Massachusetts eBenchBook

Current as of the 2018 Massachusetts Legislative Session which adjourned on July 31, 2018.

Title II: Executive and Administrative Officers of the Commonwealth

Chapter 10

Section 42: State Election Campaign Fund
Section 42. There shall be established on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the State Election Campaign Fund, consisting of all revenues received under section 6C of chapter 62, and all other monies credited or transferred to the fund from any other fund or source pursuant to law.
The state treasurer shall deposit the fund in accordance with sections 34 and 34A of chapter 29 in such manner as will secure the highest interest rate available consistent with safety of the fund and with the requirement that all amounts on deposit be available for immediate withdrawal at any time after June 30 in any year in which elections are held for statewide elective office.
The state election campaign fund shall be expended only for the payment to eligible candidates, as determined under chapter 55C of amounts due on account of public financing on campaigns for statewide elective office and any unexpended balances shall be redeposited, as herein provided, pending the next year in which elections are held for statewide elective office.

Title VIII: Elections

Chapter 50: GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATIVE TO PRIMARIES, CAUCUSES AND ELECTIONS

Section 1: Definitions
Section 1. Terms used in chapters fifty to fifty-seven, inclusive, shall be construed as follows, unless a contrary intention clearly appears:
”Aldermen” or ”board of aldermen” shall include the board of election commissioners or election commission of any city having such a board or commission, as to all matters coming within the scope of their powers and duties, and as to such matters shall not apply to the city council of such city.
”Ballot labels” shall mean printed strips of cardboard or paper for use on voting machines, containing the names and addresses of candidates for each office and the questions submitted to the voters at the election except such questions as shall appear on separate ballots, as determined by the state secretary under section thirty-five A of chapter fifty-four.
”Caucus” shall apply to any public meeting of the voters of a precinct, ward or town, held under the laws relating to caucuses.
”Caucus officers” shall apply to chairmen, wardens, secretaries, clerks and inspectors, and, when on duty, to additional officers appointed or elected, or elected to fill a vacancy, and taking part in the conduct of caucuses.
”City clerk” shall include the board of election commissioners or election commission of any city having such a board or commission, with reference to all matters coming within the scope of their powers and duties, and as to such matters shall not apply to the city clerk of such city.
”City election” shall apply to any election held in a city at which a city officer is to be chosen by the voters, whether for a full term or for the filling of a vacancy, or at which any question to be voted upon at a city election is to be submitted to the voters.
”Convention” shall apply only to a meeting of delegates duly chosen in primaries or caucuses, representing two or more subdivisions of the district for which the convention is held.
”Direct plurality vote” shall mean the highest total vote, determined according to section two, received for a nomination at the primaries or caucuses in an entire electoral district.
”Election” shall apply to the choice by the voters of any public officer and to the taking of a vote upon any question by law submitted to the voters.
”Election officer” shall apply to wardens, clerks, inspectors and ballot clerks, and to their deputies when on duty, and also to selectmen, town clerks, moderators and tellers when taking part in the conduct of elections.
”Family member”, a spouse or person residing in the same household, in-laws, father, mother, sister or brother of the whole or half blood, son, daughter, adopting parent or adopted child, stepparent or stepchild, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, grandparent or grandchild.
”Federal act”, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, 42 USC 1973 gg to 1973 gg?10, inclusive, as may be amended from time to time.
”Listing board”, a board established by special law in a particular city or town to prepare lists of persons of voting age resident in the city or town and perform certain other duties in connection with said lists.
”Majority”, with reference to a question on the ballot, shall mean more than one half of those voting upon the question.
”Mayor” or ”mayor and aldermen” shall include the board of election commissioners or election commission of any city having such a board or commission, with reference to all matters coming within the scope of their powers and duties, and as to such matters shall not apply to the mayor or city council of such city.
”Municipal party” shall apply to a party, not a political party as to state elections or state primaries, which at the preceding city or town election polled for mayor or a selectman at least three per cent of the entire vote cast in the city or town for that office, or, in a city, which files with the city clerk, at least sixty days before the annual or biennial municipal election, a petition to be allowed to place nominations of such party on the official ballot, signed in person by a number of registered voters of the city equal at least to three per cent of the entire vote polled in the city for mayor at the preceding election.
”Official ballot” shall mean a ballot prepared for any primary, caucus or election by public authority and at public expense, and where voting machines are used shall include ballot labels.
”Political committee” shall apply only to a committee elected as provided in chapter fifty-two, except that in chapter fifty-five it shall also apply, subject to the exception contained in section twenty-nine thereof, to every other committee or combination of five or more voters of the commonwealth who shall aid or promote the success or defeat of a candidate at a primary or election or the success or defeat of a political party or principle in a public election or shall favor or oppose the adoption or rejection of a question submitted to the voters.
”Political designation” shall apply to any designation required in section 8 of chapter 53, expressed in not more than three words, which a candidate for nomination under section 6 of chapter 53 represents, and to any designation expressed in not more than three words to qualify a political party under this section, filed by fifty registered voters with the secretary of state on a form provided by him or her, requesting that such voters, and any others wishing to do so, may change their registration to such designation, provided however, that the designation ”Independent” shall not be used. Certificates showing that each of the signers of said request is a registered voter at the stated address, signed by the city or town clerk shall accompany the petition. Any such request filed before December first in the year of a biennial state election shall not be effective until said December first.
”Political party” shall apply to a party which at the preceding biennial state election polled for any office to be filled by all the voters of the commonwealth at least three percent of the entire vote cast in the commonwealth for such office, or which shall have enrolled, according to the first count submitted under section thirty-eight A of chapter fifty-three, a number of voters with its political designation equal to or greater than one percent of the entire number of voters registered in the commonwealth according to said count. Such parties shall be eligible to conduct primary elections at the next following biennial state election. With reference to municipal elections and primaries and caucuses for the nomination of city and town officers, ”political party” shall include a municipal party.
”Presiding officer” shall apply to the warden or chairman at a caucus, to the warden, chairman of the selectmen, moderator, temporary moderator or town clerk in charge of a polling place at a primary or election, or to a justice of the peace acting as moderator at a town meeting, or, in the absence of any such officer, to the deputy warden or the clerk or senior inspector or senior selectman present who shall have charge of a polling place.
”Primary” shall apply to a joint meeting of political or municipal parties held under the laws relating to primaries.
”Registrars” or ”registrars of voters” shall mean the board of registrars of voters of a city or town, and shall include the board of election commissioners or election commission of any city having such a board or commission, with reference to all matters coming within the scope of their powers and duties. ”Registrar” shall, when applicable, mean a member of any of said boards.
”Registration agency”, a location where eligible citizens may register as voters, including city or town clerk’s offices, military recruitment offices, offices of the registry of motor vehicles and of all state agencies that provide public assistance or assistance to people with disabilities, offices that provide state-funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to people with disabilities, and any other offices which the state secretary shall designate by regulation.
”Specially qualified voter”, a person (a) who is otherwise eligible to register as a voter; and (b) (1) whose present domicile is outside the United States and whose last domicile in the United States was Massachusetts; or (2) whose present domicile is Massachusetts and who is:
(i) absent from the city or town of residence and in the active service of the armed forces or in the merchant marine of the United States, or a spouse or dependent of such person;
(ii) absent from the commonwealth; or
(iii) confined in a correctional facility or a jail, except if by reason of a felony conviction.
”State election” shall apply to any election at which a national, state, or county officer or a regional district school committee member elected district-wide is to be chosen by the voters, whether for a full term or for the filling of a vacancy.
”State officer” shall apply to, and include, any person to be nominated at a state primary or chosen at a state election and shall include United States senator and representative in Congress.
”Town” shall not include city.
”Town officer” shall apply to and include town meeting members.
”Two leading political parties” shall apply to the political parties which elected the highest and next highest number of members of the general court at the preceding biennial state election.
”Voter” shall mean a registered voter.
”Written acceptance” shall mean acceptance signed personally or by attorney duly authorized in writing.

