Reports are coming in that Nevada GOP officials are predicting a record turnout. According to media reports, over 37,000 people have pre-registered to caucus in Nevada, which would already exceed the total from 2012. So this is potentially good news for the GOP. However, for those of us whose job is to report on politics, this is a potential disaster.
Why do I say that? Because 2012 was already a well-publicized debacle for the Nevada GOP in terms of counting the vote – and the result wasn’t even close or contested:
It should have been easy. A mere 33,000 voters took to Nevada’s caucuses on Saturday. There was no Iowa-style race to the finish, with Mitt Romney the clear winner.
Despite those factors, the full result of the Nevada caucuses was only announced at 1am local time on Monday morning, by which time the media had already called the winner and the candidates had already left the state.
Issues with different closing times at different caucuses – variations included one precinct at the Adelson School in west Las Vegas that stayed open after sunset to allow Jewish and Seventh-day Adventist voters to cast their vote – delayed matters, but the blame for the shambolic operation has been directed squarely at the organisers, the Nevada Republican Party.
The Nevada GOP has promised that they have gotten their ship in order for this year’s contest. They claim to have greatly increased the number of caucus sites and precinct captains to ensure a smoother process. But a massive influx of new voters might once again gum up the works.
Stay tuned. We’ll be watching the results all night.