NEW: Nevada Democrats release turnout numbers as of 5 p.m. 11,800 people! In one day of early vote! (About 84,000 people total participated in the caucus in 2016, for context.) https://t.co/IgrWdQH1lL
— Megan Messerly (@meganmesserly) February 16, 2020
From commentor Schmendrick:
I promised to report back on my experience while early “voting” in the Nevada caucus, so here goes.
I arrived at the nearest early voting site at 11:00 am. It was scheduled to be open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. The line at 11:00 am appeared to have at least 200 people in it and I hadn’t moved more than a few feet after about five minutes. At that point I walked inside the school cafeteria and volunteered to help. About 8 hours later I was the final voter of the day at that voting site. In between I spent my time walking up and down the line counting people and telling them an estimate of the time it would take and explaining the process once they got to the registration table.
I have neither the time, nor the skill to weave a compelling story of my adventure, but I will list a few observations that might interest the jackaltariat.
Since this was the first ever early voting activity for a Nevada Democratic Party caucus, there are no previous turnout figures to compare with what happened yesterday. The person in charge of the voting site was competent and organized but he had a limited number of volunteers assigned. I believe he called in a few friends from previous campaigns at the last minute and a few of us volunteered spontaneously when we saw the long lines, so we ended up with about a dozen people helping throughout the day.
At the beginning of the day there was a bit of a learning process and about 75 to 90 voters per hour were completing the process. The bottleneck was the step of looking up the voter registration to verify that they would get the voting card for the correct precinct and to ensure that no one voted multiple times. By the end of the day voters were going through at a rate of about 125 an hour. I can estimate this pretty accurately because there were 128 people in line at 6:00pm when we closed the door and the last voter’s ballot (mine) went in the box at 7:02.
The longest waiting time was well over 3 hours for people who arrived in the late morning. Late afternoon arrivals probably averaged less than two. The total for this voting location was close to one thousand early votes cast.
I did not have any official information about what was happening at the other voting sites around town (Las Vegas), but there were individuals from several campaigns observing who were in touch with other campaigns volunteers at the other sites and the indirect report was that all of the other sites but one were also very busy. When the line was at its peak (about 350 people) I informed the people towards the back of this rumor and perhaps one or two dozen left to try there luck at the other site (about 7 miles away). A few people so disgruntled about the line that they called for their huff and departed in it, but it was striking to me how determined most people were to cast their vote and maintained good spirits.
During the day the party and some of the campaigns provided water and pizza and other snacks to the people waiting in line. There were a few very minor instances of asking campaign people to move a little further from the actual voting area, but from my perspective everyone was co-operative and the discussions were all in good faith. Since I was the one trying to ensure fairness, and the layout of the voting site included a sequence of gates and courtyards before the interior of the building there was room for debate about where the boundaries of the voting place were, there was some negotiation about where the campaign workers could be, but it seemed to me that there were no significant confrontations and the overall attitude was a very encouraging blend of enthusiasm for particular candidates leavened with a very healthy dose “Voting Blue, No Matter Who”.
My very unofficial assessment of people wearing buttons, shirts, hats or other indicia of preference is:
People with no outward sign of their preference more than 90%
Of the people with some sign of their preference, the most may have been Sanders, with Warren a close second. There were a few for Mayor Pete, and Biden.
In terms of campaign staff I think the largest contingent was the YangGang, followed by the Sanders and Warren people. The Biden campaign also had a representative their all day. I think the other campaigns may have been represented for part of the day, but I am not sure.
Finally, I had a celebrity sighting. I helped a certain famous Las Vegas magician update his voting registration so he could vote. He lives about a mile away from me but I had never met him in person before.
Now I need to get busy studying for my job at the caucus this Saturday.
Thank you for your service, and best luck on Saturday!