In preparation for state conventions and coming elections, Republicans and Democrats across the state will hold their biennial caucuses this weekend. Maine Green Independents in two towns will caucus Sunday and Tuesday.

Libertarians, the fourth political party eligible to participate in Maine's June primary, to date have not scheduled any caucuses in Waldo County.

REPUBLICANS

Waldo County Republicans hold a single county caucus, scheduled for Saturday, March 3, 9 a.m. to noon in the Belfast Area High School gym. Voter enrollment begins at 8:30 a.m. for anyone who wishes to register to vote and join the party. All Republicans are invited to attend to set up their town's leadership, choose delegates for the statewide convention in May and vote on the party platform.

Michael Cunningham, Waldo County GOP chairman, urged residents to turn out and make their voices heard. "People constantly complain about political parties," he said. "Well, have they gone and tried to participate and become a part of it? The healthier the dialogue is inside the party, the healthier the dialogue is that comes from that party."

He said unfortunately moderates tend not to participate. "And when commonsense moderates leave the middle of the space," he said, "the farther apart the rest become. That's what causes a divide."

As chairman, Cunningham welcomes a variety of viewpoints. "Can you be an independent thinker and participate in a party? Absolutely. I make it a welcoming environment to express any kind of view."

Snow date for the Republican caucus is Saturday, March 10, 2 to 5 p.m., at Belfast Area High School, with voter enrollment 1:30 p.m.

DEMOCRATS

Waldo County Democrats caucus by municipality Sunday, March 4. Betty Johnson, Waldo County Commissioner from District 1 and treasurer of the Maine Democratic Party, arranged all the individual caucuses throughout the county.

"It’s always been a lot of work to generate interest in attending the caucuses," she said. "There has been some interest in attending this year, and I think that’s good."

Johnson also created a "Victory starts here" (fill in town) template for posters voters can bring to their caucuses, which can be found at https://www.mainedems.org/sites/default/files/documents/2018CaucusSignTemplate.pdf.

"I’m very proud that every one of our towns will be doing their own caucus in their town this year," she said. "There have been times when a couple of towns would be in one place — for example, Belmont and Morrill caucusing together — but this time I was able to have a convener in every municipality. It’s not the first time, but I just really think it’s great!"

Waldo County Democratic Chairman Gary Ennis is pleased with progress to date. "We’re really trying to get a grassroots movement in place — and in high gear," he said. "Our goal is to make sure we have our candidates and our delegates in place to work more efficiently.

"…This election is going to be extremely important — maybe one of the most important elections we’ve ever had. And we are working toward moving our party’s objectives forward, even though we are a minority.

"We’re encouraging everyone to get involved," Ennis said. "We’re at a turning point in this country and we need to decide which road we’ll follow."

Here is the schedule for Democratic caucuses Sunday, including the number of delegates to be chosen from each jurisdiction:

Belfast, 23 delegates

Troy Howard Middle School, 173 Lincolnville Ave. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 3 p.m. Convener: Neal Harkness.

Belmont, 2 delegates

Belmont Town Office, 613 Back Belmont Road. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 1 p.m. Convener: Kevin Canali.

Brooks, 2 delegates

Varney Memorial Hall, 24 Veterans Highway. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 1 p.m. Convener: Patricia Donovan.

Burnham, 2 delegates

Burnham Town Hall, 247 South Horseback Road. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 2 p.m. Convener: Nancy Edge.

Frankfort, 2 delegates

West Frankfort Fire House, 291 Swanville Road. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 3 p.m. Convener: Ron Baker.

Freedom, 2 delegates

Freedom Town Office, 71 Pleasant St. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 1 p.m. Convener: Clara Alvarez.

Islesboro, 3 delegates

Town Office Meeting Room, 150 Main Road. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 1 p.m. Convener: Nancy Alexander.

Jackson, 1 delegate

Jackson Town Office, 730 Moosehead Trail. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 2 p.m. Convener: Bruce Littlefield.

Knox, 1 delegate

Knox Town Office, 10 Abbott Road. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 2 p.m. Convener: Dennis Harrington.

Liberty, 2 delegates

Liberty Town Office, 7 Water St. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 2 p.m. Convener: Richard Sprowl.

Lincolnville, 9 delegates

Lincolnville Town Office, 493 Hope Road. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 3:30 p.m. Convener: Betty Johnson.

Monroe, 2 delegates

Monroe Town Hall, 8 Swan Lake Ave. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 2 p.m. Convener: Kimberly Tinsman.

Montville, 3 delegates

Montville Town Office, 414 Center Road. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 2 p.m. Convener: Asher Sizeler-Fletcher.

Morrill, 2 delegates

Morrill Community Center, 4 N. Main St. Doors open at 1 p.m.; caucus starts at 1:30 p.m. Convener: Tera Kennedy.

Northport, 5 delegates

Edna Drinkwater School, 56 Bayside Road. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 1 p.m. Convener: Reeves Gilmore.

Palermo, 3 delegates

Palermo Town Office, 45 North Palermo Road. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 4 p.m. Convener: Stuart Bradstreet.

Prospect, 2 delegates

Prospect Municipal Office, 958 Bangor Road. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 1 p.m. Convener: William Sneed Jr.

Searsmont, 4 delegates

Searsmont Community Center, 37 Main St. South. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 2 p.m. Convener: Abby Horton.

Searsport, 7 delegates

Union Hall, 1 Union St. Doors open at 2 p.m.; caucus starts at 2:30 p.m. Convener: Meredith Ares.

Stockton Springs, 4 delegates

Stockton Springs Town Office, 217 Main St. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 1 p.m. Convener: Michele Greenier.

Swanville, 3 delegates

Swanville Town Office, 6 Town House Road. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 1 p.m. Convener: Jeff Smith.

Thorndike, 2 delegates

Heirloom House, 25 Gordon Hill Road. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 1 p.m. Convener: Patricia Pendergast.

Troy, 2 delegates

Troy B B Cook Clubhouse, 597 Bangor Road. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 1 p.m. Convener: Norma Rossel.

Unity, 4 delegates

Unity Community Center, 32 School St. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 2 p.m. Convener: Patricia Clark.

Waldo, 2 delegates

Waldo Community Center, 629 Waldo Station Road. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.; caucus starts at  2 p.m. Convener: Wayne Marshall.

Winterport, 9 delegates

Winterport Town Office, 44 Main St. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.; caucus starts at 1 p.m. Convener: Gary Ennis.

MAINE GREEN INDEPENDENTS

The Maine Green Independent Party, an affiliate of the Green Party of the United States, is the first and oldest state Green Party in the nation. To date, it has two caucuses planned in Waldo County, in Lincolnville and Knox.

Lincolnville

Sunday, March 4, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Town Office, 493 Hope Road, Lincolnville. Green Independent caucus to elect local officers and sign petition sheets for candidates for governor, U.S. Congress and State House.

Knox

Tuesday, March 6, 6 p.m., Town Office, 10 Abbott Road. Any interested member of the party is invited to attend to elect town officers and discuss the current state of politics in the state, the nation and the world. Refreshments.