The Nevada Democratic Party promises it’ll do better.
The Iowa Democratic Party is saying coding issues in a new app are to blame for the failure to report any official results from the first-in-the-nation caucuses on Monday. But even beyond the app, there are several ways new rules adopted by the Democratic Party could have created confusion and “inconsistencies” in the results.
Party officials are scrambling to avoid a similar fate in the Nevada caucuses, the third early-state contest scheduled for February 22.
Previously, multiple news outlets reported that the Nevada caucuses would also rely on the faulty app developed by Shadow Inc., which markets itself as a progressive “tech infrastructure” company supporting the Democratic Party. The state is also operating under the same rule changes — adding in a few more complexities.
In a statement released Tuesday, the Nevada Democratic Party was quick to clarify that it plans to have things go differently.
“NV Dems can confidently say that what happened in the Iowa caucus last night will not happen in Nevada,” state Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II said.
Exactly how they’ll turn that promise into a reality — beyond vowing to avoid apps in the caucus process — remains unclear.
What’s the same — and different — about Nevada’s caucuses
The Iowa and Nevada caucuses both adopted a new set of rules from the Democratic National Committee, which require state parties to report three sets of numbers out of the caucuses: an initial vote total, a post-viability threshold realignment vote total, and the number of state delegate equivalents. They both also limited the amount of “realignments,” or times a caucus-goer can change their vote, to just once. If the candidate a caucus-goer backs isn’t deemed “viable,” they get just one chance to change their vote.
But the Nevada caucuses will diverge from Iowa in few noteworthy ways. For one, they are dispensing with the app that caucus captains struggled to use on Monday night.
“We will not be employing the same app or vendor used in the Iowa caucus … and are currently evaluating the best path forward,” McCurdy said.
According to Nevada Democratic Party spokeswoman Molly Forgey, a wide range of options — including, potentially, an all-paper system — are under consideration as the state looks to avoid Iowa’s problems. The only certainty, Forgey told The Nevada Independent on Thursday, is that the state won’t be using any apps whatsoever for the February 22 caucuses.
One other major change is that the state is offering four days of early voting — a different process from the so-called “satellite caucuses” that Iowa allowed for people who couldn’t make it on Monday night. Early voting will run from Saturday, February 15, through Tuesday, February 18. Early caucus-goers will be able to rank up to four additional candidates in order of preference for automatic realignment should their first choice not clear the 15 percent viability threshold, and those results will be added to the live caucus results.
Nevada Democrats hope to report official caucus results on time.
As Recode’s Sara Morrison writes, there are still many unknowns in the unfolding Iowa debacle, not the least of which is the fact that the Iowa Democratic Party has yet to announce the results. For example, precincts should have been able to report results over the phone, but many volunteers reported calamitous wait times; one precinct chair was even hung up on by the Iowa Democratic Party while live on CNN.
Current results from Iowa show former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg leading the field in delegates by a slim margin, with Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in second and third and former Vice President Joe Biden in fourth. However, Sanders leads Buttigieg in raw vote total.
Both Buttigieg and Sanders have declared victory in the caucuses, despite the lack of an official winner.
It could take weeks or months to determine exactly what went wrong in Iowa and figure out how to prevent some of the inconsistencies that popped up in the caucus results.
In any case, Nevada has very little time to make sure its caucuses go more smoothly.
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