How one local call center gets election poll numbers

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As it gets closer to the New York primaries, there’s been a lot of talk about the polls. But what goes into getting all the numbers?

Inside the call center at Siena College’s Research Institute, workers will make hundreds of calls using computer software that can randomly call voters in New York.

The timing couldn’t be better.

“We just had the candidates in New York, so people are very interested and very willing to speak with us,” call center coordinating supervisor Colleen Kromrey said.

But the callers, like Kromrey, are still very picky about which voters end up making their polling data.

“You’re interested in people who are actually going to vote,” call center director Dan Levy said.

Those voters are scored on a scale of one to 10.

“Typically, people who consider themselves a nine or 10 are considered likely [to vote in the primaries],” Levy said.

To find those voters, Siena starts with voter lists and call people randomly across the state.

“Ask them some screening questions; make sure they are the person we are looking for if we were looking for a registered voter,” Kromrey said.

Once they find the person they’re looking for, the callers on Siena’s end have to stick to a script.

“Not introducing any type of bias into the script,” Kromrey said.

Because it’s the voter’s opinion that matters and could ultimately predict what happens on Tuesday.

“We believe it’s important that opinions , attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes of full range of people here in New York are both measured and reported to everyone,” Levy said.

The poll numbers compiled by the Research Institute on the New York primary have a margin of error below five percent.

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