Section 2: Results of election; determination
Section 2. In elections, the person receiving the highest number of votes for an office shall be deemed and declared to be elected to such office; and if two or more are to be elected to the same office, the several persons, to the number to be chosen to such office, receiving the highest number of votes, shall be deemed and declared to be elected; but persons receiving the same number of votes shall not be deemed to be elected if thereby a greater number would be elected than are to be chosen. Except as otherwise provided, this section shall apply to all nominations and elections by ballot at primaries or caucuses. Nothing herein shall derogate from the provisions of chapter fifty-four A.

Section 3: Day of election in cities
Section 3. All elections in cities which by charter or statute are to be held on a Monday shall be held on the following Tuesday.

Section 3A: Written acceptance of candidates
Section 3A. Wherever the written acceptance of a candidate upon a nomination paper or a signature and place of residence of the person filing the same is required by law, it shall be sufficient if such acceptance or signature and place of residence is placed upon one nomination paper only of the group of nomination papers required to secure the nomination.

Section 4: Computation of time; filing
Section 4. In computing the period of time prescribed in any statute relating to primaries, caucuses or elections, Sundays and holidays shall generally be included; but when the last day of such period falls on a Sunday or on a holiday, the following day shall be considered the final day of such period; and when the first day of such period falls on a Sunday or on a holiday, the day preceding shall be considered the first day of the period. Whenever the day designated for a primary, caucus or election is a holiday, said primary, caucus or election shall be held on the following day.
Except as otherwise provided by section thirty-eight of chapter fifty-three, all certificates of nomination, nomination papers, and other papers pertaining to primaries and elections, required by law to be filed on or before a specified day, shall be filed no later than five o’clock in the afternoon on said day.

