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UMass Amherst Students Conduct Statewide Exit Poll

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Some University of Massachusetts at Amherst honors students have a special election assignment. They’re conducting exit polls at 15 precincts in nine communities around the state.

Based on those polls, they’re tweeting what they call “early indicators of the voting results” throughout the day. The twitter account is @UMASSPOLL. They’re also using the questionnaire for their own research.

The Greenleaf Community Center was the Spingfield site for the UMass Poll. Voters seemed more than willing to take it.

“I just like the opportunity to do it,” said David Jones. “I hadn’t done anything like this before.”

“We were told the response would probably be about one out of three,” said Joseph Gochinski, one of the students conducting the UMass Poll. “But it’s actually probable been more like two out of three.”

In conducting these polls, the students are looking for the obvious. Who did people vote for? And they’re looking to know the age, race, sex and gender of the voter who made that choice.

But they’re also taking the chance to ask voters about other things like the economy, healthcare and women’s issues. The questions were developed by students like Claire Kiss and are tied into research projects.

“I think it’s really interesting to see not only just what, you know, who they vote for but why they vote that way,” said Kiss. “I’m interested in social media myself. So, we’re trying to get a whole, broader perspective of not just the election per se, but other influences that come to the election.”


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