(NN&V Staff) – The following letter was sent to each of Nevada’s Republican Party county chairmen by the Nevada Republican Club in opposition of the Nevada Republican Party’s planned Presidential Preference Caucus next February…
September 15, 2023
Dear Republican County Chairs,
1. The Officers and Directors of the Nevada Republican Club, the largest Republican Club in Nevada with nearly 400 members, are reaching out to you to express our serious concerns with the planned February 8th NVGOP Presidential Caucus. Having both the Presidential Preference Poll on February 6th and the party run caucus on February 8th will, in our opinion, frustrate, anger and confuse Nevada’s Republican voters, which will have negative impacts on our Presidential candidates, our Party in Nevada, and Nevada’s election process. None of these are desirable results as we try to win US Senate, Congressional, and State Legislative races in 2024.
2. State law mandates that there be a state-run primary election. For various reasons, the NVGOP has decide they will hold the caucus as well. Should both of these take place, here’s what we see as the likely scenario:
a. Mail-in ballots for the Primary election will arrive around January 15th. Those ballots will contain only the names of those Republican candidates who filed with the Secretary of State’s office by October 15th, 2023. Candidates who filed for the caucus with the NVGOP will not have their names on the Primary ballot. Most voters, who don’t pay attention to these things as we do, will not understand this, and the Secretary of State’s office is not obligated to explain it to them. They may or may not learn that they must attend the February 8th caucus to be able to vote for their preferred candidate, they may decide to vote for another candidate, or they may just skip the process altogether. The negative publicity from this will make the Republican Party look bad and likely diminish participation in the Primary election.
b. On election day, February 6th, the polls will close but results will not be posted that day as mail-in ballot acceptance will be allowed for up to five days after the polls close and ballot counting will continue until February 15th or 16th.
c. On February 8th, the Party plans to hold the caucus from 5 to 9 PM. These limited hours will automatically exclude many from participating. They will have to work, be out of town, unable to get to their required caucus site, or have some other commitment that precludes their attendance in person. The only provision made for people to vote absentee is reserved for the military and their families. Some people may show up for the caucus and not see their preferred candidate on the ballot, since that candidate participated in the February 6th Primary. They will be angry and frustrated. Others will cast their vote for their preferred candidate who is on the ballot, and the results will be reported that evening.
d. On February 15th or 16th, at the latest, the Secretary of State will announce the official results of the February 6th Primary, to include the number votes cast. The winner will be different from the winner of the caucus and may even get more votes than the winner of the caucus. Also, it’s very possible that the number of votes reported cast in the Primary will exceed the number of votes cast in the caucus.
e. At the State Party Convention in the Spring, the party will allocate Nevada’s delegates to the Republican National Convention. According to the rules, only those who participated in the caucus will be eligible to receive delegates. Even if the winner of the February 6th Primary received more votes than the winner of the February 8th caucus, it won’t matter. They won’t get delegates. The voters will not react well to that, nor will the campaigns.
3. Two other major issues are the cost of running the caucus and the volunteers needed to operate the locations in the seventeen counties. The latest cost figure that’s been mentioned is $250,000. This funding should be spent on training and supporting candidates, voter registration, building the 2024 ground game, and ballot harvesting and other Get Out The Vote efforts. Also, it’s been eight years since the last caucus, and not only will it be a challenge to get sufficient and trained volunteers (especially in Clark County) but also dealing with people’s confusion and frustration with the split process. Some who would normally volunteer will be busy overseeing the vote counting process from the Primary and not available for the caucus.
4. Overall, this process will hurt the Republican Party and our candidates in 2024. Voters who participated in the Primary will find that their votes didn’t count. The Nevada Republican Party will give average voters the impression they don’t care about them or their votes. How do you think that will make them feel – disenfranchised, angry, and potentially less willing to support the Republican Party further.
5. These issues and their potential outcomes are very disconcerting to our Club, so we are addressing them with you, the leaders of our Party throughout Nevada. We ask that you discuss our concerns with the NRCC representatives from your county. You will have the opportunity at the September 23rd meeting in Winnemucca to prevent this caucus from happening.
Resolution number R-2023-6 deletes the paragraph in the Standing Rules that currently prohibits the Nevada Republican Party from holding a caucus if there is a State-run Primary election. We must defeat this resolution. Please speak up for Nevada’s voters. They are the people we represent. We cannot discount or forget about them.
David Gibbs, President
Dianne Steel, 1st Vice President
Frank Santora, 2nd Vice President
Barbara Gross, Secretary
Douglas Bramble, Treasurer
Pauline Lee, Past President
Will Bradley, Director
Jim Marsh, Director
Cindy Parker-Root, Director
Susan Proffitt, Director
Bette Schanafelt, Director
Sherry Rickard, Director
Susanne Spinelli, Director