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Local Democrats set up caucuses in response to a pandemic

Local Democrats set up caucuses in response to a pandemic

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Maine Democrats are changing the format for their traditional local caucuses because of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.

According to a press release by Sara Salley, Waldo County Democratic Committee Chair, the party will not hold caucuses in person in every town in the state on the regular uniform caucus date of March. Local Democrats will instead conduct some party business online and some at in person meetings in early summer when meetings are more safe outdoors.

According to a press release, the party is still planning a statewide party party convention May 13-14th in Bangor. Remote access will be available for state convention delegate to participate from home.

Online registration is now possible to become a state convention delegate. Local Democrats can sign up online or over the phone to become delegate for their town. Voting for their delegates will be done online or by telephone in each town. Elections take place from February 27 to March 6. Register and find out more about the election at mainedems.org/vote. Or call 530-6391 for details.

You can also sign up as a town clerk for Democrats on the same page. The law requires that town clerks appoint a mix of Republicans and Democrats to work at the polls on Election Day. The general election is Nov. 8 and the statewide primaries take place on June 14.

The new approach provides more opportunities for more people to be involved in party activities, while still staying safe during the pandemic,” Salley said in the press release. “Local Dems can become a convention delegate and participate in the convention even if they cant attend an in-person meeting. Our new process is better for many people, including those with mobility limitations, schedule conflicts, and any other reason that makes it difficult to travel to an in-person meeting.

Traditional town caucuses are becoming a rarity in grassroots democracy. Maine is the only state that still holds in-person caucuses once every two years. Caucuses are used by Democrats, usually on the first Sunday in March to conduct local party business and select party convention delegate, meet with candidates seeking support, and prepare themselves for the next election.

According to the press release, local Democrats will hold caucus-replacement meetings in June and July to provide the same opportunity to meet local candidates and participate in election activities during a time when outdoor meetings are more practical and pandemic-safe.

The schedule for each town’s local Democratic meeting will be released later in the spring. Local Democrats can email info@waldocountydemocrats.com for more information or visit mainedems.org.

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