Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Not What I Expected

I got an e-mail a few days ago from the Nevada Democratic Party inviting me (and all of the other caucus volunteers) to a conference call this afternoon. I set aside the time on my calendar. This was a major reason we went to Reno yesterday rather than today, although the heavy wind conditions we're having today makes me happy we didn't go any farther from home than walking to the post office. So I dialed into the call and they introduced one of our state's members of Congress, who gave a short speech thanking us for our work, followed by the speaker of the Nevada Assembly, who said similar things. I figured that this was the warm-up for the organizers to give us some initial word about how we would be handling the caucus (which is two weeks from today) given that they have said that they will not use the software that caused so much delay in Iowa.

Except that they didn't. After the two pep-rally speeches, the call was over. The organizer thanked us and ended the call.

I'm disappointed. At the very least, they should have acknowledged the known issue, said, "We're working on alternative plans and will let you all know as soon as possible how we're going to handle this. Thank you for sticking with us, and we know you'll work to make our first-in-the-west caucus a success."

Now if I can figure out the right thing to say here, why can't they? Could it possibly be that my experience organizing volunteer events the size of Westercon and Worldcon actually matters here, in that I have some inkling of how to be reassuring, even in trying conditions?

I'm actually less worried about the in-person caucus (caucus math isn't nearly as hard as people seem to claim it is) than about how they plan to implement early voting, which is a form of instant-runoff/ranked-choice voting. In my own personal case, I'm sure I could handle my precinct (I'm the designated temporary precinct chair for Lyon County Precinct 40, where I live), which only has about 250 people in it, even if they all voted, which they aren't likely to do, on paper ballots only, because I understand how to count IRV/RCV ballots. But I rather expect most of my fellow volunteers aren't really familiar with anything other than first-past-the-post, and I worry that this will cause trouble if they have to do such a count manually.
Tags: politics
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