Caucus 101

On February 20, 2016, Nevada will be the first Western state and the third state in the country to make its voice heard in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.

Who? Any registered Democrat or anyone who will be 18 by Election Day (November 8, 2016) and wants to register as a Democrat on Caucus Day is eligible to participate.
What? Nevada Democrats will join their neighbors in their precincts to begin the process of registering preferences for Democratic candidates running for President. This is a chance for our party to come together under one big tent to decide who we will nominate to be President in 2016.
When? Saturday, February 20, 2016 – so mark your calendars now, you must be able to attend in person on Caucus Day.
Where? Each precinct in the state hosts a caucus so the site will most likely be close to home. Neighborhood meeting points like schools, community centers and churches generally serve as caucus locations.
Why? This is your chance to Stand Up, Be Heard, Get Counted! Nevada represents the Western voice of the Democratic Party. We are the second fastest growing state in the nation and incredibly diverse. It’s important we build on the achievements of the last eight years and get Democrats from across the state to lend their voices to selecting the nominee who best represents our shared vision for the future. We have set aside this Caucus Day because selecting our nominee for president is important, and it deserves the full attention of committed Democrats.
Delegate Selection Process Any caucus participant may stand for election as a delegate to the county convention. Anyone who wants to be elected a national delegate must participate in the precinct caucuses, and each subsequent event – your county convention on April 2, 2016, the state convention on May 14 and 15, 2016 and the DNC Convention on July 25-28, 2016 in Philadelphia, PA.

Key Terms and Definitions

Caucus A gathering of neighbors who meet to discuss grassroots politics. Democrats join others in their precinct caucuses to begin the process of registering preferences for Democratic candidates running for president.
Nevada Democratic Caucus The first step in Nevada’s Democratic delegate selection process will occur on February 20, 2016, with precinct caucuses. Nevada Democrats will meet in precinct caucuses to elect delegates to their county conventions. County conventions then select delegates to Nevada’s Democratic State Convention, which in turn selects delegates for the Democratic National Convention.
Temporary Precinct Chair A person recruited by the Nevada State Democratic Party to run a precinct caucus. They are trained by the Party to run the caucus and when the caucus begins will usually make a motion to elect themselves as Permanent Chair of their precinct caucus.
Permanent Chair A person elected to lead a precinct caucus. However, it is not mandatory for the chair to live in the precinct.
Delegate The caucus attendee(s) chosen by their preference group to represent them at the next level of the caucus process (county, state, and national convention).
Awarding of Delegates The process of allotting the amount of delegates earned to viable preference groups, based on the viability threshold. The number of delegates each viable preference group will receive depends on viability and caucus mathematics.
Delegate Selection The precinct caucuses will be the first step in the four-tiered system of electing the 43 delegates and three alternates Nevada will send to the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Preference Group Each eligible candidate will have their own preference group, as well as a group for caucuses who would prefer to remain uncommitted.
Viability In order to be entitled to elect delegates, groups in precinct caucuses must have a specific minimum number of caucus attendees in their group. The viability threshold is the specific number of caucus attendees needed for a preference group to be considered viable.

Caucus Procedure


Viability Math

In order to be entitled to elect delegates to the county convention, groups must have a certain number of people in them. This number is referred to as viability.

When determining viability, decimals are always rounded up to the next whole number. For example, 2.43 is rounded up to 3.

My precinct is electing…
1 Delegate No groups form, and the delegate is elected by majority rule.
2 Delegates # of attendees _____x .25 =_____ (round up) viability =____
3 Delegates # of attendees _____÷ 6 =_____ (round up) viability =_____
4+ Delegates # of attendees _____x .15 =_____ (round up) viability =_____

Awarding Delegates

Delegates to be elected at the caucus are divided according to each group’s size.

The following formula should apply:

________________ # of preference group members
________________ # of delegates elected for the precinct
________________ total # of precinct caucus attendees
________________ delegates awarded to this preference group

Temporary Precinct Chairs

Throughout the Caucus Season:
Orientation Meet other Temporary Precinct Chairs and get into the nitty-gritty details of what running a caucus will look like.
Voter Engagement You are the caucus leader in your community! Help spread the word by signing others up to caucus and registering Democrats to vote.
Recruit a Precinct Secretary You need a volunteer to help you run sign-in and logistics at the caucus.
Conference Calls Get updates twice a month from Caucus HQ to stay informed.
On Caucus Day:
Administer the Caucus Run the procedural and logistical aspects of the meeting.
Caucus Math Determine viability, count each preference group, and calculate the number of delegates to be awarded from each group.
Take Platform Suggestions Caucus attendees will submit suggestions for the party platform.
Report the Results Let HQ know what your precincts delegate allotments are so that we can report the results to the nation!