The Nevada caucuses are wrapping up; the third contest of the Democratic presidential primary and the most diverse state yet to weigh in on the race.
A couple of things to know about the results: First, yes, this is another caucus, the quirky election system that brought a disaster to Iowa earlier this month. There are a few key differences, though, between Nevada and Iowa. For one, Nevada allowed early voting, and about 75,000 Democrats took advantage — rivaling the total participation for the Democratic caucuses in the state in 2016. And the Nevada Democratic Party will not be using an app like the one that made the caucus reporting process in Iowa such a nightmare.
Most of the caucus basics are the same as in Iowa. Nevada Democrats gathered at a set time (12 p.m. PT) at a collection of precinct sites to register their candidate preferences by physically grouping at each site and writing their selections on preference cards — this step is called the first alignment, and early vote tallies will be considered once this grouping is complete. If a candidate does not have enough support on that first preference to be viable (the threshold is typically 15% of caucusgoers at a location), then that candidate’s supporters are able to realign either with a candidate who was viable in the first round or join together to make another candidate viable — this is the final alignment.
The state party will then publicly report the totals for the first alignment, the final alignment, and the allocation of county convention delegates.
There could still be issues, however. The caucus system is complicated and reliant on an army of state party staff and volunteers to get the caucus data together and reported. The party has said it intends to have the full results reported on Saturday, but there’s still the possibility more time will be needed to iron everything out.
This post has been updated to reflect that Bernie Sanders has won the Nevada caucuses.