How do exit polls account for the people who vote by mail?

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In the last national election, nearly 22 percent of Americans voted before Election Day, using some form of absentee or early voting. Some experts believe a third of the country’s voters may vote earlier than Election Day in 2008. Capturing information about these voters is challenging, but it is critical to report accurate information about all voters on Election Day. In states with high numbers of absentee/early voters, telephone polls are conducted to reach those voters. Data from these telephone polls are combined with the exit poll data to provide a complete portrait of all voters.

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