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1,124 caucus ballots voided after early voting

Updated February 21, 2020 - 9:21 am

More than 1,100 ballots cast during the first three days of early voting in the Nevada caucuses were voided, primarily because they were not signed, according to a state Democratic Party official.

The official said the party has provided a list of names of the 1,124 voters whose ballots were voided to the campaigns of the Democratic presidential candidates to allow them to reach out to these voters.

The party also is reaching out to the individual voters to let them know they will be able to participate in Saturday’s caucuses.

According to a Facebook post from Sarah Mahler, chairwoman of the Washoe County Democratic Party, fewer than 4 percent of ballots across the state were invalid.

The state party reported nearly 75,000 voters participated in the four days of early caucusing.

“People will be very upset because they do not want to/cannot attend the caucus and they waited in line for a long time,” Mahler wrote. “At least they are being notified and the campaigns have been notified.” Mahler wrote that the state party had sent out text messages about the ballots.

Additional information was not available Thursday.

The news comes as Democratic candidates made a final push for support two days before Nevadans head out to caucus.

Former Vice President Joe Biden gave a speech Thursday at Desert Breeze Community Center in Las Vegas, where he spoke about gun control.

“It’s just flat-out immoral, it’s just flat-out immoral,” Biden said of politicians who vote against gun control measures. He called politicians who oppose gun control “cowards.”

He told the members of the gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action that whether he is elected or not, he would fight for stricter gun laws, including a ban on assault rifles. Biden said if he were elected president, he would send a bill to Congress that would repeal liability protection for gun makers and close background check loopholes.

“Every day that we do nothing about this epidemic of assault, it’s an insult to the innumerable lives across this nation that have been forever shattered by this violence,” Biden said.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren dug into her attacks on Mike Bloomberg a day after her sharp barbs left the New York billionaire on his heels in the Democratic debate.

Warren told supporters Thursday that “last night was a lot of fun” because Bloomberg was held accountable.

“I have really had it with billionaires, regardless of party, who think that the rules don’t apply to them,” Warren said.

Warren pressed Bloomberg at the debate to say how many nondisclosure agreements his company has signed preventing women from talking about complaints of harassment.

She leaned in on Thursday, saying when women complain, Bloomberg can “throw a little money on it, put a little gag in the woman’s mouth.”

Businessman Tom Steyer appeared in a livestreamed interview with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a trade group of African American-owned community newspapers.

Steyer took questions from reporters after the interview, including one about his performance in a poll released Thursday by Emerson College and KLAS-TV. Steyer said he had not yet seen the poll, which has him placing sixth with support from 10 percent of those polled.

According to the poll, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has a wide lead in Nevada with support from 30 percent of those polled. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg followed with support from 17 percent and Biden with 16 percent.

The Emerson poll’s findings are similar to those of The Nevada Poll, which was conducted by WPA Intelligence on behalf of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and AARP Nevada. That poll had Sanders leading the pack with support from 25 percent of respondents, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden (18 percent) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (13 percent).

Steyer said that he could have made it into Wednesday’s debate but that missing out might have been a blessing in disguise.

“Well, obviously, I thought they bent the rules to get in Michael Bloomberg, and I thought that they didn’t run polls in Nevada and South Carolina where I would have qualified,” he said. “Maybe it wasn’t so lucky to get into that debate,” he said.

Steyer also told reporters he would not decide yet whether the candidate with the most delegates should get the nomination if no one reaches the minimum number required under the rules.

“One of the things I hate doing is giving an absolute answer to a conditional question with a million things that can change,” he said. “I can tell you this: I’m not one of the people who’s an anyone-but-Bernie people. As far as I’m concerned, Bernie Sanders and I share a lot of the same goals and values.”

Steyer was the only candidate appearing at an immigration forum Thursday night hosted by Amnesty International in North Las Vegas. Other campaigns were represented by surrogates.

On Friday, Biden, Warren, Sanders, Steyer, Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar will be stumping throughout the state.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Briana Erickson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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