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November 21, 2004
Where Have We Heard This Before?

The Ukraine has adopted American-style democracy in more ways than one. The Associated Press reports that their presidential election results have a mismatch between the vote count and the exit polling done, in part, by the US:

Ukraine's prime minister was leading the nation's run-off presidential election, according to partial vote tallies released Monday, but his Western-leaning challenger held the advantage in an exit poll funded partly by the United States. ...

With 69 percent of precincts counted following Sunday's election, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych had 48.58 percent of the vote, compared with Viktor Yushchenko's 47.78 percent, the Central Election Commission said. About 2 percent voted against both candidates.

But an exit poll conducted by anonymous questionnaires under a program funded by several Western governments said Yushchenko had received 54 percent of the vote compared with the Kremlin-praised Yanukovych's 43 percent. A second exit poll, however, showed Yushchenko's margin was much smaller at 49.4 percent to 45.9 percent, the Interfax news agency reported.

Why should the Ukrainians expect their exit polling to be any more accurate than ours have been the past two election cycles? Besides, why do people rely on exit polling so much when the ballots just need to be counted? I understand they're trying to keep the process honest, but the observer nations can't even come up with the same numbers in two different exit polls. If the election process ran properly, then the observers should just focus on the accuracy of the ballot counts.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 21, 2004 10:17 PM

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