The Nevada Democratic Convention descended into chaos on Saturday (14 May), after supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders demanded a delegate recount when rival Hillary Clinton was awarded more delegates. Sanders' supporters claim that the Nevada State Democratic Party skewed the rules in favour of the former secretary of state.
Nevada held the first stage of delegate allocation on 20 February, giving Clinton her first win in the state over Sanders. Following her win, Clinton lead Sanders with 13 delegates to his 10 out of a total 35 bound delegates. On 2 April, the state's Democratic Party held its County Convention, which gave Sanders an edge after more of his delegates attended than Clinton's. The County Convention's results meant the Sanders campaign sent 1,613 delegates to the state convention and the Clinton campaign sent 1,298.
Although the second tier of the Nevada caucus process left Sanders with more delegates, his supporters expected him to win a larger share of the remaining 12 delegates left to be allocated. However, the rules regarding delegate allocation were changed during the state convention, resulting in Clinton taking home seven more delegates—giving her a total of 20 delegates from Nevada—and Sanders getting only five more, leaving him with 15 delegates.
Videos from the state convention show Nevada Democratic Party Chair, Roberta Lange, announcing to the audience that the "ruling by the Chair is not debatable; we cannot be challenged and I move that the er...and I announce that the rules have been passed by the body". Lange effectively nulled the results of the 2 April County Convention via a voice vote.
Sanders' supporters would later voice their discontent by booing speakers who followed Lange, including Clinton supporter California Senator Barbara Boxer. According to The Washington Post, to further aggravate the situation, 56 Sanders delegates were denied delegate status after they failed to register as Democrats by the 1 May deadline. Eight potential Clinton delegates were also denied delegate status.
After the convention, leaders refused to reconsider the status of the 56 delegates as the convention was concluded several hours behind schedule, The Hill reported. When Sanders' supporters refused to concede, the Paris Las Vegas Hotel's security and local law enforcement moved in to remove supporters from the room.
The Democratic Convention will meet in July in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to nominate the party's presidential nominee. As the Washington Post also noted, many in the party are concerned that the chaos witnessed in Las Vegas could repeat itself at the upcoming convention.