Chaotic But fun: Las Vegas Casino Workers Cast Votes - UrduPoint

Sunday 23rd February 2020

Las Vegas, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 23rd Feb, 2020 ) :The gambling never stops in Las Vegas.

But for a few hours Saturday, croupiers, maids and cooks in the city's world-famous casinos were given an extended break from their shifts in order to cast votes in Nevada's key Democratic nomination exercise.

"It's fun! I'm going to see what people say inside," she said, signing in at a crowded registration desk.

The caucus process allows attendees to re-cast their votes if their first candidate falls short of a threshold -- meaning it can take hours.

"I don't know what's gonna happen," said Flores. "Hopefully it will be quick." - 'Just seems chaotic' - Nevada's caucus system -- requiring a greater investment in time than a simple secret vote, as in most other states -- has not been welcomed by all of the Strip's busy employees.

"It just seems chaotic and ridiculous -- it would be so much easier if we just had a Primary," said Bellagio floral designer Anne Olah, 52.

The "Strip caucuses" were introduced to tackle the unusual challenges posed by the city's 24-hour economy. Anyone working a shift within 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) of a Strip caucus site during the vote is eligible to attend.

Early voting was also introduced this year.

Almost 75,000 voters picked candidates earlier in the week.

Voting at the Bellagio caucus was swift, with all but nine of those present immediately siding with either Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden.

The pair enjoy strong popularity among Latinos and other minorities, who make up a large chunk of the casino and hotel workforce.

Pete Buttigieg was among the candidates with no votes at the Bellagio.

Elizabeth Warren's half-dozen voters were implored by both the Sanders and Biden camps to join them in the second round.

"Bernie Sanders, of course!" shouted out Laura Torres, a 46-year-old cleaner.

But it was not enough to sway Olah, who crossed the room to join Biden's supporters.

"I don't hate Bernie or anything, but if you're going to run in a Democratic caucus, you need to be a Democrat," she said after.

In the end, fiery leftist Sanders won the vote at the Bellagio caucus site with 76 votes, over the moderate Biden who garnered 45 votes.

Keen to avoid the embarrassment of the Iowa caucus, which relied on a flawed computer app to relay results, Nevada has pivoted to a "very, very low-tech" system, Jon Summers, senior advisor to the Nevada Democratic Party, told AFP.

Attendance was tallied manually. Officials then telephoned in results from each location, backed up with photographs of the paper count sheets.

The party distributed iPads for caucus workers to add the early votes to those voting in person on Saturday, and to calculate the minimum total votes a candidate needs to remain "viable."

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