National Election Pool

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The National Election Pool (NEP) is a consortium of American news organizations formed in 2003 to provide exit polling information for US elections, replacing the Voter News Service which had failed disastrously in 2002.[1]

The system produced skewed results in the 2004 US presidential election[1][2] and in the 2016 presidential elections.[3]

As of 2018, member companies ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News contracts with Edison Research to conduct exit polling and a quick turnaround of nationwide vote tabulation.[4][5] Starting 2020, Reuters has partnered with the NEP for U.S. presidential election results and exit polls.[6] Fox News and the Associated Press formerly were part of the Pool, but left in 2017 due to plans to conduct their own exit polls and other experimental alternatives to gauge voter sentiment.[3]

The organizers of the pool say that the purpose of their quick collection of exit poll data is not to determine if an election is flawed, but rather to project winners of races. Despite past problems, they note that none of their members has incorrectly called a winner since the current system was put in place.[7] However, to avoid the premature leaking of data, collection is now done in a "Quarantine Room" at an undisclosed location in New York. All participants are stripped of outside communications devices until it is time for information to be released officially.[8][9]

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  1. ^ a b Rutenberg, Jim (5 November 2004). "Report Says Problems Led to Skewed Surveying Data". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Rutenberg, Jim (3 November 2004). "An Early Night for Viewers Becomes a Cliffhanger". The New York Times.
  3. ^ a b Shepard, Steven (9 December 2017). "Is this the beginning of the end of the exit poll?". Politico.
  4. ^ "U.S. Elections". Edison Research. Retrieved 2023-10-22.
  5. ^ "How election votes and data for 2022 are collected at NBC news". Retrieved 2023-10-22.
  6. ^ "Reuters to distribute real-time 2020 U.S. presidential election results and exit polls from the National Election Pool in groundbreaking collaboration". Reuters. 2019-07-22. Retrieved 2023-10-22.
  7. ^ "Election Polling Services". Edison Research. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  8. ^ Sparks, Grace (2020-02-03). "What are exit polls and how do you read them? | CNN Politics". CNN. Retrieved 2023-10-22.
  9. ^ Bump, Philip (2021-11-25). "How exit polls work, explained". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2023-10-22.

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