Voter turnout could pass 100 percent because of fuzzy state law
November 3, 2008
Secretary of State Ross Miller says it’s possible some counties could report more than 100 percent turnout in today’s elections.
But he said it’s not a conspiracy. It’s a function of a poorly written state law and how it requires his office to report the voter turnout.
“Nevada Revised Statutes require the Secretary of State to report voter turnout percentages based on the total of active voters,” he said. “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.”
Inactive voters are those who didn’t vote in the previous federal election and haven’t responded to letters from their county clerk asking their status. If they show up and confirm they are still eligible, they get to vote.
Miller said Carson City, for example, has 25,513 active voters and 4,069 inactive voters. If everyone voted, he said, his office would have to report that 29,582 out of 25,513 people eligible voted ” more than 100 percent.
With some counties predicting better than a 90 percent turnout, it could happen today. If it does, he said it will almost certainly be in the state’s smaller counties.
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But Miller said all those people are legally entitled to vote.
“I can’t stress enough that no one who is ineligible will be allowed to cast a vote in Nevada,” he said.