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I try not to foist my political views on others, but I will say this: I dislike it when news channels call state results before everyone's finished voting.
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Randy Delorey's profile photoJohn Mink's profile photoJack Swann's profile photoNaga Appani's profile photo
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Agreed, especially for us on the west coast.
 
I fear it'll influence voters one way or another, or make them feel discouraged that their votes don't count. Especially when local and state measures and propositions are also important.
 
Results should not be announced until all the polls are closed.
 
+Jessica Dolcourt that's not really political views..that's news views (which is really difficult to say), no?

But i'm with you...the other one that bugs me is when the east coast is closed but the west coast is open & they still announce who's winning.
 
The problem with early announcements is that it can either push people to herd as many as they can to the polls at the last second or make people say "what's the point" and not go.
 
Does it matter that it's "news channels"?  In Canada we had legislation that made it illegal for news to report, however individuals started sharing via social media and the cat gets out of the bag anyway.  
 
+Randy Delorey Thanks for that perspective. I certainly feel that the urge to overcover an event like the elections has a wider deleterious effect. Sharing on social networks is anecdotal and not official. Once again, Canada is exhibiting some good sense, but America would balk at the perception of a curtailed freedom-of-speech and right to know. Besides, we collectively can't get enough of the pageantry.
 
True, that shouldn't happen...
 
+Jessica Dolcourt I think you missed the past tense in my comment, we "had legislation" ... 

Here's an article outlining the gov'ts move to remove the restriction, and of course links to earlier coverage of the challenges the Canadian media has had with the election results black out ... 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/ottawa-lifts-blackout-on-election-night-results/article620719/

I'm not sure that the social network coverage is any less official than results reported by the media ... what I discovered in our recent local municipal elections is that candidates, and the media, get their results from the returning officers responsible for the polling stations in each electoral region.  Presumably the same occurs at provincial (state) and federal elections as well.

It would seem anybody could call the returning officer for the results, and they're not officially official until after the chief electoral officer signs off - if I'm not mistaken.  I get your point, anybody could post any results they want on social media, but we'd expect some editorial control with "official" media results, but then we're getting into a Wiki debate ... if the majority update with the official(ish) or correct results and a subset of individuals attempt to post erroneous results - one way or the other - will the erroneous be blocked and corrected by the majority?  

I agree whole-heartedly with the issue you've raised, I just don't know what the solution is.  The Canadian perspective is just to note that the media blackout didn't actually work over the past decade or so, with the rise of Social Media.  

At the end of the day, all I've concluded is people that want to know the results early - can get the results, and people that want to be shielded can (with some work) avoid getting the results.  
 
Although I will say, as much as I wholeheartedly agree with you Jessica, I think this gives us west coast folk more incentive to vote early, or by mail.

Also, in the past, I've seen some networks try to hold back from results until our (west coast) polls close... (Sorry Hawaii :( )
 
I feel like a hypocrite... I don't like when they do it, but I am anxiously waiting for the info when they do.
 
Think of voting as voicing your preference. It shouldn't matter what other people have already said, only that you are making your voice heard. Don't worry that a few other people beat you to it already.
 
Great in theory, impossible in practice.  If the "mainstream media" were banned, amateur statisticians would just get together and do it all online anyhow, with pretty much the same results.  The methodology isn't all that complicated, it's just a lot of data crunching to do, but this scenario would be croudsourcing at its best.
 
+Nathaniel Miller that's pretty much what happened in Canada.  The only potential solution would be a complete blackout on results from polls until all polls across the country close.  But allowing results to be announced / published on the East Coast but blacked out on the West Coast just doesn't work, which is why that law was repealed in Canada last year.
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