When the Nevada caucus takes place on Feb. 4, you won't have to rely on The Associated Press for the results -- because the Nevada Republican Party will be tweeting them in real time.
We believe it will be the fastest results coming out of a caucus in history, spokesman James Anderson told reporters on Friday. We think we've got a tool for this caucus that could be a model for primaries and caucuses for states around the country.
It will be the first time a state party has used Twitter to publicize election results as they are tallied, and only the second time a state party has used any sort of public platform to do so. The Iowa Republican Party had a similar arrangement with Google when Iowa held its caucuses on Jan. 3.
The results for 16 of Nevada's 17 counties will start coming in at 5 p.m. PT, which is two hours after the caucuses are scheduled to end. Party officials will tweet statewide totals under the Twitter handle @nvgop, and local results will be available in machine-readable format via a second, unspecified handle.
But the results for the 17th county, Clark County, will not be available until after a special 7 p.m. caucus scheduled to accommodate Jewish and Seventh-Day Adventist voters, since the caucuses are taking place on a Saturday. These results are key because 70 percent of the state's population lives in Clark County, which includes Nevada's two largest cities: Las Vegas and Henderson.
We should have it [the Clark County results] wrapped up in an hour or half an hour, David Gallagher, executive director of the Nevada GOP, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. We don't anticipate it will be skewing any results.
The Associated Press has long been the definitive source of real-time election results. But now, in Nevada, the AP will most likely be getting its results from Twitter, just like everybody else.
Spokesman Paul Colford said in a statement that AP welcomed the new system, but added that AP will still be confirming the accuracy of the results posted on Twitter before it reposts them.
In this exciting election cycle, we welcome the Nevada GOP's plan to disseminate the results of its party-run precinct caucuses through Google and Twitter, a platform that the AP and its journalists have long been using in numerous ways to share news quickly, Colford said. In the absence of voting equipment used in a regular election, the AP has assured its members and subscribers that we will strive to exercise the quality control with the Nevada numbers that is the hallmark of our election services and work with the GOP and Twitter to help ensure the accuracy of the results as we report them.