Polling done well and by credible organizations with high standards can provide a good idea of the public stand at a point in time vis-a-vis an issue or support for a candidate. Not so with the internet polls that are being conducted to measure the popularity of the 19 candidates vying for the presidency of Haiti in the votes currently scheduled for November 28, 2010.
Vote early and vote often!
These polls trick visitors to the website into believing that their vote matters. It does not. What they are designed to do is to trigger repeat visits to the website, which in turn serve to enhance its popularity. Should the website have ads that can generate revenues for its owner, either through eyeballing the ads or clicking on them, then there’s a direct monetary benefit to be reaped from the unsuspecting internet visitors.
“But,” you say, “the poll must be credible. I have tried to vote at least twice in a row, however it prevents me from doing so.” Indeed, but… they do allow you to vote once a day… Enterprising visitors can come back to the site the next day and register another vote for their preferred candidate. Thus in a seven-day period, you can have 7 votes should you visit the website daily and partake in the exercise. Over a one-month period, with daily inputs to the poll, you could have 30 votes. The reason you can’t have 30 votes in one day is due to two factors:
1. The computer you use has a unique IP address which is used by the internet polling software to identify the respondent;
2. The polling software resets its internal clock every 24 hrs, thus allowing repeat inputs from the same computer on a 24-hr cycle.
Be Tricky and Vote as Often as Needed in a 24-hr period!
Yes, there are simple ways to overcome the restrictions described above should you let your creativity loose. Here’s one: use another computer! Since every computer has a unique IP address, by accessing the internet polling site from several computers, you can increase your daily vote count. Thus you can have 30, 40, 50 or more votes within a 24-hr period. And with enough time, energy and perhaps money, you could shoot your favorite candidate up to the top very quickly. Spread the word to all other supporters of your favorite candidate, et voila!
What really counts
The real winner of all your efforts will not be your favorite candidate or issue. It will be the website owner who can boast of the popularity of the site through this scheme and perhaps make money through ad clicks and eyeballs. Bottom line: these polls are meaningless and not credible. Do not put much stock in them.
To be victorious, candidates have to win the hearts and minds of the electorate. This is done through personal contacts and clear, inspiring messages. Your energy and support is better spent in canvassing, mobilizing and fundraising that will ensure that by election-day a clear message gets through the cacophony of voices and that on election-day itself the vote will swing your way.