If there's a Primary, why do we still Caucus?

Municipal Caucuses & Presidential Preference

  • Can I caucus for a candidate who is not on the primary ballot? Show Answer Hide Answer
  • What if no candidates get more than 15% of the vote at my caucus? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • There is no official threshold that must be met at the municipal caucus. Each presidential preference group will just need enough support to earn at least one state delegate and that number will differ depending on the size of your municipal caucus and the number of state delegates it elects.
  • How do you determine how many delegates and alternates will my municipality elect? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • That depends on your municipality. The formula we use takes your municipality’s vote for governor in 2018 and divides that by 91.14. That number is calculated for a convention size of 3,500 delegates and alternates. Our caucus list shows how many delegates were allocated to each municipality.

What is a caucus and what happens there?

  • What is a caucus? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • The Maine Democratic Party Caucuses are gatherings of Democratic friends and neighbors from every town across Maine. They are organized by the Maine Democratic Party (MDP) in partnership with County and Municipal Committees. These local leaders are elected at the caucuses and are critical to our party!
    • The caucuses are the organizational foundation of the Maine Democratic Party, giving Democrats like you the opportunity to shape the party and help determine our direction in 2020.
    • The caucuses take place every two years and are a unique opportunity to be a part of our grassroots organization.
    • No experience necessary — whether you have never been before or have regularly attended, please join us!
  • What happens during the caucus? Show Answer Hider Answer
    • You’ll be a part of the #RiseAndOrganize statewide rally to show our strength in numbers and demonstrate what we are organizing for. Get ready to rally with our Rise And Organize Sharing Toolkit.
    • Some locations will have speakers, such as local legislators and candidates.
    • Elect delegates and alternates to the Maine Democratic State Convention based on presidential preference. Learn more here.
    • Elect your Democratic Municipal Committee Officers and County Committee members. Find out how to run for one of these positions here.
    • Nominate Election Clerks. Election clerks work at the polls in their community and help administer the election by checking in voters, handing out ballots, and fulfilling other important functions.
    • Discuss local issues that are important to people in your community.
    • In some locations you will also be able to sign the petitions for candidates seeking to get on the ballot or make a $5 contribution to a clean elections candidate
  • Where do I caucus and when? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • Caucuses will be held in towns and cities across the state. We are in the process of confirming all of the exact locations. Every county will have caucuses in many locations, so there will be one near you.
    • Caucuses occur on March 8th, 2020 and last one or two hours. All of the caucuses are scheduled to start at a time between 1:00 PM and 8:00 PM (specific times vary by location).
    • To see a list of caucus locations, visit our caucus directory.
  • I thought we got rid of caucuses? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • The Maine Legislature passed a bill to establish statewide presidential primary elections for each party. This does not end caucuses. It just changes their role in the presidential nominating process.
    • The caucuses will continue to play an important role in filling the national delegate slots distributed based on the primary results.
  • How does having both a presidential primary and a caucus work? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • We will use the municipal caucuses to elect delegates and alternates to the Maine Democratic State Convention based on attendees' presidential preference. Learn more here.
    • At the State Convention these delegates, within their presidential preference, will elect the people that will fill the national delegate slots awarded to qualifying presidential campaigns. (It is important to the presidential campaigns that the state delegates voting to fill their national delegate slots are actual supporters.)
    • The presidential primary results, on the other hand, will determine how Maine distributes its national delegates among the presidential candidates. Learn more here
    • More information about the National Delegate Selection process is here.

Who can attend and what should I bring?

  • Who should attend the caucus? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • Every registered Democrat should attend. If you need to become a registered Democrat, it’s easy! Find out how here.
    • You should attend if you would like to:
      • Take part in our statewide #RiseAndOrganize Rally to show the collective strength of Maine Democrats.
      • Be a delegate or alternate from your municipality to the 2020 Democratic State Convention.
      • Take on a leadership position in your local Municipal or County Democratic Committee.
      • Become an official member of your local Democratic Municipal or County Committee.
      • Learn about what the Maine Democratic Party is doing to elect Democrats up and down the ticket this November.
      • Meet other Democrats in your community and find out every way to get involved with our grassroots efforts.
    • Use our #RiseAndOrganize Sharing Toolkit to spread the word about the caucus and get your friends involved!
  • Who can participate? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • Any registered Democrat!
    • People who are members of other parties must re-register as a Democrat at least 15 days before the caucus, which is Friday, February 21st this year.
    • People unenrolled in a political party or who are unregistered may register as a Democrat any time up to and including caucus day, right at the caucus. Please bring these two things:
      • A Maine Driver’s License or other valid photo ID
      • A current utility bill, a bank statement, a paycheck stub or other government document that shows your current name and address to make the process easy and smooth.
    • 17-year-olds who will turn 18 by Election Day (November 3, 2020) may participate if they register to vote and enroll as a Democrat.
    • You can only participate in the caucus for the town or city where you are registered to vote.
  • What if I can’t come in person but still want to participate? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • You can run for Municipal Committee Officer, County Committee Member, and Election Clerk even if you are not present at the caucus:
      • You will need to complete the Caucus Advance Check-In process.
      • Give your Advance Check-In Form to someone from your town who is attending or to the caucus convener directly. You can contact your caucus convener by using our caucus directory.
      • When the position you are interested in comes up for election, the person with your form can announce your interest.
    • You won’t be able to vote and you won’t be able to participate in the presidential preference portion of the program if you are not at the caucus.
  • What should participants bring? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • If you have used Caucus Advance Check-In online, be sure to bring your Advance Check-In confirmation Caucus Form.
    • If you are unable to use Advance Check-In and you are a registered Democrat, there is no need to bring anything.
    • If you are registering as a Democrat on Caucus Day, please bring these two things:
      • A Maine Driver’s License or other valid photo ID
      • A current utility bill, a bank statement, a paycheck stub or other government document that shows your current name and address to make the process easy and smooth.
    • If you'd like to make a $5 contribution to a clean elections candidate, it's a good idea to bring a checkbook!

