"Transparency and Accuracy" Will Drive Exit Poll for Parliamentary Elections in Azerbaijan, International Pollsters Announce

Oct 30, 2015, 05:40 ET from Arthur J. Finkelstein & Associates

BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

Azerbaijan has created the basis for allowing "transparency and accuracy" to be the driving forces for the statistical and operational design of the exit poll for the Parliamentary elections on Sunday, the Chief of Operations for the Exit Poll has told a media briefing in Baku.

Jo Anne Barnhart, a former Commissioner of the Social Security Administration in the United States, noted her positive experiences during the 2013 Presidential elections in Azerbaijan and stressed that the system will provide statistically reliable results within just hours of the polling stations closing.

Azerbaijan's 5.1 million voters go to the polls Sunday during which time more than 2000 exit poll workers will be stationed at approximately 1,000 polling stations in 118 constituencies. Their reports will go to respected polling firm Arthur J. Finkelstein & Associates (AJF), which accurately predicted the result of the 2013 elections.

"We forecast the 2013 result quickly and accurately because of the experienced and dedicated people we had on the ground and I'm happy to say that is again the case this weekend," said AJF Executive Director Barbara Fiala following the media briefing.

The exit poll is being staffed and operated by Azerbaijan's Citizens Labour Rights Protection League under Chief of Operations Barnhart. She has welcomed the chance to again work with the "American know-how, techniques, and proven professional standards" AJF provides as a polling company.

"The operations for this exit poll are large and complex and we started with the on ground implementation two months ago," Ms Barnhart said.

She then invited the international media to visit the Exit Poll Operations Centre in Baku to see the democratic process in action.

AJF has been measuring the mood of the Azerbaijani public in the lead-up to these elections. Just over a fortnight ago it released the results of its nationwide poll, which found the ongoing Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh to be the dominant issue for voters, despite the recent economic travails of this oil and gas-producing nation. That finding was endorsed by a subsequent poll by French firm Opinionway, published just a week later.

"The issues that matter most to voters in the run-up to these elections have been clear," Ms Fiala said. "They want political and economic stability, they want to be kept safe from terror and they want their elected politicians to keep fighting for the return of Nagorno-Karabakh."

SOURCE Arthur J. Finkelstein & Associates