WASHINGTON – Now that New Hampshire and Iowa are behind the candidates, the 2020 Democratic contenders focus on the next state: Nevada.
The caucuses will be held Saturday. For the first time, Democrats in the state have been able to participate through early voting, which has already turned out thousands of voters.
Same-day registration is also allowed.
Here's what you need to know about Saturday's election:
How does voting work?
Caucuses are a party-run, community-based approach to nominating a presidential candidate.
In a caucus, you vote with your feet, teaming up with like-minded residents at your nearest voting location – known as a precinct – to show support for a presidential candidate.
Voters will fill out a form, called a presidential preference card, that lists the top candidates they support.
That’s just the first ballot, or “alignment” in caucus-speak. The real fun starts in the second alignment when supporters of less-popular candidates are encouraged to join groups of caucusgoers who backed a better-liked contender.
Viability, the percentage of supporters a candidate claims at a voting location, can vary widely but will typically require the support of at least 15% of caucusgoers per precinct.
Nevada caucus results: Follow live results from the Nevada caucuses
The Silver State’s system of settling caucus ties is to draw from a deck of cards.
Precinct check-ins start at 10 a.m. Saturday. Caucusing begins at noon. Precinct locations can be found at caucus.nvdems.com or by contacting the party at 702-737-8683.
Nevada looks to do things differently after Iowa debacle
The Silver State’s third-in-the-nation nominating contest was, like Iowa’s, planned as an app-based process. Nevada Democrats have since dropped plans to use the Shadow app on caucus day. Iowa saw major problems with a mobile app.
The Nevada State Democratic Party plans to use a “caucus calculator.”
Party officials sent a memo to campaigns explaining the calculator will be downloaded to party-purchased iPads and available for use only by precinct chairs charged with completing sometimes-complicated caucus math. It will help caucus organizers incorporate early vote totals into the results tallied on caucus day.
Nevada committed to retaining other long-planned caucus updates, such as the addition of workplace caucus sites on the Las Vegas Strip, a metropolitan hub.
Who won the first two states?
The Associated Press still has not called a winner in Iowa. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., ended the day in a near tie in state delegates in the first-in-the-nation election, according to the Iowa Democratic Party.
In New Hampshire, Sanders edged Buttigieg in a closer-than-expected finish. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar came in a surprising third, a finish that built on her well-received debate performance the week before.
Buttigieg and Sanders lead the pack in terms of delegates; the former mayor is ahead by just 1 percentage point.
Nevada has 36 delegates up for play.
Contributing: James DeHaven, Reno Gazette Journal
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What you need to know about the Nevada Democratic caucuses