Maine Republicans will select their delegates to the party’s national convention at caucuses around the state next March, the party said Saturday.

In the past, the party has selected its delegates to the national convention, where the Republican nominee for president is chosen, at a state convention, usually in late spring.

Party officials said the change means that more people will be able to play a role in selecting the nominee, not just those who attend the state convention.

“We feel this is the best decision for Maine,” Republican National Committeeman Alex Willette said in a statement. “I am excited to see Maine Republicans have a strong voice in the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.”

Presidential nominating caucuses will be held throughout the state on March 5, 2016, and registered Republican voters who attend will be given a paper ballot. Delegates to the national convention will be selected in proportion to the percentage of the vote those candidates receive. If a candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, he or she will receive all of the state’s delegates.

Two of the party’s recent state conventions have been chaotic. In 2010, the convention passed a platform calling for the country’s borders to be sealed and for the U.S. to return to “Austrian economics.” In 2012, backers of Ron Paul took over the state convention, but half of the delegates they selected for the national convention were unseated because of allegations of illegal votes and parliamentary violations.

Some of the Paul delegates walked out of the national convention to protest that action by the Republican National Committee.

The party will post details on caucus locations, times and rules at its website,, before caucus day.

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