Exit Polls Results: When Exit Polls 2012 Will Be Released

In a move to encourage voter turnout, and avoid debacles like in the 2000 election, major U.S. news networks have agreed not to release exit poll data until after the polls close in a given state, according to the Huffington Post.

The networks that have agreed to this are ABC, Fox, NBC, CNN, CBS, the Associated Press and Reuters.

Other networks are not bound by these restrictions of course. If, for example, a PolicyMic reporter managed to get his hands on the data, that person would be free to share it. In some other countries, like the U.K., releasing the data before the close of polls is a criminal offense.

One big reason for keeping the information out of the public eye this election cycle is to keep people from thinking that the race has already been decided in the state before it's over. When voters hear that a candidate has X lead in a state, some may decide to just skip voting and just go about their other business, even if the poll is incorrect. Another reason is to avoid problems like those in 2000 and 2004, where early poll results had a hand in the inaccurate reporting of a projected winner in a state.

Reporters who get to see the data - and there is only one from each organization - will be locked in a "quarantine" room from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will not be allowed to leave, use email or make phone calls. This allows them to conduct early analysis without the risk of leaking the information to the public.

PolicyMic will be covering the results of the 2012 election live. For real time results and analysis, see here.

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Alex Rausch

Alex is a graduate of the University of Kansas with degrees in both Journalism (Strategic Communications) and Political Science. He tends to lean/is a liberal and has been a part of numerous campaigns and worked in the Kansas legislature (as, what Kansans would consider, a crazy liberal) for multiple years. His favorite subjects to write about include education, entrepreneurship, social parity, the far east, law and civil rights. Alex believes that the right answers and best answers are not always the most appealing, but tends to be an optimist in most of what he does. When not writing for PolicyMic, he focuses on building his own businesses from the ground up, meeting new people, helping create ways for citizens to be active in their local political discussions and catching the latest episodes of "Futurama" or "The Walking Dead."

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