‘A Complete Disaster’: Fears Grow Over Potential Nevada Dem Caucus Malfunction

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☆ Democrats In Disarray

Anxiety is rising over the possibility of another tech-induced meltdown at the Nevada Democratic caucuses on Saturday. In interviews, three caucus volunteers described serious concerns about rushed preparations for the Feb. 22 election, including insufficient training for a newly-adopted electronic vote-tally system and confusing instructions on how to administer the caucuses. There are also unanswered questions about the security of Internet connections at some 2,000 precinct sites that will transmit results to a central “war room” set up by the Nevada Democratic Party.

Some volunteers who will help run caucuses at precinct locations said they have not been trained on iPads that the party purchased to enter and transmit vote counts. Party officials scrambled to streamline their vote reporting system — settling on Google forms accessible through a saved link on the iPads — after scrapping a pair of apps they’d been planning to use until a similar app caused the fiasco in Iowa two weeks ago.

The volunteers also said the party has not provided sufficient training on how to use the Google form that will compile vote totals, a complicated process in a caucus.

The concerns, which were described on condition of anonymity because the volunteers are not authorized to speak to reporters, come at a perilous moment for the Democratic Party. As the third state on the primary calendar and the first with a significant minority population, Nevada holds huge importance in the nomination contest. The debacle in Iowa cost one state party chairman his job and threatened the standing of the national party chairman, while casting doubts about whether the results from party-run caucuses can be trusted.

Nevada Democratic officials insist they have everything under control. But a repeat of Iowa — or any kind of breakdown — would be disastrous.

One volunteer who has worked on past caucuses in Nevada said the Google form that will be used to input vote totals wasn’t even mentioned during a training session for precinct chairs late last week.

“We weren’t told at all about it,” the person said.

The iPads weren’t discussed until more than halfway through the presentation, the volunteer said, when someone asked how early vote totals would be added to the totals compiled live at each precinct. The person leading the training said not to worry because the iPads would do the math for them.

“There were old ladies looking at me like, ‘Oh, we’re going to have iPads,’” the volunteer told POLITICO. After sitting through the two-hour training session, the person predicted the caucus would be a “complete disaster.”

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https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/16/nevada-avoid-iowa-caucus-mess-115437