(WOOD) — In the Monday, Aug. 1, 5:30 p.m. newscast, News 8 aired a graphic showing various races that will be decided in Tuesday’s primary election. The graphic contained Associated Press test data used to check our computer systems. The data should not have appeared on air and does not reflect any actual voting results.
We apologize for the mistake and for any confusion this may have caused.
Prior to any election, the Associated Press sends out test data to ensure that news organization election systems are operating correctly. Since WOOD TV8 uses election results collected by the Associated Press, WOOD TV8 participates in the data tests.
These data tests must be conducted every election cycle to ensure that computer system updates or replacements do not interfere with the receipt of the data stream on election day.
The test election data cannot be accessed by the navigation menu or in any recent election reports. Recently, someone viewed the WOODTV.com election results page — which was possible via an internet search or by following a link to the page in an article about a previous election.
The election results page has since been made inaccessible to the public, but screenshots are being circulated on social media of the test data.
In no way does a standard data test either affect or predict the results of any election. Test data does not represent any editorial slant or desire to affect the outcome of the election.
Upon the completion of the system testing, prior to election day, the testing data is purged from the election systems.