Nevada Democrats will use paper ballots for early voting; still little known about caucus tool


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Now that the New Hampshire primary is over, all eyes are on the Nevada caucus. Caucus day in Nevada is Feb. 22, and early voting starts this Saturday, Feb. 15.

There are still some questions about a new caucus “tool” that is supposed to help Nevada Democrats count votes.

8 News Now spoke with Nevada State Democratic Party Chairman William McCurdy II, but he would not go into any details about what exactly the “tool” is or how it works.

We do know that it is an iPad with preloaded software. McCurdy said the party is testing it out, but their focus right now is on early voting.

“This is an exciting time for the party,” said McCurdy.

Nevada Democrats are making history. For the first time, there will be early voting ahead of the Nevada caucus at more than 80 locations across the state.

“This is going to expand the opportunities for folks to participate and have their voice be heard.”

McCurdy explained to 8 News Now how early voting will work. Voters will check in with volunteers using a voter roll on party-purchased iPads. They will get a card with a registration ID number and a “voter PIN,” and registration will be done using Google Forms.

And here is an important note: the plan is to use paper ballots for early voting and then scan the results like a Scantron.

“This is the plan that we decided will be the best and most secure and efficient, and also a simple process for the early vote, and we’re excited to have been able to roll that out, and we’re expecting an energized turnout for Nevada Democrats,” McCurdy said.

Early voters will still rank between three and five candidates on their ballot, which will be available in three languages: English, Spanish and Tagalog. Their top choice that meets the 15 percent threshold at their precinct is the one that will be counted on caucus day.

“It is definitely going to be transparent; it is definitely going to be expansive,” McCurdy said.

We’re told there are nearly 3,000 Democratic volunteers who are currently undergoing a “robust” training program to prepare for the early voting process.

Early voting is from Feb. 15-18.

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