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sunnystarr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 02:21 PM
Original message
Eliminating Exit Polls ... a new strategy?
I have this inner dread about the call to eliminate exit polls. Bush has personally stated this. Other Republicans and their pundits have stated it as well. I found it mentioned in one of HAVA hearings from 2001 as well: "Representative Ehlers said...we need to prohibit exit polling and revealing election results before the last vote is counted" http://www.nist.gov/hearings/2001/elecref2.htm

Since exit polls are used internationally to point to any suspicion of election fraud, why would anyone want to eliminate them in the U.S. unless they want to continue with election fraud undetected, without raising any flags?

Am I offbase on my fears? Is this an issue that we should fight to protect in our democracy (when we get it back)?

I'm just afraid that if we ignore it then the main election instrument that can used as a measurement of accuracy will be taken from us.
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RaulVB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hogwash (n/t)
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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. What a measured and well reasoned response.
Care to add anything?
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RaulVB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Nope. I'm "speechless" (n/t)
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think you have it right on :( n/t
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
3. Gather all their contradictory quotes in regard to the Ukraine and exit
polling done there. Bushies base their entire argument FOR a recount there on the exit polls that showed that the opposition won.
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sunnystarr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. Great idea!
That way we'd be ready to counter any bs they will try and sell us in the MSM. :)
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Quakerfriend Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
5. No, you are not paranoid
Those exact thoughts went thru my mind when I heard Rick Santorum talking about this not less than 3 days after the election. Preposterous!
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Quakerfriend Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Yes, blm!
Luger, Powell, and Bush all made very telling statements!!
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Wordie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
6. I would hope they would be smart and eliminate the premature publication
of the results, not the exit polls themselves. But then, I hope for many reasonable things, that don't always work out that way.
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Mastiff Donating Member (29 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
8. I agree.
We need exit polls. They are the basic check to reveal election fraud. You will notice the Republican spin machine is saying exit polls were not accurate in 2000 and 2002 also. I don't think it is a problem with the exit polls. I think it shows potential fraud as far back as that. We need these exit polls. If they are eliminated all chance of an honest vote is gone.
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Mastiff Donating Member (29 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Don't forget:
The way CNN modified the exit poll information throughout the day. We still don't have the raw data. I went to bed election night with the exit poll showing Kerry ahead, but he was behind in the tally. In the morning the exit poll numbers were reversed to show a Bush win, but the numbers were screwed up. The still would have resulted in a Kerry win. CNN made another ":adjustment" around 10AM to correct this. If exit polling is done, we still need some way to verify that the numbers were not "massaged" as CNN was doing.
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DARE to HOPE Donating Member (552 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Yes, we need exit polls
and so do the political science professors! They do all their studies on who votes and why from those exit polls. They know very well what is going on. We have allies all over the country--every political scientist and statistician from Washington to Florida has realized by now that they are trying to steal this election.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
12. Blackwell tried to stop exit polls in Ohio on election day this year...
... but a court stopped him.


Yes, they will try to stop exit polls. However, the people who make their money off polling will not take this attack lying down. There is big money to be made from polls and surveys, not just in elections. This is also a political science which means that academic institutions are going to get involved, and when you deal with professional integrity issues the debate can get really heated. Not to mention the freedom of the press issues that get raised. There is also the matter of economics. As soon as they buy or muzzle one media outlet, another is going to spring up to take its audience/advertisers.

I think the long term fix which the Bush-Cheney-Rove-Scalia Neo-Conservatives envision is in the judiciary, where a flock of Puritan-Nazis will render the Constition null and void. They just have to keep their man in office long enough to stack courts. That is why they are so sloppy about their election theft and why they dont really care if they get caught after the fact. W. can pardon them all....and the Pickering clones will be on the courts forever.
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Woody Box Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
13. Attention!

"Representative Ehlers said...we need to prohibit exit polling and revealing election results before the last vote is counted"

This formulation is tricky.

There is nothing to say against holding back exit poll results until the last vote is cast as this could influence people who have not voted yet. Actually, this should be mandatory (and it IS mandatory in most countries).

But holding back the results until the last vote is counted is another story. This makes no sense at all.

This formulation gives rise to the impression that it prevents that the exit poll results disturb the voting process. This is not true, of course, because the results are revealed during the counting process, not the voting process.

And the exit poll results surely don't influence the counting process, do they? ;-)











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jhgatiss Donating Member (369 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
14. I think you've hit the nail on the head.
If you have no exit polls then you have no measure of how people intended their votes to be counted. If you have a lackluster paper trail, no audits, and a patchwork of systems across the country, you have a situation that is ripe for fraud. When the Republicans came out against the exit polls in the week after the "selection" while many of us here were wondering whether it was the election results that were false, I thought that was very telling.

I think that exit polling firms and news organizations should hold that data more closely until after the election results have been announced and I think that we should stop this ridiculous business of calling states after they close their polls instead of waiting for the whole country to finish voting. I think both of those add bias to the process. How many Kerry voters were confident that he was going to win the election late in the evening on the West Coast so they stayed home? How many Bush voters were motivated to go out because they heard the exit polls had Kerry in the lead? Or vice versa? One crazy thought I had was this: what if we had instant tabulation? All the machines were connected and there was a tote board so you could see who was in the lead at any given moment. Then afterwards the counting would be done and it would just be a matter of an audit to confirm the results. It would also make elections more interesting because the ground games would have real ideas of what they need to overcome to win.

As an extension of that, in an era with a highly polarized electorate and close races, the television-age tradition of election night speeches seems to be pushing the process rather than the process of counting the votes. I don't think anyone should feel pressured to concede by this social construct rather than the actual vote counting. In reality, I don't think candidates should plan rallies and such Tuesday night. Why not just hold them on Wednesday to allow ample time for the results to come in?
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sunnystarr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. If exit polls can influence voters then they could do the poll,
provide it to media outlets and a non-partisan committee or university, and release the poll's results after the the votes are counted. This can be used as the election barometer of a fair and honest election.

I agree with your point on the rallies planned by candidates. They shouldn't announce a winner until all the votes are counted and then they can hold a rally, whether it be a week or two, or a month or two later.

Until all the votes are counted the candidate ahead should be referred to as only that ... the leading candidate.
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