Section 5: Posting of lists, notices, and copies of laws
Section 5. All lists, notices and copies of laws relating to primaries or elections, required to be posted, shall be posted at the same places with the voting lists, or as near as may be thereto.

Section 6: Laws relating particularly to any city or town
Section 6. Laws from time to time in force relating particularly to any city or town shall prevail where they are in conflict with the provisions of chapters fifty-one to fifty-seven, inclusive; but, except as otherwise provided by any such law, said chapters and all other statutes in any way concerning the right to vote at primaries, caucuses or elections, or its exercise, or matters incidental thereto, shall apply to such city or town, in addition to the laws particularly applicable thereto.

Section 6A: Vacancies in elective offices caused by retirement; notice
Section 6A. If an elected state, city, or town officer is to be retired on or before the next regular election by reason of superannuation before the completion of the term of office to which he was elected, thereby causing a vacancy in said office, such vacancy shall be filled at said regular election as provided by law for such office.
The retiring authority shall notify the county commissioners, mayor and aldermen in cities, or the selectmen in towns, as the case may be, of the impending retirement of such elected officer at least six months preceding the next state, city, or town election, as the case may be.

Section 7: Ballot boxes; seals; counting and other apparatus; regulations
Section 7. A city or town clerk may make regulations consistent with law relative to the use of ballot boxes and seals, counting and other apparatus, the receiving of ballots and the counting and returning of votes.

Section 8: Criminal prosecutions; presumptions
Section 8. In any criminal prosecution for the violation of any law relating to the listing of persons seventeen years of age and over and to the qualification or registration of voters, to voting lists or ballots or matters pertaining thereto, or to primaries, caucuses or elections or matters pertaining thereto, the presumption shall be that every proceeding or official act was valid, regular and formal; but evidence may be introduced either to rebut or support the presumption. As to an alleged election or primary, the testimony of the city or town clerk, and as to an alleged caucus, the testimony of the residing officer, secretary or clerk thereof, that such election, primary or caucus was held, shall be prima facie evidence that the same was regularly and duly held.

Chapter 51: VOTERS

Section 1: Qualifications of voters
Section 1. Every citizen eighteen years of age or older, not being a person under guardianship or incarcerated in a correctional facility due to a felony conviction, and not being temporarily or permanently disqualified by law because of corrupt practices in respect to elections, who is a resident in the city or town where he claims the right to vote at the time he registers, and who has complied with the requirements of this chapter, may have his name entered on the list of voters in such city or town, and may vote therein in any such election, or except insofar as restricted in any town in which a representative town meeting form of government has been established, in any meeting held for the transaction of town affairs. Notwithstanding any special law to the contrary, every such citizen who resides within the boundaries of any district, as defined in section one A of chapter forty-one, may vote for district officers and in any district meeting thereof, and no other person may so vote. A person otherwise qualified to vote for national or state officers shall not, by reason of a change of residence within the commonwealth, be disqualified from voting for such national or state officers in the city or town from which he has removed his residence until the expiration of 6 months from such removal.

Section 1A: Repealed, 1988, 79, Sec. 2

Section 1B: Repealed, 1966, 367, Sec. 2

Section 1C, 1D: Repealed, 1962, 437, Sec. 3

Section 1E: Repealed, 1988, 79, Sec. 3

Section 1F: Persons not included in register of voters
Section 1F. A person who resides in the commonwealth and in the city or town where he claims the right to vote in an election at which electors of president and vice-president are to be chosen, but whose name is not included in the current annual register of voters of the city or town where he claims the right to vote, may qualify for voting only for such electors upon application to the registrars of voters of said city or town, not later than eight o’clock post meridian of the twentieth day preceding such election. Any form of written communication containing the name, age, citizenship, former residence and present residence of such person shall cause the registrars to make an investigation relative to the qualifications of such person to vote and, for the purpose of such investigation, the officer in charge of the police force of each city and town shall give the registrars such assistance as they may require. Upon determining that such person is qualified to vote under the provisions of this section, the registrars shall forward an absentee ballot to him and shall include his name on a list of persons qualified under this section which shall be sent to the city or town clerk. The provisions of sections ninety-four to ninety-six, inclusive, of chapter fifty-four shall apply to such ballots.

Section 2: Name of registered voter changed
Section 2. A registered voter who chooses to adopt a new name shall continue to be registered in his former name until June first of the following year at which time the voter shall be registered in his new name; provided, however, that if such voter appears in person prior to the close of registration for any preliminary, primary, or election to notify the registrars of such adoption of a new name, the registrars shall correct the current annual register so that such voter shall be registered in his new name.
If a voter does not choose to adopt a new name as a result of marriage, the registrars shall make no change in the name of such voter entered in the current annual register.

