A new early-voting system, high turnout and questions about a never-before-used digital tool being used to process results could threaten the success of the Nevada Democratic caucuses on Saturday, election experts told NBC News. “I don’t see how any technologist or any party official or any political scientist can promise that this will turn out OK,” said Mark Lindeman, the director of science and technology policy for Verified Voting, a nonpartisan nonprofit group that advocates for election accuracy and transparency. “There are too many tools and procedures that are being rolled out, some at the last minute,” he continued. “And my impression is that the people on the ground who are charged with implementing these procedures and using these tools are not confident they can do it.” Lindeman added, “I hope that it goes better than Iowa, but it is definitely at risk for similar reasons.”Full Article: Caucus chaos again? Experts fear vote-counting problems in Nevada.
Articles about voting issues in Nevada.
Nevada: Will there be more presidential caucus chaos? ‘Nevada is just praying’ | Seema Mehta and Matt Pearce/Los Angeles Times
Dozens of Democratic volunteers scurried around Doña Maria Mexican Restaurant in polite pandemonium last week as they staged a mock caucus to prepare for the real thing on Saturday in Nevada. A dining area filled with cries of “Salma Hayek!” “Jennifer Lopez!” “Salma Hayek!” as the volunteers playfully grouped themselves by favorite celebrity rather than by favorite candidate to familiarize themselves with the state’s caucus process. That was the fun part. But when it came time to actually count votes — not a mere act of addition but a whole range of subtraction, multiplication and division to award delegates — the room fell quiet as participants stared at a whiteboard spreadsheet more than eight columns wide. The complexity of Nevada’s new rules, which now include adding absentee early voters to the mix, had set in. Democratic officials and campaigns in Nevada are desperately hoping to avoid another caucus meltdown like the one this month in Iowa, where campaigns devoted millions of dollars and deployed hundreds of volunteers in the hopes of emerging as clear winners, only to see the results delayed, misreported and still under challenge of recount. In recent weeks, the Nevada Democratic Party ditched a new app it had planned to use to report results and trained caucus volunteers on new procedures. Meanwhile, campaigns pressured party officials behind the scenes to release more information about how, exactly, the state planned to avoid a retread of the Iowa fiasco. “Everybody in Nevada is just praying and focused on not being Iowa,” said Tick Segerblom, a commissioner in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas. “I think we’ve learned our lesson.”Full Article: Will there be more presidential caucus chaos? 'Nevada is just praying' - Los Angeles Times.
Nevada: In Nevada, a last-minute scramble to make voting tech work | Reed Albergotti/The Washington Post
Nevada: ‘A complete disaster’: Fears grow over potential Nevada caucus malfunction | Laura Barrón-López
The process will break down like this: On caucus day, each precinct chair will be given a party-purchased iPad that will have a link to a Google form — dubbed a “caucus calculator” — saved on it. Pre-loaded on the form will be the early vote total from that precinct. The precinct chair will then input vote totals after the first and second votes. Under caucus rules, voters choose their preferred candidate at the outset, known as the first alignment. But if their candidate fails to reach 15 percent, they can switch to a different candidate, or seek to persuade supporters of another candidate who fails to reach 15 percent to help their candidate clear that threshold during the second alignment. The prompts on the Google form are expected to look similar to how they appear on the physical caucus reporting sheet. When the first and second alignments are completed, the totals will be relayed over the cloud to the Nevada Democratic Party via the Google form, which on the back end appears as a Google spreadsheet. Separately, the precinct chair or site lead will take the printed caucus reporting sheets — each campaign must sign off on them first — and call the Nevada Democratic Party boiler room via a secure hotline. (Site leads oversee multiple precinct chairs in caucusing at a single large location.)Full Article: ‘A complete disaster’: Fears grow over potential Nevada caucus malfunction - POLITICO.
