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Exit polls and ‘actual’ results don’t match; Evoting states show greater discrepancy

The Raw Story | November 3 2004

An analysis of the original AP exit polling, which showed Kerry with a tighter margin and leading in myriad states, raises serious questions about the authenticity of the popular vote in several key states, RAW STORY has learned.

Since the actual outcome of the votes have been called, AP has changed nearly all of their exit polling to tighten the margin. A reason has not been given.

The analysis, first conducted by a poster at the popular Democratic Underground, suggests possible voter fraud in states that do not have electronic voting receipts.

RAW STORY has placed an inquiry with the media contact for the six-network exit polling consortium at NBC News. The site hopes to have a reply late this afternoon.

An exit poll involves asking someone after they walk out of the election booth who they voted for. While not a guide for proving results, it can be a mechanism for ensuring voting accuracy and flagging potential fraud. Exit polls were recently used in Venezuela to ensure the vote was accurate and legitimate.

Perhaps more importantly, while exit polling is unreliable, the odds of President Bush having gaining an advantage from every exit poll in swing states is an extremely improbable coincidence.

In Florida, Bush led exit polling by CNN of more than 3 million voters by just 5355 votes. Yet he led by 326,000 in the end result. This morning, CNN changed their exit polling to favor Bush, saying that had overweighted African American voters.

In Wisconsin, where exit polls put Kerry up seven percent, Bush has a lead of one percent, an unexplained difference of eight percent.

In New Mexico, Kerry led Bush by 3.8 percent, yet Bush leads Kerry by 3 percent in actual reported voting.

In Minnesota, where a new law sharply restricts reporters’ access to polls, Kerry led 9.6 percent in exit polling. Actual voting counts found that Bush trailed by 5 percent, with a 5 percent discrepancy favoring Bush.

Ohio, which does have paper trail, and some electronic voting, exits showed Kerry and Bush in a dead heat; in the near-final results, Bush led by three percent.

Exit polls put Kerry up by 8 percent in Michigan; actual results show Bush trailing by just 3 percent.

Two states with mandated paper trails for electronic voting were within 0.1 percent margin of error.

New Hampshire, which has electronic voting but provides verified receipts, exit polling is within 0.1 percent of the actual vote. Kerry led by 3 percent in exit polling, and 2.9 percent in the actual vote.

Nevada, which also has electronic voting and mandated paper trails, had a variance of 0.1 percent as well. Kerry led the actual vote by 1.3 percent; the exit polls had him up by 1.2 percent.

Kerry does not gain by any significant margin in actual voting in any state for which analysis has been conducted, RAW STORY found.

Exit polling accurately predicted the results in most states with very little error. Where there were discrepancies, they were significant in the +5 percent range, and always favored Bush.

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