New Hampshire’s primary and Iowa’s caucus draw attention as earlyÂ indicators in the electoral process. Nevada’s caucuses also serve asÂ an early indicator in the electoral process mostly as the firstÂ indicator in the West but also as the first primarily labor-basedÂ state to vote, and the first Hispanic state to vote.
Nevada has a mixed history with presidential primary elections andÂ caucuses. Current State law provides for each party to determine whichÂ method they will use to choose their presidential nominee. This yearÂ both the Democratic and Republican parties have chosen to caucus inÂ lieu of placing their respective nominees on the statewide primaryÂ ballot in June. Because caucuses are operated independent from theÂ State, the Secretary of State’s office plays a very limited role inÂ the process – usually only providing the official list of registeredÂ voters. For more information on each party’s caucus, please contactÂ the respective party or visit their website.
The following is basic information about the Democratic and RepublicanÂ caucuses.â€Ž Questions about a caucus should be directed to applicableÂ 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 andÂ will be 18 years of age by the 2016 General Election (November 8,Â 2016)â€Ž may participate
- Voter Registration Deadline: No Caucus Day Registration is available
- Time Commitment: couple hours to participate in processâ€Ž (estimate)
- Absentee Ballot: Military only – can participate via conferenceâ€Ž
- Location: Online Precinct Caucus Locator toolÂ (www.NVDems.com/)
- Caucus website: www.NVDems.com/caucus
Republican Party Caucus
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 – start between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m.Â (depending on location)
- Eligibility:Â Registered to vote as a Republican by deadline, seventeen year-olds can register if 18 years of age by the 2016 General ElectionÂ (November 8, 2016)
- Voter Registration Deadline: Yes – Saturday, February 13, 2016
- Time Commitment: 30-60 minutes for entire process (estimate),Â participants may also cast ballot and leave
- Absentee Ballot: disabled veterans and active duty military, plusÂ their dependents, absent from their residence
- Location: Online Precinct Caucus Locator tool (www.NevadaGOPCaucus.org)
- Caucus website: www.NevadaGOPCaucus.org
Justus Wendland is a member of the Reno-Tahoe Young ProfessionalsÂ Network and works for the Nevada Secretary of Stateâ€™s office. BeforeÂ moving to Nevada in 2012, Justus worked in the same capacity in theÂ Montana Secretary of Stateâ€™s office to ensure state election andÂ voting requirements are compliant with Federal requirements pursuantÂ to the Help America Vote Act (the federal law formed to, among otherÂ things, ensure there are no more hanging, swingingâ€¦ ballot chads).