Venezuela: Venezuelan Re-Elects President Hugo Chavez for 6 More Years | Latin American Herald Tribune

Venezuelans went to the polls both in the country and abroad on Sunday in reportedly massive numbers to decide who will govern Venezuela for the next six years on a sunny day marked by both calm and expectation, given that President Hugo Chavez, a leftist firebrand who has been in office for 14 years, was facing a stiff challenge from Henrique Capriles. The polls were open from 6 a.m. (1030 GMT) to 6 p.m. (2230 GMT), although the National Elections Council (CNE) said that Venezuelans in line at that later hour who had not yet cast their ballots would be allowed to do so. Some 19 million people are eligible to vote in the election.

Wisconsin: How media called the Walker recall election so fast | The Daily Page

When the major networks called the recall election for Republican Scott Walker barely one hour after the polls closed at 8 p.m., there was widespread disbelief over the results — among Democrats, at least — and bewilderment over the process. Some of the confusion was understandable. The same networks just 30 minutes before had released early exit polling data showing the race between Walker and Democratic challenger Tom Barrett was a dead heat. People were also ticked off that the election was being called with just over 20% of wards reporting and voters still in line in Milwaukee waiting to cast ballots. It struck many in the heat of the moment that corporate media had usurped the democratic process. One woman tweeted in disgust at 9 p.m.: “Ok NBC get a grip 22% and you’re calling it? Puke.” Even the Associated Press seemed sensitive to the criticism, putting out an article that night with the headline “How the AP calls elections before all the votes are tallied.”

Editorials: Time to recall the recalls | Robin Vos and Scott Suder/JSOnline

The citizens of Wisconsin have just had to endure the most contentious election in our state’s history only to have a governor elected for a second time in his first term. Now this never-ending cycle of recalls must come to an end. Wisconsin has had 15 attempts to recall a state official in less than a year. It has become a political circus with taxpayer dollars being thrown around like confetti. Thankfully, it has become crystal clear that people across our state have had enough; it’s time to recall the recalls. Exit polls June 5 found that 60% of voters say recall elections are appropriate only for official misconduct. It’s understandable that there’s voter fatigue. This is the second round of recall elections in a year, and voters will go to the polls four times in five months. We need to limit recalls to a malfeasance in office; they should not be used as a political tactic. That clearly was not the intention of those who put it in our constitution nearly 100 years ago.

Wisconsin: Recall exit poll: What happened? | The Washington Post

Governor Barrett, meet President Kerry. Exit poll numbers released to subscribers just before polls closed in the Wisconsin recall election Tuesday dangled the possibility that Milwaukee Mayor Tommy Barrett (D) could win. The numbers seemed to pop off the screen — 50 percent apiece for Barrett and Republican Gov. Scott Walker, the subject of the recall effort. Walker had a clear lead in independent pre-election polls, so the tie score sent analysts scrambling and buoyed Democratic hopes when the numbers were widely reported elsewhere minutes later at the official poll close time. Just a half hour later, the exit poll shifted to 52 to 48 percent, tilting in Walker’s favor. (The final margin appears to be seven percentage points.) A potential Gov. Barrett era had ended before it started, and a fresh round of bash-the-exit-poll commenced. For the exit poll, it was reminiscent of 2004, when leaked midday results showing Democratic contender John F. Kerry with leads in key states led his own pollster ask the candidate “Can I be the first to call you Mr. President?” These aren’t lone examples: Recall then-senator Barack Obama winning the New Hampshire primary? On Tuesday, as in the other instances, the fault is less about the exit polls themselves, than it is about a widespread, albeit understandable misrepresentation of the numbers. The exit poll is, after all, a poll, complete with a margin of sampling error and other foibles.

Voting Blogs: Walker, most other Republicans reportedly survive Wisconsin recall elections | The Brad Blog

“It was a great demonstration of democracy, whether you agree or disagree with the outcome,” Huffington Post’s political reporter Howard Fineman told Ed Schultz on MSNBC late tonight, while discussing the results of the historic Wisconsin recall elections. Fineman’s comment is either accurate or it is not. Just as the results reported by the computers across the Badger State are either accurate or not. Who knows? Nobody in WI does, and that’s exactly the problem. The early Exit Poll results had reportedly predicted the race between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett a virtual tie, leading media to plan for a long night tonight. A second round of Exit Polls results, however, were said to have given Walker a broader lead over Barrett. Even so, we were told, the race based on the Exit Poll data alone was still “too close to call.” That data was either accurate or it was not.

France: Media Question Election Reporting Rules |

After months of noisy campaigning in the presidential race — rousing the crowds, pressing flesh, inundating Twitter — France’s politicians and pollsters fell silent at midnight Friday, by law. Until 8 p.m. Sunday, election day, when the last polling places close in the first round of voting, the country’s 10 presidential candidates may not give speeches or interviews, distribute fliers or update their campaign Web sites or Facebook pages. And no media outlet, pollster or citizen is to publish voting data of any kind — no leaked exit polls, no hints on Twitter — on pain of a fine of up to 75,000 euros, or $99,000. Traditionally France discovers the initial results together, all at once, at 8 p.m. on election night. This year, however, the great, borderless Internet may disrupt the best plans of the French authorities. In recent weeks, media organizations in neighboring Belgium and Switzerland — where public interest in the French election runs high, but feelings of civic duty toward France run low — have made known their intent to publish results from districts where polls close at 6 p.m. as soon as they are available, around 6:30 p.m., 90 defiant minutes before authorized by French law.