Articles

16Feb

MRA Endorses Legislation in Support of Exit Polling

(Glastonbury, CT) The Marketing Research Association (MRA) endorsed legislation today in the state of Minnesota that would make it legal for researchers to do exit polling near a voting place. The bill, S.F. 2388, is being considered today in a hearing of the Senate Committee on State and Local Government Operations and Oversight.

MRA’s Director of Government Affairs, Howard Fienberg, PLC, explained, “exit polling does more than provide ammo for television news’ election night forecasting. This vital arm of research provides depth into how voters voted and why they made the choices they did.”

S.F. 2388, sponsored by Senator Katie Sieben (DFL-57), will promote genuine research by ensuring that exit pollsters can legally do their research near voting places in Minnesota. Current Minnesota statute doesn’t allow anyone “except an election official or an individual who is waiting to register or to vote.” This bill would add to that exception, “or an individual who is conducting exit polling” and define exit polling as “approaching voters in a predetermined pattern as they leave the polling place after they have voted and asking voters to fill out an anonymous, written questionnaire.”

Fienberg further emphasized, “It is not just television news outlets conducting exit polls. Plenty of survey and opinion research organizations are involved. MRA appreciates that all bona fide exit polling has been included in S.F. 2388.”

MRA will be offering any assistance possible to pass S.F. 2388.

About the Author

Howard Fienberg

Howard Fienberg

Based in Washington, DC, Howard is the Insights Association's lobbyist for the marketing research and data analytics industry, focusing primarily on consumer privacy and data security, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), tort reform, and the funding and integrity of the decennial Census and the American Community Survey (ACS). Howard has more than two decades of public policy experience. Before the Insights Association, he worked in Congress as senior legislative staffer for then-Representatives Christopher Cox (CA-48) and Cliff Stearns (FL-06). He also served more than four years with a science policy think tank, working to improve the understanding of scientific and social research and methodology among journalists and policymakers. Howard is also co-director of The Census Project, a 900+ member coalition in support of a fair and accurate Census and ACS. He has also served previously on the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics and and the Association of Government Relations Professionals. Howard has an MA International Relations from the University of Essex in England and a BA Honors Political Studies from Trent University in Canada, and has obtained the Certified Association Executive (CAE), Professional Lobbying Certificate (PLC) and the Public Policy Certificate (PPC). When not running advocacy for the Insights Association, Howard enjoys hockey, NFL football, sci-fi and horror movies, playing with his dog, and spending time with family and friends.

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