New ‘caucus tool’ to assist Nevada Democrats

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Nevada State Democratic Party showcased Saturday a new “caucus tool” to assist chairs in tabulating results on the day of the caucus, multiple Democrats in the state tell CBS News.

The state party insisted at volunteer summits in Northern and Southern Nevada that the new “tool” was not an “app,” like the abandoned software created by Shadow, the developer at the heart of the delayed Iowa caucus results. Chairs will receive iPads pre-loaded with the “tool” and disconnected from the internet, party staff told volunteers at the summit.

The party did not disclose the identity of the developer behind the new “tool” Saturday, though telling attendees that a team of “security experts” were working with the state party to roll out the “tool.”

Even before the Shadow-developed apps were scrapped, multiple Democrats say county parties had already struggled to muster enough trained volunteers required to run all the caucus sites. Currently trained volunteers have also yet to practice using the new “tool” themselves. At previous volunteer events, chairs were given extensive training on the Shadow-developed apps and opportunities to practice downloading and using them.

The new “tool” was not described as playing a direct role during the upcoming early vote, which kicks off in a week on February 15th. Site leads for the early vote process, who were initially supposed to receive their materials on Friday, are now scheduled to pick up their materials in the coming days.

Multiple campaigns told CBS News on Saturday that they had received little information about the new “tool,” despite the state party’s public insistence that they have “maintained a high level of communication with campaigns at every step of the way.”

With just two weeks until Caucus Day, is short some 1,000 caucus chairs across the state, multiple Democrats say they were told at the summits. Some volunteers are bracing to potentially host two caucuses at once at their sites, if the volunteer shortfall is not filled.

In video of one of the summits in Southern Nevada, first obtained by The Nevada Independent, the state party’s digital director, Emma Kraus, had few answers for volunteers about the process.

“Those are all excellent questions, and we’re still working out some of the details around those so I’ll make sure that everyone has more information as we’re able to share it,” she said.

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