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Nevada State Democratic Party previews new "caucus tool" to help tabulate results

Nevada hopes for smoother run after Iowa
Nevada caucus hopes for smoother run after Iowa 05:00

The Nevada State Democratic Party on Saturday showcased a new "caucus tool" to assist precinct chairs in tabulating results on the day of the caucuses, multiple Democrats in the state tell CBS News. The Nevada caucuses will be held February 22.

The state party insisted at volunteer summits in Northern and Southern Nevada that the new tool was not an "app," like the abandoned software created by Shadow, the developer at the heart of the delayed Iowa caucus results. Chairs will receive iPads that will be disconnected from the internet and pre-loaded with the new tool, party staff told volunteers at the summit.

Multiple campaigns told CBS News on Saturday that they received little information about the new tool, despite the state party's public insistence that they have "maintained a high level of communication with campaigns at every step of the way." 

The party did not disclose the identity of the developer behind the new tool Saturday, but they did tell summit attendees a team of "security experts" were working with the state party to roll out the tool.

Even before the Shadow-developed apps were scrapped, multiple Democrats say county parties had already struggled to muster enough trained volunteers required to run all the caucus sites. Trained volunteers have also yet to practice using the new tool themselves. At previous volunteer events, chairs were given extensive training on the Shadow-developed apps along with opportunities to practice downloading and using them.

With just two weeks until Caucus Day, the party is also short some 1,000 caucus chairs across the state, multiple Democrats say they were told at Saturday's summits. Some volunteers are bracing to potentially host two caucuses at once at their sites if the volunteer shortfall is not filled.

Nevada Democratic Party spokeswoman Molly Forgey told CBS News in statement on Sunday that they have "recruited and trained nearly 3,000 volunteers who have been scheduled for more than 4,000 shifts."

"With this capacity, we can execute a successful caucus," Forgey  said. "We will continue to actively recruit and train volunteers every day until Caucus Day. Our goal is to ensure we're accounting for every contingency which is why our strategy has been to recruit more volunteers than we need."

Forgey did not comment on other details of the story.

The new tool was not described as playing a direct role during the upcoming early voting, which kicks off February 15. Site leads for the early vote process, who were initially supposed to receive their materials Friday, are now scheduled to pick up their materials in the coming days.

The final results from the Iowa caucuses have still not been made official, as they await review after multiple campaigns sent in reports outlining inconsistencies in a total of 95 precincts. The Iowa Democratic Party on Saturday said the results of the review would be announced no later than 12 p.m. CT on Monday. National delegates will finally be allocated following completion of the review.

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