Nevada: Democrats scramble to avoid Iowa-like chaos as Democratic caucuses approach | Kari Paul/The Guardian
Democratic party officials in Nevada are rushing to avoid the fate of Iowa, where technological and organizational failure left the first caucus in the 2020 presidential race without a clear winner. Nevada Democratic party officials had initially planned to rely on the same app that caused chaos in Iowa to transfer results from local precincts during the caucus on 22 February. But during the Iowa vote, a “coding issue” caused the app, developed haphazardly and on a low budget by the tech firm Shadow, to report only partial data from the state’s 1,700 caucus sites. Spotty cellphone coverage in some voting locations, poor training of some caucus volunteers and troubles with a backup phone line to report results compounded the chaos. Following the Iowa caucus, Nevada officials said they were determined to avoid similar problems. “NV Dems can confidently say that what happened in the Iowa caucus last night will not happen in Nevada,” the state Democratic party chair, William McCurdy II, said in a statement at the time. Since then, it has been difficult to pin down the Nevada Democratic party regarding what process it will use instead. It did not respond to the Guardian’s requests for comment and its website includes no information on the topic.Full Article: Nevada scrambles to avoid Iowa-like chaos as Democratic caucuses approach | US news | The Guardian.
Nevada: Democrats Say They’ll Replace Their Caucus App With iPads And A Google Form | Kaleigh Rogers/FiveThirtyEight
In just two days, Nevadans will begin early voting in the state’s Democratic caucuses. For the past few weeks, it’s been unclear how those votes would be integrated into the overall vote tallies after Nevada Democrats were spooked by the chaos in Iowa’s Democratic primary and decided to toss a previous plan to use an app. But today, the state Democratic party revealed how it intends to incorporate those early votes into the live caucuses on Feb. 22: “a simple, user-friendly calculator.” What that means, exactly, is still a bit unclear. In a memo sent to campaigns Thursday and shared with FiveThirtyEight, the party wrote that “the caucus calculator will only be used on party-purchased iPads provided to trained precinct chairs and accessed through a secure Google web form.” The memo didn’t provide any specifics about whether the calculator would be accessed through the Google form, or whether the Google form itself is the calculator. It’s also not clear if early-vote tallies will live on the web, or if they’ll be pre-loaded onto each district’s iPad. The state party did not immediately respond to our request for further comment.Full Article: Nevada Democrats Say They’ll Replace Their Caucus App With iPads And A Google Form | FiveThirtyEight.
Nevada: First test of Nevada Democrats’ new caucus plan arrives as early vote begins | Megan Messerly/Nevada Independent
Nevada Democrats will head to early voting sites across the state on Saturday — from the Old Post Office in Fallon to the Chinatown Plaza Mall in Las Vegas — to begin casting their presidential preferences ahead of the state’s Feb. 22 caucus. In some ways, it’s an exciting moment for Democrats here in the Silver State: Never before have they been able to participate early in the state’s presidential caucus, as they will over a four-day period. In others, it’s a nerve-wracking one: No one quite knows if the new process the party has quickly re-designed in the wake of Iowa’s problem-plagued contest earlier this month is going to work. What they do know is that beginning Saturday, Nevada Democrats, or those wishing to re-register as a Democrat, will show up at roughly 80 sites across the state to cast their early caucus votes. Once voters are there, a volunteer will check a PDF voter roll to confirm their registration, or direct them to fill out a voter registration form if they aren’t, since Democrats here allow same-day registration for the caucus. From there, they’ll check in on an iPad through Google Forms and be given a paper scannable ballot, similar to a Scantron, where they will be asked to mark a minimum of three and up to five presidential preferences in order. Once they’re done, that ballot and a paper voter card, both of which contain a unique voter PIN to match the ballot to the person, will be placed into a secure ballot box, which will be taken to a designated ballot processing hub to be scanned.Full Article: First test of Nevada Democrats’ new caucus plan arrives as early vote begins.
Nevada: Volunteers and campaigns worry about results reporting ahead of Nevada caucuses | Holmes Lybrand, Dianne Gallagher, Pamela Kirkland and Dan Merica/CNN
With the Nevada Democratic caucuses only a week away, both caucus workers and presidential campaigns are worried about the lack of detail the state party is providing about how the results reporting process will work. The worries come after the state party stopped working with Shadow Inc., the company behind the app whose “coding errors” were at the heart of the chaos of the Iowa caucuses. Having scrapped plans to use a pair of Shadow’s apps, the parties will instead use a “caucus calculator,” as outlined in a new memo released by the Nevada State Democratic Party Thursday. Described as “user friendly,” the calculator will be used to add early voting data into each precinct and calculate totals on caucus day, February 22, along with paper work sheets. The tool, which the party does not consider an app, will be available on iPads owned by the party and “accessed through a secure Google web form.” A similar memo was sent to the presidential campaigns on Monday.Full Article: Volunteers and campaigns worry about results reporting ahead of Nevada caucuses - CNNPolitics.
