(Nancy Dallas/NewsDesk) – The Nevada precinct meetings (the term caucus meetings is sometimes used for the same meeting – Ed.) will take place on February 4.
The process sounds simple enough, if you are a registered Republican voter prior to January 21, 2012:
- Show up at your local Republican Precinct Caucus meeting (between the hours as noted in your county) on Saturday, February 4, 2012 – with a photo ID
- Submit a secret ballot for your Republican Presidential candidate of choice
- Go home
And this may be all that will be required in some, or most of the counties; however, if you read all the fine print you will note a few other details, including this information on the CCRW website:
Nevada Precinct Caucuses
This is where any registered voter can participate. The precinct voting is a very informal proceeding. It starts with the voters gathered into preference groups for each candidate. A simple head count is taken for each precinct. It takes a minimum of 15 percent in each precinct for a candidate to be viable. If a candidate’s preference group is not viable, they can choose to caucus with another group (pick another candidate), or be uncommitted. There is time for each viable candidate’s group to try to talk the unviable candidates’ voters into choosing their candidate. This is why many times a candidate will seem to have not received any votes, though the actually may have originally. Each precinct then elects a representative (delegate) to move on to the county convention.
Another question: If the above process is used to select a candidate, and a Preferential Poll secret vote is taken, which one is used to determine that County’s choice of candidate?
Each County is allowed to set their own Caucus guidelines, providing they remain within the State Party and legislative guidelines; so, there may be different polling and meeting hours and, perhaps, different ‘rules’ as to whether a voter must be present for the caucus meetings in order to vote in the Presidential Preferential Poll. This remains a vaguely defined issue to me.
Some positive procedures set by the State GOP:
- The Presidential Preference Poll votes are required per the Nevada GOP guidelines to be by secret ballot. These rules further specify that the ballots shall be opened, tallied and the results announced at each precinct meeting in full view of all participating electors who wish to observe the counting
- Photos ID’s are required in order to vote
- Voters must be registered two weeks prior to the Caucus meeting. (I think…I have heard both Jan. 14 and Jan. 21 used as the cut-off date.) There is no ‘same day’ voter registration
Note that the Nevada Democratic presidential caucus, expected to be won easily by President Barack Obama, is set for Jan. 14 and will allow ‘same day’ voter registration.
- At the National convention, the Nevada delegates are bound by State Party Rules to vote based on the percentage of votes (rounded off to the nearest whole number) received by each candidate. Nevada has a total of 31 delegates – 28 elected at large during the State GOP convention and three automatic delegates (State Party Chair, Nevada National Committeeman and Nevada National Committeewoman
- Example (not a prediction): If Romney receives 50% of the state caucus preferential vote – 15 votes; Gingrich 25%, 8 votes; Perry 15%, 5 votes; Cain 10%, 3 votes
- All 17 counties do have central committees and are required by NRS 293.135 to hold precinct meetings on the date set by the state party, which in this case is Feb 4. Party leaders hopefully anticipate every county to hold their precinct meetings and caucuses as specified
- You must attend the caucus/precinct meeting in your county to vote. For efficiency and cost concerns, some counties will hold the caucus/precinct meetings in one primary site; however, counties with larger geographical areas will probably hold caucuses in convenient locations to accommodate voters
Contact your County Republican Party Chair, State Republican Party Chair or Executive Committee member, or website of any of the above if you remain confused!