Wisconsin is among a group of states that may have real time projections of the winner of the presidential and U.S. Senate races shared before the polls close on election day.
A Silicon Valley startup called VoteCastr is partnering with Slate.com to offer the results for seven battleground states, including Wisconsin.
Right now, media organizations across the country wait to talk about exit polling or projected results until the polls have closed. It’s an effort done in part not to effect results or turnout by those who haven't yet voted.
VoteCastr says it plans to use "predictive turnout modeling" to predict election results in the key states, by combining polling in key precincts along with real-time voter turnout. They'll then share those results on Slate.com all day during the election.
"Our goal is not to beat the networks and wire services to declaring winners and losers -- election night will still belong to their analysts and their magic walls -- but to guarantee that citizens who have been entrusted with a vote also have access to as much information as possible about how their fellow citizens are voting," wrote Slate reporter and partner in VoteCastr Sasha Issenberg.
Marquette Poll Director Charles Franklin, who has been part of a traditional network decision desk on election night, said it may be difficult to do this with enough accuracy to lead to relevant results.
"How valuable to the public is having this information about turnout during the course of the day?" Franklin said. "Reporters are in the business of reporting news, not hiding news, and that’s an argument for reporting this when you can. But there is a side question of does it benefit the public to have that flow of information, especially if you're not sure if that information is correct?"
News 3 was unable to reach anyone from the VoteCastr group for an interview. We also asked the two U.S. Senate campaigns of Sen. Ron Johnson and former Sen. Russ Feingold for comment, and neither responded by our deadline.
A spokesman for the State Elections Commission said they were not prepared to comment on the issue.