Local Politics

Raleigh firm hopes to speed reporting of election results

Posted October 29, 2014 3:31 p.m. EDT
Updated October 29, 2014 7:21 p.m. EDT

— A Raleigh staffing firm is teaming with global media and research companies to try to get election results reported more quickly after the polls close next Tuesday night.

Headway Workforce Solutions is hiring 4,500 people – about 300 more are still needed – to station in county election offices nationwide on election night to gather vote totals as they come in.

"Our folks will be at each of the election reporting headquarters reporting the vote," said JP Sakey, president and chief executive of Headway.

The workers will be paid a couple hundred dollars each to enter election results into a smartphone app developed by Ipsos Public Affairs, an international polling firm. The information is then fed into a database where Ipsos and the Reuters news service compile totals and disseminate the results to media outlets.

Sakey said the process eliminates several steps in poll reporting.

"Historically, reporting agencies like the Associated Press would send what they call stringers to the election headquarters," he said. "They would tally the vote on a piece of paper, pick up a phone and call the data into a call center."

Using the app takes the guesswork out of election night and will change the way Americans receive election results, he predicted.

"With the four primaries we've already done, on average, the vote was reported 20 to 30 minutes faster, and then the accuracy was about 99 percent," he said.