Published Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 | 4:16 p.m.
Updated Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 | 5:23 p.m.
Nevada Democrats unveiled plans today to expand accessibility to participating in the presidential caucuses next year, including four days of early voting at more than 70 sites.
Each of Nevada’s 17 counties will have at least one of the 72 sites, including 32 in Clark County at diverse communities such as Chinatown Plaza, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Las Vegas, college campuses, libraries and union halls. It’s Feb. 15-18.
“We are committed to making a uniquely Nevada caucus process, one that reflects how Nevadans vote and the communities that we live in,” said William McCurdy, the chair of the Nevada Democratic Party and a state assemblyman.
Nevada will be the third state to vote for a presidential nominee after Iowa and New Hampshire. But Nevada will be the first to feature early voting as part of the caucus process. It’s the first time the Nevada party will offer early caucusing ahead of its main caucus on Feb. 22.
“It is incredibly important to our party that we not only provide caucus-goers every opportunity to participate, but make it more convenient for (those) who may not be able to join in person on caucus day,” McCurdy said. “What we’re doing here in Nevada has never been done before, and we’re excited about that. We’re blazing the trail when it comes to early voting in a caucus state.”
Residents can vote anywhere in their county, and their votes will be sent to their home precinct and counted along with the results of the in-person caucus. Early voters will list their preferences, in case their first pick does not qualify. Residents can also register to vote at the early vote location.
Sen. Jacky Rosen, who spoke at the event, said that early voting is a well-used option in Nevada.
“Early voting has become a staple in Nevada, and over 60% of people vote early in the general election,” she said. “We want to increase our primary vote, so by opening early voting … we want to give the opportunity to as many folks as we can to have their voices heard in the caucus process. Because it is critical, it is crucial.”
The party originally planned to offer a virtual caucus option over the telephone, with Nevadans able to call in and list their candidate preferences. The Democratic National Committee, however, expressed concern over possible security breaches and the plan was scrapped.
The party said it is developing security measures to ensure people do not vote more than once in early voting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.