Nevada has two elections, sort of, this week for who it wants to be president.
This is not sitting well with at least one of my friends. This is because her vote essentially won’t count.
While a recent Nevada law requires there be a primary election, the Nevada GOP is opting to have a caucus. The primary was Feb. 6. The caucus is Feb. 8 and only open to Republicans.
The problem is only Donald Trump and pastor Ryan Binkley will be caucused.
My friend feels cheated. She doesn’t want either of those candidates. She has turned in her primary ballot with her preferred choice. While it will be counted, it won’t count toward any delegates for that person.
This is because delegates will only be awarded to whomever wins the caucus. That means the primary is mute. It’s a waste of time, an exercise in futility.
Trump will get all of Nevada’s GOP delegates. This is a fact before a single ballot was/is counted.
(A candidate needs 1,215 delegates to win the nomination and move onto November.)
The other candidates we’ve all heard of—Haley, Pence, Scott and some others were on the GOP primary ballot. Biden and 12 others (not Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota) were on the Democratic primary ballot.
Prior to this year Nevada has had caucuses for both parties. It was the Nevada GOP that said candidates had to choose to be on the primary or caucus ballot. Write in votes were not allowed, but voters in the primary could check “none of these candidates” instead of selecting an individual. That “none of these candidates” got more votes than Haley.
Nevada’s GOP hasn’t done anything illegal.
Unethical? Underhanded? Deceptive? The answer is more likely yes when it comes to those accusations.
Here’s some info from the nonprofit National Constitution Center:
- States choose the date and determine if the primary will be open or closed.
- States decide which method of voting will be used, whether felons can vote, and whether voters must show identification at the polls.
- State parties run caucuses, while state governments conduct primaries.
- Political parties determine how delegates will be assigned in light of primary results.
Because of that last bullet point, the Nevada GOP, which is run by Trump allies, can essentially rig the system. Even Nevada Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo called what the state GOP is doing “unacceptable”.
While it was just like week that I learned of the Silver State’s chaos, the Associated Press at least as early as last September was reporting about the primary-caucus brouhaha.
In a Feb. 2 story, the AP wrote: “Talk to the people in Nevada: They will tell you the caucuses have been sealed up, bought and paid for,” Nikki Haley told reporters in New Hampshire, where she finished second to Trump in the Jan. 23 primary. ”That’s the Trump train rolling through that. But we’re going to focus on the states that are fair.”
According to the Associated Press, Michigan, Missouri and other states are all having primaries as well as caucuses. It might just be more clusters like Nevada. One state is too many to have voters unable to actually have their vote count for the person they want.
“Stop the steal” might be a phrase that should be revisited by the GOP for one of its own.
I’m not saying shenanigans don’t happen in both parties. Look at what Biden did. He wanted South Carolina to be the first official Democratic primary (Feb. 3) because that state helped propel him to the nomination four years ago.
One of the things I like most about the United States is our elections. Now I’m not so sure. I’m beginning to rethink what kind of country I really live in.