In little more than three months, the eyes of the world will be on that ornate Victorian mansion on the corner of Bridge and Cliff streets.
That house is the home of Edison Research, which performs the election exit polls for major news organizations, including the Associated Press and television networks.
“When you hear election projections, results or analysis about who voted for whom, that information comes from Edison Research,” the company’s website says.
For three days this week, a small but hardy band of protesters has stood on the corner in front of the house, asking Edison Research to release the raw data of its exit polls in an effort to determine whether there was fraud in the way votes were counted.
The protesters, who held up signs and signaled to passing voters, believe the contention by trustvote.org that Edison Research changed its exit polls to fit the results of electronic vote tallies in this year’s Democratic primaries.
A lawsuit filed this month in Ohio said that the exit polls conducted by Edison Research “did not match” the actual election outcomes in the primaries by taking.votes away from Bernie Sanders and giving them to Hilliary Clinton.
The lawsuit asks the federal court to issue an injunction to force Edison Research to give “immediate access” to the raw data, though the media outlets paid for that information.
“We are just people wanting to see unedited exit polls and to learn what really happened during our primary elections,” according to trustvote,org.
Hillsborough resident DiDier Jimenez, who organized the protest that started on Monday and continued on Wednesday, said the exit polls conducted by Edison Research have been shown to be accurate within 2 percent of the actual vote.
Jimenez and the other protesters, all of whom supported Sanders, believe that fraud was performed in the calculation of electronic votes in the primaries so that Clinton would win, and that the exit poll numbers were juggled to confirm that win.
“If the results are more than 2 percent off, something isn’t right,” Jimenez said.
One of the protesters, Steve Verchinski, a New Mexico delegate to the Democratic National Convention and a Sanders supporter, said paper ballots should be brought back to lessen the possibility of fraud.
“We’re trying to uphold democratic values,” he said. “They’re not being transparent with the voters.”
Verchinski raised $1,721 through a gofundme site to pay for his expenses to attend the convention. But once he got to Philadelphia, he walked out of the convention with other Sanders supporters.
Edison Research did not respond to a request for comment.
Edison Research began exit polling in 1996, and since 2003 has have provided election projections and analysis for the news organizations that comprise the National Election Pool (NEP).
Edison Research uses thousands of interviewers on Election Day to survey hundreds of thousands of voters. The firm then crunches that data for delivery to news outlets.
The firm also conducts consumer marketing research in the United States and around the globe.