Thursday, January 20, 2005

Open Letter to Warren Mitofsky and Larry Rosin from Rep. John Conyers, Jr.

The following letter from Rep. John Conyers Jr. to the authors of the 2004 presidential exit polling follows in its entirety:

January 20, 2005

Warren Mitofsky
Mitofsky International
1776 Broadway - Suite 1708
New York, NY 10019

Larry Rosin
President Edison Media Research
6 W. Cliff St.
Somerville, NJ 08876

Dear Mr. Mitofsky and Mr. Rosin:

I have reviewed the internal report you issued yesterday concerning your exit polling in the 2004 election, and, unfortunately, it has not caused my concerns and questions regarding the significant discrepancies between your polling data and the final electoral results to diminish.

In particular, I would note that there are a number of concerns with the explanations you posited in your internal report that do not credibly account for the unprecedented five point differential between your exit polls and the reported results. As I am sure you know, Professor Steven Freeman of the University of Pennsylvania has determined that such a differential was of a less than 1 in a 1000 likelihood - virtually impossible as a statistical matter.

To be frank, blaming such factors as distant restrictions on polling places, weather conditions, the age of exit poll workers, and the fact that multiple precincts were contained at the same polling place, as your report does, does not come close to explaining why the exit polls overstated support for the Kerry/Edwards ticket in 26 states and support for the Bush/Cheney ticket in only 4 states. Many of the factors you point to appear to merely be random characteristics of the election and your exit polling, rather than quantifiable and justifiable explanations. Nor can I believe that the massive discrepancies can credibly be written off to eagerness of Kerry voters to participate in the exit polls.

As a result, I would like to reiterate my request to receive the actual raw exit poll data that you obtained. I would also like to obtain copies of all internal deliberations, memos and other materials of your employees and consultants concerning or seeking to explain the discrepancies. To the extent you have concerns regarding releasing propriety information, I am willing to work with you to either receive this information on a confidential basis, or alternatively to bring in a neutral, outside expert to review these materials.

The stakes for our democracy are simply too high for us to allow this matter to pass without a serious and substantive review of the exit poll data. While the election is over, there is significant bipartisan sentiment in Congress and around the nation for voting reform. A complete and full release of the exit poll information will therefore not only help to resolve lingering doubts regarding irregularities in the 2004 election, it will also go a long way towards helping Congress understand how to best craft these reforms. I am hopeful that the media companies that contract for your services will also understand and support the importance of providing full, complete, and transparent information in this matter.

I would appreciate your responding to my office through my Judiciary Committee staff, Perry Apelbaum and Ted Kalo, 2142 Rayburn House Office Building (tel. 202-225-6504, fax 202-225-4423), by January 27th. Thank you.

John Conyers, Jr.
Ranking Member
House Judiciary Committee

cc: Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
Chairman, House Judiciary Committee


Blogger : JustaDog said...

If you really truely want to reduce possible election irregularities then you should be all for verifying a persons right to vote. Requiring proof of identity - making sure the voter is a US citizen as required by law. Make sure the voter is not a felon. Make sure the voter did not vote twice.

But alas, these are the very tactics the far left depend on, so they will never never be in favor of such requirements - yet the "right-wing" is all in favor of promoting the law. Funny, when you put the challenge out you lefties totally fail.

4:25 PM  
Blogger justice said...

I agree with everything you say in your first paragraph, with the exception of denying a felon the right to vote. Someone who served his dept to society should not be disenfranchised for the rest of his life. Having stated my opinion, the law is the law; but this a law that should be changed.

In the second paragraph, you totally lost me. All of your indictments are totally unsubstantiated and I question their source. I wonder where you acquired your low opinion of the left’s integrity? I hope it isn’t Fox, Rush Limbaugh, or the like. If it is, I encourage you to have a beer with a member of the other tribe sometime. You might find they are law abiding, patriotic, and care as deeply as you do about fair and legal elections in our country.

If you are truly concerned about fair elections, please work with us and petition your representatives in Washington to reform our broken system. Election fraud is a nonpartisan issue. No matter what our political persuasions, we should all be in support of elections that are transparent, fair, nonproprietary, auditable, and legal. Otherwise, neither side will ever trust the outcomes.

8:58 PM  

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