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VoteRescue is a non-partisan Texas-based election integrity organization that supports totally transparent and verifiable elections using publicly viewed hand-counted paper ballots at the precinct level, with proper chain of custody and security measures, and totals publicly posted before the ballots leave the polling place.

Nov. 10, 2016  

We have finally finished compiling all the polling information from the 1,114 CEP Questionnaires that were collected at both Early Voting and Election Day polling locations in Travis County. We ended up having a total of 22 volunteers without whom it would not have been possible.

The results of the VoteRescue Citizen Exit Poll can be found here. You will see that we analyzed the exit poll in two ways:

  • Using ONLY the questionnaires collected on ELECTION DAY

  • Using ALL the questionnaires collected during EARLY VOTING and on ELECTION DAY

What you will see when you open the results is our Citizen Exit Poll percentages very closely match the County's "official" percentages, with only a few points' deviation on a couple of the comparisons. Though the difference in percentages in some cases might be viewed by professional pollsters as above an acceptable "margin of error," it is still interesting to see how (relatively) close our numbers are to "their" numbers.

Here are our initial thoughts and observations about the exit polling and our results:

  1. We think that our results from our ELECTION DAY questionnaires represent a better snapshot of the voters' intent than using ALL of our questionnaires collected during Early Voting AND on Election Day and then comparing them to the TOTAL VOTE. In simplistic terms, isolating our ELECTION DAY results is more an "apples to apples" comparison. Even though we gathered questionnaires during EARLY VOTING, they only represent voters who voted at a polling location; we did not reach out to any Early Voters who voted via Mail-In Ballots. (We would have had to do exit polling by phone.) Also, on Election Day, we covered a much broader geographic area of the county than was done during Early Voting.

  2. We found it interesting that, according to the results provided by the Travis County Elections Department on their website, 78% of Travis County voters voted EARLY — either at a polling location or via a mail-in ballot. This leaves only 22% who waited until ELECTION DAY to vote. Many exit poll interviewers saw this firsthand on Election Day when there were few polling locations with lines of voters which made for slower exit polling. Election Day has been eviscerated because of county-wide voting locations. One MAJOR casualty of county-wide voting is that the precinct-level results (a.k.a. tally) tapes are no longer printed and signed at the polling place after the polls close and before the machines are returned to the County for tabulation because it would take hours to do. (We'd like to thank Keith Ingram, Texas Director of Elections, for single-handedly destroying yet another critical paper back-up safeguard in our election process by his issuing an illegal waiver to county election officials to eliminate the printing of these tapes.)

  3. You'll see that our ELECTION DAY exit poll percentages for Clinton/Kaine are only 1/2 of a percentage point off from the County's reported percentage, BUT our percentages for Trump/Pence differed by about 4 1/2 percentage points. We do not think at this point that this indicates any foul play by the county, but rather the reality that we were not able to get more polling done in the outlying areas of the county where more Trump voters live. We tried our best to cover the county geographically as evenly as possible, but the core received a little more attention in the end.

  4. The differences between our poll percentages and the county's percentages in the Texas Railroad Commissioner race are a bit larger than what we see in the Presidential race. Even though we anticipated the differences would be less in this race, we now think that voters actually had a difficult time remembering who they voted for if they weren't a straight party voter. We had a large number of questionnaires where the voter didn't even fill it in. We picked that particular race since it was one of the few statewide races (we thought we would have more Texas counties participating in our poll) and thought it could serve as a "control" race. That is, since it wasn't considered a controversial race, if our results closely aligned with the Railroad Commissioner's race and then our results were WAY OFF for the Presidential race, it would have been another clue that there could have been foul play.

  5. Because we are not seeing any wide deviations here that look suspicious, we are not going to speculate that foul play may have occurred in these two races in Travis County based on our exit poll results. It could be because we were watch-dogging "them" as well as we were...or, it may just have been that, because Austin is a known "blue stronghold" in the midst of a "red state," there was never even a consideration (by whomever) to manipulate the vote for any of the high-profile candidates on the ballot, if in fact that was ever a consideration.

  6. We are proud of the job we all did together and believe it was a very important exercise in citizens' monitoring our own elections. We'll be ready to do this again — with your help — for future elections that need our vigilant eyes!

We have been invited to relay results to Tom Kiley on his INN Radio Show on the Logos Radio network; and Mark Anderson of American Free Press also wants our results. In addition, we have been invited on Steve Mason's Austin Access TV show next Thursday (Nov. 17 at 7 pm) to discuss our findings.


