Secretary of State Ross Miller today acknowledged several allegations of improper or suspicious activity near and in polling locations around the state, but said there have been no formal complaints filed by voters.
Miller held the press conference after receiving a letter of concern from the Sharron Angle campaign and one from the Nevada Republican Party, in addition to reports Tuesday that a handful of voters in Boulder City had claimed some electronic voting machines were pre-programmed to support Harry Reid.
Miller urged anyone seeing a violation of election or voting law to file a formal complaint with his office so it can be properly investigated.
“I know that tensions are running high this election and that emotions are running very strong, but I want to set the record straight,” Miller said. “This is the entire reason that we have formed the Election Integrity Task Force in 2008. I’m not going to stand for any fraud or intimidation at the polling place, but nor will I stand idly by and listen to rumors and innuendos undermine the integrity of our electoral process.”
Miller said it is “technically impossible” for someone to pre-program voting machines. While it is certainly possible for a voter to inadvertently select a candidate, it is not possible for the machine to automatically select a candidate, Miller said. He also explained that electronic voting machines have verification screens so the voter can see who was selected and make any needed changes before casting their final vote.
Miller said the claims of the Angle campaign, which says it has received numerous reports that voters are being compensated by union reps to cast their ballots, are based on ”rumor and innuendo” and that he needs the public to come forward if they have knowledge of improper activity.
“If someone is compensating somebody by giving a Starbucks card in order to vote for Harry Reid, we want to know about it because that is a violation of state law and a violation of federal law,” he said.
Voters can be given something of value to generally encourage them to vote under Nevada law, though, Miller said.
Miller also said his office is investigating the formal 44-page complaint filed Tuesday by the Nevada Republican Party (NRP) regarding differences in the number of votes cast on the machines and paper voting logs. These small differences — just one or two votes in each case cited by the NRP — occur every election cycle and are usually due to common elections procedures, he said.
“That said, we’re taking these issues very seriously,” he said, adding that a final report of the investigation will be made available to the public.