isn't true at all"? Then help me here.
You know that Orange Revolution in Ukraine. It left me a little red in the face upon closer examination.
This brings us to the final ingredient of these new coupsthe deployment of polling agencies' "exit polls" broadcast on international television to give the false (or sometimes accurate) impression of massive vote-fraud by the ruling party, to put targeted states on the defensive. Polling operations in the recent coups have been overseen by such outfits as Penn, Schoen and Berland, top advisors to Microsoft and Bill Clinton. Praising their role in subverting Serbia, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (and later Chairman of NDI), in an October 2000 letter to the firm quoted on its website, stated: "Your work with the National Democratic Institute and the Yugoslav opposition contributed directly and decisively to the recent breakthrough for democracy in that country . . . This may be one of the first instances where polling has played such an important role in setting and securing foreign policy objectives." Penn, Schoen, together with the OSCE, also ran the widely televised "exit poll" operations in the Ukrainian elections.

http://onlinejournal.org/Special_Reports/031905Mowat-1/...


And how 'bout them reluctant responders in Georgia? And I don't mean the Peach State.

Georgia's opposition is calling for mass street protests after accusing the authorities of trying to rig Saturday's snap presidential elections.

Exit polls suggested President Mikhail Saakashvili won the elections, possibly by enough votes to avoid a run-off.

But opposition leader Levan Gachechiladze said the exit polls had been "falsified".

snip

No official results have yet been published, and analysts are urging caution, as 20% of respondents in the exit poll refused to say who they had voted for.

snip

Mr Saakashvili called the early election in an attempt to prove his democratic credentials after huge opposition protests were suppressed in November.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7173566.stm


Hey. Not too bad. For the fascists that encouraged Saakashvili's Ossetian adventure. Maybe the International Republican Institute commissioned that poll, too. You know that group. Right? The one that boasts the likes of Tom Feeney and Liz Cheney on it's web site.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


Now what effort to discredit exit polls are you referring to? TIA's. :shrug:

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #18
27. Here ya go!

"Five dollars please.
And would you also like to take the Exit Poll?"
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. I spent three weeks in the third world and had some great meals served that way.
I did get kindof sick once, though. :puke:

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. You mean New York? nt
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. Well, NY too. But I was there much longer.
No carpet-bagger, I.



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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #18
28. I guess that's a fair question.
I'm referring to people who knock exit polling. The ones who want to denigrate the science. I thought that was obvious.

How could any of the concerns you are raising be relevant in a process that was open to public scrutiny? Like the one that I am proposing? With kids involved and such. And schools and such. How is that open to any kind of the manipulations that you seem to be concerned about?

Do you think it is possible to rig an exit poll without secrecy? Seriously. Do you think it can be done?

I'd prefer some kind of scientific answer, if at all possible.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #28
33. Oh, and that's a fair comment.

I'll bet an exit poll designed by smart guys and conducted by honorable scouts would work really well.

But I'm just not sure how we can get there...and then do much with it given the culture. I can imagine it, mind you (I am a dreamer). But I can't see it (I admit the dream is over and we're in full-nightmare mode, now).

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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. Full-nightmare mode, to be sure.
Didn't we all used to have faith in our abilities and the abilities of others. Isn't that how we got to the moon?

It's been a long time since any smart guys were allowed to actually have a say in how things are done. That might be a good start. That would be fine with me.

It would also be nice if folks thought they had a duty to respond to exit-pollsters, if they are asked. This whole "exit polls cannot be trusted" stuff probably leads to much higher non-response rates than would normally occur if folks had some faith that the exit poll was run fairly and that the results were fair and honest. Again this is the Utopian viewpoint that doesn't mesh well with our current nightmare.

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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #33
46. I think that's close to what we have
I think the NEP exit poll was designed by smart guys and conducted by -- not literally "honorable scouts," but perfectly decent people. If only the voters would cooperate better!
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #46
59. Well then they weren't smart enough to widen the sample.
And that helped get us into this mess.

But Exit Polls are a waste of time. They confirm what anyone wants to believe.

What we need is a secure voting system, not another distraction.

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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #59
63. "what we need is a secure voting system"
Exactly right.

Contrary to some characterizations, I'm willing to make whatever use of exit poll data can sensibly be made. But, well, what you said.

