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Nevada Democratic Caucus early voting starts this weekend

The process of awarding delegates to the array of candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination is underway, and Nevada will the be third state in the nation to voice its presidential preferences.

Those wishing to take part in the 2020 Nevada Democratic voting process will have three chances to make their opinions known, starting with early voting.

Early voting begins on Saturday, Feb. 15 and will run through Tuesday, Feb. 18.

In Pahrump, voters will be able to head to the Bob Ruud Community Center to cast their ballots on Feb. 15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and again on Feb. 18 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tonopah residents will be able to take part in early voting on Feb. 15 and Feb. 18, with hours of operation from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Early voting in Tonopah will take place at the Tonopah Convention Center.

The Amargosa Community Center and the Beatty Community Center are the venues for early voting in those communities, with hours of operation being 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Feb. 15 only.

Caucus day is set for Saturday, Feb. 22 with registration scheduled to open at 10 a.m. The caucus will be called to order at noon. caucus-goers are required to participate in the caucus at the location selected for their specific precinct. A list of caucus sites by precinct can be found online at www.NVDems.com

With early voting right around the corner, caucus day just a week off and an ever-changing pool of candidates, many are wondering exactly which candidates will be included on the Nevada Democratic presidential preference cards.

According to a news release made available on Jan. 2 on the Nevada State Democrat’s website, 13 total candidates were set to appear on the state caucus preference cards. These included Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.

Just 20 short days later, the Nevada Democratic Party published another news release containing images of the preference cards to be used for the state caucus, cards that include just 11 total candidates. Booker and Williamson were both removed from the preference cards released on Jan. 22.

Since that time, the race for the Democratic presidential nomination has changed yet again, with Patrick, Bennet, Yang and Delaney all ending their presidential campaigns.

The Pahrump Valley Times reached out to the Nevada State Democratic Party to learn whether or not the names of those who have dropped out of the race since the state party announced its preference cards list would be removed.

According to Nevada Democratic Party Communications Director Molly Forgey, the Nevada Democratic Caucus preference cards have already been printed and all four who have thrown in the towel since Jan. 22 will still be included on caucus day. Delaney is the only one of the four whose name will not appear on the ballots for early voting.

According to a press release from the Nevada Democratic Party, people who participate in early voting will be required to make three presidential preference choices, in case their first choice is not viable. These participants will make their first choice and two additional choices, in order of presidential preference, the release stated.

“Early vote participants may make up to five total choices in order of preference,” according to the release.

As the Democratic presidential race stands today, following the Iowa Democratic caucus and the New Hampshire primary, Buttigieg has a narrow lead over Sanders, with Warren, Klobuchar and Biden sitting in third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Nevada is the first in the West and will be the third state in the nation to make its Democratic presidential nomination preferences known.

The Silver State has a total of 48 delegates, of which 36 are up for grabs during the caucus. These 36 delegates are “pledged” delegates that are expected to support the candidates who earned those delegates, while the remaining 12 are “unpledged” delegates that are free to support any presidential candidate they wish to.

After the chaotic caucus process in Iowa, the Nevada Democratic Party took to social media to assure local voters that what occurred in that state will not be repeated here.

“NV Dems can confidently say that what happened in the Iowa caucus… will not happen in Nevada on Feb. 22. We will not be employing the same app or vendor used in the Iowa caucus. We had already developed a series of backups and redundant systems and are currently evaluating the best path forward,” Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II was quoted as stating in a post to the state party’s Facebook page.

The 2020 Democratic County Convention is set for April 18 and the Nevada State Democratic Convention is scheduled for May 30.

For more information on the Nevada Democratic caucus visit www.NVDems.com

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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