Suggestions by college Republicans in Nevada that they planned to participate in both the GOP caucus next week and in Saturday’s Democratic caucus to presumably undercut Hillary Clinton in her race against Bernie Sanders prompted a fiery blowback from prominent Dems.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who hails from the state, issued a statement calling the alleged plans “shameful and immoral.”
“Rather than letting voters decide and allowing our democratic system to work, Republicans are resorting to trickery and gimmicks in an attempt to subvert the will of the people,” the Reid statement Friday said.
Meanwhile the state Democratic Party is floating the potential for legal action, Politico reported.
“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,” Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Roberta Lange said in a statement. The statement pointed to a Nevada statute that outlaws willingly giving a false answer to a voting official or falsifying a voter application.
“The Nevada State Democratic Party will work with law enforcement to prosecute anyone who falsely registers as a Democrat to caucus tomorrow and subsequently participates in the Republican caucuses on Tuesday,” Lange said.
The way the scheme purports to work would allow a GOP voter to undercut Clinton in the Dem caucus but not miss a chance to participate in their own caucus. A GOP voter could switch their registration to Democrat Saturday in order to participate in the Democratic caucus. Because that change in voter registration wouldn’t be recorded in time for anyone to notice the change before Tuesday’s GOP caucus, the voter could still go ahead and participate in his own caucus.
The potential for GOP mischief in Nevada’s Democratic race — which has grown incredibly tight — was revealed when reports surfaced of a University of Nevada, Reno College Republicans press release that announced what it called a “loophole” in the state’s election practices that allows registered Republicans to caucus for both parties.
“This is one mis-step in the process that Republicans have been given an opportunity to capitalize on, if they see fit to,” the release said. It does not explicitly instruct Republicans to vote for Sanders, but implies as such when quoting the group’s president Miranda Hoover.
“With so much a stake in our country, we can not sit on the sidelines. There is a burning desire for new leadership and the Republicans have the vision for the next generation. When put head-to-head: Democrat vs. Republican, Socialist vs. Free Market, we know which candidate will prevail,” she said.