Early voting results are shared..... Do you think this is fair?

@James72 (26829)
Australia
October 28, 2008 3:37am CST
I have been hearing a lot of news about the results so far from the votes that have been coming in from those that have chosen to do so before the US election in a week's time. I find it strange that this becomes public information PRIOR to the actual election day. Do you think that this is a fair thing to be doing? Can sharing these results prior to the event influence future voting decisions? Personally I don't think they should be making these results available until the election day itself so these votes can be counted with all the others. What do you think?
5 people like this
9 responses
@camomom (7536)
• United States
28 Oct 08
I think as you do, they should be released on election day and not before. As far as I'm concerned the votes shouldn't count. They should all do their voting on the same day so that there can't be that influence.
2 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
28 Oct 08
I understand that there are some people that can't actually vote on the day itself such as armed forces personnel and citizens overseas etc but I do agree that there should be restrictions on accesses to people that have voted already. The information gained from these voters can be misused and extremely influential as you have rightfully said yourself. Thanks for the response camomom.
1 person likes this
@camomom (7536)
• United States
28 Oct 08
You're welcome. I didn't think about people that CAN'T vote on the same day but I thought that that's what absentee ballots were for. I thought they weren't counted until election day. Either way they shouldn't be released until on or after election day.
2 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
28 Oct 08
I think that what is happening is that people that have voted are being questioned en masse and then their preferences are being shared as yet another poll shows itself. I am sure their actual votes will not be counted until the day itself; well at least I hope this is the case!
1 person likes this
@morgandrake (2140)
• United States
29 Oct 08
Here in Colorado, we have the option of voting by mail. The reason for this is a disasterous election day a few years ago where three hours after the polls had officially closed there were still people waiting to vote. We know that a quarter of the active voters here in Colorado have already cast their votes, but we have no idea who they voted for. I dont mind early and mail-in voting, but the idea that the results could be revealed before election day would make me worried if I thought that it was likely to happen. I sure hope that they are not basing their results on how many of what political party voted. If they do, then I mess with their numbers; I didn't vote for a single candidate of the party that I am registered under.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
29 Oct 08
A voting by mail option makes sense for those that are unable to attend the booths on election day bit personally I don't feel that it should be a freely available option. If there were mess ups a few years ago then they should find a solution rather than come up with this idea. Mail of all things can be so unsecure! Results in any form should be kep strictly confidential until the election day itself otherwise the information is too influential. Thanks for the response morgandrake.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Oct 08
Well, with college and all, if I didnt do a mail-in ballot, I would not actually get to vote. Tuesdays are a busy day for me this semester. I did take in my ballot to the post office. As of a little while ago, this was the voting information here in Colorado: Colorado: About 815,000 people have voted -- 39 percent are registered Democrats and 37 percent are Republicans. So the turnout is about the same between the two parties. And just because someone is registered with one party, does not mean that one is voting the party line as I said earlier. So based on this information, I can not guess accurately who is winning.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
30 Oct 08
Your circumstances make it perfectly understandable why a postal vote is needed but I wonder how many other postal voters can claim the same valid reasons? I agree that the "results" being shared thus far are certainly speculative but I still think it is best to just keep quiet on this front in all areas until election day itself and beyond. Stick with the old polls and leave the predicted voting trends out of it as it can be too influential.
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
28 Oct 08
I didn't think they could do that - I thought that they had to wait until the election - I don't think they should be making those results public until that time. I personally would not want to cast my ballot before election day - too many things can come out about either candidate in the next week that might change voters' opinions.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
28 Oct 08
This is what I have been trying to ascertain. Are they actual results or predictions that are based on polling done on people that have voted already? In my country the only way you can vote before election day is if you are in the armed forces, living overseas or cannot ohysically make it to the poll booths for some medical reason. Thanks for the response newtondak.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Oct 08
They can't, since the votes aren't even counted until Election Day. What they've been reporting is how many of the early voters are registered Democrats and how many are registered Republicans, or what percentage of the early voters are young, old, black, etc. There have been a few interviews with people who have already voted and gone public with their votes, including a number of people interviewed yesterday morning who said they voted for McCain and explained why. but I haven't even seen anyone doing exit polling.
2 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
28 Oct 08
Yes. Thanks for this info chameleonsdream. I have further responded to your comments underneath your reply below.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Oct 08
I don't think it should be done. However, those who do it are doing to influence people vote one way or another. That can backfire. People who think their party is winning might think they don't have to get out of bed on election day because their party is winning. Also, I am not sure if you could trust the people involved to reveal the truth. America has become a lying nation.
