From the Trenches at the Nevada Caucuses – Part 1.0

This is Part 1 of a 3-part series on the Nevada Caucuses.

1.0 I know Dirty… and I know Elections

The big news of the day is Donald Trump's runaway victory in the Nevada Republican caucuses. Along with it, "reports" that the process was tainted, crooked, a Trump flimflam. The "sources" for these reports are almost all people griping on social media.

The Republican caucuses that I observed were either clean or they hired Penn & Teller to handle the shenanigans – because I didn't see a damn thing happen. Maybe it was a little disorganized, but certainly nothing that suggested a dirty election.

I know a dirty election when I see one. In 2004, I was an election observer in Florida, and I saw things that you probably wouldn't believe happened, even if I had video.

Crowds of black voters came in to vote, noting that "volunteers" had come to their neighborhoods to “help” them register to vote. After taking their registration information, these “volunteers” seemed to "forget" to send in the forms. Oopsie!

Ok, perhaps it was just an honest mistake that dozens of people came in with the same story, that a "nice volunteer" came to their house to "help them register," and then their registration forms magically didn't ever get submitted. The black voters, believing they were registered, would not discover the truth until election day – when it was too late to rectify the injustice. “Y’all come back in four years now,” the poll workers said with cheshire smiles and voices as sugary as sweet tea. Some might come back….but, the damage was done for that election.

And in other situations, I recall more than a few voters being told that they weren't registered to vote, even though they personally turned in their voter registration forms on time. When I showed up by his side, all of a sudden, his name would appear.

After I apparently helped too many of them get ballots, a Republican election observer made a call, and ten minutes after the call, a white van screeched to a halt in front of the polling center, and five stocky, buzz-cut white men (one shaved bald) in red shirts barged into the polling station and demanded that I be removed from the polling place. Finally, the gang of five thugs found a corrupt deputy who ejected me from the place under threat of arrest. I was more than happy to go to jail for the cause. But, when I called the HQ, they gave me strict instructions to stand down — their concern was that if voters saw a civil rights attorney getting hauled off in cuffs, it would most scare the shit out of them, and thus likely be the best vote-suppression strategy the Republicans could hope for.

Outside the polling station, I walked over to a chair, and fell into it. I thought that battle ended before I was born. The emotion that sat on my shoulders and collapsed my whole body was shame – shame at being part of a society that still considered equal rights to be a nuisance, shame that I didn’t do more, shame that I was so naive that until Nov. 2, 2004, I truly disbelieved everyone who told me a story like this. But this time I was there. I couldn’t deny that it happened, and I couldn’t deny that what I saw was an organized effort to deny people the right to vote.

That was a dirty election.

So here in Nevada… were the caucuses really dirty? What were they like?

NEXT: Part 2.0 – Wallowing in the Democrats

Last 5 posts by Randazza


  1. darius404 says

    or they hired Penn & Teller to handle the shenanigans

    If they hired Penn and Teller, they would've just explained the trick afterwards anyway.

  2. GGM says

    Well this post was devastating. I too thought this ended before I was born. I was about to head out to cast my early vote. Now I just want to burn the whole corrupt mess to the ground. And I live in a city where the opposite party did the same thing to hundreds of GOP voter registrations. They were found by a business owner in his dumpster. He was angry that someone was filling up the dumpster he pays for. He was less angry about the subversion of voter rights.

  3. andrews says

    … that this actually happened in my lifetime …

    Maybe you are young enough to not remember particularly 2002 in So Fla. The trick was that the marvellous electronic voting machines took hours to boot up on election day. Evidently no one had thought to test them with actual ballots.

    Also, depending on how young you are you may even remember 2000, when party officials brought in busloads of people to disrupt the counting of the votes. It turned out to be mostly a delay, because eventually it was determined that counting the ballots would contravene equal protection.

    The early voting, at least in some counties, is a bit challenging. When they bring busloads of people from the wrong churches, the power fails. Odd how that happens.

  4. Jonathan Smith says


    Since you are new to this site, and working among those whom I consider to be great writers, I thought I'd give your work a whirl.

    In this post, instead of discussing that which you claim in your lede, you stroke your ego by claiming heroism in the face of disenfranchisement while discussing another election. So you discussed Nevada only by innuendo and stroking. But this actually completes a theme. Involving stroking.

    Sadly, I read backwards through your posts: third first, and first second. Plot spoiler warning if this is the first post you have read!

    Had I done it in the correct order, there would have been a rhetorical climax, since you spent the third Nevada post discussing your penis through innuendo, after having overtly described your libido. All of this came after your having begun your Nevada posts by stroking your ego in the first by puffing your heroics in the polling place on behalf of your political team, in service of the poor, quelling voter disenfranchisement right and left, all of which can be blamed directly, nevermind how, on your political enemies. While, and via, trespassing.

    With all due respect, I believe I speak for America when I say we really don't care about your either your penis or libido (which is even more offensive than your unwarranted defamation of the Grand Old Party via innuendo, through personal anecdotes about events which took place a long time ago and which can never be proven or disproven empirically, one reason being that you apparently didn't ever find out WHY those things happened, but instead, apparently by default and like a simpleton, simply chose to demonize your political enemies).

    Voter fraud is complex, since it is….wait for it…fraud, except when liberals claim it doesn't exist, or if it does exist, it never changed an election, etc. To partisan close-minded liberal/progressive hacks, election crimes are only bad when you think the other team is doing it, and the other team always is. No other explanation is possible (unless one investigates, but that's not necessary, since the other team always IS participating in disenfranchisement). Why bother solving the systemic voting problems? All we have to do is vanquish our enemies, problem solved!

    Should you ever choose to speak about fact, or your ledes turn out not to be a tawdry come on, where the substance doesn't match up with the label, I will probably not know. I am probably going to refrain from your posts from now on. I hear plenty of sophomoric male ego stroking when counseling younger, male clients. I don't want to hear about their penises either by the way.

    For sure, I'll skip the middle post, thank you. I didn't enjoy the foreplay and the climax was good for you, I am sure, but not for me. And, like you I don't want to be screwed by men (something I now unfortunately have apprehended now that you have shared with me your libido and sexual drives and described how horny you are towards MILFS in yoga pants). If I did seek such, I would really avoid interaction with the ones who lied to me with their lede to entice me on. I can live with partisan rhetoric, but I have a "man rule" that once I know about what you do with your penis, you are dead to me. I am pretty sure I am not alone in this. Even President Clinton tried to keep his penis from public view, virile, vigorous and potent as it turns out he was.

    Maybe you could read some of the other writers' work from this site? I have been reading this site for about a year, and zero penis.

    Apologize for the rant and wish you well in your work, which I truly believe to be the Lord's Work.

  5. Sami says

    The thing I find puzzling is: having witnessed such shenanigans in 2004, why were you apparently still a registered Republican until a couple of weeks ago?

  6. Nobody says

    I'll see your vague accusations and raise you straight up, videotaped intimidation in 2008.

    Also, seems that it's entirely possible that those poor, poor people you saw weren't victims of ruthless Republican shenanigans, but people attempting to game the system and being rebuffed as they should be. Would it have been better to let unregistered people vote? Do you not think that has even a slight chance of fraudulent behavior? Such as voting multiple times (possibly spinning a sob story about a nice young man registering them).

    Hey, didn't someone around here recently write an article about potential voter fraud in Nevada caucuses due to weird registration rules?