Curious development with that WaPo POLL about altar girls!

Remember that recent Washington Post poll about altar girls? The poll shifted after I posted about it.

An reader alerted me to the fact that something rather odd has occurred.

You decide.

Here is how things stood and how they stand as I write.

The WaPo article and poll are HERE, FWIW.

UPDATE 23 Nov 2206 GMT:

UPDATE 30 Nov 0038 GMT:

Did they not like the results they originally obtained?

UPDATE 30 Nov 1545 GMT:

I’m sensing a trend.

UPDATE 1 Dec 0258 GMT:

Is this a surprise?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Biased Media Coverage, POLLS and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Sword40 says:

    Did we expect anything else but this? Just count the votes you like. Typical liberal tactic.
    so much for WaPo.

  2. jflare says:

    I wonder if they might’ve weeded out some of us “outsiders”? I recall reading a comment by someone over there who “warned” everyone that the poll was being hit by us WDTPRSers. This someone made VERY plain that they did NOT like Fr Z at all!

    I suspect WaPo may have gone back in, done their best to “select votes” and enabled the poll to announce the results they preferred.
    I agree with Sword40: It figures!

  3. Dr. K says:

    Copy and past the URL into your browser and vote:

    If you click on the URL link, WaPo can see on the server logs the referrer URL as WDTPRS.

  4. Mellie says:

    *sigh* Just another place that my vote doesn’t seem to make a difference. But at least someone saw the original figures.

  5. Tradster says:

    “It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.” (Josef Stalin)

  6. medievalist says:

    Interestingly, those numbers suggest that the WaPo can barely muster 700 readers to this article by themselves. At least Fr Z directed another ~6000 pairs of eyes their way.

  7. BobP says:

    What do the three dance floor judges say? :)

  8. bmccoy says:

    I call shenanigans!

  9. jarhead462 says:

    A dimpled chad- We must be glad.
    Liberal vote counting at it’s finest.

    Semper Fi!

  10. jj_nycguy says:

    “Whenever we try to right all the wrongs, we are met with relentless resistance on the part of those who support it.” When does it end?

  11. cowboy says:

    Dr. K’s advice is good about not letting WaPo see the referral site. If it won’t let you vote at first, simply empty the cache/delete cookies on your browser.

  12. PeterK says:

    contact the WaPo’s ombudsman at

    ask him why the change and be sure to provide the url to this page so he can see what everyone is referring to

  13. APX says:

    Voted again. Granted having been the one to alert Fr. Z to this poll to begin with, all my other votes weren’t directed from here.

    The No’s are catching up again.

    BTW: I should point out, this poll was also posted on Catholic Answer Forums. That might have affected the numbers too.

  14. CarpeNoctem says:

    Apparently I have “already voted” and am being kept from registering my vote in this ‘new’ poll. Yes, I too call, “shenanigans”.

    What’s more? My parish is a boys-only altar serving corps and has been that way for several years already. There’s at least 2 other parishes in this diocese (a most unexepcted one for this kind of practice) that I am aware of. While he’d never do this diocese-wide, all of this is happening with the explicit knoweldge and support of my bishop.

    There’s more of us out here in ‘flyover country’ than people realize.

  15. albinus1 says:

    I wonder if they’ve ended voting. I just went to the site, intending to vote, but all I saw was the table with the results, and no way to cast a vote. It’s a bit before 11:30 p.m. EST. As I write this, the table is showing 50% Yes to 47% No, with a total of 898 votes cast. I went to the site both using Google, and using the copy-and-paste link provided by Dr. K. above.

  16. isnowhere says:

    I used Dr. K’s advice and went to the website via this link he provided:

    I was able to vote “No” just fine. Current stats:

    50% Yes
    47% No
    3% It is complicated.

  17. Trad Tom says:

    At 11:59 p.m. I was able to vote NO using Dr. K and isnowhere’s link.

  18. JJMSJ says:

    I just voted and was delighted to see it was 48% Yes, 49% No.

  19. jflare says:

    I think they must’ve closed it. I can’t find a button with which to vote, even trying either of the links provided above. I notice though, that the number of votes is about 940 now, as opposed to the 700 or so when Fr posted the update.

    My guess is they removed about 80% of their original votes, tried a “restart” of sorts to skew it in favor of the modern notion as much as possible, then threw in the towel after they received enough more votes to make it almost an even fight, with the girls serving having a bare 1% edge.
    I think they’re probably pretty peeved over at the Washington Post right now.

