Exit poll data will be examined in 'quarantine room'

The Huffington Post | Reuters

At 11 a.m. today, representatives from the consortium of news organizations that sponsor the National Election Pool will enter a "quarantine room," where they'll look at data gathered via exit polls, Michael Calderone reports.

Six hours later, staffers will be permitted to start sending data to their respective news organizations, while additional exit polls, especially on the West Coast, keep coming in.

The news orgs represented -- ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and the AP -- can report general trends but cannot report the results of exit polls until the polls close. Anne Cronin at Politico has made a handy map showing the times at which the individual states' polls close.

Reuters reporter Lisa Richwine says the quarantine room lacks phone or Internet access. At 5 p.m., the quarantine will lift, and the representatives will be able to share their data with their respective organizations. Project for Excellence in Journalism director Tom Rosenstiel tells Richwine  that if the data leaks early, "with Internet penetration and the speed of social media, that (data) would be known pretty widely."

Calderone also reports that CNN will not use holograms in its election night coverage. It will, however:

show off some virtual bells and whistles from the network's new Washington, D.C. studio. For instance, Feist said that John King will have all exit poll data at his fingertips by way of CNN's "Magic Wall," pulling everything from breakdowns of, say, Catholic union voters in Ohio to Hispanic women voters in Florida.

Also not to be shared today: That Instagrammed photo of your ballot or polling place

Related: How the Associated Press counts votes (Slate)

Previously: How news orgs plan to avoid bad calls on election night

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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