Problems with a new computer network designed to tell news organisations which way the US elections were swinging forced them back to basics.
The system providing exit-poll data supplied by Voter News Service (VNS), the vote counting consortium, crashed early in the evening and could not analyse national exit polls on voter attitudes and state-by-state exit data used to track voting trends.
The VNS network was undergoing a four-year overhaul at the time of the elections, and vnunet.com reported earlier this week about concerns that it had not been sufficiently tested.
According to Reuters, broadcasters had to rely on raw vote counts and precinct samples from VNS, back-up data from Associated Press and some of the broadcasters' own systems.
News organisations wanted to avoid a repeat of bungled projections that marred coverage of the 2000 presidential race, in which they flipped between Al Gore and George W. Bush.
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