Seeking to eliminate problems with reporting vote totals that arose with the last two national elections, the major broadcast and cable news networks will rely on The Associated Press Nov. 2 to provide a vote count.
For the 2004 election, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, the FOX News Channel and the AP have formed the National Election Pool (NEP), to replace the Voter News Service. The networks used the Voter News Service to conduct exit polling and vote tabulation that led to incorrect reporting during the 2000 presidential election.
After failing to perform adequately during the 2002 election, Voter News Service was scrapped.
AP stringers in 4600 counties throughout the nation will call in vote totals to a central processing center. There, several hundred people will input vote total data. The data will be checked against anticipated results to identify any possible errors, which will be double-checked.
Members of the National Election Pool will use this data to call races and states. NEP members have promised not to call states in the presidential election that span two time zones until the polls have closed.
This year, NEP will rely on Mitofsky International and Edison Media Research to conduct exit polling.