The fact that exit polls didn't match vote counts in rural Ukraine 2004 was the basis for the US to declare that the vote was questionable and that the election results were fraudulent.
Everyone keeps saying the polling was wrong in US2016. It was only wrong in a couple of states. Lots of people are saying this is because of the fact that Trump voters may be more likely to decline requests to participate in exit polls. But if that’s true, exit polls would be off everywhere, not just in a few places.
Exit polls were accurate in CO, OH, NV, IA, TX, etc - almost everywhere except for in NC, FL, PA, WI, MI, and GA, where they were way off. Experts can go back and look at polling results and their analysis and figure out where they went wrong and what could have given them a better prediction.
But you can’t validate the vote count in most states where exit polls and vote counts didn’t match without recounts. You might even need forensics analysis on the machines that don’t have paper trails attached - which is most of the ones that reported huge margins for Trump in the states in question.
So, to those who say “what makes you think the polling was accurate,” you could also say, “what makes you think the vote count was accurate?” The vote probably wasn’t stolen, but it’s basically impossible to reject this possibility without audits.
We have no mandatory audits in these states. Most of the machines used in Trump-leaning districts were those known to be most likely to malfunction or most vulnerable to cyber-intrusion. None of them record paper trails.
In other words, we tolerate in this country an electoral process that we have literally condemned in other countries.
When we provide democracy assistance in other countries, we insist that best practices include paper trails, mandatory audits, and observers.
I get that Americans are super trusting in their electoral process, but why would we trust these things here but nowhere else? particularly when our election systems were being hacked all summer and fall?
(from a private group discussion of election results by people who don’t want to be identified. not my original thoughts)