The Nevada Democratic Party is asking volunteers to sign non-disclosure agreements before they work the presidential caucus on Saturday, a move that has caught some by surprise and caused at least one volunteer to quit.
Site leaders were handed the confidentiality agreements as they picked up their materials this week without prior notice, Gabrielle d’Ayr, the Jerome Mack Middle School caucus site leader in Las Vegas, told Fox News.
“There was no discussion about it that I'm aware of. It's just something that turned up when I went to pick up my boxes,” d’Ayr said. “One side of me has me going, 'I don’t really like this' and the other side of me is going, 'Caucus is important. I don't want to derail [the] caucus.'"
She added: "I don't want to, you know, throw my toys out of the playpen and be like, 'Oh, I'm not doing this' because who’s going to run this site? All those voters are going to end up being disenfranchised. The consequences of not signing it are quite impactful.”
The confidentiality agreements were first reported by CNN. The NDA isn’t tailored to specifically focus on the caucus, the outlet reported, but is rather a broad agreement used for multiple purposes within the Nevada Democratic Party and prevents volunteers from speaking to the media.
One volunteer, Seth Morrison, reportedly refused to sign the NDA and told CNN he was offered a different volunteer position and quit.
But in a tweet Friday afternoon, Molly Forgey, the communications director for the state party, said: “These agreements are not required -- however, asking volunteers who handle sensitive internal info to sign them is common practice and the state party did this in the 2018 cycle.”
However, the language of the NDA was also a concern for d’Ayr, who said it covered much more than just handling sensitive voter data.
“There are some niggles – one, if they're going to go so far as to do an NDA, then they should have warned people in advance and then kept it very strict about the content of what you were saying or what you were agreeing not to disclose,” d’Ayr told Fox News. “It's a little too broad for my case. I mean, I signed it anyway because I know I'm not going do anything stupid.”
Jeff Carlson, a site leader at Sierra Vista High School, told Fox News he doesn’t think anything “nefarious” is going on in regards to the NDAs but acknowledged the state party can “improve on the process in terms of communication.”
“Personally, I think they could have been a little better organized," Carlson said. "They could have done things a little different and I’m not quite certain that throughout the process they really considered the optics of some of the things they did.”
Carlson said he wasn’t aware of the NDA until it was handed to him, and, while he signed the agreement, he told Fox News he hasn’t turned it over to party officials nor have they asked for it back.
“I signed it, but they don’t have it. I have it,” Carlson told Fox News. “That’s why I wasn’t really thinking about it.”
There are high expectations in Nevada following the mishap in Iowa for the Democratic Party to show the caucus process can still run smoothly.
Despite the surprise confidentiality agreements and last-minute changes like scrapping the Shadow App used in the Iowa caucus, Carlson is confident that Saturday’s caucus will go without a hitch – the only variable being the weather.
“I honestly feel like even with the weather, because the weather is something that I was concerned about people are going to want to come out in the rain," Carlson said. "So, I had already come up with a potential contingency plan for, you know, how we're going to route folks so that they're not, you know, waiting in the checkout line in the rain.”
Fox News' Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.