October 1988 Home   Newsletters

December 1988

March 1989

League Looks toward 1989 Legislative Session
From the President (Anne Lee)
Mary Anne Raywid Coming in January
New LWVUS Agriculture Position
People's Water Conference #5 - Economics of Water
Constitutional Amendment Ballot #4: EEZ and HCZM (Kiyoko Nitz)
What about Timing Election Results? (Debbie Kimball)

What about Timing Election Results?

(The following is excerpted from an article by State Board member Debbie Kimball, published in the Kauai Times, Nov. 9, 1988.)

You may remember how it felt to hear, in 1980, more than two hours before Hawaii polls closed, "Reagan elected."

It was a projection based on exit interviews and/or early vote counts.

Much flurry about pre-poll close releases by radio and television followed - across the nation. What has resulted?

Congress has declined, due to constitutional protection of free speech and free press, to pass legislation related to timing of news release.

The news division presidents of the three major networks, consulting with the Federal Elections Commission, agreed for the 1984 election to use restraint. Yet by 3:30 our time, all three networks had declared a Reagan victory - as 26 states were still voting.

There is a solution that circumvents media restraint or regulation: uniform poll closing time. This year's Senate Bill 182_ called for poll closing at 10 p.m. EST for the continental states,. It failed, as have similar bills since 1971.

Media projections may seem unfair to those who haven't voted, but do we in fact change our vote because of them? Do we fail to vote because of them? We may need more answers before we get some action.

Debbie Kimball

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