August 1, 2007

Caucus questions and transparency

NVMojo asks in the comments from the preceding post:

cls, There are a few of us who are wondering what type of machines are going to be used by the State party during the caucus to count the votes? Do you know? I know you've talked about attending these caucus prep meetings. Have you heard anything about them?
I thought I'd move my answer out of the comments section because I think this is a really good question.

Answer # 1:
The votes at each caucus are tallied at the caucus. The caucus chair then has the results signed off on by any attending campaign representatives/supporters indicating that the result is in accordance with the rules of the caucus and that they are reliable and true. After that the numbers are called into the central tabulating command center in Las Vegas. So, there will be a precinct by precinct paper trail and I am sure that if there are any discrepancies between what a precinct votes and what is shown in the final result there will be hell to pay. Beyond that, if you are asking if I know what machines will be used for that central tabulation, I don't know, but I don't think it's going to be anything super techie. Probably just be tracked on a spreadsheet. But, I will do my best to find out and report back.
Answer # 2:
On Edit: After publishing my first comment I think my first sentence isn't very clear. Remember that January 19th is the date of our caucuses...that is, precinct meetings wherein we caucus to award delegates. We tend to say caucus (singular) when we really should be saying caucuses (plural) since these are precinct level caucuses (meetings).

Have you attended a mock caucus yet? If you haven't, check with the Washoe Dems as they will be having them all over Washoe County in the next months and have scheduled standing monthly mockuses at the Dem office. Attending one really helps people understand the process and how open and transparent it is.
I have led a few of these mockuses and will be doing more, and it's amazing to me how many times I see the light of understanding switch on in attendees' eyes.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, CLS. I appreciate your time. It bothers a few of us about those "machines" that add the vote up and the lack of information available on them. I guess there's still time to get an answer on the manufacturer, what type, etc.

cls said...

We won't be using any of the Sequoia machines. The caucuses are paid for by the parties, not the state.

Votes are tabulated by hand, on paper, at each precinct.

texex said...

What's the cost going to be to county central committees?

cls said...

I am not sure, but many expenses will be taken care of by the state. In addition, a bill was passed in the waning hours of the state leg that provided for government facilities to be provided free of charge to the two major parties for purposes of conducting regular meetings and precinct meetings in presidential years.

By the way, there is always some cost incurred by county committees to conduct their precinct meetings. This is not a new phenomenon. For instance, state law requires that county parties place announcements in the paper regarding their precinct meetings and county conventions. There is nothing in that law that says newspapers must provide the space free of charge, so county parties have always absorbed the cost of placing the ads.

texex said...