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Steven Rosenfeld

Can Nevada Avoid A Vote-Count Meltdown?

As Nevada prepares for 2020 Democratic Party presidential caucuses after four days of early voting, the big question is will there be breakdowns in the reporting and counting of votes that echo Iowa’s chaotic 2020 caucus earlier this month. That question is not speculation, as Nevada State Democratic Party (NSDP) officials dropped their plans to use the same precinct reporting app and backend tabulation system that failed in Iowa. The NSDP has been scrambling since to find a substitute for what were the same uses in Iowa, but with additional elements unique to Nevada’s caucuses. Unlike Iowa, Nevada offered early voting at 80 sites across the state. In addition to processing voter registration, party registration and ranked-choice voting at those early voting sites, the NSDP must securely store those early votes, and then send the local results to nearly 2,000 caucus chairs to begin the February 22 statewide contest.The Democratic National Committee has required caucus states to have a paper trail of all votes. In Iowa and Nevada, participants are to fill out and sign presidential preference cards. Party-run caucuses are not secret ballots. Caucus chairs collect these cards and also fill out a results summary sheet that they and campaign representatives must all sign. But it appears that the primary way that the NSDP will be reporting and tallying votes is not by examining these paper records, but by using the party-provided iPads and Google forms. In short, there will be two evidence trails created - one paper, one digital.

Candidates Debate In Nevada Tonight

6 Democrats are set to debate in Nevada. Here's what you need to know. NPR: "Three days before the Nevada caucuses, six Democratic candidates will face off in a debate Wednesday night in Las Vegas. The televised debate comes on the heels of a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll that shows Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading nationally, with 31% support among Democratic-leaning voters. Trailing Sanders in second in the survey is billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, with 19% backing. The result pushed Bloomberg over the Democratic National Committee's polling threshold, qualifying him for Wednesday's debate. As the field continues to shrink, Wednesday's debate will feature six of the eight major candidates still in the race. The debate will begin at 9 p.m. ET and is expected to last two hours. It is being hosted by NBC News, MSNBC and the Nevada Independent, and it will take place at the Paris Theater in Las Vegas The debate will be broadcast live on NBC News, MSNBC and Universo (in Spanish). It will also be available via livestream on the websites of NBC NewsMSNBCTelemundo and the Nevada Independent.

Sanders, Buttigieg Less Than 0.1 Apart In IA

Buttigieg, Sanders separated by thousandths of a point after Iowa recanvass. Politico: "Pete Buttigieg's already narrow state delegate equivalent lead over Bernie Sanders has reduced further, to less than a hundredth of a percentage point, after the Iowa Democratic Party announced the results of a recanvass of targeted precincts from the state's Democratic caucuses. Buttigieg now leads Sanders by .08 state delegate equivalents, according to results posted by the state party — 26.186 percent for Buttigieg to 26.182 percent for Sanders. In the results posted by the Iowa Democratic Party, Buttigieg still had 14 delegates to the national convention to 12 for Sanders — a result that could flip after a recount. Sanders maintains his lead in the final alignment of the popular vote, as well as the first-choice alignment that preceded it. The initial results were marred by apparent reporting or mathematical errors. Sanders' campaign said it will seek a recount. The Buttigieg and Sanders campaigns have 24 hours to formally request one. 'We now believe a recount will give Sen. Sanders enough State Delegate Equivalents to put him over the top by that metric as well. We want to thank the people of Iowa, our supporters, our volunteers and everyone who made this possible,' Sanders senior adviser Jeff Weaver said in the statement."

Trump Pardons The Swamp

Trump pardons the swamp. Axios: "President Trump announced Tuesday that he would commute former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's 14-year prison sentence for extortion, bribery and corruption — as well as issue full pardons for former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik and financier Michael Milken. The president's clemency spree largely benefitted white-collar criminals convicted of crimes like corruption, gambling fraud and racketeering, undercutting his message of 'draining the swamp.' Blagojevich, a former contestant on Trump's 'Celebrity Apprentice,' attempted to exchange an appointment to Barack Obama’s Senate seat for campaign contributions after the 2008 presidential election and was eight years into his sentence. DeBartolo was convicted of gambling fraud in 1998. Kerik, the head of the NYPD during the Sept. 11 attacks and a nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security by George W. Bush, pleaded guilty to tax fraud and other charges in 2009 after accepting a $250,000 'loan' from an Israeli billionaire during his tenure as interior minister of Iraq immediately after the U.S. invasion."

Trump Says He "Is The Law"

Post impeachment, Trump declares himself the ‘chief law enforcement officer’ of America. WaPo: "Trump's pardons and commutations of political allies followed moves to punish witnesses in his impeachment trial, publicly intervene in a pending legal case to urge leniency for a friend, attack a federal judge, accuse a juror of bias and threaten to sue his own government for investigating him. Trump defended his actions, saying he has the right to shape the country’s legal systems as he sees fit. 'I’m allowed to be totally involved,' he told reporters as he left Washington on Tuesday for a trip to California, Nevada and Arizona. “'’m actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country. But I’ve chosen not to be involved.' The president’s post-impeachment behavior has alarmed Attorney General William P. Barr, who has told people close to the president that he is willing to quit unless Trump stops publicly commenting on ongoing criminal matters, according to two administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. It also has appalled several legal experts and former officials, who have said his direct intervention in legal matters risks further politicizing law enforcement at a time of fraying confidence in the Justice Department. More than 2,000 former Justice Department employees signed a public letter this week objecting to Trump’s public intervention in the case of his longtime friend Roger Stone, and urging Barr to resign."

Medicare For All Would Save Billions, Lives

Medicare for All would save $480b, save 68,000 lives, new study shows. Newsweek: "The Medicare For All plan proposed by Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars each year and would prevent tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, a new study shows. The analysis, conducted by researchers at Yale University, the University of Florida and the University of Maryland, found that transitioning the U.S. to a single-payer health care system would actually save an estimated $450 billion each year, with the average American family seeing about $2,400 in annual savings. The research, which was published Saturday in the medical journal The Lancet, also found that Medicare for all would prevent about 68,000 unnecessary deaths per year. 'Our study is actually conservative because it doesn't factor in the lives saved among underinsured Americans—which includes anyone who nominally has insurance but has postponed or foregone care because they couldn't afford the copays and deductibles,' Alison Galvani, an author of the study and researcher at the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis at the Yale School of Public Health, told Newsweek."

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