Nevada: Democrats lay out new plan for caucuses, trying to alleviate growing concerns about the process | Holly Bailey and Isaac Stanley-Becker/The Washington Post
After scrapping a pair of apps similar to the one that caused chaos in Iowa, the Nevada State Democratic Party said it would use paper ballots and an online check-in process in its presidential caucuses, a plan unlikely to end growing concerns about the coming vote. In a memo distributed to representatives of the 2020 campaigns on Monday night, party officials outlined several new procedures for early caucusing, set to begin Saturday. Among them was the use of an online Google check-in form designed to help party officials “track participants and streamline data collection” and the assignment of a numeric “voter PIN” and separate identification number tied to state voter registration to help route a participant’s ballot to their home precinct. The plan comes a week after Nevada Democrats were forced to rip up their caucus plans in the aftermath of Iowa’s disastrous caucus result. The party had been set to use two specially designed apps developed by political technology firm Shadow, the same company that designed the vote-recording app blamed for reporting issues in Iowa. But experts warned that this new proposal would leave the caucuses vulnerable to big security threats. They said, too, that they were puzzled by how the plan would work.Full Article: Nevada Democrats lay out new plan for caucuses, trying to alleviate growing concerns about the process - The Washington Post.
Nevada: Democrats to use scannable ballot for early voting, iPad with Google Forms for check in | Megan Messerly/Nevada Independent
Nevada Democrats will replace their app-based early voting process for the caucus with a scannable paper ballot, the first concrete details to emerge about the new process the party is designing in the wake of Iowa’s problem-plagued contest last week. Under the new system, early voters will fill out paper ballots that will be scanned at the end of each day, like a Scantron, at designated processing hubs monitored by the state party. Those paper ballots will be linked to voters’ unique secretary of state ID numbers — which will ensure their votes will flow to their home precinct to be counted alongside their neighbors’ on Caucus Day — through use of a check-in form, via Google Forms, as well as a paper back-up voter card. The Nevada State Democratic Party released the new details to the presidential campaigns Monday evening in a memo, which the party later provided to The Nevada Independent . The party’s executive director Alana Mounce and caucus director Shelby Wiltz also joined calls with individual campaigns to discuss the memo.Full Article: Nevada Democrats to use scannable ballot for early voting, iPad with Google Forms for check in.
Nevada: Democrats Tight-Lipped About Vote-Counting Plans | Tarini Parti and Alexa Corse/Wall Street Journal
The Nevada Democratic Party is still working on its process for conducting and transmitting the results of its Feb. 22 caucuses and has been unable to answer questions about how that will be carried out, causing alarm among volunteers and campaigns. With early voting starting in less than a week, volunteers who have attended training sessions said they were confused about the process and technology they were expected to use for the state’s caucuses. And questions from campaigns to the state party have either been ignored or only heightened concerns when answered, according to campaign aides. The state party has said that it is evaluating its process and will have backups including paper records in place to ensure that the caucuses run smoothly. In the aftermath of the debacle in Iowa’s caucuses, where glitchy technology and poor planning cast confusion over the outcome, the Nevada State Democratic Party said it would no longer use an app built by Shadow Inc., the vendor in charge of a similar app that failed in Iowa. Nevada’s app was set to play an even bigger role than the one in Iowa did, according to people familiar with the issue. The Nevada Democratic Party, which is implementing early voting for its caucuses for the first time, was planning on using the app to fold in early voting results with caucus night alignments, calculate the threshold required for viability for candidates and the realignment results and then transmit them. Ditching the app has forced the party to make changes to multiple parts of the process, the people said. Some of those changes still aren’t clear, they said.Full Article: Nevada Democrats Tight-Lipped About Vote-Counting Plans - WSJ.
Nevada: Election Security Institute Criticizes Newly-Unveiled Nevada Caucus App After Iowa Disaster | Hunter Moyler/Newsweek
An institute that studies election security criticized the Nevada Democratic Party for planning to use a digital tool for its caucuses, arguing that Nevada was likely to run into many of the same issues that Iowa did with its voting app last week. The Open Source Election Technology (OSET) Institute began its Twitter thread Sunday with a link to a story from The Nevada Independent, which detailed how the Nevada Democratic Party (NDP) will be using a digital “tool” on the day of that state’s caucuses on February 22. The Independent reported that NDP staffers made a distinction between its tool and the app that was used by the Iowa Democratic Party for their caucuses on February 3. A faulty app that was not tested properly and had coding issues led to delays of the Iowa results. “Deja Vu; this time in NV,” OSET’s first tweet read. “Let’s be clear from the start: their’s is an ‘App’ and no designation of ‘tool’ changes that. Let’s stop playing word games here. The fact that its pre-loaded & may not use mobile connectivity is the only ‘difference.'” The institute dismissed the NDP’s distinction between an “app” and a “tool,” arguing that any difference between the two was superficial.Full Article: Election Security Institute Criticizes Newly-Unveiled Nevada Caucus App After Iowa Disaster.
