Nevada’s caucuses, part 3
The presidential nominating process is underway and coming to a location near you. For Democrats, it’s just a few days.
Although Nevada will still hold a regular primary election on June 8, we use a more informal caucus process to select our presidential nominees, which speaks to tradition and allows us to hold them earlier in the year.
Unless the Mayan calendar predictions start coming true, Barack Obama will receive the Democratic nomination. He is not running unopposed, however. Pro-life wingnut and tireless crusader against all things homosexual Randall Terry has declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination, and although many believe this is nothing more than a publicity stunt from an anti-choice Looney Tune, he has declared his intention to drop $3 million on a gruesome anti-abortion ad to air during the Super Bowl. Methinks he’s all talk, for when I tried to visit www.terryforpresident.com, the site was not active. I don’t think Obama’s worried.
Nevada Democrats will host their caucuses on Saturday, Jan. 21, starting at 11:30 a.m. Locations vary throughout the state, but they’ll be held in schools, churches, meeting halls and other public venues. Contact the Washoe County Democratic Party at 323-8683 for more information.
The Democratic caucus process starts by choosing and electing delegates to the county convention. Each precinct has a set number of delegates, and any participant in the caucus may stand as a delegate to the Democrats’ county convention, taking place April 14. Their state convention will be June 9 in Clark County.
After the delegates have been elected, the results are then reported to state party officials at which point the caucus then approves their slate of delegates.
From here, the caucus shifts gears into discussion mode, and this is when resolutions are considered for inclusion in the Washoe County Democratic platform. At this time also, interested parties will be considered for nomination to the county central committee, the county party’s governing body.
One of the neatest aspects of this process is the ability to become a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, which is going to take place this year in Charlotte, N.C. For more information about the Democratic National Convention, visit www.charlottein2012.com.
The Democrats’ rules stipulate that those who want to be elected as delegates to the national convention, where they would get to officially cast the nominating vote for Barack Obama, must participate in the caucus process at every level.
Republicans have a 14-day rule when it comes to party registration, meaning anyone who registers to vote as a Republican after Jan. 20 will be prohibited from participating in the Republican caucus process. Democrats, however, are much more lenient. The Democratic caucuses will be open to any Democrat registered to vote in his/her precinct, including 17-year-olds who will turn 18 by Nov. 6, 2012 (Election Day). People may register to vote on the day of the caucus for the first time, and Republicans, independents and third-party voters may change their registration that day and participate fully in the caucuses.
There isn’t much to report on the Republican side. Mitt Romney, former businessman, governor of Massachusetts, Grande Poobah of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and the guy who looks like he could play the president on 24 is sitting on at the top of the Republican presidential field, with a large group of people who aren’t Romney fighting for second place. Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.
The current presidential selection process we have is imperfect, but it is the one we got. Democrats, get involved in the process because it’s about so much more than nominating Barack Obama for reelection.