ELECTION NIGHT: WXYZ team to track Detroit election returns using ‘precinct indicators'

Once again, 7 Action News plans to use a large team to help report Detroit election results and to guide our reporting as we name Detroit's next mayor.

In addition to our reporters who will be moving throughout the region, Channel  7's method of election night reporting involves more 40 people, all pulling together in an effort to make sense of Tuesday's mayoral race.

That team, directed by University of Michigan-Dearborn Professor Tim Kiska, will fan out to 30 precincts throughout the city as the polls close Tuesday night. Those precincts, chosen randomly, are a statistical mirror of Detroit's electorate.

The moment results are available at the polling places, workers will report back to the Channel 7 newsroom.

Kiska and Channel 7's team look for trends. For instance, how similar is Tuesday's election to elections in the past? What parts of the city represent a candidate's strengths? And weaknesses?

So, why do we go through this effort, when the real numbers will be available by the next morning?

"We' d like to be first," Kiska says, "but those precinct-level numbers tell the story. It adds a depth to the reporting that you can only get from looking at numbers on the ground."



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