Democrats not promising same-day Nevada caucus results after Iowa fiasco

Less than a month after the chaos in Iowa, Democrats aren’t promising to release same-day results from Saturday’s Democratic caucuses in Nevada either.

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said the early vote and the multistage caucus process with three sets of results could affect when the results come out and they plan to emphasize accuracy over speed.

“We’re going to do our best to release results as soon as possible, but our North Star, again, is accuracy,” Perez said Tuesday, giving no timetable.

“We’re going to do our best to release results as soon as possible, but our North Star, again, is accuracy.”

— Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee
Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. (Getty Images)

Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. (Getty Images)


“I think that running a caucus and running a contest is always difficult,” DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa told Fox News. “You need to make sure that you have the amount of volunteers that you do. And I think that the Nevada party is doing everything they can to implement lessons learned from Iowa.”

Election officials have raised concerns generally about reporting results too quickly, noting that same-day vote counts are unofficial.

It takes weeks for election results to be certified.

“If they set up expectations now, that’s a lot better than bungling the reporting like they did in Iowa and have everybody question what happened,” said Lawrence Norden, an elections expert with the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School.

The DNC scrapped its plan to use an app to report votes in Nevada that helped delay and muddle results in Iowa after some caucus volunteers couldn’t download it.

Instead, Nevada precincts will send vote tallies via party-owned iPads with a Google form. Data transmissions will be encrypted.

The Google app and iPads are trusted commercial tech tools, but election experts have warned that developing and deploying any technology late in the process increases the risk of problems. Hundreds of volunteers need training, and the technology must also be field-tested.

DNC officials said their multistep vote tabulation process will include a secure hotline and a paper worksheet for sending results.

In Iowa, many caucus volunteers were left on hold with the hotline, attempting to report results when they were unable to access the app.

“We understand just how important it is that we get this right and protect the integrity of Nevadans’ votes,” Shelby Wiltz, caucus director of the Nevada state Democratic Party, said in a statement.

The party offered four days of early voting for the first time in Nevada in an effort to offset the number of voters caucusing on Saturday, and integrating that vote with Saturday’s multistage caucus totals could also complicate the process.


“We learned some hard lessons in Iowa,” Perez said, adding the party’s tech team has been involved since shortly after Iowa. “I think one of the values that we add here is putting those lessons to bear.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.