Nevada: Democrats Canceled Their Caucus App. But That Poses Its Own Problems. | Kaleigh Rogers and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux/FiveThirtyEight
A week ago, Nevada Democrats were planning to use an app for their caucuses on Feb. 22. The chaos in Iowa has put an end to that. The Nevada Democratic Party confirmed to FiveThirtyEight that it has “eliminated the option of using an app at any step in the caucus process,” Molly Forgey, the party’s communications director, said Friday. The app that was going to be used was reportedly developed by Shadow Inc., the company that developed the infamous app for the Iowa Democratic Party. But that doesn’t mean Nevada is out of the woods. Scrapping the app could also lead to some complications thanks to a new addition to the Silver State’s caucuses this year: early voting. The Nevada Democratic Party hasn’t yet revealed what it plans to do instead — “At this time, we’re considering all of our options,” Forgey said — though using paper and phoning in results seems like an obvious solution. But the party’s plan to introduce early voting this year — slated to start on Feb. 15 — relied heavily on a functioning app, and it’s unclear how those votes will now be incorporated during the in-person caucuses.Full Article: Nevada Democrats Canceled Their Caucus App. But That Poses Its Own Problems. | FiveThirtyEight.
Nevada: Democrats fret about another tech disaster in Nevada caucuses following the mess in Iowa | Joseph Marks/The Washington Post
Democrats who are still reeling from last week’s Iowa debacle are increasingly worried about another technology disaster in the next caucus state: Nevada. Nevada Democrats initially forswore using apps after a coding error and rushed design choices threw the Iowa contest into chaos. They backpedaled over the weekend, though, and said precinct leaders will be given an iPad-based tool to sync early voters’ preferences with choices from people who come to the Feb. 22 caucuses, the Nevada Independent’s Megan Messerly reported. And in an echo of Iowa that is giving heartburn to some, the state party hasn’t said who built the app or how it’s being tested and vetted for security vulnerabilities. “I volunteered to do this because I’m a loyal Democrat, and there’s nothing more I want to do than defeat Donald Trump,” Seth Morrison, a caucus volunteer, told Megan. “But if we allow this to go down and it’s another Iowa, what does this do for my party?” The concerns come as Democrats are struggling to prove they have the tech and cybersecurity savvy to endure another presidential race four years after Hillary Clinton’s campaign was upended by a Russian hacking and disinformation campaign focused on smearing her and aiding Donald Trump.Full Article: The Cybersecurity 202: Democrats fret about another tech disaster in Nevada caucuses following the mess in Iowa - The Washington Post.
Nevada: Democrats Test a Caucus Plan ‘Without Something You Can Download on Your Phone’ | Jennifer Medina/The New York Times
After abandoning plans to use the same kind of app that led to a debacle in Iowa, Nevada Democratic officials are testing backup plans this weekend as they attempt to come up with a clear alternative for their own state caucus, which begins in less than two weeks. Though party leaders in Nevada are now vowing not to use any kind of app to tally the results of their Feb. 22 caucus, it remains unclear what they will put in their place. “We are not using an app, we are not using something you can download on your phone,” said Alana Mounce, the executive director of the Nevada Democrats. But what they will use instead is still unknown and presidential campaigns are increasingly anxious about what will happen when early voting begins next weekend. The Nevada Democrats began testing backup procedures Friday, but state party officials declined to give any details on what they were testing, other than to say that it would not be a phone-based app. By Tuesday morning, even before the full scope of the chaos in Iowa had become clear, state party officials scrapped their plans to use an app made by Shadow Inc., the same firm that created a caucus app for Iowa.Full Article: Nevada Democrats Test a Caucus Plan ‘Without Something You Can Download on Your Phone’ - The New York Times.
Nevada: Caucus will use new ‘iPad tool’ they swear isn’t an app and things don’t sound great | Marcus Gilmer/Mashable
Oh lordy, here we go again. The Nevada State Democratic Party is planning to use a new app for the state’s caucus on Saturday, Feb. 22, just days after it abandoned the app that threw the Iowa caucus into chaos. Adding to the fun: Nevada Dems are refusing to call it an app. Per the Nevada Independent, the “new caucus tool that will be preloaded onto iPads” was introduced to volunteers at a training session on Saturday. According to a video used in the training session that the Independent viewed, the instructor “tells volunteers that the new mechanism ‘is not an app’ but should be thought of as ‘a tool.'”Full Article: Nevada caucus will use new 'iPad tool' they swear isn't an app.
Nevada: Democrats debut to volunteers new iPad-based ‘tool’ to calculate math on Caucus Day in the wake of Iowa fiasco | Megan Messerly/Nevada Inpedendent
Nevada Democrats are planning to use a new caucus tool that will be preloaded onto iPads and distributed to precinct chairs to help facilitate the Caucus Day process, according to multiple volunteers and a video recording of a volunteer training session on Saturday. The new tool will help precinct chairs fold in the results from people in their precinct who chose to caucus early with the preferences of in-person attendees on Caucus Day by calculating the viability threshold and carrying out the two alignments in the caucus process, according to the volunteers and the video recording. Details about the tool come two days after Nevada Democrats said that they would not use any apps for their Feb. 22 caucus after a coding error in a similar program used by Iowa Democrats delayed the release of results from that state’s nominating contest earlier this week. In the video, a party staffer tells volunteers that the new mechanism “is not an app” but should be thought of as “a tool.”Full Article: Nevada Democrats debut to volunteers new iPad-based ‘tool’ to calculate math on Caucus Day in the wake of Iowa fiasco.
Nevada’s Democratic Party said Tuesday it will not use the trouble-plagued app that has contributed to ongoing delays in the reporting of results in the Iowa Democratic caucuses. Democrats in Nevada had planned to use the app for their caucus on Feb. 22. The same company developed the app for both states. But the state’s Democratic Party said Tuesday that it had previously created backup plans for its reporting systems and was in the process of “evaluating the best path forward.” “NV Dems can confidently say that what happened in the Iowa caucus last night will not happen in Nevada on February 22nd. We will not be employing the same app or vendor used in the Iowa caucus,” Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II said in a statement.Full Article: Nevada Democrats won't use app that caused Iowa caucus fiasco.
The Nevada Democratic Party on Tuesday announced that it will not use the election results app that has been blamed for the delay in results from the Iowa caucuses. “NV Dems can confidently say that what happened in the Iowa caucus last night will not happen in Nevada on February 22nd. We will not be employing the same app or vendor used in the Iowa caucus,” Nevada State Democratic Party Chairman William McCurdy said in a statement. “We had already developed a series of backups and redundant reporting systems, and are currently evaluating the best path forward.” The announcement comes after the results of the Iowa caucuses, which began on Monday at 8 p.m. EST, have yet to be released amid confusion over the app used to transmit results, triggering uproar from supporters and political pundits. The slow rollout has lead many to question Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status. Price told campaigns early Tuesday afternoon that presidential campaigns should expect that a “majority” of the caucus results will be released at 5 p.m. EST, a source on the call told The Hill.Full Article: Nevada Democrats won't use app at center of Iowa delays | TheHill.
Nevada: Amid hacking fears, Nevada Democrats to use app for caucus results | Jason Hidalgo, Ryan Foley and Christina Cassidy/Reno Gazette Journal
Nevada is one of two early caucus states to use new mobile apps to report caucus results amid heightened worries about election hacking. The Silver State will be joining Iowa in using mobile apps to gather results from thousands of caucus sites. The decision to use the apps was made to increase transparency and help run the caucuses more smoothly, said Shelby Wiltz, director of the Nevada State Democratic Party Caucus, on Monday. “NV Dems has been committed to making our First in the West Caucus the most accessible, expansive and transparent caucus yet,” Wiltz said. “We developed a reporting application in order to streamline the caucus process and provide our volunteers with additional support to run their caucuses as efficiently as possible.” Although the technology is intended to make counting easier, however, it also raises concerns about the potential for hacking or glitches. Party officials said that they worked closely with the Democratic National Committee and security experts while picking and vetting the app vendor that was chosen. They declined to name the vendor, however, citing security reasons.Full Article: Nevada Democratic Party to use app for caucus results.