AAPOR/WAPOR Statement Regarding Intervention Against Pollsters in Ecuador

CHICAGO, IL, April 11, 2017 — The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR) strongly condemn the reported government forced entry into the offices of the Ecuadoran polling firm CEDATOS.  The confiscation of computers and the arrest of two CEDATOS employees — now released — appear to have been a response to disagreements involving the findings from exit polls conducted in conjunction with that nation’s April 2 Presidential election.

AAPOR President Roger Tourangeau stated, “We strongly oppose any efforts to use government power to intimidate researchers and/or suppress disputed research findings.”

WAPOR President Claire Durand stressed, “The free publication of opinion poll results is of utmost importance for democracy and is the best way to ensure that electoral polls improve their accuracy.”

Exit polls and public opinion surveys in general are important facilitators of democratic society and governance. While survey results of any election may vary depending on such factors as sampling techniques and question wording, efforts to discredit particular polls and intimidate and harm their authors create a chilling atmosphere, aimed at suppressing the free flow of information.  Those in positions of power in democratic governments have a responsibility to encourage, not discourage that flow of information.

AAPOR is an organization of over 2,100 research professionals from government agencies, colleges and universities, non-profit organizations, and commercial polling firms. We have a strong interest in protecting and strengthening high standards in survey research and its role in democratic society.

WAPOR brings together over 600 researchers and practitioners from all regions of the world. It promotes the free publication of opinion polls and publishes the Report on the Freedom to publish opinion poll results based on research conducted in over 60 countries.