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Dingell Warns Networks On Early Election Calls

Related: Complete Election 2008 coverage

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) wrote the heads of the major networks Thursday to ask them not to call the presidential race until all the polls have closed.

Dingell said that an early call could discourage turnout.

In the letter to the heads of ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and MSNBC, Dingell conceded that "Most Americans will turn to television newscasts for the most up-to-date information regarding the election and results."

He harkened to the razor-thin 2000 election margin and the bad early calls by some in the media.

"When television stations call elections based on the results in a few Eastern States," he argued, "voter turnout elsewhere in the Nation could potentially be lower than it would otherwise have been.  This potentially affects not only the results of the Presidential election, but also could have a dramatic impact on other contests for elected office."