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Just so you know, the AP will be the sole source of the vote count.

The AP will use a network of nearly 5,000 stringers, who will be stationed at county election centers in every state. They will phone in results to one of several vote entry centers, where clerks will enter the numbers into AP’s computerized tabulation system.

Those returns, from about 6,000 races in all, will then be delivered to newspapers, Web sites and broadcasters, including the television networks, in a variety of formats.

In recent elections, AP was one of two organizations collecting the vote nationwide. The other was Voter News Service, a consortium of AP and five television networks which also conducted exit polls. VNS was disbanded after it ran into problems in 2000 and 2002, and the networks turned to AP for vote counting, while hiring two veteran pollsters to conduct the exit polls.

AP’s system has been enhanced this year with numerous safeguards to ensure a smooth and accurate operation.

“We’ve added more redundancy and quality control to an already well-established vote tallying operation,” said John Reid, AP’s senior vice president for Services & Technology. “For instance, AP’s systems contain voting patterns from past elections, and if a number is outside of those parameters it’s double-checked for accuracy.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding