Nevada’s Primary and Caucus: When Are They and How Do They Work? - The World News

Nevada’s Primary and Caucus: When Are They and How Do They Work?

As the calendar gets ready to flip to February and the remaining Republican presidential candidates move on from the early nominating states of Iowa and New Hampshire, it’s Nevada — not South Carolina — that’s next on the schedule.

Former President Donald J. Trump will campaign in Las Vegas on Saturday, while Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, has so far ignored the state. In a confusing and complicated process, the two candidates will not appear on the same ballot in Nevada.

Here’s what you need to know about Nevada’s upcoming nominating contests.

The Nevada primary, which the state is running, will be on Tuesday, Feb. 6. Early in-person voting begins on Saturday, Jan. 27, and runs through Friday, Feb. 2, according to the Nevada secretary of state’s office. In-person polling places will be open the day of the primary as well, though voters can choose to vote by mail. All registered voters received a ballot in the mail.

Meantime, the Nevada Republican Party has chosen to hold a party-run caucus on Thursday, Feb. 8, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Republicans can look up their precinct locations online, but the caucus itself is entirely in-person. A valid government I.D. is required to vote.

Nevada has held a caucus for decades. But in 2021, the state passed a law replacing the caucus with a primary, in large part because of flaws in the reporting process for the 2020 Democratic caucus.

Republicans objected to the new system, including its vote-by-mail process, and decided to hold a caucus after suing unsuccessfully to get the primary thrown out. The state party decided that only the results of the caucus — and not those of the primary — would determine the allocation of the delegates who count toward the nominating process.

The state party also said that any candidate who chose to participate in the primary would not be eligible for its caucus, meaning that presidential hopefuls had to pick which contest to compete in.

Republican voters can vote in both the primary and the caucus, if they want.

Confused? You’re not alone. Even Nevada’s Republican governor, Joe Lombardo, criticized the process, saying in a local news interview last year that it would be “detrimental to the candidates” and would “disenfranchise a number of voters.”

Ms. Haley chose to appear on the primary ballot, and she is the only major Republican candidate left in the race who will be on it. “None of These Candidates” will be an option.

Mr. Trump elected to participate in the caucus, and he is the only major candidate left in that contest. So while Ms. Haley is expected to win the primary, Mr. Trump is all but guaranteed to take the caucuses, earning 26 delegates along the way. No matter the outcome in either contest, Ms. Haley will not earn any.

Critics of the split primary-caucus system have said it was designed to benefit Mr. Trump, who has close ties with the Nevada Republican Party. Prominent political analysts and Mr. Trump’s rivals alike have suggested the process was “rigged” for the former president.

Still, Ms. Haley could have chosen to fight Mr. Trump for delegates by appearing on the caucus ballot, and the state party has denied that it set up the caucus to benefit him.

The Nevada Democratic Party will hold one election, a primary, on the same day as the Nevada Republicans, Feb. 6. President Biden will appear on the ballot, as will the self-help author Marianne Williamson. Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota, another of Mr. Biden’s long-shot challengers, chose not to compete in Nevada.

Nevada has a closed primary system — Democrats can vote only in Democratic elections, and Republicans can vote only in Republican ones. Independent or nonpartisan voters cannot vote in either primary unless they choose a party affiliation during early voting or on the day of the election. In order to participate in the Republican caucus, voters needed to have registered as Republicans in Nevada by Jan. 9.

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