In an apparent effort to head off claims of "vote fraud," the Nevada Secretary of State, Ross Miller, has issued a press release explaining ahead of time that turnout in some of that swing state's counties may exceed 100%:
Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller says his office may have to report that in some counties, more than 100% of active voters turned out in the 2008 general election.
"The key word is 'active'," said Miller. "Nevada Revised Statutes require the Secretary of State to report voter turnout percentages based on the total of active voters. What the statute fails to address is that 'inactive' voters are still eligible to vote, and with record turnout, we're seeing a high number of those eligible inactive voters coming to the polls.
"For example, in Carson City, where early voting turnout has been especially strong, there are 25,513 active voters, and 4,069 inactive voters. That means there are as many as 29,582 eligible voters in Carson City. If all of them were to vote, we would have to report that 29,582 people out of 25,513 people voted."
If the anomaly does happen, it won't mean that some people have voted twice, Miller says:
"It's important to remember that this is nothing more than an anomaly based on a statutory requirement. I don't think there is a likelihood of this happening, and if it does happen, it will be in one of the smaller counties where the numbers are more easily affected. I can't stress enough that no one who is ineligible will be allowed to cast a vote in Nevada."
Claims of possible election fraud already have been raised in Nevada. Members of a joint federal-state task force, including agents of Miller's office, executed a search warrant on the Las Vegas office of ACORN, a voter-registration group, in October. Although a representative of the U.S. Attorney for Nevada has denied that federal prosecutors or the F.B.I. have played any role in the investigation of ACORN there, Miller's spokesman has said that both federal agencies have played a role in that investigation, raising questions about whether political pressure is playing a behind-the-scenes role in the vote fraud claims in that state as it allegedly has elsewhere. Notwithstanding his office's aggressive stance toward ACORN earlier in the month, Miller announced last week that he had investigated the past several elections and found no instances of willful voter fraud, expressing his confidence that there would be no fraud this year, either.