UPDATE: 9:59 p.m. EST — The Republican Party of Nevada issued a brief statement admitting to at least partial "chaos" at caucus sites, including "reports of double voting" and offering up a reason for the apparent disorganization.

UPDATE: 9:47 p.m. EST — The 2016 Republican Nevada caucuses have reportedly gotten off to a rocky start, with multiple reports of a variation of purported disorder at a handful of caucusing sites across the state. The issues have been attributed to both apparent ineptitude -- including caucus workers not IDing voters, who in some cases were reportedly allowed to vote more than once -- and an unexpectedly large turnout.

At Green Valley High School in the city of Henderson, the latter was reportedly on full display after caucus site organizers were apparently caught off guard by the throngs of voters, and at first had to send for two more sets of extra ballots before ordering another set to accommodate voters.





UPDATE: 9:29 p.m. EST — Two people cloaked in what appered to be the traditional white sheets and hoods associated with the Ku Klux Klan were seen outside a Nevada caucusing site holding signs in support of Donald Trump, who is enjoying a 16 percentage point polling lead over the next closest candidate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. 



That happened shortly before Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval reportedly cast his vote for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, which Sandoval said does not constitute a formal endorsement for his candidacy. Instead, the governor called Rubio the "best choice," according to a tweet from Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Sean Whaley.



UPDATE: 8:43 p.m. EST — Reports are flooding in from across Nevada about apparent chaos at various caucusing sites, including allegations of ballots with 11 candidates instead of the five remaining White House hopefuls. Another person tweeted that poll workers were not checking IDs and voters were not checking in, before adding that a person reportedly claimed to have been allowed to vote for Trump not once but twice. One report attributed to a caucus volunteer offered an explanation for why the ballots were devoid of write-ins and included more names than existing candidates.

“Confusion” and “disaster” were two words that kept coming up in the reports.







UPDATE: 8:15 p.m. EST — Nevada has a reputation for delivering results to its caucuses at a delayed rate, something political analyst Jon Ralston seemed to reinforce when he tweeted a screenshot from the Nevada Republican Party's website displaying garbled, raw HTML code instead of the caucuses' results.

UPDATE: 8:15 p.m. EST — As the Nevada Republican caucuses got underway, a local union began picketing at Donald Trump's hotel in Las Vegas, according to a tweet by the Nevada State AFL-CIO. It was immediately unclear if the picketers were protesting Trump the candidate or their working conditions — or both.

UPDATE: 7:32 p.m. EST — Caucusing has officially begun in Nevada, and video footage from the state's most heavily populated county, Clark County, showed a bustling scene at a designated caucusing site.

UPDATE: 6:21 p.m. EST — The Nevada Republican Party issued a statement Tuesday evening, reminding caucusgoers that videotaping and photographing by members of the public is not permissible, the Washington Examiner reported.

The statement came shortly after Republican candidate Donald Trump reportedly sent a letter to Nevada’s Republican Party, expressing concern after a Wall Street Journal article reported rival candidate Ted Cruz’s campaign had urged supporters to videotape caucus proceedings with their smartphones. Nevada voters should keep an eye out for “dishonest stuff,” Trump also warned.

“In light of recent events, regarding instructions for supporters to record and report suspicious conduct in today's caucus, the Nevada Republican Party affirms that members of the general public may observe the caucusing process and encourages any individual who observes any suspicious conduct to immediately notify precinct and/or party leaders. However, no member of the general public shall be permitted to photograph, film or otherwise record the caucusing process," the Nevada GOP statement read.

UPDATE: 5:51 p.m. EST — Republican presidential polling leader Donald Trump told attendees at a pre-caucus rally Tuesday that despite the acrimonious relationship he shared with Jeb Bush, he still reached out after the former Florida governor dropped out of the race following Saturday's South Carolina primary. However, Trump told the Sparks, Nevada, crowd, Bush wasn't so receptive.

Because Trump has such an overwhelming lead in the polling leading up to the Nevada contest, pundits have already begun looking toward Super Tuesday, when 12 states and one U.S. territory get to vote in their respective primaries. Assuming Ohio Gov. John Kasich drops out following the Nevada caucuses, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio -- who has been billed as the establishment's alternative to Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz -- could pick up the support of backers of both Kasich and Bush. That would allow him to secure the lion's share of delegates during the March 1 contests, thus significantly narrowing Trump's wide lead.

UPDATE: 4:35 p.m. EST — As has been the theme of the early nomination states so far in the Republican field, the Nevada caucuses have attracted a huge amount of preregistered voters. John Ralston, an expert on Nevada politics, tweeted that more than 37,000 voters had preregistered to caucus Tuesday night. That's more than the total in 2012 when Mitt Romney seemed to excite Mormon voters in the state.

UPDATE: 3:42 p.m. EST — In the days since former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush dropped out of the presidential race, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has seen a flood of political endorsements from politicians who had originally cast their lot with Bush or were holding back to see how the race progressed. Rubio left Nevada Tuesday, where caucuses will be held that could give a boost to Rubio's campaign, and news broke that the two Floridians are expected to meet soon. Perhaps another endorsement is coming Rubio's way.

Meanwhile, back in Nevada, Trump took shots at Rubio and his supporters at a campaign rally in Sparks, Nevada. He seemed somewhat hurt by Bush's campaign, which attacked him repeatedly with negative campaign advertising to try and gain an edge on Trump.

Original story:

Republican presidential candidates were scheduled to make campaign stops all over Nevada Tuesday, looking to motivate supporters and cull undecided voters ahead of the evening caucuses. There were five candidates competing for the Republican mantle, though all eyes were on the race between businessman Donald Trump, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Trump, who leads in the state's polls as well as nationally, had two events scheduled on the day of the caucuses, including a watch party in Las Vegas’s Treasure Island Casino. Rubio was also scheduled to make appearances in the state but was scheduled to leave the state to head to Minnesota and Michigan. Cruz was scheduled to deliver remarks live after the caucuses in Las Vegas.

The political day for those candidates had been defined at least in part by a man they frequently disparage: President Barack Obama. The president announced his plans Tuesday morning to close the Guantanamo Bay prison facility, drawing the ire of Rubio, Trump and Cruz.

You can watch Donald Trump's final campaign event before his campaign watch party live in the tweet below.

Also hoping for a strong showing were Ohio Gov. John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson. However, neither appeared to be positioned for a significant upset in the state caucuses.

In polling of the state, Trump leads the pack by 16 points ahead of second-place Cruz, who takes in 23 percent of the vote. Rubio comes in third with 19 percent support from likely Nevada caucus goers. Neither of the other two candidates top 10 percent in the state, according to an average of polls by Real Clear Politics.

But, as has been frequently noted, the nature of caucuses and Nevada itself mean that those polls may not accurately reflect how voters in the state feel. Caucuses require an extensive time commitment compared to primary elections and Nevada is a large and mostly rural state. Because it has not been one of the first states in the presidential nominating season, polling in the state is scant.

It remains to be seen if Trump can win in the state after two decisive victories in the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries earlier this month.