Foreclosure Increase Triggering Voter Concerns - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Foreclosure Increase Triggering Voter Concerns

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John Potter

Channel 2 News

The new problem facing this election is brought on by Nevada's foreclosure fiasco, which by the way is getting worse. Adding up the following September Washoe County foreclosure-related filings, we have 1,513 just last month. That's up 21% over August. Banks are clearing backlogs, triggering a 73% increase in their foreclosures. Washoe County's foreclosure rate, now more than 3 times the national average: (source: RealtyTrac)

Notices of default September 2010: 609 (August 2010: 638) Down 4.5%

Notices of trustee sale September 2010: 531 (August 2010: 396) Up 34%

Bank-owned foreclosures September 2010: 373 (August 2010: 216) Up 73%

Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller told us, "The foreclosure numbers in Washoe County are alarming, and we're worried that it could affect the election." Here's how: Foreclosed folks are losing their registered address, and missing their sample ballots. Miller says "They think that because they didn't get their sample ballot they're not allowed to cast ballots, and that's just not the case. As long as they still live in Washoe County and voted in 2008, they can go to their old precinct and be able to cast a ballot." That's because the valid ID is required when you first register to vote. You don't need it at the polling place. "When you go to the polling place, you don't need to bring anything with you. All you have to do is sign the poll book. We compare the signature that you put down with the signature we have on file."

In that case, are there enough safeguards in place? We asked Washoe County Voter Registrar Dan Burk if there has been any evidence of organized voter registration fraud this year. He said no. We asked Miller if he has seen any evidence of that. He told us, "We haven't seen any evidence of voter registration fraud this cycle." Unlike 2008, the year of ACORN. After that, Miller started a special "Nevada Election Integrity Task Force" to investigate election law abuses. You can report any election complaints through the Task Force link at www.nvsos.gov.

So, early voting looks good from here…no hitches in the system for Saturday's start, which by the way should be the biggest yet. Miller confirmed: "Early voting is definitely on the rise. Over half of the people that cast ballots in 2008 did so through the early voting process." Predictions are, we'll top that this election. And if you are a foreclosure victim and had to leave your home, and you didn't get your sample ballot, you can get it online. Just head to the Secretary of State's website: www.nvsos.gov

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