Reno-area caucus voting appears to be lighter than expected

Caucus voting at Billinghurst Middle School. Photo by Gurajpal Sangha/KOLO.
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO)-- KOLO 8 News Now staff reports a light turnout from a handful of 2020 Democratic caucus sites they have visited.

At the Lois Allen Elementary School site in Sun Valley, KOLO’s Ed Pearce said 17 showed up Saturday to vote. That follows 24 who voted early. The total of 41 is double the participation in 2016, the party said.

KOLO’s Abel Garcia said turnout is lighter than expected at the Smithridge Elementary School caucus site, again with early voting likely reducing the turnout.

Billinghurst Middle School also has a lower turnout today than expected and caucus officials are saying its because of early voting, KOLO's Gurajpal Sangha reports. Billinghurst is one of Washoe County's larger caucus sites.

At Billinghurst: 181 voters showed up; 145 were already registered and the Democrats registered 36 new voters. Organizers on scene did note precise figures to compare, but believed the early voting and caucus participation was greater than it was in 2016.

The chairman of the Democratic National Committee is expressing confidence that the Nevada caucuses will go smoothly and won't repeat the problems that muddied the results in Iowa, The Associated Press reported.

Tom Perez spoke to reporters Saturday at a caucus site at the Bellagio hotel and casino on the Las Vegas strip, AP said. He says the goal in Saturday’s caucuses is to release the results as soon as possible but “first and foremost, to get it right."

Perez says the popularity of early voting made processing those votes difficult but party officials have worked overtime to accomplish the task.

Nearly 75,000 people participated in a four-day early voting period that ended on Tuesday. Their choices will be added to results of Saturday’s in-person caucusing. Perez says the party has trained more than 3,000 people to carry out the caucuses, with training going on as recently as Friday.

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The Smithridge Elementary School caucus site. Photo by Abel Garcia/KOLO.
Jolany Navarro, a first time caucus attendee, at the Lois Allen Elementary School caucus site in Sun Valley. Photo by Ed Pearce/KOLO.