Free the exit poll data

/ 9 November 2004

I think Lawrence Lessig is exactly right:

Anyone who is surprised that a voting machine didn’t work has been living on Mars for the last 100 years: Always, and in every election, voting machines fail. That fact should force us to a sensible architecture for voting machines — one which we don’t have just now for electronic voting machines. But it isn’t, itself, evidence this election was “stolen.”

No one can, or should, utter such words without the data to back it up. Instead, we should demand what, in this context, should be our right: to have access to the data. There is irresponsibility somewhere. Let us not add to it here.

Lessig is calling for the exit polling firms to make their data freely available, so that it can be explored and understood. This is a fair call, and we ought all to promote it!