The New York Times:
A special Saturday night Republican caucus intended to accommodate orthodox Jews who couldn’t vote until after sundown became the scene of controversy and confrontation after caucusgoers were told that to gain admittance they had to sign a legal declaration under penalty of perjury that they could not attend their daytime caucus because of “my religious beliefs.”
The use of the declaration brought protests from many supporters of Representative Ron Paul of Texas who arrived at the polling place — a school in an upscale neighborhood here named after its benefactors, the casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam — after they got an automated phone message from the Paul campaign saying people who couldn’t vote at the regular caucuses could do so at the night meeting.
Some Paul officials suggested that what they described as the “religious test” administered at the caucus would lead to lawsuits, and they said that anyone who missed the earlier caucuses for any reason should have been allowed to vote.
Paul supporters packed the caucus and won handily: According to local party officials Mr. Paul received 183 votes; Mitt Romney, 61 votes; Newt Gingrich, 57 votes; and Rick Santorum, 16 votes.
Mike Dicicco, a Paul supporter who drove more than half an hour from Henderson, Nev., said he was asked whether he was Jewish by a poll worker. Mr. Dicicco, a Paul supporter who said he had received a call from the campaign about going to the special caucus, said he couldn’t vote earlier because he had to work, not because of religious reasons.
“Why wouldn’t I be able to vote just because I’m not Jewish?” he said.
(...) The most heated argument of the night came when Evan Donoghue, who said he was a volunteer for Mr. Paul, shouted loudly at officials at the polling place who wouldn’t let him in after he declined to sign the declaration, which he said was unconstitutional.
“You are guilty of a felony, sir!” he shouted at one official. He then walked inside to the auditorium where the caucus was to be held. Officials at the polling place called the police, but Mr. Donoghue was allowed to sit through the caucus, and wound up a few seats away from Mr. Adelson. No arrests were made, according to police officers who stayed in the school foyer during the caucus meeting.
A number of caucusgoers also suggested that they signed the declaration even though they did not have a religious reason for not voting during the regularly-scheduled daytime caucuses.
Top officials from the Paul and Romney campaigns were on hand to observe the gathering, including Mr. Romney’s campaign counsel, Benjamin L. Ginsberg, Mr. Paul’s Nevada chairman, Carl Bunce, and Mr. Paul’s deputy national campaign manager, Dimitri Kesari.
Officials from the Clark County Republican Party defended the declarations and the special caucus, saying that the declaration did not specifically single out any one faith — Jewish or otherwise — and that anyone who had any sort of religious objection to voting earlier in the day could vote at the special caucus. They said that their election lawyers had signed off on the use of the declaration, and they also noted that many Seventh-day Adventists also could not vote during the day because of religious reasons.
“This was designed for those who could not participate today due to religious observances,” said Dave Gibbs, the chairman of the Clark County Republican Party. “That’s all this is.”