Commentary

Update from Nevada: Here’s the deal with the caucuses

In case you’ve wondering what the deal is with the Nevada presidential primary caucuses (which wrap up this Saturday the 22nd), be sure to check out the ongoing coverage of our sibling news outlet, the Nevada Current.

As the Current’s outstanding editor Hugh Jackson explained in his morning email update today, the situation is sub-optimal, but life will go on:

I voted, er caucused, or cast my preferences, or whatever we’re calling it, and it didn’t suck. It took about an hour and 45 minutes at NSEA HQ on Harmon Sunday afternoon. The weather was nice. The three-step process once you get through the doors is … inelegant. Yes, getting the early votes counted and properly and appropriately aligned with choices of participants on caucus day might end up being a big fat mess (see the national stories linked below). Or it might not. As I keep saying, we don’t know, so we should go through the process anyway and, you know, see what happens. Early voting (er, caucusing or whatever) continues today and tomorrow.

One other thing… to reiterate, I loathe caucuses. The tragic irony of the frustration with the caucus process — and not just this cycle — is that administering elections is actually something Nevada state and local election officials generally do quite well. But caucuses are run by the party, not state and local election officials. It’s like we’re lumbering along in some old beater Chevy that may or may not be road safe, hoping it’ll get us from point A to point B, even though we’ve got a Ferrari in the garage. Oh well. Last time, hopefully.

Meanwhile, Current reporters have filed multiple news stories about the caucuses and where things stand, including:

So you want to caucus? Here’s what you need to know.

By Michael Lyle
Feb. 15, 2020

Early voting starts Saturday.

Following Iowa and New Hampshire, Nevada will be the third state to weigh in on the Democratic presidential nomination. Deemed “the First in the West,” Nevada’s Caucus Day is Feb. 22.

Instead of a government-run primary election, where voters cast ballots privately inside a voting booth, Nevada is one of four states and three territories, that, on caucus day, requires residents to publicly declare their preferred candidate.

Ahead of caucus day, Nevada is the first state to allow participants to early caucus, which will run Feb. 15 through Feb. 18.

Caucusgoers must be registered with the Democratic Party, but same-day registration will be offered during early caucusing and on caucus day. 

All caucus materials will be available in English, Spanish and, for the first time, Tagalog.

Nevada, which is also the first majority-minority state in the nomination process with a rising Asian American Pacific Islander population and a one-third Hispanic population, will have more than 80 early caucus locations as a way to reach diverse voting pockets. 

[Read more…]

and…

Klobuchar defends record as prosecutor, Buttigieg snipes at MfA at Latino forum

By Jenniffer Solis
Feb. 14, 2020

Fresh off strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar Thursday began facing the uphill battle of winning over Latino voters in Nevada.

“The road to the White House goes through the barrios and towns of Latino America,” said Domingo García, national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), opening a forum in Southern Nevada where Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Tom Steyer made remarks in person, and Bernie Sanders participated via video conference.

“I think the Latino population in Nevada can take the lead in showing which candidate has appealed to our community the most and will be poised to win the Latino vote in California and Texas on Super Tuesday,” said Garcia in an interview with the Current.

In 2020 Latinos will be the largest minority voting block, Garcia said, predicting in a crowded field with four major candidates, the Latino vote would be decisive.

[Read more…]

The chief apparent lessons: a) It’s too bad that such an important state still uses the caucus system, but the results should be informative, and b) thank goodness North Carolina never went down this route.

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