Posts Tagged ‘Exit Poll’

As the name suggests, exit poll is a poll conducted when the voters exit from the polling booth. In other words, it is a kind of survey carried out by pollsters, generally various non-governmental organizations (news channels, press etc.) to know about the possible outcome of the polls and make predictions based on the information collected. It gives an early indication to the results of the election as the actual counting may take hours or even days. Warren Mitofsky, founder of Mitofsky International, is credited with having invented the exit poll.

Since the voting has to be done anonymously, this is the only way to collect more information. The voters are asked whom they actually voted for, through exit polls. Also, this process is used to collect demographic details and to determine the opinions and characteristics of the candidates’ supporters. Exit polls have historically and throughout the world, also been used as a check against and rough indicator of the degree of election fraud.

A lot of confusion persists as to whether exit poll is the same as opinion poll. The major difference being that opinion polls are conducted before the actual voting takes place. It asks whom the voter plans to vote for or some similar formulation.

Criticisms are widespread against exit polls as they try to provide a basis for projecting the winners and influence the actual election results. Due to this, the Election Commission of India recently banned the disclosure or dissemination of results of the polls during the period of 48 hours before the end of the poll in an election held in a single phase.

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