  20. nola catholic says:

    For those whose votes were taken away but cannot get back to vote again because it’s just showing the table, you can re-vote if you use incognito mode for Firefox or Chrome. Don’t remember what it is on Firefox, but hit Control Shift N if you’re using Chrome and already have a browser window open. Then paste the link into the new incognito browser and vote.

  21. Bender says:

    Well meaning, but TOTALLY misguided.

    We’re not a democracy. The bishop does not make decisions by taking a vote.

    If the bishop says, “no,” then our answer should be “no.” If the bishop says “yes,” then our answer too should be “yes.” Period.

  22. Warren says:

    I deleted my cookies then voted “no” without problem.

  23. CMRose says:

    I don’t really get why the poll is even there. It isn’t like the Church really cares what the media thinks…

    I voted No….and I was an altar server when I was young. It never felt quite right. Then, I began reading and lo, behold! Girls aren’t supposed to altar servers! It was an amazing discovery. Oh, and there were these things called porters, lectors, acolytes, [exorcists], subdeacons, and deacons! Only the priests hands were allowed to touch the vessels! Luckily, I learned to receive the Most Blessed Sacrament on my tongue. Kneeling to receive and veiling took awhile to get comfortable with, especially because I started in an OF parish. Anyways, there are no girl altar servers where I go to Mass now. (Being as I go to the EF almost exclusively, I should hope there are no girl altar boys…)

    As of 12:44 A.M. Mountain Standard Time on 30 November, 2011:
    Should girls be allowed to be altar servers?
    Yes. – 42% (458 votes)
    No. – 56% (616 votes)
    It’s complicated. (Leave a comment.) – 2% (27 votes)
    Total Votes: 1,101

  24. jbosco88 says:

    Copy and paste the URL into the browser, or search for the article. I remember that there were several “problems” with polls earlier in the year where they traced the voters to WDTPRS.

    As of 07:50 GMT:

    Yes. – 41%
    No. – 56%

  25. Anne C. says:

    I copied and pasted Dr. K’s URL just before 2AM Central Standard Time on the 30th, and did not see anywhere to vote. The results then were:

    Yes – 41%
    No – 56%
    It’s complicated – 2 %
    Total Votes: 1,106

    Since Mountain Time is one hour behind Central, there was only about 15 minutes difference . . .

  26. asperges says:

    As at 0900 GMT today, the total poll is just over 1100, with 43% YES and 57% NO. Either access URL came up with the same result.

  27. ray from mn says:

    Father, you should forward your post on the polling numbers to the Poynter Institute ( They do a lot of work with journalists and would be happy to point out ethical problems at the WaPo.

  28. Josephus Muris Saliensis says:

    Now 59% NO on 1,203 votes.

    Odd though, the poll page remembered that I had voted all that while back, and I had to clear the cookies to get the voting buttons back, ergo it is the same poll on the same page!

    They just don’t like the truth! Just wipe the slate clean!

  29. Ef-lover says:

    I just checked, it now stands at 1,301 votes
    Yes= 37%
    NO = 61%
    It’s complicated=2%

  30. UPDATE 30 Nov 1545 GMT:

    I’m sensing a trend.

  31. Theodore says:

    Me thinks the MSM is warming up for the 2012 election and practicing on hiding votes that do not fit the meme they are trying to promote.

  32. jflare says:

    This poll was rather frustrating for me this morning. I tried first, couldn’t find a way to vote, so I assumed they’d closed it. Then, when I checked back, I found they had NOT closed it because the numbers had favor of the boys! After trying two or three different approaches, I finally decided it wasn’t worth the struggle any longer.

    Seems I’m not the only one with my sentiments though. Someone or a group of someone’s at WaPo must be absolutely PISSED this morning!

  33. nola catholic says:


    I too attempted to view the article today. I had already voted last night after they had reduced the numbers. I think they have taken the article down. After some searching through various means, the only thing I can view now is the article’s headline. I was not able to view the text of the article or the actual poll. I think they have taken it down because they can’t handle the fact that people oppose their own ideological slant. In any case, at least less people will be reading that biased article. Great job to everyone who voted and thanks to Fr. Z for bringing it to our attention.

  34. AnAmericanMother says:

    It’s still up as of 16:45 EST. Around 1500 votes at this time, boys are still in the lead.
    I voted again, since they dropped my earlier vote.

  35. ghp95134 says:

    As of 1 Dec 2011 at 2:20pm PST:

    Yes: 32%
    No: 66%
    Difficult: 2%
    Total Votes: 1,709


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