New Hampshire’s primary and Iowa’s caucus draw attention as early indicators in the electoral process. Nevada’s caucuses also serve as an early indicator in the electoral process mostly as the first indicator in the West but also as the first primarily labor-based state to vote, and the first Hispanic state to vote.

Nevada has a mixed history with presidential primary elections and caucuses. Current State law provides for each party to determine which method they will use to choose their presidential nominee. This year both the Democratic and Republican parties have chosen to caucus in lieu of placing their respective nominees on the statewide primary ballot in June. Because caucuses are operated independent from the State, the Secretary of State’s office plays a very limited role in the process – usually only providing the official list of registered voters. For more information on each party’s caucus, please contact the respective party or visit their website.

The following is basic information about the Democratic and Republican caucuses.‎ Questions about a caucus should be directed to applicable political party.

Democratic Party Caucus

Saturday, February 20, 2016 @ 11:00 a.m.

  • Eligibility: Any individual who is registered or wants to register as a Democrat and will be 18 years of age by the 2016 General Election (November 8, 2016)‎ may participate
  • Voter Registration Deadline: No Caucus Day Registration is available
  • Time Commitment: couple hours to participate in process‎ (estimate)
  • Absentee Ballot: Military only – can participate via conference‎
  • Location: Online Precinct Caucus Locator tool (
  • Caucus website:

Republican Party Caucus

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 – start between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. (depending on location)

  • Eligibility: Registered to vote as a Republican by deadline, seventeen year-olds can register if 18 years of age by the 2016 General Election (November 8, 2016)
  • Voter Registration Deadline: Yes – Saturday, February 13, 2016
  • Time Commitment: 30-60 minutes for entire process (estimate), participants may also cast ballot and leave
  • Absentee Ballot: disabled veterans and active duty military, plus their dependents, absent from their residence
  • Location: Online Precinct Caucus Locator tool (
  • Caucus website:

Justus Wendland is a member of the Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network and works for the Nevada Secretary of State’s office. Before moving to Nevada in 2012, Justus worked in the same capacity in the Montana Secretary of State’s office to ensure state election and voting requirements are compliant with Federal requirements pursuant to the Help America Vote Act (the federal law formed to, among other things, ensure there are no more hanging, swinging… ballot chads).