LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Nevada Democratic Party will have about 80 locations open for four days of early voting in the presidential caucuses next year, the party announced Monday.
Party officials are planning to have locations in all 17 of Nevada's counties, including locations in the state's diverse communities such as Chinatown Plaza in Las Vegas, The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Las Vegas, college campuses, libraries and union halls.
Nevada has been an early presidential caucus state since 2008 and is third-in-line to cast votes in the Democratic presidential primary next year, after Iowa and New Hampshire. But 2020 will mark the first time the state party will offer early caucusing ahead of its main caucus date on Feb. 22.
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nevada, said at a news conference Monday that with more than 60% of voters choosing to cast ballots early in general elections in Nevada, early voting has become a staple in the state.
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"We want to increase our primary vote," Rosen said. "By opening early voting, people are used to that, and we want to give the opportunity to as many folks as we can in the caucus process."
The party, along with the counterparts in Iowa, had planned to offer early, tele-caucusing where voters would be able to telephone in and express their presidential candidate preference on a hotline, but the Democratic National Committee scuttled the plans. Though the DNC tasked the parties with finding a way to make the caucuses more inclusive and offer some alternative way to participate, DNC officials worried the tele-caucus technology would be too vulnerable to hacking.
Instead, Nevada Democrats plan to offer four nights where voters can show up in person and fill out forms listing their preferred candidate and at least one alternate. The results will be held securely and counted on the main Feb. 22 caucus day, when Democrats will gather at more than 200 locations around the state to express their presidential preference.
The 80 early caucus sites will be open Feb. 15 through Feb. 18, though the hours for the locations will vary. The early voting will be open to registered Democrats, but voters can register to become Democrats when they show up.