How can I run for a state or local Democratic Party position?

  • How do you run for a Democratic Party position? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • All you need to do is show up and step up.
    • It’s a good idea to have a short statement in mind to share with caucus attendees about why you would like to hold the position you’re running for, and what you will do if elected.
    • No prior experience is necessary, and you do not need to take out papers or campaign.
    • To find out who currently holds the Municipal officer and County Committee positions for your town, check with your County Chair.
  • Why should you run to be a delegate to the Democratic State Convention? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • Delegates to the State Convention play an important role in state politics, especially in presidential election years. This year, delegates to the state convention will elect Maine’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention based on presidential preference. For more information on how Maine’s 24 pledged national delegate slots are distributed among presidential candidates based on the presidential primary results, read more here.
    • Delegates to the State Convention will also elect Maine’s two DNC Representatives and four Electoral College Representatives.
    • Delegates also vote to amend the Maine Democratic Party Platform by adding, subtracting and/or changing planks. This can have a real impact on policy making in Maine!
    • If you want to have a larger voice in the way the Maine or National Democratic Party runs, this is your chance! Find out more about the 2020 Democratic National Convention here.
  • How many delegates does my town get? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • You can find out how many delegates your town is allotted here.
  • Why should you run to be a Municipal Committee officer? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • Municipal Committees ARE the grassroots of our Party, and vital to everything we do.
    • Municipal Committees bring Democrats together for socializing, support, discussion, and local activism. When campaign season rolls around, they are ready to spring into action for our Democratic candidates, with local canvassing, phone calls, and events.
    • Our goal is for every town to have an active Democratic Municipal Committee, meeting on a regular basis.
    • If your town doesn’t have an active Municipal Committee, please consider running for Municipal Chair and being the leader who gets it started.
    • If your town does have an active Municipal Committee, please pitch in by running for one of the officer positions. The Maine Democratic Party will provide training and support to all Democratic Municipal Chairs and Committees to help you become and stay active in your community.
  • Why should you run to be a County Committee member? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • County Committees work closely with the state party on volunteer projects, carry out grassroots organizing work in their communities, and coordinated campaigns. Find out more about your County Committee here.
    • County Committees hold public events to give candidates for State office a platform for reaching their constituents, and for spreading the word about our Democratic values.
    • County Committees meet regularly and invite guest speakers to help Democrats in their County stay informed, engaged, and active.
    • Please consider running to represent your town on your County Committee, and become a part of this important work. Find out when your next County Committee meeting is here!

How do I signup and what else do I need to know?

  • How do I sign up? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • The best way to sign up is through the Caucus Advance Check-In process. You will receive a Caucus Form filled in with your information. Printing this out and bringing it with you on Caucus Day will save you time!
    • You can also participate in your caucus by just showing up on Caucus Day!
  • I registered, but I lost my Advance Check-In confirmation. What should I do? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • No worries! Visit our resend confirmation page, enter your information, and another confirmation will be sent to your email address.
  • What happens if it snows? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • If any caucuses are canceled due to weather, a list of which caucuses are being canceled will be posted on this website before 6:00 PM on Saturday, March 7th.
    • Information about the time and location of the rescheduled caucuses will also be posted.
  • What about the 2020 Democratic State Convention? Show Answer Hide Answer
    • The 2020 Democratic State Convention will take place on Friday, May 29th to Sunday, May 31st in Bangor, Maine.
    • Attendees will elect Maine’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention based on presidential preference. It will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from Monday, July 13th to Thursday, July 16th. For more information about the delegate selection process (DSP), please check out our training materials.
    • Attendees will get to hear from MDP Party leaders, Democratic candidates, and grassroots leaders.
    • Attendees will also be able to meet passionate Democrats from across the state and participate in workshops.
    • The Convention is open to the public, but there is a ticket fee. Only Convention delegates and alternates will be allowed on the floor and can vote.
    • More information about the Maine State Convention is available here.