Ross Miller: Old voting machines sensitive

Complaints of voting irregularities may be attributed to the age of Nevada's fleet of electronic voting machines, Secretary of State Ross Miller said Tuesday.

Miller said complaints that votes were preselected could have been caused by a machine being accidentally bumped.

"The machines are aging," he said, adding that their "touch sensitivity is wearing down."

But Miller said there's no evidence votes were improperly cast. Everyone who complained about a machine was interviewed and any problems were rectified, he said.

Miller said replacing the roughly 7,000 machines statewide would cost about $18 million, an expense he is not requesting in his office's budget for the upcoming two-year budget cycle because of the state's financial crisis.

The oldest machines were purchased in 2000, with the bulk having been bought in 2003-2004.

Miller commented as he met with five justices of the Nevada Supreme Court to canvass the Nov. 2 general election results and make them official.

Chief Justice Ron Parraguirre and Justices James Hardesty, Michael Cherry, Michael Douglas and Nancy Saitta each signed the official record of the results.

Miller said 1.1 million Nevadans cast ballots during early voting and on Election Day, and statewide turnout was 65 percent.

Republican Gov.-elect Brian Sandoval received 53.4 percent of the vote to beat Democrat Rory Reid.

Sandoval takes office Jan. 3 and will inherit a budget shortfall some estimate could range from $1 billion to $3 billion.

Outgoing Gov. Jim Gibbons asked state agencies to cut 10 percent from existing spending levels in preparing their agency requests that Sandoval will use to build his own budget plan and present to the 2011 Legislature in his Jan. 24 State of the State address.

Miller on Tuesday said Sandoval has asked for even deeper cuts but declined to elaborate, saying he wanted to preserve a "spirit of cooperation" with the incoming governor.


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