Tuesday, February 23, 2016

GOP Braces for Nevada Caucus Mayhem on Tuesday

Underfunded state party aiming to avoid vote-counting delays like those that occurred four years ago
After a confusing start, with a big turnout of voters and some absent volunteers, Saturday’s Democratic caucuses in Nevada fell into regular order, delivering a victory for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders less than three hours after the voting began.
Republicans, who hold their caucuses in Nevada on Tuesday, are bracing for a much tougher night. Party officials here and in Washington fear a repeat of the 2012 debacle in which it took officials days to count just 33,000 ballots and certify that Newt Gingrich finished second behind Mitt Romney.
The combination of a disorganized and underfunded state Republican Party, decentralized responsibility for reporting results and an electorate that has never seen a competitive presidential caucus has GOP officials bracing for logistical nightmares Tuesday.
Unlike in Iowa, where the state parties recruited Microsoft to build a high-tech caucus results reporting system, or New Hampshire and South Carolina, where state elections officials conduct the primaries, in Nevada county GOP officials have responsibility for holding local caucuses, counting ballots and reporting results.
Here in Clark County, which includes greater Las Vegas and 73% of the state’s population, Republican volunteers at each of the 36 caucus locations will count ballots by hand, write the results on an envelope, take a photograph of the envelope and text the photo to Ed Williams, the Clark County Republican Party chairman, and to state GOP officials. The state party is also allowing the Associated Press to monitor the results as they come in from precincts; in 2012 the party announced results itself on Twitter.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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