Section 3: Place of registration and voting; change of residence
Section 3. For all elections and primaries held prior to June first in any year, a person shall be registered and may vote in the ward or voting precinct where he resided on January first of the previous year; provided, however, that any registered voter of a city or town who moves to any other precinct in said city or town may register to vote at his new address by making written application to the city or town clerk no later than the close of registration. A new resident of the city or town who changes his residence after having first registered in the city or town may also, upon like application, be registered at the new address. For all elections and primaries held on or after June first in any year, a person shall be registered and may vote in the ward or voting precinct where he resided on January first of that year; provided, however, that any registered voter of a city or town who moves to any other precinct in said city or town may register to vote at his new address by making written application to the city or town clerk no later than the close of registration. A new resident of the city or town who changes his residence after having first registered in the city or town may also, upon application, be registered at the new address. The city or town clerk shall forthwith notify each voter making any such written application that the same has been received and that he may vote, subject to the provision of this section regarding the close of registration, in the ward or precinct into which he has moved. The registrars may require that any such application be signed under the penalties of perjury.

Section 4: Making of lists by registrars or boards
Section 4. (a) Registrars, assistant registrars, or boards having similar duties under any general or special law, except in the city of Boston, shall annually in January or February visit or communicate with the residents of each building in their respective cities and towns and, after diligent inquiry, shall make true lists containing, as nearly as they can ascertain, the name, date of birth, occupation, veteran status, nationality, if not a citizen of the United States, and residence on January 1 of the preceding year and the current year, of each person three years of age or older residing in their respective cities and towns. The police department of a city or town shall, upon request, have access to the lists. A list of all persons 3 to 21 years of age, inclusive, shall be transmitted by the board of registrars to the respective school committee not later than April 1 of each year. The list shall contain the name, residence and age or date of birth of each such person; but the names of persons 3 to 16 years of age, inclusive, shall not be disclosed to any person other than the respective school committee or board of trustees of a county agricultural school or a police department. That proportion of any expenses incurred by the registrars under this section, equal to the proportion that the number of persons under 17 years of age bears to the total number of persons listed thereunder, shall be carried as an item in the school committee budget.
(b) In the city of Boston, the registrars, assistant registrars or boards having similar duties under any general or special law, shall annually in January or February visit or communicate with the residents of each building in said city and, after diligent inquiry, shall make true lists containing, as nearly as they can ascertain, the name, date of birth, occupation, veteran status, nationality if not a citizen of the United States, and residence on January 1 of the preceding year and the current year, of each person 17 years of age or older residing in said city. The Boston police department shall, upon request, have access to the lists.
(c) In any city or town which communicates with residents by mail for the purpose of obtaining such information, the communication shall state in boldface type on the postcard, envelope and printed material contained in such communication the following statement: ”Warning – failure to respond to this mailing for 2 consecutive years shall result in removal from the active voting list and may result in removal from the voter registration rolls.”. Registrars, assistant registrars or boards in such cities or towns communicating with residents by mail for the purpose of obtaining such information may require a response under the penalties of perjury.

(d) The name and address of any person who provides the registrars with a copy of a court order granting protection, or evidence of residence in a protective shelter, or an affidavit signed by a chief of police or his designee that said person is entitled to have certain information withheld from the public under section 24C of chapter 265, or a program participant in the address confidentiality program established under section 2 of chapter 9A, shall not appear on the street list and such names shall not be disclosed to any person. The information collected under this section regarding a person’s status as a veteran shall not be a public record and shall only be disclosed to the adjutant general, the secretary of veterans’ services and local veterans’ service officers.

(e) The name and address of any law enforcement or public safety personnel who so requests shall not appear on the street list and such names shall not be disclosed to any person.

Section 4A: Notifying residents of opportunity to register
Section 4A. During the course of the annual listing of residents, the registrars shall notify residents of the opportunity to register as voters and shall provide residents with assistance in registering to vote. Said registrars may, for this purpose provide to such residents in the course of such listing, forms for affidavits of voter registration prescribed by the state secretary pursuant to section thirty-six, which registrants shall complete during the listing or by return mail. Said registrars shall in any event make such forms available upon request for all eligible residents who are not registered voters.

Section 5: Repealed, 1963, 160, Sec. 5

Section 6: Street lists
Section 6. Except in any city or town as to which it is otherwise provided by special law, the registrars on or before April fifteenth in each year, shall prepare lists containing the names and addresses of all persons seventeen years of age or older listed by them under section four for the current year. Such lists shall be arranged in cities by streets, and in towns by streets or alphabetically by the names of the persons listed, and in cities and in towns of over five thousand inhabitants according to the latest national census, by the smallest subdivision of the city or town for the purpose of voting. On or before June fifteenth in each year, the registrars in all cities and towns shall cause a sufficient number of such lists to be printed, typed or mimeographed so as to furnish, free of charge, such lists, upon request, to all duly organized political committees and to all political candidates of the various districts in which the city or town is located. Such lists shall be made available by the registrars to business organizations and other nonpolitical committees and organizations at a fee to be determined by said registrars, and any such person or authorized representative of an organization or committee obtaining such list shall sign a log, maintained by the city or town clerk, placing in such log their names and addresses.

