Democrats designate Culinary – er, Strip – caucus locations

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UNITE HERE’s Culinary Workers Union Local 226 during town hall meetings with presidential candidates in Las Vegas in January. (Photo courtesy of Culinary)
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Former Vice President Joe Biden town hall with UNITE HERE’s Culinary Workers Union Local 226 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo courtesy of Culinary)

The Nevada State Democratic Party Tuesday announced 2020 early voting and Caucus Day locations on the Las Vegas Strip.

The state party first started hosting workplace caucus sites on the Las Vegas Strip in 2008, but this time around workers will have four days of early voting available from Feb. 15 through Feb. 18, before the Feb. 22 caucus.

Nevada has the highest union population of any early nominating state at 14 percent, largely due to the politically powerful Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, which represents about 60,000 workers, most on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. 

“Having been a union member and organizer, I know firsthand the importance of lifting up the voices of our union brothers and sisters,” wrote Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy in a statement. “That’s why NV Dems have been working tirelessly to ensure our First in the West Caucus expands access to our workforce. As the early state with the highest union population, Nevada’s caucuses play an important role as the voice of working families. By continuing to expand access to our caucus to every community and every county, there’s no doubt Nevada will continue to be a bellwether for the direction of the country.”

The Culinary has yet to endorse a candidate. In the 2016 primary, UNITE HERE, the Culinary’s parent union, left the choice to locals. Culinary 226 chose not to endorse.

It’s unknown if members will adhere to the union’s endorsement. In 2008, despite the union’s endorsement of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton won seven of nine caucus locations on the Culinary’s home turf, the Las Vegas Strip.

With the addition of our Las Vegas Strip locations, the state party will offer more than 80 early voting locations across the state. Not only will early voting be available but the state party will be using several online elements including an app to tally votes. 

Early voters will be required to check in on a tablet that will verify whether they are a registered Democrat. Once verified, early voting caucus-goers will be given a PIN they can then use to log into an app on a tablet provided at the sites, according to The Nevada Independent. 

Early voters will be required to select their preferred candidate, as well as their next two preferences. Voters also have the option of selecting two more candidates, effectively their fourth and fifth choice.

On Caucus Day early voters preferences will be counted along with those caucusing in their home precincts on February 22.

If an early voter’s first preference does not meet a 15 percent threshold in their home precinct their vote will be “realigned” to their second choice, and so on until all their options are exhausted.

Jeniffer Solis
Reporter | Jeniffer was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada where she attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas before graduating in 2017 with a B.A in Journalism and Media Studies. While at UNLV she was a senior staff writer for the student newspaper, the UNLV Scarlet and Gray Free Press, and a news reporter for KUNV 91.5 FM, covering everything from the Route 91 shooting to UNLV housing. She has also contributed to the UNLV News Center and worked as a production engineer for several KUNV broadcasts before joining the Nevada Current. She’s an Aries.