The Nevada Democratic Convention lasted for at least 16 hours on Saturday, but ended even more controversially than it began. The Convention began with a highly debated decision to change the Convention rules despite not getting the needed majority of vocal votes. But at the end of the night, when a motion was made to recount the delegates, the chair of the Convention closed out the meeting without even giving the delegates’ a chance to say “nay.” Now it’s looking like legal action will be the next step. (To see a full livestream from Saturday’s convention, see our post here.)
Here’s what you need to know.
A Motion Was Made for a Delegate Recount Late at Night, but the Chair Overruled Everything Without Waiting for Nay Votes
Several motions were put on the floor near the end of the Nevada convention, including a motion for a recount of the delegates. This motion was seconded and would have gone up for a vote, but everything was stopped short by Roberta Lange, the Nevada State Democratic Chair. It happens in the video above, right around the 4:00 mark.
Rachel Avery, who was at the Convention, told Heavy that before there was a chance for the motions to be voted on, Lange came on stage and voted herself into power to overrule the motions. “She made a motion, someone on her staff seconded it, called a vote final without hearing any nays,” Avery said.
Jason Llanes, who was also livestreaming the Convention all day, confirmed this on his video.
“She (Lange) put in a new motion of her own, had someone second it, called for yays and nays and passed it before the nays even spoke,” he reported.
The Convention is not reconvening tomorrow, it was announced. Instead, protestors will have to pursue legal avenues.
“It was politically heartbreaking to see,” one person told Llanes on his livestream feed. “This is supposed to be about … bringing us together… We didn’t get any voice… Nothing… There were a chunk of Bernie supporters who would have supported Hillary. Would have. But when you divide the room the way they did…”
The Controversies Started When a Rule Change Was Adopted in the Morning, Despite Not Having a Vocal Majority
The Convention began on a negative note when controversial temporary rules were adopted. Sanders supporters had been worried about these rules for weeks and had collected delegate signatures to seek changes to the rules. According to Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks, this rule change involved going with the delegate count from the first tier vote and ignoring the delegate count from the second tier, which Sanders had won.
A vocal vote was held to determine if these temporary rules should be adopted as permanent. The rules were voted on through a vocal “aye” or “nay,” led by Roberta Lange, the party’s chairwoman. The video above shows the voice vote, which doesn’t clearly show a majority. On Reddit, a person who was watching from a different part of the room said that the nays were almost as loud as the ayes, and it was very difficult to tell who had the majority.
If it’s not clear who gets the majority, then the convention is supposed to have a “vote of division of assembly,” reported Jason Llanes, who stayed at the convention all day, reporting live from Periscope. A division of assembly vote involves having people stand on either side of the room to indicate their vote, he said.
Lange, however, announced that the “ayes” won and that her decision could not be contested. The vote was taken at 9:30 a.m., while many delegates were still in line.
At this point, things got very heated. Sanders supporters yelled that the Convention was fixed and at least one Clinton supporter yelled “arrest them!” You can see some of the protests in the video below:
But when the demand for a recount grew, the lights in the convention were turned off and the sound was turned up:
Sanders supporters booed the convention and the voice count, which they felt was not accurate. Later reports claimed that Sanders supporters had also booed Nina Turner, Ohio State Senator, but this was not true.