Section 7: Form, contents and distribution of street lists
Section 7. On the lists prepared under section six for delivery to public officers, the registrars shall name or designate all buildings used as residences, in their order on the street where they are located, by giving the number or other definite description of each building so that it can be readily identified, and shall place opposite to or under each number or other description of a building the name, date of birth, occupation and nationality if not a citizen of the United States, of every person who is listed under section four, and his residence on January first of the preceding year and of the current year. Every person so listed shall, if he is a registered voter, be so designated by an asterisk or other symbol. A copy of said lists containing the information required by this section shall be made available to the chairman of each city and each town committee. In cities and towns where the information on such lists is compiled on computer tapes, a copy of the tape or a set of mailing labels shall be made available to the chairman of each city or town committee at a reasonable price to be determined by the state secretary.

Section 8: Persons omitted from lists; certificate
Section 8. If a resident in a city or town, except one as to which it is otherwise provided by special law, who is required to be listed under section four as of January first, was not so listed, such person, in order to establish his right to be listed, shall present to the registrars before the close of registration a sworn statement that he was on said day a resident of such city or town. If the registrars are satisfied that such statement is true, they shall list him, and on his request shall give him a certificate thereof.

Section 9: Repealed, 1973, 1137, Sec. 1

Section 10: Repealed, 1943, 453, Sec. 14

Section 10A: Statements by innholders, etc.
Section 10A. Every innholder licensed under any provision of chapter one hundred and forty and every keeper of a lodging house or public lodging house licensed thereunder, every multi-dwelling unit owner, and every administrator of a nursing home as defined by section one hundred and eight of chapter one hundred and twelve and of a rest home as defined by section seventy-one of chapter one hundred and eleven, shall deliver to the person performing the duties required by section four, on a suitable blank to be furnished him by said person a statement, signed under the penalties of perjury, showing the name and date of birth of every person three years of age or older on January first of said year whose place of residence on said January first was at such inn, lodging house, public lodging house, multi-dwelling unit, nursing home or rest home. For the purposes of this section, ”lodging house” shall include fraternity houses and dormitories of educational institutions. For the purposes of this section, ”multi-dwelling unit” shall mean condominiums of any size and any residential apartment complex consisting of more than eight rental dwelling units. In the case of a fraternity house or dormitory, the statement required to be delivered by this section shall be the responsibility of the person in charge of each said fraternity house or dormitory. In the case of the multi-dwelling unit, the owner or his designated representative at such place, or in the case of condominiums only, the president or principal officer of the condominium association, shall provide the required information.

Section 10B: Repealed, 1943, 320, Sec. 1

Section 11: Records kept
Section 11. The registrars, except in any city or town as to which it is otherwise provided by special law, shall enter the name and residence of each person listed and certified under section eight in a book provided therefor.

Section 12: Posting of penalty sections
Section 12. In all registration agencies and other government offices where voter registration is conducted, there shall be posted in a conspicuous place a legible copy of sections seven, eight and nine of chapter fifty-six. The provisions of this section shall not apply in the case of registrations under section forty-two A.

Section 13: Repealed, 1943, 453, Sec. 15

Section 14: Death of resident; notice
Section 14. The city or town clerk or other officer having charge of the registration of deaths in each city or town shall, on the first day of every month, and also two days before every election, transmit to the registrars of voters a list of the names of all residents thereof eighteen years of age or older who died in the preceding month or since the date of the list previously transmitted, with a statement of the ward, street and number therein, if any, where such person resided at his death.

. Section 14A: Assistance in making lists
Section 14A. In the making of lists under sections four to fourteen, inclusive, the registrars, except in the city of Boston, may, with the approval of the mayor or selectmen or the school committee, as the case may be, have the assistance of the police department, assessors, supervisors of school attendance, or other suitable officers or employees of the city or town or other qualified persons employed by them for the purpose, in visiting buildings and residences and performing the duties of assistant registrars in securing the information required by said sections.
In the making of lists under sections four to fourteen, inclusive, the registrars of the city of Boston may, with the approval of the mayor, have the assistance of the police department in visiting buildings and residences and performing the duties of assistant registrars in securing the information required by said sections.

