Sunday, January 23, 2005

URGENT! Tell Sensenbrenner to hold Conyers' hearings!

Click on the link above for background info. From the Blue Lemur interview:

Larisa: Do you expect the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee to fully support the investigation?

Conyers: I don’t expect them to fully support it. All I have to do is persuade chairman Sensenbrenner that it is in all of our best interests and that he support it because he can unilaterally grant the hearings. I don’t need all of their support. Now we are moving forward on this. We are urging people to visit our Web site and recommend changes that we might want to consider that have come out of their experiences, good bad or indifferent in the Nov. 2 2004 election… This survey will give us another avenue at looking [into] this election, with the intent to improve the next election.

Larisa: So essentially this past election is considered over, even if your investigation should bear fruit and [the survey and investigation] is for moving forward?

Conyers: I would not say it is over because if there are criminal violations they can be prosecuted still.


Here's the full text of a letter sent on January 20th, 2005 from the Ranking Minority Member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, John T. Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) to Warren Mitofsky, the chief exit-pollster for the National Election Pool, a consortium of television and print media. Many experts are now questioning the accuracy and candor of a recent report from Mitofksy's polling firm, Mitofsky International, which attempts to explain large discrepancies between the firm's exit-polling on Election Day and the "actual" vote tallies reported by precincts around the nation on November 2nd, 2005.

Warren Mitofsky
Mitofsky International

Larry Rosin
Edison Media Research

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 F. 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 distance 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 T. Conyers, Jr.
Ranking Member
House Judiciary Committee

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

Write or call F. James Sensenbrenner, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and tell him to hold the hearings on the 2004 election requested by Conyers!

contact info:
Fax: (202) 225-3190

Outside the Milwaukee Metro calling area, call toll-free HOTLINE number: 1-800-242-1119.


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