Paul campaign requests Nevada caucus delay
Says last-minute rule changes have put system 'in chaos'
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is asking Nevada election officials to consider postponing Saturday's GOP caucuses there after discovering what the campaign calls "multiple inconsistencies" in the process.
Paul's supporters have alleged there were voting irregularities in New Hampshire, although the Texas Congressman decided against requesting a recount.
The Paul campaign released the following statement Friday on the Nevada Caucuses:
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – Today, the Ron Paul 2008 campaign is calling on the Nevada State Republican Party to re-examine multiple inconsistencies in the Nevada Caucus process, and to consider postponing the caucus, which is scheduled for Saturday, January 19.
“The inconsistencies, errors and multiple changes in the rules reek of playing politics with the what should be a neutral process,” said Ron Paul 2008 campaign manager Lew Moore. “The people of Nevada deserve to know exactly what the rules are and to know that those rules are being fairly enforced. This has not happened up to this point, and the caucus appears to be in chaos.”
The problem of multiple rule changes is being compounded by other inconsistencies and errors in the process. Many Nevada Republicans have received postcards with incorrect information about their caucus location, and the Nevada GOP website had incorrect caucus locations listed as late as Wednesday, January 16.
Additionally, one or more county chairs have expressed concerns over an insufficient number of ballots, and the Ron Paul campaign has heard reports that rural counties are short of ballots, while Clark County precincts were given what is regarded as far too many ballots.
The Ron Paul campaign has learned that the Nevada Republican Party has changed the rules for eligibility requirements for caucusing three times since January 9. Last summer when the January 19 caucus was set, the Nevada GOP announced that caucus would be closed and only for Republicans who had registered by December 19.
On January 10, 2008, a caucus director for the Nevada Republican Party reversed the earlier policy and anounced a new standard by stating that any person who asserts that they are a registered Republican in the precinct but cannot be found in the voter rolls that the Republican party has, would be able to participate if they signed an affidavit attesting to the fact that they were a registered Republican. Then, on January 15 the Ron Paul campaign received communication from the state party that the affidavits would not be used.
However, on January 17 the policy was changed for a third time, as the state party announced that affidavits would be in use throughout the state, subject to the discretion of county central committees and chairs.
The Nevada Republican Party is changing the rules from week to week, and currently the rules will not even be uniform across the state, as eligibility rules may differ from county to county.
Given the caucus location confusion – with potential caucus participants not knowing where to go – and the new rule effectively allowing anyone to get a ballot, the Ron Paul campaign is concerned that the confusion surrounding the caucus will both disenfranchise voters and make the election particularly susceptible to vote fraud.