Explained: NBC Local News Accidentally Posts US Election"Results A Week Early [Test Data for Layout]


I don't know where to put this but I'm curious if someone would like to debunk this.

A NBC affiliate in Chattanooga, Tennessee inadvertently published what appears to be election night results. The results are published in the typical format used by mainstream news networks and display Presidential and Congressional results, the popular vote count, electoral votes, and percentage of precincts reporting in. The page was taken down soon after, but is available via the internet archive. The results of the Presidential contest name Hillary Clinton the winner with 41.7 million votes or 42% of the total. Trump, on the other hand, received 40.1 million votes or 40%. The results also gave Gary Johnson 8% while Jill Stein received 5%.
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Staff member
The same Similar "results" appear on the Associated Press Interactive map. http://interactives.ap.org/2016/general-election/?SITE=WHBQTVELN&DEFAULTGEO=TRUE

It's been loaded with test data, as the background watermark states.


I would assume that the election reporting systems have been filled out with fake numbers to test that they work properly.

Edit: actually I see the numbers don't match. I found that page by searching for the exact vote count in the article the OP posted, but it seems the "results" have changed since Google indexed it:

OP article:


AP map via Google cache:


Many news services get their data directly from the AP service, so the test data will be propagated quite widely.
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Senior Member.
debunk this.

This explanation was given on WRCB's website:

News organizations test their election graphics before all elections

Unpublished test election data appeared for a brief time on public servers this week for multiple news organizations that subscribe to the Associated Press election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 test data appeared for several state and national races, including president. Now that testing is complete, WRCB has removed the test data stream to return results to zero in preparation for election night. It is possible the test data stream may need to be turned on again for brief periods of time as designers continue testing the graphics.

This has been the practice of news organizations for decades.

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Staff member
The has the potential to discourage a lot of people.
Why would it do that? Using test data is quite a common thing and has no bearing whatsoever on the outcome of the real election.

There was a fuss a few months ago when AP test data for a Florida primary was published before the election.

Well, that was awkward. Or strangely prophetic. Only time will tell.

In recent days, a Republican candidate for Florida House District 86, Laurel Bennett, was somewhat surprised to discover that a local West Palm Beach NBC affiliate, WPTV, was reporting that she had already lost her race, despite the fact that not a single ballot has been counted yet. Allegedly.

The report from the local affiliate showed Laurel getting 45 percent of the ballot, or 12,189 votes. In response to the report, Laurel took to Facebook to warn her supporters about what was happening
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In the end, Laurel Bennett won the election, with 53% of the vote:



Senior Member.
I would assume that the election reporting systems have been filled out with fake numbers to test that they work properly.

Indeed. It happened earlier in October as well in Wisconsin...with Trump winning:

“The Associated Press regularly puts out test results in advance of election day so that media subscribers can be sure that all systems are in place to receive the data,” Soth said. “Usually we only use these results on a test server that requires a log in. Some of the test results have been put on our live server accidentally. They are not linked to or publicized through WisconsinVote.org but can be found via an internet search. The numbers are completely fictional, randomly assigned, and used only for testing.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/22/p...lection-results-from-wisconsin/#ixzz4OyoyUY5x
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Mick West

Staff member
They (The AP) have similar test data graphics for the local ballot measures
The WHBQTVELN site is is presumably for WHBQ (Fox 13 Memphis) to test their embedding of the graphics. It's just like how in the old days newspapers would write two version of the lead story, so they could quickly post the correct one when the elections were finished. Sometimes they would jump the gun.

This isn't even that though, it's just test data so they can tell that the web page looks correct.

Marin B

Active Member
I don't know where to put this [/ex]

I think it would be nice to have a forum dedicated to political news. Unfortunately, I don't think the amount of bunk is going to let up much after the U.S. elections are over next week :(


Senior Member.
God, I hope the actual election results are exactly the same as the ones shown in the tests. CTland would go into meltdown. :)


Senior Member.
The has the potential to discourage a lot of people.

Why, it's just dummy copy? Anyone who does graphics is going to have to set up a template beforehand, they don't start working on these things the day of.