This 143-Slide Instruction Manual For The Nevada Democratic Caucus Makes It Real Simple

Image: AP, Iowa 2020

Following the Iowa caucus app mishap which fried the votes on computer and left us all confused about the official results, the Nevada State Democratic Party has planned for all eventualities and unleashed a 143-slide instruction manual for caucus volunteers. The party has ditched the Shadow app that spectacularly imploded in Iowa and pivoted to using Google Forms–the instructions for which read as a holy testament to Murphy’s Law—hysterical anticipation that everything will go absolutely fucking off the rails—beginning with the assumption that caucus volunteers may not know how to use an iPad.

Slide 94, from chapter seven, “Caucus Steps and Script,” reads:

❏ Open iPad case

❏ Hold iPad horizontally

❏ Press the small round “home” button on the side of the screen twice

❏ This brings you to your iPad home screen

Image: Screengrab; the Nevada State Democratic Party

Another series of steps, “Set up your precinct room,” begins:

❏ Set up your space

❏ Precincts in separate rooms or separate areas of a large space

❏ Move furniture that’s not needed out of the way

❏ Make sure you have chairs for those not able to stand for long periods

❏ Designate an area for observers

Image: Screengrab; the Nevada State Democratic Party

Remain calm. Breathe in (1), and then breathe out (2), and then repeat steps 1-2. And whatever you do, do NOT visit the delegate selection and caucus materials page.

As the New York Times, which first spotted the manual, has reported, the party is calling in a “technological cavalry” including Google support staff and tech-savvy volunteers. Nevada Democrats, it also notes, are typically well-organised. And yet, the paper reports that voter rolls at early voting check-ins were saved as PDF files so enormous that searching for a name often froze the iPads. Rats.

On the day of, caucus data is to be recorded on the iPad, and on a “caucus maths poster,” and then on a caucus reporting sheet, which goes to headquarters. Google Forms will do the caucus maths, and if the technology fails (hackers, iPad falls in toilet, etc), the precinct chairs will have to do it by hand. They will then 1) call a hotline to report results, 2) text a photo of the reporting worksheet, and 3) take the reporting worksheet to the site leads, who will make sure that they did 1) and 2), proceed to take a photo of the reporting sheet before finally submitting it to the party in an envelope.

Right? Right. Tom Steyer is counting on you.

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