INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — This will be the last in a series of columns aimed at Incline/Crystal Bay Republicans and dealing with the upcoming Feb. 4 Republican Presidential Preference caucus.
As in prior articles, I encourage readers who have not yet registered for the caucus to stop reading further, crank up your computer and go to www.washoecountygop.org. There you will find a prominent red rectangle captioned “on-line caucus preregistration.” If you are a Washoe County registered Republican voter, click on the icon and register yourself for the caucus. It takes 30 seconds or less. You will receive both an acknowledgment and an email which you can print out as proof of preregistration. Take it and a photo ID with you to Incline High School around 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, and you will breeze through the process.
If, however, you do not take advantage of this free offer from the Washoe County GOP, you can still attend the caucus and vote for your preferred presidential candidate. It may take a little longer for volunteers to check your eligibility if you do not preregister, but you can definitely participate. Don’t forget to bring photo ID.
Everyone in Incline/Crystal Bay lives in one of 12 precincts, each of which has a number. Your caucus preregistration slip will tell you your precinct number, or you can get it from volunteers at the caucus check-in desk.
Then go to the classroom assigned to your precinct and meet your neighbors. At 10 a.m., the caucus will begin with the election of a precinct chair and secretary. Then presidential preference ballots will be distributed but the first order of business is to elect members of your precinct to the Washoe County GOP Central Committee. You can self-nominate or you may nominate other eligible Republicans from your precinct even if they are not present. After this election you elect delegates and alternates to the Washoe County GOP Convention. Same rules apply. Next recommendations and suggestions for the Washoe GOP platform are requested.
Finally the presidential preference voting process will begin. Two minutes will be allotted to each presidential candidate’s campaign representative (which can be you or one of your neighbors) to give a “pitch” for their candidate (but only one “pitch” per candidate). Next, everyone votes and then goes home. Participants who wish to skip the Central Committee/Convention delegate elections and leave early can give their filled out ballot to the precinct chair and leave.
The GOP’s turnout target is about 17% (remember, no early voting, no absentee voting) which is based on the Iowa turnout figure. As of January 12, 2012 there were 6,726 registered voters in Incline/Crystal Bay. Here’s the breakdown: 1,981 Democrats, 3,066 Republicans, 83 Libertarians, 298 American Independents, 43 Greens, 1,213 non-partisan and 77 miscellaneous minor parties so if the goal is attained about 520 Republican voters will show up for all or part of the process.
Based on results elsewhere in the US, Nevada should be very relevant to the selection process. As of this writing, Florida has yet to vote for GOP presidential candidates but Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina have split among the three frontrunners, none of whom has walked away with all, or even a whopping majority, of GOP National Convention delegates. It should be a cliffhanger and Nevada’s delegation could well select the GOP 2012 standard-bearer.
— Jim Clark is President of Republican Advocates and a member of the Washoe County and Nevada state GOP. he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.