First a Coin Flip, Now This: Nevada Caucus Could Be Decided with a Deck of Cards

Claire Bernish
February 20, 2016

(ANTIMEDIA) Nevada — On the eve of the caucuses in Nevada, the state’s Democratic Party released pertinent information for voters — with a startling footnote.

“In rare circumstances where two or more presidential preference groups are tied for the loss or gain of a precinct-level delegate and have the same lowest or highest decimal, groups must draw a single card from a deck of cards to break the tie. High card determines the winner.”

After Hillary Clinton was awarded a few delegates in Iowa through phenomenal luck in coin tosses, Nevada’s tie-breaker methodology shouldn’t come as a shock — though another facet to the Nevada caucus process might.

Due to a quirk in registration deadlines, there is potential for Republicans to participate in both Democratic and Republican caucuses. Nevada has a ‘closed caucus’ system, meaning voters must be registered with the party of their choice prior to the event — “that is, only Democrats can participate on Feb. 20 and only Republicans on Feb. 23,” explained Ralston Reports. But there’s a catch. Ralston continued:

“Republicans closed their registration rolls on Feb. 13, and that is the file that will be used on Feb. 23. Democrats are allowing same-day registration on Saturday.

“So: a Republican registered by Feb. 13 could show up at a Democratic caucus site on Saturday, switch to the Democratic Party, vote and then still participate on Tuesday because the party switch would not show up on the GOP caucus rolls.”

Joe Gloria, voter registrar for Clark County, which oversees Las Vegas, explained to the Guardian that though the registrar’s office doesn’t have official authority over caucus proceedings, “I don’t know if [this loophole]’s legal, but it would be unethical, I can tell you that.”

Nevada Democratic Party chair Roberta Lange, however, issued a statement on Friday, saying, “After reviewing Nevada law, we believe that registering under false pretenses in order to participate in the Democratic caucuses for purposes of manipulating the presidential nominating process is a felony.

Saturday’s Democratic caucus is deemed critical since various polls rank candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a veritable tie.

For as serious as it may be, the Nevada caucus is beginning to don the trappings of a Las Vegas show — especially with the potential for a quintessential deck of cards to take center stage.

This article (First a Coin Flip, Now This: Nevada Caucus Could Be Decided with a Deck of Cards) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: images_of_money. If you spot a typo, email

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