Section 14B: Applicability of chapter to cities and towns governed by special law
Section 14B. In cities and towns in which the duty of listing residents for the purposes of determining their right to vote is performed by officers other than registrars or assistant registrars, the provisions of this chapter relative to registrars and assistant registrars shall apply to such officers when performing like duties in such cities and towns, except as otherwise expressly provided in any special law or in this section. Where in any special law April first is stated as the date as of which the legal residence of any person shall be determined, such residence shall be determined as of January first instead of April first, and if any provision of this chapter contains a date for the performance of an official act by a board of registrars, registrar or assistant registrar, and by special law a different date is fixed for the performance of such act in any city or town by the same or any other board or officer, the earlier of such dates shall in such city or town prevail over the later date.

Section 15: Board of registrars in certain cities and towns; appointment; term of office
Section 15. Except as provided in section seventeen, there shall be in every city, other than one having a board of election commissioners or an election commission, and in every town a board of registrars of voters consisting of the city or town clerk and three other persons who shall, in a city, be appointed by the mayor, with the approval of the aldermen, and in a town, by a writing signed by the selectmen and filed with the town clerk. When a board of registrars is first appointed, the registrars shall be appointed in February or March for terms respectively of one, two and three years, beginning with April first following. In February or March in every year after the original appointment, one registrar shall be appointed for the term of three years, beginning with April first following.
As the terms of the several registrars expire, and in case a vacancy occurs in the board of registrars of voters, the selectmen or the appointing authority shall so appoint their successors that as nearly as possible the members of the board shall represent the two leading political parties, as defined in section one of chapter fifty; provided, that a city or town clerk need not be enrolled in a political party; and provided further, that in no case shall an appointment be made as to cause a board to have more than two members, including the city or town clerk, of the same political party. Every such appointment shall be made in a town by the selectmen or the appointing authority from a list to be submitted to them by the town committee of the political party from the members of which the position is to be filled, containing the names of three enrolled members of such party resident in the town, selected by a majority vote at a duly called meeting, at which a quorum is present, of such committee; and every member of a board of registrars of voters shall serve until the expiration of his term and until his successor has qualified; provided, however, if the chairman of the town committee has not submitted such list to the selectmen or the appointing authority within forty-five days after a notification to said chairman by certified mail, the selectmen or the appointing authority shall make said appointment without reference to such a list.

Section 16: Repealed, 1959, 127, Sec. 1

Section 16A: Board of election commissioners; powers and duties; members; appointment; term of office
Section 16A. In every city except Cambridge and every town which accepts this section in the manner hereinafter provided, there shall be a board of election commissioners, hereinafter called the board, which, except as otherwise provided, shall have all the powers, rights, duties and liabilities of boards of registrars of voters, and, with respect to elections, of city and town clerks, either under general or special law, and which shall be the lawful successor of said registrars, and, with respect to elections, said clerk. Immediately upon such acceptance, the said registrars of voters and, in so far as they relate to, or are required for use in, the conduct of elections, the said clerk shall deliver to the board all books, papers, records and all other property in their possession. The board shall consist of four persons, of whom two shall always represent each one of the two leading political parties, as defined in section one of chapter fifty. They shall receive such compensation as the city manager, or mayor, and city council, or the town, may determine. The members of the board of registrars of voters in office at the time of such acceptance shall be members of said board of election commissioners, and shall serve until the expiration of their respective terms and until their successors are appointed and qualified; provided, that, if the city or town clerk is then a member of said board of registrars, the mayor, subject to approval by the board of aldermen, the city manager, or the selectmen shall appoint one member of said board of election commissioners for a term of four years beginning April first next following. As the terms of the several election commissioners expire, and in case a vacancy occurs in said board, the mayor, subject to approval by the board of aldermen, the city manager or the selectmen, shall so appoint their successors that the members of the board shall equally represent the two leading political parties as defined as aforesaid. In a town which accepts this section, every such appointment shall be made from a list to be submitted by the town committee of the political party from the members of which the position is to be filled, containing the names of three enrolled members of such party resident in the town, selected by a majority vote at a duly called meeting, at which a quorum is present, of such committee; and every member of said board shall serve until the expiration of his term and until his successor has qualified; provided, however, if the chairman of the town committee has not submitted such list to the selectmen or the appointing authority within forty-five days after a notification to said chairman by certified mail, the selectmen or the appointing authority shall make said appointment without reference to such a list. Such appointments shall be for terms of four years beginning April first, except that any appointment to fill a vacancy shall be for the unexpired term. The board shall organize annually in the month of April by the choice of a chairman and a secretary. In case the members are unable to agree upon a chairman and a secretary, such officers shall be designated by the mayor, the city manager or the selectmen, as the case may be. The secretary shall keep a full and accurate record of the proceedings of the board and shall perform such other duties as the board may require. All the powers, rights, privileges, liabilities and duties relating to caucuses, primaries and elections by law vested in and imposed upon mayors, city managers, boards of aldermen, selectmen, city or town clerks and board of registrars of voters, except the power and duty of giving notice of elections and fixing the days and hours of holding the same, shall be vested in and performed by the board of election commissioners. The board may appoint such assistant commissioners and such assistants as it deems necessary, who shall at all times equally represent the two leading political parties as defined as aforesaid. Said assistant commissioners shall have such powers and perform such duties as are prescribed by this chapter for assistant registrars of voters, and shall perform such other duties as the board may require. Except in Boston, persons appointed to serve temporarily as assistant commissioners, or as temporary assistant commissioners, shall not be subject to chapter thirty-one. This section shall become effective in a city having a Plan E charter by the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the city council, and, in the case of other cities, by vote of the city council, subject to the provisions of the charter, and in a town by a majority vote at an annual town meeting.

