Date: 6th December 2000

Law Would Block TV From Calling Winners Before Polls Close

Nine lawmakers of both major parties have proposed legislation that would require polls to close at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time in federal election years.

The law is aimed at keeping television networks from calling the winner of federal elections before all the polls are closed. In a statement, Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey, a Democrat, said: "Standardizing poll closing times for presidential elections would reduce the likelihood that when the television networks declare a winner in one state, they may depress voter turnout." As part of the proposal, daylight savings time would be extended in the Pacific time zone for two weeks so that polls there would close at 7:00 local time.

Source: Studio Briefing