By Trevor Bexon and Don Dike-Anukam | Images by Trevor Bexon
Nevada democrats gathered on Saturday, Feb. 22 to conduct their local precinct caucuses in an effort to select delegates to represent their nominees through the remainder of the nominating process.
Locally, Reno High School was a caucus site location set up to hold 15 precinct caucuses.
Voters began to arrive at Reno High School at 9 a.m. and were greeted by tables set up by volunteers of the various campaigns who were handing out signs, stickers, pins, coffee, and even one table with a wide variety of donuts.
Conversations about voter’s favorite candidates were already occurring as folks lined up to either register to vote or enter their precinct specific room. Some voters wore their candidate’s colors and swag. Others were undecided and seemed ready to hear what their fellow neighbors had to say.
Tucked away in the practice basketball gymnasium of Reno High School, precinct 5062 had 139 voters participating in this year’s caucus. Only 49 voters were there in person to participate, while 90 voters were being counted as part of the early voting system.
In total, this precinct would have 11 delegates to split between the candidates with the most votes after the “caucus math,” was applied, meaning that a candidate in this precinct would need 21 voters in order to be viable.
If a candidate does not have the needed 21 voters to make them viable, then the second round of voting ensues, with nonviable candidate voters able to switch to another candidate. Voters are given 15 minutes between rounds to campaign for their favorite candidates to try and secure the new voters that weren’t viable in the first round.
In this precinct: Joe Biden (20 votes), Amy Klobuchar (11 votes), and Tom Steyer (2 votes) did not meet the viability standards in the first round. During the second round, voters were able to switch and Joe Biden picked up three voters, making him viable at 23. Klobuchar and Steyer voters that were not viable had to choose another viable candidate.
Once completed, this precinct awarded four delegates to Sanders, three to Warren and two each to Buttigieg and Biden. In vote totals, those delegates translate to 46 votes to Sanders, 40 to Warren, 29 to Buttigieg, and 23 to Biden.
Across the state of Nevada, 2,097 precincts were scheduled to conduct that same caucus process. As of this time of publication today, Sunday, the Nevada Democrats are still counting each individual precinct but with 60% of precincts reporting, Bernie Sanders holds a commanding lead at 46% with Biden a distant second at 19.6% and Buttigieg at 15.3%.
Sanders was not in Nevada to claim victory. The Senator was already in San Antonio, Texas campaigning ahead of the upcoming Super Tuesday, March 3 contests. The next scheduled primary is in South Carolina next Saturday, Feb. 29.
Check out photos from the day’s caucus events below.
Trevor Bexon has lived in Reno, Nevada since 2004. He believes Northern Nevada has a unique story that he hopes to share with others while leaving a visual history for future study.