Officials Say Voter Fraud Is Not An Issue In Washoe County - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Officials Say Voter Fraud Is Not An Issue In Washoe County

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Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has said this year's election is rigged, on many occasions.  He also says there is large-scale voter fraud at polling places across the country.  Experts say that is not the case, including republican election lawyer, Chris Ashby. 

"An election cannot be rigged," Ashby said. "The system is designed against rigging."

Deanna Spikula is the Assistant Registrar in Washoe County.  She says there has never been an incidence of voter fraud in Washoe County, and that safeguards have been established to prevent it from happening in the future.

"We have very, very secure elections," Spikula said. "We have many protocols, many duplicated processes that we do to ensure the integrity of the election."

Justin Levitt is a professor at Loyola Law School.  He says only 31 credible incidents of voter fraud have happened between 2000 and 2014.  About one billion ballots have been cast during that time, meaning fraudulent votes have had virtually no impact on the elections.

The deadline to register to vote Nevada is Tuesday night at midnight. Early voting begins Saturday, so poll workers are already being trained.

"They do a three-hour in-person training with our polling place coordinator," Spikula said. "They do hands-on training with equipment and they get to know the programs that we use."

The poll workers can also do online training and have several pieces of literature and manuals.

While Nevadans vote on electronic machines, Spikula says even those are secure.  Each machine stands alone, meaning they are not connected to a network or the internet.  So, they cannot be hacked. Machines are not connected to each other, either.  In fact, the only thing the machines might share is an electrical outlet. 

"There will be no fraudulent voting activity on the machines," Spikula said.

The ballots are saved on a cartridge, and a paper copy is printed as a backup. Spikula says the security processes ensure that there will be no voter fraud.

"It will also do a double-check when they come back to us, again, that it is the cartridge that we set up, that everything was secure," Spikula said. "There's a chain of custody as we followed."

The registrar's office is also notified when registered voters die. Those registrations are canceled, preventing someone else from voting in their places.  Once someone has voted, it is immediately recorded.

"So, if somebody shows up to appear, we know immediately whether or not they've already shown up at another location or if they've requested an absentee ballot," Spikula said.

In Nevada, voters cannot write in a candidate's name, if they do not want to vote for any of the other candidates.  There is an option that allows people to vote for none of the candidates in state and federal races.

Sample ballots have already been mailed, and thousands more will be sent out in the days following the registration deadline.

While there has been speculation that there could be fraudulent activity, Ashby says he thinks people will be satisfied when the results become official.

"The people are going to realize this was a free and a fair and open and honest election, not withstanding what Donald Trump might say, and I think it's actually going to give people great faith and confidence in the outcome," Ashby said.

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