Trump Speaks at Commit to Caucus Rally

Steve Marcus

Gil Evans left, and Jay Johnson wait in line before a Commit to Caucus rally featuring former president and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Big League Dreams sports park Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024.

Nearly 10% of Nevada’s 1.15 million registered voters have cast a ballot in the preferred presidential primaries through Tuesday, according to the Nevada secretary of state.

Data from the secretary of state’s elections website showed 100,105 mail ballots have been returned by voters and approved for counting, 60,211 by registered Democrats and 39,893 by Republicans.

The website also listed one ballot returned as “other.” As of press time, the secretary of state’s office had not returned a call seeking an explanation.

Another 3,399 ballots have been received but had been rejected or are awaiting signature cures, according to thesecretary of state’s website.

Additionally, 3,950 voters statewide had cast ballots in person at early voting sites through Tuesday, 2,876 of whom reside in Clark County. There have been 2,387 registered Democrats and 1,563 Republicans statewide who have cast a ballot in person.

Total voter turnout for Nevada’s 2022 midterm primaries was 469,209, or about 25% of registered voters, according to historical data from the secretary of state’s office.

There are two remaining major Republicans vying for their party’s presidential nomination: former President Donald Trump and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley. But because of state party rules, they won’t face each other here.

State Republican Party officials forced candidates to choose to participate in either the Feb. 6 primary or the caucuses on Feb. 8, but not both. They further decided that only the caucus results would be used to determine Nevada’s delegates to the Republican National Convention, where the party’s presidential nominee will officially be selected.

Trump opted for the caucuses, Haley for the primary. Registered Republican voters, however, can participate in both if they choose.

Trump, at a rally Saturday, instructed Nevada Republicans to pass on the primary and focus only on the caucuses.

“Don’t vote on Tuesday, Feb. 6, that’s two days earlier (than the caucuses),” Trump told the roughly 2,000 attendees who came to Big League Dreams in east Las Vegas. “Don’t use the mail-in ballots. Don’t do anything. It’s a meaningless event. There are no delegates. It’s a con job.”

Some Republicans aren’t taking that cue — with nearly 40,000 statewide having already submitted a mail ballot for the primary. Elections with ballots mailed to all registered voters were approved on an emergency basis along party lines by the Nevada Legislature in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Democratic-majority Legislature in a separate bill a year later enhanced accessibility by expanding mail balloting for all elections in the state.

President Joe Biden heads the list of candidates on the ballot for Nevada’s Democratic presidential preference primary. None of the other 12 candidates on the Democratic ballot has a national following.

The early voting period continues through Friday. Mail-in ballots can be returned as late as Election Day but must be postmarked no later than Feb. 6 and received by election officials no later than 5 p.m. Feb. 10 to be counted.

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