Feb 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Nevada caucus volunteers asked to sign NDAs protecting the Democratic Party

Early voting for the Nevada Democratic presidential caucus on Feb. 18 in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Election volunteers in charge of tallying results in Saturday's Democratic caucus are being asked to sign legal agreements to keep them from hurting the reputation of the Nevada Democratic Party, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: These nondisparagement agreements come after Democrats used an app created by Shadow Inc. that threw Iowa's caucuses into disarray, leading to delayed results amid evidence of an error-riddled process.

The impact: At least three caucus volunteers interviewed by the Post have quit in protest of the agreements.

What they're saying: Seth Morrison, a former volunteer caucus site leader, told the Post that he could not sign the agreement given to him by the party because it was "so broad, I could be sued for anything I say about the Democratic Party of Nevada while I'm serving as a volunteer" — which would bind him for life, he said.

  • Molly Forgey, a spokesperson for the Nevada Democrats, said the NDAs are voluntary and it is “standard practice to request staff and volunteers to sign an NDA because they are privy to strategic information.” Forgey did not comment as to why the agreements include a nondisparagement clause.

What to watch: Nevada's Democratic Party is currently distributing iPads with software from Cisco Systems for Saturday's caucus, the Post reports, and volunteers will use Google Forms to calculate how many delegates are awarded to each candidate.

Go deeper: Finger pointing continues over Iowa app fiasco

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Nevada Democratic Party says it will look to move away from caucus system

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Nevada State Democratic Party chair William McCurdy II said in a statement Monday that the party will look to move to a primary system in future elections instead of caucuses.

Why it matters: Caucus systems for voting have come under increased scrutiny after the Iowa Democratic caucuses were plagued by software errors and inconsistencies in the results, culminating in the resignation of the state party's chair. Nevada's caucuses on Saturday were comparatively successful, but still faced some questions about the accuracy of the results.

Harry Reid calls for the Democratic Party to end caucuses

Harry Reid after voting in the Nevada Democratic presidential caucus in Las Vegas. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in a statement to news outlets Sunday "it's time for the Democratic Party to move to primaries everywhere" and ditch the caucus system.

Why it matters: Reid remains the functional head of the Nevada Democrats. He's also "responsible for Nevada's caucuses occupying the third slot on the Democrats’ presidential nominating calendar," the New York Times notes.

Buttigieg campaign claims Nevada caucuses were "plagued with errors"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg's campaign wrote a letter on Sunday asking the Nevada State Democratic Party to release early vote and in-person vote totals by precinct and address certain caucus errors identified by campaigns, The Nevada Independent reports.

The big picture: The campaign alleges that the process of integrating early votes on caucus day was “plagued with errors and inconsistencies,” and says it received more than 200 incident reports from precincts around the state.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy