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Sat Oct 31, 2020, 03:03 AM

Show your work: AP plans to explain vote calling to public


NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press, one of several news organizations whose declarations of winners drive election coverage, is pulling back the curtain this year to explain how it is reaching those conclusions.

The AP plans to write stories explaining how its experts make decisions or why, in tight contests, they are holding back. If necessary, top news executives will speak publicly in interviews about the process, said Sally Buzbee, senior vice president and executive editor.

Given high interest in the presidential race, the complicating factor of strong early voting and President Donald Trump’s warnings about potential fraud, television executives are making similar promises of transparency.

“The general public has a more intense desire to understand it at a nitty-gritty level,” Buzbee said. “We don’t want to be a dark, mysterious black box of ‘We’re going to declare a winner, and we’re not going to tell you how we do it.’ I don’t think that benefits us, and I don’t think it benefits democracy.”


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