Section 17: Board of registrars in certain cities; appointment; term of office
Section 17. In every city, other than one having a board of election commissioners or an election commission, which, by vote of the city council, approved by the mayor, accepts the provisions of this section, or has accepted corresponding provisions of earlier laws, or which is now subject to similar provisions of law, there shall be a board of registrars of voters, consisting of four persons, who shall be appointed by the mayor with the approval of the board of aldermen. When a board of registrars is first appointed after the acceptance of the provisions aforesaid, two registrars shall be appointed in February or March following such acceptance for terms respectively of three and four years, beginning with April first next ensuing. The city clerk of such city shall cease to be a member of the board of registrars on April first, but the remaining two members of the existing board of registrars whose terms do not then expire shall continue to hold office for their respective terms of one and two years. In February or March of every year after such first appointments, there shall in like manner be appointed one registrar of voters for the term of four years, beginning with April first following. The board so constituted shall annually in April organize by electing one of its members as clerk, who shall perform all the duties of a city clerk when acting as clerk of the board of registrars.

Section 17A: Annual training on state and federal election laws and regulations
Section 17A. In each municipality, the city or town clerk and a registrar or election commissioner, as designated by the board of registrars or the board of election commissioners, shall attend an annual training conducted by the office of the state secretary, and offered at no cost to the municipality or to the individual, on the applicable state and federal election laws and regulations. Upon completion of the training, the clerk, registrar or commissioner shall inform the board of registrars and election commissioners.

Section 18: Political representation by board of registrars
Section 18. In the original and in each succeeding appointment and in filling vacancies, registrars of voters shall be so appointed that the members of the board shall represent the two leading political parties, and in no case shall an appointment be so made as to cause a board to have more than two members, including the city or town clerk, of the same political party.

Section 19: Unequal political representation; notice and hearing
Section 19. If, upon written complaint to the mayor or to the selectmen, it shall appear, after notice and hearing, that the city or town clerk, when a member of the board of registrars, and two registrars are of the same political party, the mayor or selectmen, as the case may be, shall remove from office the one of such two registrars having the shorter term remaining. If, upon like proceedings, it shall appear, after notice and hearing, that a registrar of voters, other than the city or town clerk, has ceased to act with the political party which he was appointed to represent, the mayor or selectmen, as the case may be, shall remove him from office.

Section 20: Vacancies in board of registrars; temporary registrars
Section 20. If there is a vacancy in the board of registrars caused by death, resignation or retirement or if a member of the board of registrars is unable to perform the duties of his office, or is, at the time of any meeting of said board, absent from the city or town, the mayor or selectmen may, upon the request in writing of a majority of the remaining members of the board, appoint in writing some person to fill such vacancy temporarily, who is of the same political party as the member whose position he is appointed to fill. Such temporary registrar shall perform the duties and be subject to the requirements and penalties provided by law for a registrar of voters.

Section 21: Registrars; term of office
Section 21. Each registrar shall, unless sooner removed, hold his office for the term for which he is appointed and until his successor is qualified.

Section 22: Assistant registrars in cities and towns; appointment; term; political representation
Section 22. The registrars in cities and towns may appoint assistant registrars for the term of one year, beginning with April first, unless sooner removed by the registrars, and they shall equally represent the different political parties. Assistant registrars shall be subject to the same obligations and penalties as registrars. Registrars may remove an assistant registrar, and may fill a vacancy for the remainder of the term. Registrars may also appoint temporary assistant registrars from time to time to assist in the listing of persons seventeen years of age or over and in the registration of voters at registration sessions as provided for in this chapter, and they shall equally represent the different political parties. Except in Boston, persons appointed to serve temporarily as assistant registrars, or as temporary assistant registrars, shall not be subject to chapter thirty-one.

Section 22A: Absent registration officers; appointment; political representation; physically disabled registrants
Section 22A. In every city and town the registrars of voters may, before every election at which absent voting is permitted, appoint a sufficient number of absent registration officers who in addition to the registrars and the assistant registrars may attend persons claiming to have the qualifications for voting in their respective cities and towns, but who, by reason of physical disability, are unable to apply in person for registration, to examine such persons relative to their qualifications for voting and to register such of said persons as they find to be qualified. Such absent registration officers shall be appointed from the enrolled voters of their respective cities and towns and shall, as nearly as may be, equally represent the two leading political parties.
Absent registration officers appointed under this section shall, in the performance of their duties, have all the powers, and be subject to all the obligations and penalties, of registrars of voters, but their doings shall be under the direction, and subject to the revision and acceptance, of the registrars of voters.

