Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Dozens of sites opened for early voting in the Nevada Democratic Party's presidential caucuses Saturday, the first time the state has offered early caucusing.
The early-voting period and same-day registration will run from Saturday to Tuesday at more than 80 sites, including four back-of-house locations at Las Vegas casinos. Caucus Day is scheduled for Feb. 22.
Nevada is the first and only caucus state to offer early voting.
The state party has also expanded bilingual preference cards to include a third language, Tagalog, along with English and Spanish, to accommodate a growing Asian American Pacific Islander community.
The Democratic Party described Nevada as a "tiebreaker," state.
"In 2008, Nevada was the deciding state after Barack Obama won Iowa and Hillary Clinton beat him in New Hampshire," the statement said. "And in 2016, Nevada became a tiebreaker after Clinton won Iowa and Bernie Sanders took New Hampshire. In both cases, Nevada broke for the eventual nominee."
The Nevada caucuses will award 36 pledged delegates at the Democratic National Convention.
Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg leads so far in the pledged delegate count, with 22 delegates compared to 21 for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; eight for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; seven for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; and six for former Vice President Joe Biden.
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who focused his campaign on a $1,000 universal basic income for every American, dubbed the "Freedom Dividend," dropped out of the race amid weak results in New Hampshire primaries. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Sen. Michael Bennett, D-Colo., also dropped out in the past week.
Nevada State Democratic Party Chairman William McCurdy assured state voters won't have a repeat of the debacle in Iowa in which delays in reporting results was blamed on a new mobile phone app used to tally votes.
"NV Dems can confidently say that what happened in the Iowa caucus last night will not happen in Nevada on Feb. 22," McCurdy tweeted the day after the Iowa caucus. "We will not be employing the same app or vendor used in the Iowa caucus. We had already developed a series of backups and redundant reporting systems, and are currently evaluating the best path forward."
Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price announced his resignation his resignation this week and said state Democrats would commission an independent investigation of the caucus process.
Nevada party leaders maintain confidence the process will go differently in there.
"We understand just how important it is that we get this right and protect the integrity of Nevadans' votes," wrote Alana Mounce, the Nevada Democratic Party's executive director, in a memo on the new plan. "We are confident in our backup plans and redundancies."
Democrats said they have a two-step verification process. Precinct chairs can transmit the final results of caucusing through an iPad Google form, but they also are required to either call in results or deliver them in person.
Candidates including Biden, Sanders, Warren, Klobuchar, businessman Tom Steyer and Buttigieg, have come to Nevada this weekend to campaign at events throughout Las Vegas Valley. Though Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, will also be on the Nevada ballot, she is not expected to campaign in the state. Each of the candidates, except for Steyer and Gabbard, have also qualified for a presidential debate on Wednesday at Paris Las Vegas to air on MSNBC.