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Controversial New Way Exit Polling Data Will Be Used In Real Time On Election Day

November 5, 2016

This is going to be most interesting!

By combining proprietary, large-sample polls taken prior to Election Day with targeted, real-time tracking of voter turnout on Tuesday, VoteCastr will make rolling projections of how many ballots have been cast for each candidate in each of the states we’re tracking: Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. If you visit Slate at 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, you’ll see projections for how many votes have been cast for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in each of those states as of 11 a.m.

This, as you may have heard, is controversial. It will break a decades long journalistic tradition whereby media outlets obey a self-imposed embargo on voting information under the unproven theory that it might depress turnout on Election Day. But as our Editor-in-Chief Julia Turner put it this summer when she announced the VoteCastr partnership: “The role of journalists is to bring information to people, not to protect them from it.” For the first time, you’ll have access to the same kind of data that campaigns use to monitor voting activity and frame their thinking throughout Election Day. We teamed up with VoteCastr because we don’t think there’s any good reason the candidates and their teams should have a monopoly on that kind of information.

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