(Glastonbury, CT) The Governor of Minnesota today signed a bill into law that legalizes exit polling at Minnesota voting places. The Marketing Research Association (MRA) had previously testified in support of the law in the state legislature.
The new law, H.F. 3108, promotes genuine research by ensuring that exit pollsters can legally do their research near voting places in Minnesota. Previous Minnesota statute didn't allow anyone 'except an election official or an individual who is waiting to register or to vote'. This new law adds to that exception, 'or an individual who is conducting exit polling' and defines 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.'
MRA's Director of Government Affairs, Howard Fienberg, PLC, explained, "this vital arm of research provides depth into how voters voted and why they made the choices they did. We wholeheartedly appreciate Minnesota's efforts to protect all legitimate exit polling."
Exit polling, in addition to helping to create compelling election night coverage, gathers important information, from people who actually voted, about their demographics, intentions, and attitudes toward candidates and issues.
Gayle Belkengren, President of the MRA Minnesota/Upper Midwest Chapter, testified in favor of H.F. 3108 in the Minnesota State House last month on behalf of MRA. MRA endorsed the legislation.
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.