2 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
28 Oct 08
I agree with your reasoning as well. Knowing in advance the way people are voting can definitely have an effect on others, no question. However it does appear that my information was not overly accurate and the results we are hearing about are speculative and not actual results. It was hard to tell from the way the reporters etc have been positioning this news! Thanks for the response.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Oct 08
They can't share results since those votes cast can't be counted until Election Day. What they've been reporting is how many of the votes being cast are being cast by registered Democrats and how many are being cast by registered Republicans. In this election where many of both parties have crossed aisles because of discomfort with their own party candidates, that really says very little. It's no different than reporting that the lines at the polls in states with early voting seem to be mostly younger voters - you can draw conclusions, but you can't state 'results'.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
28 Oct 08
Thanks for clearing this up then chameleonsdream. I was unsure of exactly what this information was and whether it was factual or speculative. The way the news shows go on about it they DO make it sound like real results so I found it all quite confusing. Here is a link I found that also backs up what you are saying: http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/10/obama-dominating-among-early-voters-in.html Thanks again for the response.
1 person likes this
@Barb42 (4216)
• United States
28 Oct 08
I personally think that they should not even allow early voting! Too much room for fraud in the voting since I've even heard today on the television that some places are letting people prove on site who they are rather than the information already being on their ballot. Those voters are not supposed to be able to vote early, but some are letting them slide. I had rather see the voting happen on voting day, have more polling places to keep down the large lines, and then count ALL votes on the same day. I don't think they should let out any numbers, but I've been hearing them given out.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
29 Oct 08
Early voting does open the door for manipulation on so many levels but I do also understand that there are people that need to submit their votes early for one reason or another. I do feel though that it should be for special cases only and not available to everyone. I have been hearling LOTS of numbers coming out and that is why I was keen to know the deal here. It does seem to be speculative at this point but sometimes I am still not so sure. Thanks for the response Barb.
@Barb42 (4216)
• United States
29 Oct 08
I can understand absentee voting for the military and people who will not be home or people who are unable to go to the polls. But everyone else should be going on the day of election. Why have a special day if we don't vote that day? I just see lots of fraud myself.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
29 Oct 08
I agree Barb. An earlier response said that they allow this in some states because of bottlenecks at previous elections. But they should work towards improving the flow and respurces on the day itself rather than introduce something like this. I believe that your concerns with fraud are very valid.
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
28 Oct 08
I think sharing these early voting results (whatever the intention is) DO influence future voting decisions. Some may just stay at home and not vote thinking their candidate or proposition is leading and they no longer have to vote. Some may come out of hiding and vote because they heard their desired person/law is losing and would want to have a different result. I really am disappointed in myself because I would have liked to be able to vote this year as I think it's a very important election. Not just for the presidency but also for other local and state propositions in the ballot.
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
28 Oct 08
I haven't applied for citizenship yet so I can't vote.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
28 Oct 08
Ah, OK! Well good luck with that too then if and when the time arises.
@Hatley (164389)
• Garden Grove, California
29 Oct 08
James hi I dont think it is fair, and I am an American. I have never thought this to be fair. I thhink some of that is the media's fault as they love to have hot news and dont care about'the fallout from it at all. I do wish this idea would be banned in future elections. I do think it taints the outcome for both candidates. and this election has been really full of all sorts of scandoulous accusatons on both sides. enough alreadyt. I think a lot of americans are sick of this.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
29 Oct 08
Hi Hatley. I agree with your points for sure! I am not an American and I am sick of all of this myself. I can't imagine what it must be like for all of you because you would be getting far more coverage than I would in Egypt! The media have had a field day this election and it will be interesting to see where they will focus their attention once the election is over. Hopefully we will get only a few weeks of post-election break-downs and then they will go off on some completely different tangent. Thanks for the response.
@kenzie45230 (3560)
• United States
28 Oct 08
No, I don't think they should be sharing information about early voting results. It's the same as on election day when they start sharing results early and the folks out in mountain zone or pacific zone times haven't even voted yet.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
28 Oct 08
On election day itself I guess it is next to impossible to keep results quiet as the media would be in an absolute frenzy! But given that the elections are still a week away I agree with you totally that they shouldn't be sharing this current early voting trend information, even if it IS just another poll of sorts. Thanks for the response kenzie.