(The thing about "widen(ing) the sample" -- well, at the end of the day, exit polls are voluntary, and there isn't necessarily anything the pollsters can do to make the results accurate. Some things can make them better or worse.)
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Febble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-09-08 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #63
110. And, interestingly
there was that study that showed that when you try to encourage participation with freebies, you actually reduce the accuracy. Democrats and Republicans, it seems, respond differentially to inducements, or at least to the inducements offered in the study.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #59
69. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
:think:
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-08 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
31. I agree, Exit Polls should be required reading at the Academy!

"Election result equals mass times the speed of light squared."
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yowzayowzayowza Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 01:06 AM
Response to Original message
39. Because a close election will always be...
beyond the resolution of the exit poll. We need access & transparency in the counting & tabulation process itself far more than a secondary process of dubious precision. Tiz a distraction imho.
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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #39
49. 2004 wasn't close. that's the point.
it was close on the tally but not the exit polls. this is a big red flag and that's why exit polling is important.

how do you know if it's close if you are putting blind trust in the voting machine companies to count the votes in secret??

the exit polls are the last safeguard to indicate something is wrong. you can't ignore exit polls just because Diebold says the election was close.
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yowzayowzayowza Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. Uncle.
>2004 wasn't close.

:eyes:
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #50
52. Neither was FL 2000.
That's why FL was called for Gore fairly early. I wasn't that close. They had to spoil a huge amount of ballots to make it close.
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yowzayowzayowza Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #52
54. Imho, both FL/2000 & OH/2004 were within ...
the exit polls' error range, which is of course significantly greater than the simple mathematical MOE.

Thatz enuffa the 2005 time warp fer me.

:hi:
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #54
66. I don't even know what that means.
:hi:

See post 65 for a better explanation.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #49
57. it was close on both
Honestly, what on earth are you thinking, Gary?

It's not just me -- I'm just the only one stupid enough to stick around trying to explain it to you.
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
55. Suggested plan B if the independent exit polling organization doesn't happen
Edited on Sun Sep-21-08 03:08 PM by diva77
maybe a rating system that addresses the accuracy of each poll and the deficiencies -- do polling organizations disclose their polling methods?

Maybe an independent, unbiased panel of distinguished academics that rates existing polls & their methodologies might help?? just brainstorming here...
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #55
60. and that will...
:shrug:

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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #60
64. I would think it would shine a brighter light on polls that are
biased. Hopefully it would raise awareness in the media so that they would only quote polls that meet a certain standard. The goal would be to help diffuse the lie that this election is somehow close.

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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #64
71. I think the rationale for exit polls is a little different.
It is basically a snapshot of what happened at the polls on election day. Other types of polls do not really reflect what the people who actually showed up were thinking. That's the whole 'eligable voter/likely voter' discrepancy. At an exit poll you generally have people who actually voted.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #64
73. This you may enjoy.
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-08 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #73
77. thanks, Wilms! hmmm..maybe we have our new "it-girl" pollster
J. Ann Selzer of Des Moines, Iowa-based Selzer & Co.

interesting mention of one of the case studies on their site:

http://www.selzerco.com/casestudy6.html

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-08 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #77
85. Aaak!
Edited on Mon Sep-22-08 09:37 AM by Wilms
That looks like a story about "push polling".

-on edit-

Here's more...

Former Gallup Pollster Tells How Polls are Used to Manage Public Opinion
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-09-08 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
117. FOLKS, THIS IS ALREADY HAPPENING! CHECK THIS OUT!

Announcing the Election Verification Exit Poll

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Election_Ver...

Introduction
Around the world, exit polls are used as a standard of election verification. Whenever there's a disparity between exit poll results and election results, we suspect that the disparity may be due to election fraud. In the US, however, media exit polls have insisted that their polls are not designed (and therefore cannot be used) to detect fraud. Rather, their purpose is to project winners of races and provide material for news coverage. <1>
(q.v., National Election Pool)
It's not remotely true that something cannot be used for a purpose other than which it is designed. Media polls, in fact, could be used to detect, and even prosecute, fraud if the media would release it's data. <2> It is true however that the purposes are different, and so the resulting methodologies differ. The purpose of a media exit poll is to strategically poll many precincts to obtain a representative sample for an entire district (e.g., state, city) so election outcomes can be predicted. A lot of demographic data are gathered in media exit polls so pollsters can tell how, for example, blacks, women, union members, church goers, rural people, and other demographic groups voted. Most of the polling is done well before polling places close on Election Day so the exit poll results can be tabulated and presented by the news outlets immediately after the polls close.