With great appreciation for all your hard work and dedication,

Karen and Vickie



Oct. 29, 2016

Greetings, Citizen Exit Poll Volunteers!

HERE THEY ARE!!!  Download all of the documents you will need to conduct a "Pop-up" Citizen Exit Poll during Early Voting OR on Election Day (or both, if you get ambitious!). We will be going over all of these documents at Sunday's training in Austin (details on the training are below), but the in-person training is NOT mandatory...because these documents comprise a complete set that should be self-explanatory of the entire process with full instructions. We recommend that you PRINT THEM ALL and review them one by one, suggesting you first read the “OVERVIEW” and then the “INSTRUCTIONS” to acquaint you with the process.

We are calling these "Pop-Up” Citizen Exit Polls" because YOU decide where you want to conduct your poll, and at what time...we do not need to know in advance where you'll be, you do not need to commit for hours of your time, and you can decide on the very day you'll be polling, which Polling Location/Voting Center you'll be working and at what time. This is sort of like "Guerrila Exit Polling." The beauty of this is, the TRAVIS COUNTY ELECTION OFFICE will also not know where each of you might "pop up" to conduct your poll, so they can take no special precautions to prepare for your presence at any particular location. 

Our VoteRescue Citizen Exit Poll is designed to be used both in counties throughout Texas and in counties in other states by citizens who want to conduct their own hands-on exit polls. VoteRescue is serving as the “County Coordinator” for TRAVIS County.  Volunteers who want to poll in other Texas counties, and in other states, need to find - or be - the person who collects the results at the end of the process. We will gladly help these individuals who wish to become a County Coordinator.

The 2016 Citizen Exit Poll documents include:

  1. An OVERVIEW of Exit Polling - What it is and why we're doing it

  2. The INSTRUCTIONS & TIPS - On exactly how to prepare and conduct the Citizen Exit Poll

  3. The SCRIPT – What to say to voters
  4. The QUESTIONNAIRE - Note there two versions: 4A: one for Texas voters and 4B: another which can be used in any other state.

  5. The RESULTS (and Affidavit) - This is what you'll fill in when you are finished with your polling. Note there two versions as well, 5A & 5B.

  6. Printable colored BADGES that will add to your official look as a Citizen Exit Poll Volunteer.

  7. EXCERPT from the Texas Secretary of State's website that states that non-disruptive exit polling is permitted WITHIN the 100' boundary surrounding a polling place. Applicable sections from the Texas Election Code cited in the excerpt have also been provided.

  8. A LIST of all Travis County Early Voting and Election Day polling places and their addresses.

  9. Who is VoteRescue - HANDOUT

(Select the questionnaire that applies to you....Texas, or outside of Texas, and only ONE Results/Tally sheet needs to be printed, whichever one applies to YOU - Texas, or outside of Texas.)

We believe that after you print and review these documents, you will be able to get out there during Early Voting and on Election Day and do a great job as a Citizen Exit Poll Volunteer!  But if anything is unclear, please feel free to email Vickie or Karen with any questions, or call Vickie at 512-775-3737 or Karen at 512-496-7408.

We are holding one in-person training session, as many of you know, this coming SUNDAY, October 30, in Austin.  The details are below, and everyone is invited — it will be fun and informative, and some of our past volunteers may share some of their "war stories" from past Exit Polling and other actions we've done on Election Day. PLEASE BRING YOUR DOCUMENTS WITH YOU to the training if you can:

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30, 5-7 pm

Brave New Books
1904 Guadalupe
Austin, TX  78701

(In the basement below Chase Bank, at the NW corner of MLK and Guadalupe)

PARKING:  There are usually curb parking spaces across MLK on San Antonio, or anywhere else you can find nearby. Do not park in the McDonald’s parking lot or you WILL be towed.

If you are NOT able to make it to the training, but you ARE going to be exit polling, please reply to us by email, so we'll know whom we may expect results from during the Election.

WE WILL BE HAVING A POST-ELECTION PARTY after 7 pm on Election Day...details to be we can share our experiences!

THANK YOU for your efforts for FAIR and HONEST ELECTIONS!

Vickie Karp and Karen Renick

Email: Vickie or Karen 
Call: Vickie at 512-775-3737 or Karen at 512-496-7408

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