(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.