Technology Making It More Difficult To Know How People Will Vote

from the we-have-no-idea dept

It’s election day here in the US, and as everyone runs out to their local polling place, rest assured that politicians and news organizations both have less accurate data than ever before on who is likely to be winning or losing. Two NY Times articles discuss the problems. First, the professional pollsters are stressed out because no one answers their phone calls anymore. Thanks to caller ID and various other methods for avoiding telemarketers and other unsolicited calls – it’s becoming increasingly difficult for pollsters to reach live human beings. On top of that, a growing percentage of the population now use mobile phones as their main phone – and the pollsters aren’t allowed to call mobile phones. At the same time, the system that is used to project election results used by many news organizations is apparently experiencing some sort of bug. The system was “upgraded” after the Florida projection disaster from two years ago. However, the new system hasn’t really been tested, and people don’t trust it. So in an area where you would think technology would provide people with much better information, it appears the opposite is true.

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