Clark County Democrats meet today in what they expect to be their biggest convention ever.
The convention, which begins at 10 a.m. at Bally’s, is the next step in the delegate election process that began at the Jan. 19 precinct caucuses. The campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have for the last few days been pushing their supporters to attend the all-day event, using automated calls and e-mails.
The county Democratic Party has made extensive preparations and expects several thousand participants. Some 117,000 Nevadans participated in the January Democratic caucuses.
“We have never had so many Democrats around the state mobilized so early to elect a Democratic president,” state Chairman Sam Lieberman said Friday.
Clark County Republicans have scheduled their convention for March 8. Republicans in other counties may have different convention dates.
Anyone who caucused as a Democrat has a shot at participating in today’s convention. Delegates were elected at the precinct level based on which candidate they supported.
People who went to a caucus but weren’t elected to be delegates will have a chance to serve as alternates when vacant delegate slots are filled at the convention.
The party is asking for a $50 registration fee to defray expenses, but it is optional. Anyone can attend the convention as a non-participating guest.
Registration opens at 8 a.m. A preliminary presidential preference poll will be taken at 10 a.m., but delegates can sign in until noon. Results of the early poll will be announced shortly after noon; the official presidential alignment will start about 12:30 p.m.
Nevada’s 16 other counties also hold conventions today. Democrats say it’s the first time all 17 counties have had conventions; smaller counties in past years simply let anyone who wanted to do so go to the state convention because there weren’t enough volunteers to fill all the delegate slots.
In Clark County, 7,504 precinct delegates were apportioned at the caucuses. Today, they’ll elect 2,463 delegates to the state convention, scheduled for May 17 in Reno.
The 3,385 total state convention delegates will elect 25 pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention.
Clinton won most of the precinct delegates, 51 percent to Obama’s 45 percent. Much of her strength was in Clark County, where she won by more than 10 percentage points.
The state Democratic Party plans to announce results from around the state as they come in at www.nvdems08.com.
Contact reporter Molly Ball at firstname.lastname@example.org or (702) 387-2919.