Contrast with media exit polls

In sharp contrast, an election verification exit polls objective is not to predict election results, but rather to audit or verify the accuracy of vote counts in selected precincts. Therefore, EVEP pollsters focus on targeted precincts, polling very comprehensively so official election results in these targeted precincts can be verified. For example, in the 2006 congressional elections The Warren Poll, sponsored by Election Integrity, interviewed close to 6000 voters in selected precincts in Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester counties in Pennsylvania. However, since verifying particular precinct results is not an objective of media exit polls, typically only 1000-2000 voters are interviewed in an entire state, meaning that relatively few voters are interviewed in any given precinct. Consequently, an EVEP should be considerably more reliable for the targeted precincts than media exit polling would be since a much larger sample of voters would be interviewed in these selected precincts. Therefore, if EVEP results differ significantly from the actual reported results in the targeted precincts, it would be reasonable to conclude that something is wrong with the official count, especially considering that exit poll methodologies have normally proved quite reliable. It should be noted that media exit polling has incidentally served to cast doubt on official vote counts, but such polling is not particularly designed to verify election results.

Interest in exit polls and EVEPs

Why have certain election integrity groups in recent years pushed for more EVEPs? The primary reason is that it has become clear that official counts have not always been accurate due to innocent errors or election fraud. Exit polling in the United States, as well as in other countries of the world, have been used to question the official results. For example, in the 2000 election in Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic claimed that he had defeated Vojislav Kostunica. However, exit polling cast great doubt as to the accuracy of the reported count, suggesting that the vote count had been corrupted. Public and media pressure eventually forced him to concede, turning a stolen election into an honest election result.<4>

EVEPs as tools to prove election fraud

Of course, the honesty of vote counts in the United States has been widely questioned ever since the 2000 presidential recount fiasco in Florida. The introduction of new electronic voting machines, especially ones that produce no paper trails, has caused many groups, including a considerable number of state and national political leaders, to call for remedies to vote count problems. Some have specifically advocated the use of EVEPs, especially in precincts that have historically had problems with fair vote counts. EVEP proponents believe that EVEP findings can be used to challenge dubious official vote counts in court.

However, EVEPs have inherent weaknesses, especially as legal weapons in lawsuits. Obviously, EVEP results are not 100% accurate. That is, they are subject to an error margin, making them very difficult to use to challenge any election results that are close. Also, obtaining a truly random representative sample is problematic since some voters will not respond to the poll. Critics, for instance, have noted that exit polls have tended to overestimate the Democratic vote in their polling because, they allege without proof, more Republicans than Democrats have refused to answer the pollsters questions. Methodologically, this sort of sampling error is not easy to correct. Another serious problem is caused by the various ways people can vote (e.g., early voting, absentee voting, provisional voting, and regular voting). Obviously, EVEP pollsters cannot poll those who vote early or vote absentee. Also, Election Boards or election authorities historically have not been very cooperative with exit pollsters, preventing pollsters from comparing apples (regular votes cast) with apples (regular votes cast). If election board officials merge all the different kinds of voting alternatives, pollsters cannot accurately verify vote counts because EVEP pollsters interview only those who have cast regular ballots, or possibly provisional ballots. The problem is made worse by the reality that election officials tend to be the least cooperative in those very polling places targeted by EVEP pollsters as the most likely to produce corrupted vote counts. All this makes the future use of EVEPs uncertain, although they still have potential to be used as a legitimate auditing tool in elections.

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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-10-08 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #117
119. K&R and how to support the Election Verification Polling
Sign up or donate funds at the Election Defense Alliance website.
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jagerbb Donating Member (8 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-10-08 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
123. The ACORN solution
Here's the solution to the ACORN problem-

http://thejagergazette.blogspot.com/2008/10/acorn-solut...
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-10-08 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #123
124. I'm thinking you are on the wrong board n/t
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