The US election is in full swing. The US public has until midnight on 8 November to cast their vote. But despite polls not even being closed, one major media outlet just inadvertently published what appears to be the election result.
The premature poll release
WRCB, an affiliate of NBC, accidentally posted the results on its site earlier this week. It immediately took them down. But the post is still available to see on the internet archive. The page was pulled from the content management platform WorldNow.com. This platform is owned by Frankly, and is also used by other major networks such as NBC, ABC and Fox.
The results show that Hillary Clinton won the election with 42% of the vote. Trump received 40% of the vote. Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) received 8% and Jill Stein (Green Party) received just 5% of the vote.
WRCB released a statement after others noticed the error. They claimed that the post was a test:
Unpublished test election data appeared for a brief time on public servers this week for multiple news organizations that subscribe to the Associated Press election results service, including WRCB. Part of the test is to determine how the “winner check-mark” graphic and layout will appear on different platforms.
The election race between Clinton and Trump has been hotly debated. With Trump facing allegations of sexual assault and Clinton’s email scandal, many believe it’s a vote for the lesser of two evils. Alongside this, many have suggested the election is rigged. In October, the BBC and The Guardian both ran stories questioning the veracity of the election results.
Julian Assange, the man responsible for bringing Clinton’s email scandal to life, also stated that Trump will not be allowed to win the election. In a discussion about Clinton and the election, he said:
My analysis is that Trump would not be permitted to win. Why do I say that? Because he has had every establishment off his side. Trump does not have one establishment, maybe with the exception of the Evangelicals, if you can call them an establishment. Banks, intelligence, arms companies, foreign money, etc. are all united behind Hillary Clinton. And the media as well. Media owners, and the journalists themselves.
With days to go until polls close, some still doubt WRCB’s story. After all, Clinton has suggested rigging elections in the past. And it certainly wouldn’t be the first time media outlets have appeared to be on Clinton’s side.
On 6 June, the day before Democratic delegates pledged their vote, The Associated Press announced that Clinton had secured the Democratic nomination. Instead, Clinton had just won in a secret Associated Press survey of super-delegates. Its purpose was simply to work out who intended to vote for Clinton — 50 days before they actually voted.
But what does this most recent leak actually prove? We know that mainstream media outlets influence public opinion, and that they often have connections to the rich and powerful. But would they really go to the extent of rigging election results?
On 9 November, we’ll discover who has won the election. And we’ll see if the numbers match those leaked by WRCB. Only then will we have the answer to the questions above.
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