The caucuses are the organizational foundation of our party. This is where we show our strength in numbers and lay the groundwork for victory in 2018. Read on to learn more about what the caucuses are, why you should go, and how to attend! You can also read a general overview, or check out our caucus directory for a list of locations.
What are the caucuses?
- The Maine Democratic Party Caucuses are gatherings of Democratic friends and neighbors run by the Maine Democratic Party (MDP) in partnership with County and Municipal Committees. The local leaders and choice-makers of the Maine Democratic Party are elected at the caucus.
- The caucuses are the organizational foundation of the Maine Democratic Party (MDP), giving Democrats like you the opportunity to shape the party and help determine our direction in 2018.
- 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 at the caucuses?
- This year there will be a statewide virtual rally among all the caucus locations using social media. Bring a poster describing what Democratic victory means to you and post a pic using #VictoryStartsHere!
- Each caucus will also include:
- Election of a Caucus Secretary and a Caucus Chair to run the caucus.
- Election of Municipal Committee officers.
- Re-affirmation or adoption of Municipal Committee by-laws.
- Election of County Committee members.
- Nomination of Election Clerks.
- Election of delegates and alternates to the 2018 Democratic State Convention.
- In some locations:
- There will be a program of speakers, such as local lawmakers and candidates.
- You will be able to sign the petitions for candidates seeking to get on the ballot.
Who should attend?
- Every registered Democrat should attend. If you need to become a registered Democrat, it’s easy! (see "Who can participate" below).
- You should attend if you would like to:
- Be a delegate or alternate from your municipality to the 2018 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 the state of the 2018 race in Maine and what the Maine Democratic Party is doing to elect Democrats up and down the ticket.
- Meet other Democrats in your community and find out every way to get involved with our grassroots efforts.
Where will I caucus?
- 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 several caucuses, so there will be one near you.
- To see a list of caucus locations, check out our caucus directory.
When are the caucuses happening?
- Caucuses last 1-2 hours and are scheduled on March 4, 2018 to start between 1 PM and 8 PM (specific times vary by location).
How do I sign up to go to the caucuses?
- You can pre-register for your caucus through March 2nd by signing up on our pre-registration page. It is quick and easy!
- By pre-registering, you will receive a pre-registration confirmation. Printing this out and bringing it with you on Caucus Day will save you time!
- However, you can participate in your caucus even if you don’t pre-register. You can show up on Caucus Day — you’ll just need to fill out a form by hand.
Who can participate in the caucuses?
- Any registered voter who is enrolled in the Democratic Party can participate. You can only participate in the caucus for the town or city where you are registered to vote.
- If you are unenrolled in a party or are unregistered, you can register and enroll up to, and including on, Caucus Day (you can learn about how to register/enroll on our Register to Vote page). It’s best to update your voter registration before attending your caucus, but there will also be clerks available at each location to update your voter registration.
- If you are already registered as a Republican or Green Party member, but wish to switch your party enrollment to become a Democrat, you must do so at least 15 days before the caucus in order to participate. This year, 15 days before the March 4 caucus date is February 16.
- A 17-year-old who will turn 18 by Election Day (Tuesday, November 6, 2018) may participate if they register to vote and enroll as a Democrat.
- If you are already registered to vote, you do not need to bring identification.
- If you are registering to vote on Caucus Day, please bring a Maine Driver’s License or other valid photo ID and 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.
Can I participate without attending in-person?
- No, but if you are unable to attend and interested in running for election as a State Convention delegate, County Committee member, Municipal Committee officer, or election clerk you should either:
- Pre-register and then email your pre-registration confirmation to your Caucus Convener, letting them know what you’d like to be elected to (you can contact your caucus convener by using our caucus directory) , OR:
- Find a friend to bring your pre-registration confirmation or have them fill out a blank form at the caucus. They can then advocate for you to be elected to your desired position.
Tell me more about the 2018 Democratic State Convention happening this year.
- The 2018 Democratic State Convention will take place on Friday, May 18th - Sunday, May 20th in Lewiston, Maine.
- 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, though all attendees will pay a registration fee. Only Convention delegates and alternates will be allowed on the floor and can vote.
Where do I find out how many delegates my town/city has been allotted?
- You can find how many delegates your town/city has been allotted on our caucus directory page.
I registered, but I lost my pre-registration confirmation. What should I do?
- No worries! Visit our resend confirmation page, enter your information, and another confirmation will be sent to your email address.
What do I need to bring with me to caucuses?
- If you have pre-registered, be sure to bring your pre-registration confirmation for check-in.
- If you are unable to pre-register, no need to bring anything (unless you are registering to vote — see our Register to Vote page for more information).
- If you'd like to contribute to a clean elections candidate, it's a good idea to bring a checkbook!
I’m confused. I thought after 2016, Maine ended caucuses…?
- In 2016, the Maine Legislature passed a bill that would establish statewide presidential primary elections for each party. However, this does not end the caucuses. It just changes their role in the presidential nominating process.
- As primary elections are paid for by the state, additional legislation is necessary to provide the funding that would be required. Until such legislation is passed, the future of Maine’s presidential primaries is undetermined.
- However, the presidential primary does not have any effect on how the caucuses function in non-presidential years such as 2018. Even in presidential years, the caucuses will continue to exist to elect delegates to the Democratic State Convention, and the other purposes discussed here, whether or not there is a presidential primary.
What happens if there is a snow storm on Caucus Day?
- If any caucuses are canceled due to weather, a list of which caucuses are being canceled will be posted on this website before 6 PM on Saturday, March 3rd. Information about the time and location of the rescheduled caucus will also be posted.