During the Fall 2016 semester, OU students collaborated with CEEL and faculty to conduct exit polling in the Oklahoma City metroplex. Students spent the first part of the semester learning exit polling techniques and research ethics. Students conducted surveys at the polls and then analyzed the data. Students used the CEEL tablets during the survey.
This project was a collborative effort with the Carl Albert Congressional Research Center in order to collect qualitative voting data that will be reviewed as freshmen students reach their senior year at OU- the next presidential election.
However, there are a few concerns the professors share. One is making sure students follow their strict training about federal voting laws while exit polling. Restrictions such as maintaining distance from the voting location or incorrectly identifying themselves could result in disgruntled voters and a visit from the sheriff.
This hands on learning experience had a great impact on student learning.
"The entire day was an eye opening experience for me personally, because it gave me a sense of belonging to my community, the political science department, The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, a registered voter casting my ballot on Election Day, and being a part of important research that may not come around again in my lifetime."
Overall, this experience helped OU students to learn more about the voting process, exit polling and helped them to think about their role in community and about their future vocation.