(Nancy Dallas/NewsDesk) – While it is a bit late for this election cycle, Nevada Republicans should return in 2016 to selecting its Presidential representative through the Primary election process.
Although there are some viable arguments for holding a vote (by caucus or primary) at an earlier date than the scheduled June 14 Primary, the current caucus set-up is a quagmire of uncertainties and confusion for most, and a rather expensive endeavor for the Nevada Republican Party.
- I will leave the positives defending this current process to others. I also suggest that, after reading this and you are still confused – call your County or State Party Chair and ask them to clarify it
- If it is found (heaven forbid…) that any information included in this commentary is inaccurate, it will be corrected in future mailings/postings
- The State GOP Central Committee board is meeting in the next week or two. There may be changes to some of the following information
I have spent considerable time (actually, far too much time!) the past several days researching this process, reading and compiling all information I can muster up. Party officials have been more than helpful; however, every time I think I have this process all figured out, something else emerges to further confuse and muddle my mind.
It is not necessarily through lack of effort and dedication of state Republican Party leaders that this confusion remains. They have certainly tried to eliminate the miscues of the 2008 Caucus process – through extensive publicity and educational forums; but, due simply to the guidelines set forth, I have some major concerns in spite of their efforts:
- The vast majority of registered Republican voters do not belong to a Republican organization, such as an NvFRW (Nevada Federation of Republican Women) club or County Central Committee, so do not understand, pay any attention to, or care what the entire process is all about
- Combining the Presidential Preference Poll with the County Precinct meetings and County Convention (per the guidelines set forth) is too much and too confusing for the majority of voters. And, from what I have gathered, it is confusing to more than a few NvFRW and Central Committee members, too! What has worked in Iowa and New Hampshire for many years is not necessarily good for Nevada
- Each County’s Republican Party is responsible for paying the majority of expenses related to their caucus. The State and Counties pay for Primary elections, which (in consideration of primary races for other offices) must be held June 14 regardless of whether a Presidential option is included or not
- The expense to the State Republican Party for running the Caucus/Preferential Poll is tremendous, particularly in consideration of the printing costs, public information efforts, building rentals, cleaning costs and intention to include military absentee balloting. The party is recuperating some of those expenses by charging each candidate who wishes to be on the ballot $10,000. (I have heard, but not substantiated, that Iowa charges $100,000)
- Estimates by some put the cost of the 2008 Republican caucus in the $450,000 range. Individual county Republican parties bore much of the cost, so it is hard to quantify. I prefer such money be spent to support the election of Republican candidates to the U.S. Congress and State Legislature
- The caucus process disenfranchises voters. Other than the intended absentee ballot for the military, you must attend the meeting in order to vote
Having scrutinized the current legislation relating to the Caucus process, I have serious doubts as to whether the Legislature (NRS) requires the Caucus process be used and whether legislative action is required to allow a change back to the Primary in 2016. This is an issue that must be addressed prior to 2016.