What’s a caucus?
Nevada is a relatively new player to the caucus process. Our first caucuses were held for the 2008 election, so many voters may not know what the caucus is.
A caucus is a gathering of a political party to debate and select candidates for office. Instead of a primary, where voters simply show up at the polling place to cast their vote, a caucus draws people together at precinct locations throughout the state to debate the attributes and positions of the various candidates for office. The candidates who win these precinct debates generally win the votes of Nevada’s delegates to respective party conventions.
Why should we care about Nevada’s early caucus?
The early GOP caucus puts a spotlight on Nevada. As the first state in the West and fifth state nationally to host a caucus, our vote will be of particular importance to the rest of the nation and to the candidates themselves. This year the Democrats have an incumbent, though they are still hosting a caucus to talk about issues.
The GOP nomination could still be a tightly contested race when it’s Nevada’s turn to cast our votes. So AARP is investing time and resources to raise awareness about this important opportunity to exercise your civic duty.
How do voters learn more about the caucuses?
Your political party should send out information about the caucus process but you can also visit party websites for information. You must be registered as a Republican for the GOP caucus and as a Democrat for the Democratic caucus.
Republicans: Feb. 4 Visit nevadagop.org.
Democrats: Jan. 21 at 11:30 a.m. Visit pledgetocaucus.com.
What’s AARP doing for the early caucus?
As non-partisan organization, AARP does not have a PAC, endorse candidates or give money to campaigns. However, AARP is in a unique position to help raise voter awareness of the importance of exercising their civic duty to caucus and vote in the upcoming elections.
AARP has three goals for our involvement in the early caucus states. First, we intend to encourage our members and the general public to vote. Secondly, we want to raise voter and candidate awareness on our members’ key issues – jobs and economy, retirement security, Social Security and Medicare. Finally, we will provide our members and the public information on where the candidates stand on the issues so that they can vote for a candidate that best reflects their values.
Because there are many candidates for the GOP nomination, AARP will also be developing a Video Voters’ Guide (available soon).
We’re also working locally with media groups, local chambers and others to get the word to voters about Nevada’s opportunity to participate in the national dialogue about the next President of the United States.
You’ll be able to find more details about our activities on our web page as we get closer to caucus dates for both parties.