Feb. 16 (UPI) — Nevada Democrats on Monday introduced legislation to ditch the state’s caucus system and make it the first state to hold a presidential primary for the 2024 election.
The bill introduced by Democratic state lawmakers Jason Frierson, Teresa Benitez-Thompson and Brittney Miller would set the state’s presidential primary for the Tuesday “immediately preceding the last Tuesday in January,” placing it ahead of New Hampshire on the primary schedule.
Additionally, the legislation would require early voting for the primary election beginning 10 calendar days before the election and extending through the Friday before.
Nevada is currently one of just four states to hold a caucus along with Iowa, Wyoming and North Dakota, while the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands also participate in the practice.
Unlike the primary system, in which voters directly cast ballots for their candidate of choice, voters in a caucus elect delegates who support various candidates and ultimately correlate to the number of delegates for each candidate sent on to the Democratic National Convention.
The caucus system has come under scrutiny after the results of the 2020 Iowa caucus, the first in the nation, were delayed after the Iowa Democratic Party reported “inconsistencies” in the reporting of results.
Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II said the bill is a “critical step” to expanding access to the presidential nominating process in the state.
“Last year, Democrats did incredible work to make our caucuses more accessible by including early voting and introducing multilingual trainings and materials, but the only way we can bring more voices into the process is by moving to a primary,” he said.