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By googling, I discovered that Edison Research has a near monopoly on providing real time election results to the media. Here is their website: http://www.edisonresearch.com/election-polling/. They write on their website "Edison Research is the exclusive provider of election exit polls to the National Election Pool consisting of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press." I was wondering who or what guarantees the accuracy of their reporting. To what extent are they immune from say Russian hackers? an employee with a grudge? Do the news outlets have any real time checks or balances on the information provided by Edison Research?

My understanding is largely based on reading the Edison Research website and this news article from 2012. It is possible that information can be found on a state by state basis. I'm not sure. There is for example this New York website which as of today (11/9/16) still insists its election results for the 2016 election are unofficial.

  • What would be the issue if they were hacked? The data they show is not official at all, and serves only to keep the public entertained until the official data is processed by the electoral authorities. If ER reports erroneous data (for whatever reason), the only practical issue would be that maybe they will not be hired for the next election. – SJuan76 Nov 9 '16 at 20:16
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    Sorry, but my understanding is that Hillary just conceded the election based on reporting by Edison Research. – user2309840 Nov 9 '16 at 20:19
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    @user2309840 - if you have a citation for that, please add to the question, it would definitely make the question far more interesting and upvotable. – user4012 Nov 9 '16 at 20:22
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    Even if she did (which I doubt unless there is a citation, specially in a race so close as this one), the only valid results are the official ones. Conceding defeat or not does not change the results of an election, if a candidate concedes defeat on the basis of wrong information and it is later shown that the candidate had won, the candidate would have all of the legitimacy and rights due to the results; the concession of defeat would be just an anecdote (like Dewey Defeats Truman). – SJuan76 Nov 9 '16 at 20:28
  • "Unofficial" in this context does not mean "based on ER poll data" but "we have counted all the votes but we are still open to (previsibly few) corrections". Some people may fill complaints, ask for recounts, etc. Some bureaucracy must be done (allow time for people to fill complaints, receive signed affidavits by the election officials certifying the data they already provided, etc.). Without any credible indication of fraud or wrongdoing, the current results are unlikely to change much (if at all), and will become official in a few days, so are good enough to draw definitive conclussions. – SJuan76 Nov 10 '16 at 8:42

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