The Maine Democratic Party on Friday canceled its May convention in Bangor and will instead elect delegates to the Democratic National Convention remotely.

The state convention was scheduled for May 29-30 at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor and more than 2,000 were expected to attend, said Seth Nelson, a party spokesperson. But because it is unclear how long the coronavirus outbreak will last, the party’s executive committee decided to hold the convention remotely, Nelson said.

The logistics had not been worked out as of Friday, Nelson said, but delegates to the state convention will vote for the state’s 24 pledged delegates to the national convention via phone or online. The state convention’s delegates will also vote remotely for presidential electors and for representatives to the Democratic National Committee, Nelson said.

About 1,900 state convention delegates were elected at caucuses earlier this year, Nelson said.

On Thursday, the Democratic National Committee postponed this year’s national convention from its scheduled date of July 13-16 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to the week of Aug. 17, in the same city. The Republican National Convention is scheduled for the following week in August, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The main purpose of the national conventions is to nominate presidential candidates from the two major parties.

In announcing the cancellation of the state Democratic convention Friday, officials said concerns about health and safety were the driving force.

“Our top priority has always been to ensure the health and safety of our convention attendees. While we’re disappointed this public health crisis doesn’t allow for an in-person gathering of Maine Democrats, our duty to protect one another outweighs any other considerations,” said Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra.


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