CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A probe into complaints about voter fraud or voter suppression in Nevada in previous elections has turned up no evidence of major problems, Secretary of State Ross Miller says.
Miller said he heard persistent complaints about voter fraud and voter suppression while campaigning two years ago. When he took office in 2007, he began checking voting records for the 2002, 2004 and 2006 elections.
Thirteen suspicious votes turned up in state election records, but a memo released Tuesday concluded that the cases didn't involve any willful violations of election law.
While fraud allegations are standard fare in election years, Miller said, "We conducted a comprehensive review, and found no evidence of it."
Scrutiny will be particularly intense this year because of Nevada's status as a battleground state in the presidential race. Democrats and Republicans say they will dispatch hundreds of lawyers to Nevada to deal with any Election Day issues and file legal challenges if they suspect irregularities.
Miller said his office has set up an Election Integrity Task Force - a partnership among the secretary of state, Nevada attorney general, U.S. attorney general and local law enforcement - to address complaints of voter fraud and voter suppression on Election Day.
So far, the secretary of state has received 77 complaints during early voting, including complaints of endless campaign phone calls and automated calls in which Democratic nominee Barack Obama is referred to as a terrorist.
The secretary of state's investigation into the earlier elections didn't prove that no election fraud exists in Nevada.
Gary Horrocks was accused of trying to rig his 2002 bid for the Assembly by submitting bogus absentee ballots in Las Vegas. The
case was omitted from the secretary of state's investigation because it was being prosecuted, Miller said.
Also, this month the secretary of state and attorney general's offices raided the Las Vegas office of ACORN after catching fraudulent voter registration forms handed in by the group. Election officials have assured the public that none of the bogus forms will result in a fraudulent vote being cast.
"We have the tools in place to detect these things," Miller said. "There are not many cases as a result."
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)