Nevada Republican Caucus Was Confusing, Understaffed, And Poorly Organized

Nevada Republican caucus generally failed in the wake of proposed changes that simply did not work. In the past, Nevada Republicans had a proper caucus, with political speeches and the election of delegates. It is usually a massive event similar to Iowa’s Democratic caucus. This year, though, it was decided that Republican voters could just drop in and vote, in order to simplify and streamline the process for the majority of Republicans who wanted to be in and out quickly rather than attend a long meeting. Some of the largest locations did offer a traditional caucus for those who wished to participate, but it was not an option at all locations.

The Nevada Republican caucus was supposed to save time and effort, and get those voters in and out. It was designed for high voter turnout, but something went horribly wrong. The result was mass confusion, understaffed, even not staffed polling places, and in some cases running out of ballots, as reported by Yahoo News.

This year’s Nevada Republican caucus featured long lines that did not move, voters wandering aimlessly inside the polls asking each other if anyone was working there, and even reports of double voting amid the confusion and utter disarray. Not all polling places were seriously understaffed, but even those best equipped found the crowds daunting. Those volunteers who were unprepared, suffered.

State Of Nevada Hosts Its Republican Caucus Republican caucus goers wait in line at the Churchill County Fairgrounds on February 23, 2016 in Fallon, Nevada. Many party workers and volunteers were overwhelmed by crowds in Nevada’s “first in the West” caucus this year. [Photo by David Calvert/Getty Images]At Valley High School, the Nevada caucus problem was revealed, when Robin Roberts, the loan party representative in charge of the entire polling facility, got defensive. Crowds were cursing and complaining loudly when Roberts blurted out a reply.

“I apologize for the process, I just got this job yesterday.”

The Nevada Republican caucus confusion seems to have been the result not just of poor planning, it seems there was no advanced planning at all. Apparently, everything was just scraped together at the last minute. Volunteers were drafted at the latest possible moment, and apparently not enough of them could be found on such short notice. They received virtually no training or information on the new process. Not all polling places had even a single volunteer working to distribute ballots and direct voters to voting booths. Meanwhile, voters turned out in record numbers, and swamped the ill-prepared party workers and volunteers. Ballots were not distributed in adequate quantity, and the whole system devolved into chaos. In time though new ballots were brought in, and a few volunteers trickled in. Nevada Republicans got through the caucus process, but it was not easy.

Most Nevada Republican caucus voters, despite the extra time and effort, did manage to vote this Tuesday. They managed to overcome the confusion and endure the long waits. The possibility of double voting was checked, and compared. It seems the caucus results will stand, despite all the confusion. Results were very much as predicted, as NBC News reports. Donald Trump was an obvious landslide winner, with 45.9 percent of the vote. Marco Rubio received 23.9 percent, while Ted Cruz received 21.4 percent of the votes. Ben Carson and John Kasich received 4.8 and 3.6 percent of the votes respectively. The results were clear and predictable, despite any sort of confusion at the polls. They matched the exit polls perfectly.

State Of Nevada Hosts Its Republican Caucus Republicans caucus at the Churchill County Fairgrounds on February 23, 2016 in Fallon, Nevada. Smart voters start early and some precincts were perfectly prepared. [Photo by David Calvert/Getty Images]The Nevada Republican caucus determines how many delegates will be assigned for each candidate. It is not a winner take all situation. John Kasich and Ben Carson, for example, will each get one delegate from Nevada at the national convention. Ted Cruz will get six delegates, and Marco Rubio will have seven delegates. Donald Trump will get 14 delegates. None of the other candidates received enough votes to receive a delegate. Jeb Bush, for example, received 0.1 percent of the vote. Surprisingly, Rand Paul received 0.2 percent doubling Bush, but that is still not enough to get even one Nevada delegate.

The Nevada Republican Caucus, despite all the chaos, has definitively chosen delegates and their alliances at the national convention.

[Photo by David Calvert/Getty Images]