New to Washoe County?
A Guide for the New Voter
You’re new to Washoe County and perhaps you’ve either registered to vote Republican or you are considering registering as a Republican. Here is what you need to know about how the Republican Party operates in Washoe County.
The voting levels for elected lawmakers here in Washoe County are at the:
- Federal level (President, 2 Senators elected at-large, and 1 US Representative),
- State level (8 Assembly Districts and 4 Senate Districts),
- County level (5 County Commissioners, 1 Sheriff, 7 Washoe County School District Trustees)
- Local levels (Mayors, City Councils, and other officials, depending where you live)
Voters are organized into legally drawn precincts, which consist of roughly 150-200 households each and there are approximately 440 precincts in Washoe County. Each Assembly District consists of about 60-70 precincts, and there are four Senate Districts in the County. As of March 2020, there are approximately 290,000 voters, including 104,000 Democrats, 103,000 Republicans, and 83,000 Non-partisan/other.
The Nevada State Legislature meets in even-numbered years for 120 days. The 81st Session will begin in February, 2021.
What Is a Caucus and/or Precinct Meeting?
According to the Nevada State Constitution (Nevada Revised Statutes, or NRS), both major political parties are required to have Precinct Meetings and a County Convention every two years, in the even years. In Presidential years, the Precinct Meetings are called a Caucus and there is a Presidential Preference Poll held at the Caucus.
- At a Caucus with more than one Presidential candidate, neighbors can speak out for their choice, in the hope of persuading others to vote for that choice.
- In non-Presidential years or years where we have an unopposed Republican incumbent, it is simply called a Precinct Meeting. Precinct Meetings are held in designated public schools around the County, with several precincts meeting in each school.
- At the Primary in June, the President does not appear on the Primary ballot.
- In NV, each precinct is entitled to one (1) Central Committee member, one (1) County Convention Delegate, and one (1) County Convention Alternate for every 50 registered Republican voters (or any portion thereof) in the precinct. Republican voters attending the Precinct Meetings can nominate themselves to the Central Committee and the County Convention, or they may be nominated by others in attendance.
What Are Conventions and What Do They Do?
There are three Republican Conventions that are held: a County Convention, a State Convention, and the National Convention.
- The County Convention is held every 2 years, before the end of March. As of this writing, that date is going to change based on the COVID-19 crisis. It is a full day of meetings, voting, platform issues, and hearing from candidates. Attendees, also known as Delegates and/or Alternates, are able to attend if they were elected at the Precinct Meeting. At the County Convention, nominees for membership in the Central Committee are elected, and Delegates and Alternates are elected to the State Convention.
- The State Convention is held after the County Conventions, the platform is adopted, and Delegates and Alternates to the National Convention are elected. The State Convention location is in northern Nevada in Presidential years and southern Nevada in mid-term years.
- The National Convention is where the Party’s nominee for the President is selected. In 2020, the National Convention will be held in Charlotte, NC from August 24-27.
What is the Central Committee and What Does It Do?
The Central Committee is the governing body of the County Party. The Republican Party Central Committee meets quarterly, usually on the 4th Thursday evenings of January, April, July, and October and usually at the Elks Lodge, 597 Kumle Lane in Reno. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the dates and locations of these meetings may need to be adjusted.
A new Central Committee is nominated at the Precinct Meetings as discussed above and all new members are elected en masse at the County Convention. The term is for two (2) years until the next Precinct Meetings in 2022.
Can I Be Elected to the Central Committee If I Was Not Nominated at my Precinct Meeting?
It is likely that the answer is yes. If the prescribed slots from your precinct are not filled at the Precinct Meetings, there is a two-meeting process required to become a member of the Central Committee. Call the County Party office (775-827-1900) and ask to be placed in nomination at the next Central Committee meeting, which you should attend. Once nominated, you will need to be present at the subsequent meeting to get elected. Then you are a full Central Committee member, with all rights and voting privileges.
If you cannot make both meetings where you are nominated and then elected, you may miss only one of them. However, you must advise the Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org) in advance that you still wish to be placed in nomination or election, even though you cannot be present. If you cannot make either of the two meetings, you should wait for a time when you can make two consecutive meetings for the Central Committee nomination/election process.
Remember, you are representing your precinct. You may not miss more than 3 consecutive unexcused meetings or you will be removed from the Central Committee. In order to get excused, simply phone (775-827-1900) or email the Secretary (email@example.com) that you cannot make the meeting and you will be excused.
What Are the Important Election Dates in Washoe County?
Primary election. Tuesday, June 9, 2020.
Republican candidates for elected offices in Washoe County are selected at this election. Early Voting begins May 23 and extends to June 5. Voting locations are usually at Raley’s supermarkets, and some libraries. During Early Voting, voters may vote in any location.
General election. Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
Early Voting begins October 17 and goes to October 31. Voting locations are usually at Raley’s supermarkets and at Town Center Shopping Mall. During Early Voting, voters may vote in any location.
What ID is required to vote?
No photo ID or ID of any kind is required to vote. Additionally, this year, anyone not registered to vote can show up on election day, request to register and vote on the same day. The ballot will be “provisional” which will require confirmation by the County Registrar of Voters before it can be counted, so in some races, we may not know the winner for two or more weeks.
Washoe County Republican Party
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Mon – Fri