Republicans in Clark County will gather starting at 9 a.m. on Feb. 4 for the GOP presidential caucuses, the party announced Tuesday after ditching a plan to stagger the meetings.
Imposing a uniform start time at 38 caucus sites across Nevada’s most populous county will avoid confusion in a year in which most precincts have changed because of redistricting, party leaders said.
Clark County GOP Chairman David Gibbs said Republicans worried that some registered GOP voters might be disenfranchised if they showed up at the wrong caucus site at the wrong time, or too late to participate in their precinct meetings and vote for their favorite presidential candidate.
Under the previous plan, some precincts would have caucused at 9 a.m., followed by others at 11 a.m. and then the rest at 1 p.m. — all at the same site in rotating meetings. If people had shown up at 11 a.m. and their precinct had already met, they would not have been able to participate, for example.
Gibbs said under the new plan, caucus sites will open their doors at 8 a.m., giving people a chance to ensure they’re at the proper precinct site and travel to the correct place if necessary.
"There’s still a chance that somebody’s going to show up at the wrong location, but now we don’t have to worry about them showing up at the wrong time," Gibbs said. "And they’ll have a chance to get to the right place. None of the sites are more than 10 or 15 minutes apart."
There will be one caucus site in Laughlin, one in Mesquite and two in Boulder City with the rest across the Las Vegas Valley, according to Gibbs who said the party is still pinning down exact sites.
Republicans can determine their caucus sites and precinct numbers by visiting the Clark County GOP website at www.ccrp2012caucus.org as it’s updated with new locations. The county elections department website — www.clarkcountynv.gov/depts/election/Pages/default.aspx — also allows voters to find out their current precinct numbers.
Gibbs said the party is planning for up to a 25 percent turnout, or close to 70,000 Republicans in Clark County. In 2008, only 44,000 Republicans participated statewide. So far, Gibbs said the county party has trained 700 volunteers and is hoping to recruit a total of 1,000 for the caucuses.
Before redistricting, Clark County had more than 1,300 political precincts. Now, there are more than 1,160 with most of them newly drawn and numbered, GOP officials said. Redistricting happens every 10 years as the population grows and changes and electoral district boundaries are redrawn.
Most of Nevada’s other 16 counties plan to start their GOP presidential caucuses some time between 9 a.m. and noon on Feb. 4. with the second largest, Washoe, starting at 10 a.m.
Voters must register as Republicans by Jan. 20 to participate in the GOP caucuses.
The Nevada Democratic Party plans to caucus on Jan. 21, mostly to organize for President Barack Obama’s re-election bid. Voters can register with the party up until the caucus day itself.
Contact Laura Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2919. Follow @lmyerslvrj on Twitter.