The Nevada Democratic convention almost descended into chaos on Saturday, with angry Bernie Sanders supporters demanding delegate recounts and alleging that 64 Sanders supporters were wrongly denied delegate status, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote in February caucuses in Nevada, but in April, the Vermont senator had turned out more of his supporters to the country conventions, meaning that he could send more delegates to the state convention on Saturday.
But despite Bernie Sanders supporters turning up in huge numbers at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, the final counting of delegates, which saw 1,695 Hillary Clinton supporters in attendance at the Nevada state convention compared to Sanders’ 1,612 delegates, helped Clinton gain a narrow advantage over him.
The 33-person delegate lead was enough to tilt the division of a dozen delegates who were up for grabs Saturday in Hillary Clinton’s favor, with her winning seven delegates compared to Sanders’ total of five delegates.
— Jennie Helena (@helena_jennie) May 14, 2016
Although Democratic party chairwoman Roberta Lange attempted to unite supporters in her opening statement, the division among the delegates and alternates of the two candidates was stark.
“One thing I hope that you can all agree with me on is that this contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders has made us all proud to be Democrats. The primary has energized our party because both of our candidates have consistently offered strong, well-thought-out visions to move America forward.”
According to the Hill, Bernie Sanders supporters were angry over a voice vote at the convention that adopted a set of temporary convention rules as the permanent rules. The tension was palpable as almost half of the total 3,400 convention-goers rose in unison, demanding recounts and shouting “this is fixed” and “no confidence” at party officials.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who is a Hillary Clinton supporter, was among those booed at the convention. She retorted by saying that Sanders supporters were booing their presidential candidate and not her.
“You can boo all you want,” she said. “Boo louder, because you’re booing Bernie Sanders.”
Calif Sen Barbara Boxer: If you boo me you're booing Bernie Sanders pic.twitter.com/mAAu6YNugZ
— Riley Snyder (@RileySnyder) May 14, 2016
Former Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner delivered a passionate speech during the convention, asking Bernie Sanders supporters to remain “calm but committed” throughout the process.
— J.H. Fearless (@jhfearless) May 14, 2016
Before the end of a heated and emotional Nevada convention, however, several Sanders supporters put together a “minority report” of 64 Sanders supporters they believe were wrongly denied delegate status. The party representatives said six of the 64 delegates were eventually allowed as delegates, but the rest were not allowed because either their records could not be located or they were not registered Democrats by the May 1 deadline, a claim countered by several angry Bernie Sanders supporters.
Angie Morelli, a Sanders supporter who coordinated a petition effort over the temporary rules, said that the Nevada convention was undemocratic in many respects.
“I think this was of course the fault of the party. We would’ve been able to do more democratic things, but the way they decided to do it messed us up.”
National committeeman Andres Ramirez said the report regarding the “wrongful expunging” of Sanders delegates would be forwarded to the Democratic National Committee but warned that he would not expect any immediate action to be taken.
The Nevada convention revealed just how divided the Democratic Party is over its two presidential candidates, and moreover, accentuated the feeling of unfairness that Bernie Sanders supporters claim has been a regular feature throughout the nominating process.
[Image via J.H. Fearless/Twitter]