VoteI had never attended a caucus before.  States I had previously lived in had primary elections.  Nevada also has primary elections for state and local offices later in the year, but scheduled an early presidential nominating caucus in an effort to increase its influence in the nominating process.

Nevada's inexperience with caucuses showed.  There was conflicting information on where voters should go.  I went to McQueen High School , based on information from the Republican Party website.  A post card I got in the mail said that I should go to Reed High School .

I arrived at the designated start time of 9:00 am and found a line extending 100 feet outside the doors.  Inside was chaos.  Thousands of people were there.  Voters were supposed to gather with others from their precincts.  Many people had no idea what precinct they belonged to and had to wait in a long line to find out.  Ron Paul volunteers called out asking for Paul supporters to identify themselves.  The volunteers helped the Paul supporters find their precinct locations.

Fortunately, I had the aforementioned post card that identified my precinct as 5034.  At some point I faintly heard a shouted announcement that all precincts with numbers above 5000 were in the cafeteria.

I made my way to the cafeteria, which was jammed with people.  I found a man and a woman standing on a table holding up signs saying "5034", with about 40 people gathered around the table.  A seated woman with a registration list called out asking whether anybody else needed to sign in.  I signed in.

The precinct leaders standing on the table were difficult to hear as other precincts carried on their business at neighboring tables.  At some point I figured out they were asking for candidates to run for precinct 5034 delegate to the upcoming Washoe County convention.  There was a voice vote for delegate.  I couldn't hear the question and didn't care.  I noticed a man and woman who looked familiar — members of my church.  I went over and said hello.

The precinct leaders handed out paper ballots with the names of the presidential candidates.  I marked my ballot and handed it back.  One of the precinct leaders asked the woman from my church to count the votes.  The winner of the initial count of precinct 5034 was Duncan Hunter with 10 votes.  I had barely remembered Duncan Hunter was running.  After the count was complete, the precinct leader took the ballots and announced the number of votes for each candidate.

I say it was an initial count because, as I left, there were still people in the hallway trying to figure out where to go.  I overheard a man walking out in front of me making a call on his cell phone. Commenting on the chaos, he said, "If you think the Democrats are total idiots, the Republicans have them beat."  Even so, I was out the door at 9:40.


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