The first in the west Nevada Democratic Caucus is just under a year away. But there will be some changes as Democrats try to include as many voters as possible in the presidential nomination process.
Caucus day is Feb. 22, 2020, which is just under 340 days away but Nevada Democrats are already hoping for an increase in participation.
A half-dozen major presidential candidates have already visited Las Vegas; some more than once. Democrats see Nevada as a more representative slice of the country than Iowa and New Hampshire, which are the two states ahead of Nevada in the primary process.
A win in Nevada for any candidate during the caucus is viewed as a momentum builder.
In 2016 it was down to Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton during caucus time. Clinton won the caucus, but months later at the state convention, Sanders turned out more supporters, which could have flipped the state’s votes to him over Clinton. However, the votes stuck with Clinton.
The state party has made several changes to try to avoid the controversy emerging from the whole nomination process the last time around.
“We’re really focused on running an open, fair, transparent caucus,” said Shelby Wiltz, Caucus Director, Nevada State Democratic Party. “We want this process to really be the foundation for winning in 2020; we just came off of a really fantastic midterm year in 2018, where we really just saw historic gains for Democrats across the state.”
Wiltz says they’ve made changes this year to help caucusing. For example, early voting: There will be four days of early caucusing available for those who can’t spend a Saturday at a caucus site.
There will also be two days of virtual caucusing. The party will also publically announce raw vote totals per candidate on caucus day and have the ability to hold a recanvass or recount if necessary.
There will once again be same-day voter registration, so that party newcomers can participate.