Nevada’s Democratic Party has made it difficult for military members serving abroad to caucus for either Hillary Clinton or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) on Saturday.
The Daily Beast reported:
In order to vote in the Democratic caucus in Nevada, military service members stationed abroad and their families must pre-register online a week before the event. After registering, they will receive a phone number. Then, on their own dime, they must call the number at noon on Saturday. “International calling rates and fees may apply,” the state Democratic website warns, with an asterisk. The Americans stationed abroad would then need to loiter on the call for as long as the caucus takes–potentially hours–until the caucus had completed, regardless of their military duties or schedules.
The state party website indicates that if military members do not log onto the tele-caucus call at the start of the caucus or remain on the line for the full time, they will not be able to register their preference for the Democratic nomination.
A Republican National Committee official in charge of military and veterans outreach criticized the Nevada Democrats, telling The Daily Beast, “Essentially, the Democrats’ plan requires overseas military personnel to wake up in the middle of the night, find a commercial phone, call in to the caucus, and then stay on the line for one or two or three hours to have their presidential preference registered.”
The Nevada Republican Party requires military members abroad to request an absentee ballot online and file it the night before the Republican caucus, which will take place next Tuesday. There is no tele-caucus requirement.
A spokesman for the Democratic National Committee said that the state party had made it “easier for our men and women in uniform and their families to participate in the electoral process” by offering the tele-caucus.
The race in Nevada is expected to be tight between Clinton and Sanders on Saturday. A set of polls released in recent days found that the two candidates are statistically tied among likely caucusgoers in the state.