Widespread Voting Problems in Early Voting Indicate that Independent Documentation May Be Needed to Audit Election
Today, the national election integrity project TrueVote.US urged media outlets participating in the National Exit Poll to preserve the unadjusted poll results. The group cited a range of problems in more than a dozen states during early voting that indicated a need for an independent record to compare to the vote count. TrueVote.US urged that the unadjusted results be made public and, if adjustments are made that they be explained publicly.
Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International will again conduct a National Exit Poll for a media pool comprised of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press. The exit polls will involve polling tens of thousands of actual voters. It will remove sources of polling error and be extremely accurate. In 2004 the unadjusted exit polls were "adjusted," i.e. changed so as to conform to the vote count assuming the count was correct and the exit poll was not. Investigations into the election in Ohio later raised serious doubts about the accuracy of the actual vote in comparison to the unadjusted polls (which showed a Kerry victory).
The records may be needed for an independent audit of the election results. TrueVote.US cited problems with touchscreen machines in five states "flipping" the vote, optical scan machines having problems reading ballots and the failure to count absentee and provisional ballots. TrueVote.US issued a report last week on the diverse problems seen throughout the United States during early voting. See True Vote Summarizes Problems in U.S. Election Thus Far: Unacceptable long lines, machine problems, registration and voter challenges and deception of voters, October 28, 2008, http://truevote.us/nucleus/index.php?itemid=494.