Letters to the Editor March 11
Caucus process disenfranchising
Did you want to have a say in the 2016 GOP Primary Election?
If so, did you happen to be in town 5-9 p.m. on the evening of Feb 23? (Because if not, you couldn’t vote.)
Were you confused about where you would vote and how long you needed to stay at the caucus site?
Did you stand in a line for up to 1.5 hours to sign in at your caucus site in order to vote?
Were you surprised when you learned you could simply vote your ballot when you signed in at your caucus site and leave?
Absentee ballots and early voting were not permitted (except for members of the military).
Caucuses were inconveniently scheduled for a four-hour period on a Tuesday evening in late February.
Caucus sites were not necessarily located at your usual polling place.
Voter turnout for the 2016 Nevada GOP caucuses was 17 percent.
Less than one in five Republican voters had his/her voice heard.
Were you among the 83 percent of disenfranchised Republicans?
The Nevada Legislature needs to stop voter disenfranchisement.
Eliminate the Nevada GOP caucus system and establish a Republican Primary.
Implement presidential primary
There’s near universal condemnation of the Democratic and Republican Party caucuses in Nevada — long lines, chaos and confusion, limited hours and voting sites, caucus “officials” promoting their candidates, intimidation etc.
Nevadans could have had a primary. The presidential primary bill (SB 421) in 2015 was “killed” in the State Assembly on the orders of Senator Harry Reid, instructions faithfully followed by all Assembly Democrats. Despite support for a presidential primary from the Republican National Chairman and Gov. Brian Sandoval, two far-right Assembly Republicans (Shelton and Dickman) joined an “unholy alliance” with the Democrats to defeat the bill–by one vote.
As a result, less than 1 in 5 voters participated in the Nevada Democrat and Republican caucuses (17 percent). Compare that level of voting with New Hampshire where 61.4 percent of voters cast ballots in their Feb. 9 presidential primary election. Even if only half of Nevada voters (50%) voted in a presidential primary, that would involve three times more voters participating in a primary than actually voted in the February caucuses. Voters from both parties should demand a presidential primary bill be adopted by the legislature in 2017.