Thursday, May 5, 2016

audio of my interview on the New York Democratic primary and exit polling with Jim Banks on KGNU

    Listen here to the audio of my interview yesterday morning on KGNU with Jim Banks.


     I am shortly going to put up an analysis and critique of two recent interviews with Joe Lenski..  Lens is the Executive Vice Present and spokesperson for the Edison Group which has a monopoly on exit polls for the News Media Consortium: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, AP and CNN.   He is the go-to person for media interviewers who wish to suppress questions about large and unexpected initial exit poll/recorded "vote" discrepancies. But here in summary are two immediate reforms which would restore exit polling as a test for the fairness and transparency of American elections.


 Summary: two reforms, suggested by Lenski's interviews which would make elections fair

        1. An immediate reform: the US State Department/AID uses initial exit polling abroad to test the fairness of elections.  This is exit polling done by employees of a poll company talking with randomly selected voters as they leave the voting booth about whom they voted for.  In contrast, Lenski and the Edison Group adjust initial exit polls immediately based on precinct counts to approximate "results" on electronic machines which are often old and leave no paper trail.  

    Edison-syle exit polling - and all exit polling - should, by law, revert only to what it does abroad: exit polls based on brief interviews with actual voters after they vote. 

      In addition  for at least all Presidential, Senatorial, Gubernatorial and Congressional elections, a company independent of Edison or better yet, an independent group of academic experts should be hired/ funded by the US government  to do a separate and simple exit poll questionaire, asking at different locations, only who people voted for. That exit poll could serve both as a test on the election and a step toward a free market - or at least competitive - check on the current Edison group/Media Consortium misuse of exit "polling."


      2. A second immediate reform. All ballots should be paper, hand counted as soon as possible/within 12 hours, and stored for review if need be.  The range of initial results should be revealed by exit polling, which would identify most likely winners and losers immediately except when the election is, in fact, very close - within the margin of error. All elections would be legally determined by hand count majority or plurality.


     Motivation: these reforms would restore or create "one person, one vote."   They would restore America's standing in the world as a democracy of integrity rather than a model for uncheckable and illegitimate elections.   Both reforms would be resisted by profit-making companies which have a monopoly interest in the current system, for instance Edison Group and the News Consortium as well as ES&S and other manufacturers of machines.  It will take a serious citizen movement from below to achieve them.  But highlighting the initial exit poll/results recorded on electronic machine discrepancies of the 2004 Bush/Kerry election as well of some recent Democratic Primaries, the first reform, by itself, would make them less likely.

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