Feb 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

There are warning signs that Nevada could be Iowa all over again

Former Sen. Harry Reid (D) lines up to cast an early vote for the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The alarms are increasingly sounding over Nevada's Democratic caucus, which is just five days away.

Why it matters: Similar issues to the ones that plagued Iowa's caucus seem to be rearing their ugly heads, the WashPost reports.

  • "Campaigns said they still have not gotten the party to offer even a basic explanation of how key parts of the process will work."
  • "Volunteers are reporting problems with the technology that’s been deployed at the last minute to make the vote count smoother."
  • "And experts are raising serious questions about a tool the party has been feverishly assembling to replace the one scrapped after the meltdown in Iowa."
  • “It feels like the [state party is] making it up as they go along,” said one Democratic presidential aide."

The other side: “We are confident that they are doing everything they can to implement lessons learned in Iowa," DNC spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa told the WashPost.

The bottom line: Campaigns will be made or broken over the next few weeks, and another electoral disaster like Iowa's could create headaches that affect the entire field.

Go deeper

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.

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.