I just returned from what was supposed to be our caucus, but instead was a disgrace to the Republican party. There was absolutely no organization to the process.
When we first arrived there was one long line where people were waiting to sign in. Soon the line became so long that they announced that we should form separate lines by precinct. So we waited in line to sign in by precinct. There was no ID check at the table when we signed the sheet and crossed off our name from the list. Apparently the volunteers who were manning the tables were selected from the crowd because they were unaware of how the process was supposed to work. They were unable to answer questions and simply told people to sign in and cross our names off the list.
Then we were told that they ran out of ballots and that more were being photocopied so that everyone could cast a vote. Once we received our ballots no one knew what to do with them. Eventually someone announced that they would bring out boxes for us to place our ballots in.
The coordinator (I assume he was the coordinator) then said that if anyone wanted speak about their candidate, that they would be allowed to do so, but if you just wanted to place your ballots in the boxes and leave, you could do that also. That is what most people did (myself included).
What should have occurred:
According to the www.nvgopcaucus.com FAQ page...
1. What is a caucus?
A caucus is a gathering of neighbors and friends who get together to discuss politics, elect delegates and alternates to the county convention, submit issues to be discussed and voted on for the county platform, and cast their vote for the Presidential candidate of their choice.
This did not occur. We never saw or heard from any delegates or alternates who represented a candidate. Instead we waited in long lines, were given minimal directions, simply signed a sheet, and threw our photocopied ballots into a cardboard box that was obviously picked from the dumpster outside.
Suggestions for improvement:
Have delegates selected to speak to the voters: This is where I feel the GOP failed us. The entire idea behind holding a caucus is to select delegates and alternates to represent us at the county convention. However, this never occurred.
Check IDs when signing in/or casting ballot: Ids were never checked at the table where we signed in at or when we placed our ballots in the box. I feel this could create a problem in the accuracy of the voting process.
Educate the coordinator: It was apparent that the event coordinator had no idea how a caucus was supposed to be ran. He did not inform the voters what was supposed to happen, instead he was only reacting to events as they happened (forming lines by precinct when more voters showed up than was expected, photocopying ballots when they ran out, etc.)
Signs on the highway: Our caucus was held at a newly built school. I was unaware of the location, and the link from nvgopcaucus.com to give us directions to the caucus location did not work. Instead I had to Google the name of the school, find the school's website and find the map that the school had posted on one of their pages (Google maps and Mapquest did not show the location of the school when you enter its address). If there were signs on the highway pointing toward the caucus location it would have made all the difference in the world.
Signs in the auditorium: Once inside the auditorium, it was a madhouse. None of the voters were sure of where they were supposed to stand in line. The volunteers who were manning the tables were shouting the numbers of the precincts that corresponded to the table where we were supposed to sign in. Eventually someone taped signs on the wall above each table (good effort, it came much too late in the process).
I feel let down by the entire process. I realize that this is the first time Nevada is doing a caucus, but there is no excuse for the lack of preparation, disorganization, and chaos that was our republican caucus. I feel that the GOP failed the voters of Nevada.
I would appreciate a reply from my party.