Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) says his state is making plans to avoid the same mistakes that delayed results in the Iowa caucuses as they prepare to hold first-in-the-West caucuses later this month.
“Nevada’s got a great program. We’ve got some great people that are hired that are onboard,” Sisolak said in an interview. “We’ve got a lot of informational meetings out there. I’m confident we’ve taken every precaution. We’ve learned from Iowa and hopefully we won’t have any of those problems.”
The state party had planned to use an app developed by Shadow Inc., the tech firm that built the program that went so disastrously wrong in Iowa. But Democrats nixed those plans after Iowa’s catastrophe. No apps will be used at any stage of the process, according to the state party.
“We’re not using an app like they did in Iowa, so hopefully we won’t have any problems,” Sisolak said.
The Nevada Independent reported this weekend that the party would use a computer-based “tool” to collect caucus results, though it is not clear how that differed from an app. Some caucus volunteers told the outlet they were concerned that the state was headed for an Iowa repeat.
The Democratic presidential campaigns are still nervous about potential problems ahead of the Feb. 22 contests. This year marks only the third time Nevada Democrats will have organized and run contested caucuses — and Hillary Clinton’s narrow win in 2016 led to raw feelings among supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
Nevada Democrats will operate about 300 more caucus sites than Iowa Democrats held, though party officials expect about half the turnout of Iowa’s caucuses. Making matters more complicated, precinct leaders will be asked to use results from four days of early voting to calculate delegate shares in real time, as caucus attendees align and realign.
Few reliable polls of Nevada voters have been publicly released, though two polls conducted in early January found Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden leading the pack. Sisolak said he had been pleased with the amount of attention Nevada has gotten already this year.
“A lot of the candidates have been out multiple, multiple times,” he said. “I couldn’t pick a winner right now. I wish the sports book posted odds on these things.”