Saturday, February 4, 2012

IN's and Out's of Nevada Caucus

How does the Nevada Caucus work?As most caucuses work, you do not do a direct vote for a candidate like primaries. The caucus has 3 levels: The precinct, the county convention and finally the state convention. Overall Nevada has 33 Democratic delegates and 34 Republican delegates.
Nevada Precinct Caucuses
This is where any registered voter can participate. [Ed: Only registered Republicans can vote in the Nevada GOP caucus.] The precinct voting is a very informal proceeding. It starts with the voters gathered into preference groups for each candidate. A simple head count is taken for each precinct. It takes a minimum of 15 percent in each precinct for a candidate to be viable. If a candidate’s preference group is not viable, they can choose to caucus with another group (pick another candidate), or be uncommitted. There is time for each viable candidate’s group to try to talk the unviable candidates voters into choosing their candidate. This is way many times a candidate will seem to have not received any votes, though the actually may have originally. Each precinct then elects a representative (delegate) to move on to the county convention.

Nevada County Convention
Delegates to the county convention were then selected amongst the candidate groups. A similar process occurred at the county convention. Although they file statements of support for their chosen candidate, all delegates are technically unbound until the state convention, otherwise the may change their vote. In some cases the candidate originally chosen may have dropped out of the race.
Nevada State Convention
There is no formal system of allocating delegates to presidential candidates at the state convention for the Republicans while the Democrats delegates to the state convention are chosen by vote at the county convention.
Caucus times will vary across the state, but most will take place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. PT. There is one evening caucus scheduled at 7 p.m. in Clark County for those voters who cannot caucus during the day because of religious reasons.