Western Nevada College teaches voters how to caucus | NevadaAppeal.com

Western Nevada College teaches voters how to caucus

Democratic party representative Mike Brisbin addresses the group Thurday afternoon at the Dini Library at WNC.
Brad Coman | Nevada Appeal

Where to caucus?

Republicans:

Find your precinct — http://www.nevadagopcaucus.org/

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

Precincts 101-211 — Carson Nugget 2nd floor ballroom.

Precincts 301-411 — Fuji Park facility.

Democrats:

Register and find your precinct — http://www.carsoncitydems.org/caucus-pre-register/

Saturday, Feb. 20, 11 a.m. until they’re finished.

Precincts 101-113 and 409 — Carson Middle School.

Precincts 201-209, 301-305, 401-407 and 411 — Carson High School.

Precincts 211, 307 and 309 — Eagle Valley Middle School.

The Associated Students of Western Nevada College hosted an event to help Carson City residents learn about how the upcoming political caucuses work.

Representatives from the Democratic and Republican parties were present at the WNC Dini Student Center to explain to residents how each Nevada caucus system would operate. A caucus is a group of people who come together to discuss and decide on a favored candidate. The history of the caucus comes from the days before accessible information, and farmers would get together in town to learn about and discuss candidates, because that was usually the only way they would know about who was running in the election. Now, similar ideals are used for counties to decide on political candidates.

The Democratic caucuses are Saturday at 11 a.m. and the Republican caucuses are Tuesday.

“A caucus is community building and is a way to meet your neighbors and discuss the candidates of choice,” said Democratic representative Mike Brisbin.

Both party caucuses operate similarly. Participants arrive at their precinct location, a precinct chairperson and secretary are elected, and then participants have a discussion about which candidate would be best to represent that party. Participants will then align with their favored candidate and fill out a preference card for their candidate choice.

For the Democratic caucuses, participants will be split up into rooms based on their precinct. The Republican party offers the option of a private ballot, where participants can come into one of the caucus areas between 5 and 8:55 p.m. and drop off a ballot with their choice. There will be a precinct meeting at 6 p.m., and the caucuses begins at 7.

“This is a very important process,” said Carol Howell, the Republican representative. “You are basically selecting the candidate to select the President of the United States, which is the most important office in the world. For us to not have time to go vote is shameful so if you know anyone who says they aren’t going to caucus because they don’t have time, it is worth their time.”

ASWN students said they felt that putting on an event for people to learn about the caucuses was important to get people, especially young people involved with voting.

“We did this because we’ve seen a movement in young students be more active with government and we think that it is important to know regardless of which party affiliation,” said co-host and WNC student Cheyenne Bryant. “We want students to be more actively involved with politics, especially since a lot of the candidates have policies to do with education and this is what we are here for.”

“We had a good turnout for such short notice,” Bryant said. “We aren’t affiliated with either party but we wanted to make sure students are informed.”

Nearly a dozen people attended the event and some students said they did feel more informed after hearing Brisbin and Howell speak.

“(I came because) I was curious about the political process and I wanted to be informed before I blindly go into the caucus,” said WNC student Devin Miner. “I learned about some new vocabulary and the order of how things go.”