Mystery:Nevada Election 2010

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Liberal Harry Reid was trailing by four points in several independent polls on the eve of Election Day, 2010, but the next day was declared the winner by 5.6 percentage points. This was an unexplained discrepancy of more than nine points.

What is the explanation? The mainstream media have been silent in even asking this question of their own side, which implies that they fear disclosure of the truth. Fox News Channel was prepared to run a show on election fraud in Nevada but canceled it when Sharron Angle prematurely conceded. Reid was then declared the winner by about 40,700 votes out of about 700,000 reportedly cast.[1]

This is not the first time that Nevada results have been far more liberal than predicted by many independent polls. In 2008, Barack Obama won by a 12.5 point margin when an independent newspaper-funded poll had him winning Nevada by only 4 points.[2] In 2004, the average of polling near the election had George W. Bush defeating John Kerry by six points, and then Bush won by only three.[3] Note that the size of the discrepancy has increased with each election:

Year Liberal candidate Gain by Liberal over Polling
2000 Al Gore 0.5 points
2004 John Kerry 3 points
2008 Barack Obama 8.5 points
2010 Harry Reid 9+ points

Nevada converted to its touch-screen computer voting for its entire State beginning in 2004.[4] Before the installation of this computer voting system in Nevada, actual results in 2000 were consistent with exit polls in the Bush versus Gore contest.[5] A bill to terminate reliance on these touch-screen voting systems in Nevada was proposed in its last legislative session, but was not voted out of committee so that the legislature could approve it.

Computer voting was banned in the Netherlands in 2008 due to concerns about fraud.[6]

Pre-selection of Reid

Nevada uses a sensitive touch-screen computer system for voting, and at least one voter complained about her, her husband's, and several others' screens being pre-selected to vote for Harry Reid:[7]

Boulder City resident Joyce Ferrara complained to FOX5 that when she went to vote for GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle, Reid's name was already checked. 'Something's not right,' Ferrara said. She claimed her husband and several others voting at the same time all had the same thing happen.

Criticism of the Computerized Voting used by Nevada

Nevada uses the "Sequoia Edge" high-tech, touch-screen voting system, and it has been criticized by others. For starters, its screen is extremely sensitive to unintended tallies.[6] As another example, in the Pittsburgh area "a group opposing Allegheny County's purchase of the Sequoia AVC Advantage [a prior model of Sequoia] said the problems in Chicago were not as simple as is being portrayed. Several voting machines in Chicago had results of 'zero' at the end of the night."[8]

Calibration Bias

Touch-screen computer systems like those used by Nevada must be calibrated for sensitivity and also visual accuracy at different heights.[9] Bias -- intentional or unintentional -- can easily exist and it is unclear if Nevada has any safeguards against sensitivity or visual bias in the calibration of these machines for an election. Partisan Democrat Larry Lomax, Clark County Registrar of Voters talks about sensitivity of touch screens, dismisses voter fraud. [10]

Leftwing labor union (local 1107 SEIU) does the maintenance and calibration of voting machines in Clark County, which covers Las Vegas. Conservative watchdog Americans for Limited Government called the union agreement "positively outrageous" considering SEIU's political stake in the race. [11]


Turnout statewide was 64.5% of the 1.1 million registered voters, which was higher than the 59% that turned out in the 2006 midterm election. The turnout in the large Democratic stronghold of Clark County was slightly less: 63.3% (see below). This was substantially less than the turnout in 2008,[12] when Barack Obama defeated John McCain by 59% to 40% in Clark County out of 647,490 votes cast.[13]

Turnout in Clark County was as follows:[14]

Total Registration: 736,663
Total Turnout: 466,465 (63.32%)
Election Day Turnout: 174,341 (23.67%)
Early Vote Turnout: 258,283 (35.06%) - Democrats had only a 23,000-vote edge in Clark County over the Republicans who voted early[15]
Mail Turnout: 33,841 (4.59%)

Early Voting

The in-person early voting was as follows:[16]

  • 43% were cast by Democrats (162,801 votes)
  • 41% were cast by Republicans (156,264 votes)
  • 16% were cast by voters unaffiliated with either party (about 61,000)

Total: about 379,839

Mail-in voting was in addition to this, totaling 40-50,000. Early voting was substantial at more than 50% of all votes cast in Clark County, for a total of 258,238.[17] This was more than one-third of all the votes cast in the State of Nevada for the entire election. Early voting lasted from October 16 through 29, but the results were not announced until after all the polls closed on November 2.

Unions Are Big in Las Vegas

There are more than 50,000 members of the culinary workers' union alone in Southern Nevada.[18] Did a massive turnout by union workers on Election Day cause the outcome discrepancy? If so, then those numbers would turn up in higher-than-expected turnout where union workers live in high numbers, and only voting by workers who were not represented in the polling would contribute to a discrepancy.

Exit Polling

The New York Times has posted demographic data about who actually voted.[19]

False Liberal Explanations

A large Hispanic turnout for Reid?

For most part, liberals are mum about this discrepancy. But some have suggested that Hispanics are not being fully polled, and that they boosted Reid to higher numbers on Election Day.

This cannot explain the discrepancy. Hispanics comprised only 18% of the voters in Nevada in 2010 -- the same percentage as 2008.[20] They voted about 2-to-1 for Reid, giving him a 6-point advantage.[20] But much, if not all, of that advantage was incorporated into the polling data. So there could not have been much of a discrepancy caused by this factor.

A New York Times article stated that Hispanics comprised 13% of the vote, with 68% of it going to Harry Reid; the article quoted Gary Segura, a Stanford University political scientist, as declaring that Latinos "certainly saved Harry Reid."[21] But 13% times 68% is only 8.8% for Reid, with about 13% times 30% is 4% fpr Angle, resulting in a net gain to Reid of only 4.8% - most of which would have been reflected in the polling estimates already.

Did the immigration issue sink Angle?

Some liberals suggest that the immigration issue hurt Sharron Angle. In fact, 60% of the voters surveyed in an exit poll support Arizona's law against illegal aliens, which Sharron Angle also supported, while only 33% opposed it; moreover, 67% said this was an important issue in deciding whom to vote for.[22]

Did voters turn against Angle herself?

Some liberals suggest that voters turned against Angle herself, causing the discrepancy. But the polls would reflect that phenomenon as much as actual voting would. Moreover, a similar nine-point discrepancy was observed between the polling and the actual results for a physician who was running for Congress in Clark County, the Democratic stronghold in the State. Polls predicted that Joe Heck would win by ten percent, but voting results showed him winning by less than 1 percent.[23] If there was ballot manipulation based on party affiliation, that would explain this similar discrepancy, while issues specific to Sharron Angle would not.

GOP below its average turnout rate for midterm elections?

In a year when polls show Republicans are highly motivated, Reid spokesman Kelly Steele says the GOP had less turnout. More early-voting Republicans means fewer voting-day Republicans. [24]


  1. County-by-county results
  6. 6.0 6.1
  10. Voter Fraud in Nevada?, NROnline, October 26, 2010
  11. Watchdog Warns SEIU Contract for Nevada Voting Machines Poses 'Fraud' Concern, FOX News, October 27, 2010
  20. 20.0 20.1
  23. Heck "earned 48.16 percent of the vote to Titus's 47.44 percent. Heck had 128,703 votes while Titus collected 126,781 votes." [1]
  24. Early vote tally points to tight race in Nevada, The Daily Caller, November 1, 2010