Section 23: Registrars, assistant registrars and absent registration officers; oath of office; compensation
Section 23. The registrars, assistant registrars and absent registration officers shall, before entering upon their official duties, each take and subscribe an oath faithfully to perform the same. They shall receive such compensation as the city council or selectmen may determine; but such compensation shall not be regulated by the number of names listed or registered by them, as the case may be, and a reduction of compensation shall apply only to registrars, assistant registrars and absent registration officers appointed thereafter. The city council or selectmen shall provide them suitable rooms, necessary assistance and, when required, transportation. The city or town clerk, when a member of the board of registrars, shall act as clerk thereof, and shall keep a full and accurate record of its proceedings and shall cause such notices as the registrars may require to be properly given.

Section 24: Powers and duties
Section 24. The registrars may cause the duties devolving upon a single registrar to be performed by one or two assistant registrars, and, if two are designated for such duties, they shall be of different political parties. The registrars shall make suitable regulations governing the assistant registrars, whose doings shall be subject to their revision and acceptance.

Section 25: Registrars; assistant registrars; compatibility of offices
Section 25. Every person appointed as a registrar or assistant registrar who is not regularly employed by the registrars shall be a voter of the city or town where he is appointed. No person appointed as a registrar or assistant registrar shall hold an office in the city or town for which he is appointed either by election or by direct appointment of the mayor or of the board of selectmen or of a city manager or town manager or hold an office by election or appointment under the government of the United States or of the commonwealth or of the city or town, except as a justice of the peace, notary public or officer of the state militia; provided, however, that in a town with a population of under two thousand residents, a person may be appointed a registrar or assistant registrar who holds an office in the town for which he is directly appointed by the board of selectmen or town manager, or who holds an office by appointment under the government of the United States or of the commonwealth. The acceptance by a registrar or assistant registrar of any such office shall vacate his appointment as registrar or assistant registrar. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a registrar or assistant registrar from becoming a candidate for election and serving as a member of a home rule charter commission or as a town meeting member.

Section 26: Registration sessions
Section 26. As used in this section and section forty-two H, ”election” shall include every state, city or town primary, preliminary election, election, or town meeting. The registrars, for the purpose of registering voters, shall hold such day and evening sessions as the town, by by-law, or the city, by ordinance, shall prescribe and such other sessions at locations as they deem necessary to allow voters to register and they may for such purposes, use mobile registration units; provided, however, that except as provided in sections thirty-four and fifty, registration for the next election shall take place no later than eight o’clock in the evening on the twentieth day preceding such election and no later than eight o’clock in the evening on the tenth day preceding a special town meeting. Mailed affidavits of registration postmarked before midnight on the final day to register for an election shall be effective for such election, as provided in section forty-two G. If a postmark is unclear or illegible, a mailed affidavit shall be accepted until the fifth day after the final day to register. In any city or town in which the annual city or town election is held on the first Monday in March, in a year when the presidential primary is held, the registration sessions held by the election commissioners or registrars of voters in preparation for the city or town election shall also serve as registration sessions for the primary. If any person applies for registration during a period prior to a regular or special preliminary, primary or election when registration to qualify as a voter in such preliminary, primary or election is prohibited by the provisions of this section, such person, if otherwise qualified, shall be registered and his name shall be placed on the voting lists as a registered voter for all later preliminaries, primaries or elections.

Section 27: Repealed, 1993, 475, Sec. 7

Section 28: Last day for registration
Section 28. They shall hold a continuous session from nine o’clock ante meridian until eight o’clock in the evening on the last day for registration prescribed under section twenty-six; provided, however, that in towns having less than fifteen hundred voters, such session shall be sufficient if it includes the time from two to four o’clock in the afternoon and from seven to eight o’clock in the evening.

Section 29 to 30: Repealed, 1993, 475, Sec. 9

Section 31: Final day for registration
Section 31. If the final day for registration of voters falls on Sunday or on a holiday, the preceding day shall be the final day for such registration.

Section 32: Places and hours of sessions; notices
Section 32. Registrars shall seasonably post or publish notices stating the places and hours for holding all sessions, including the final sessions preceding any election.

Section 33: Affidavits of registration
Section 33. Any registrar, at such places as may be appointed, and on the day and during hours designated for the purpose, may receive affidavits of registration, but all the actions of one registrar shall be subject to review and acceptance by the board.
In cities, and in towns having six hundred or more registered voters, any person shall be registered, as aforesaid, during regular business hours.

Section 33A: Online completion of affidavit of registration
Section 33A. The state secretary shall create and maintain a secure online portal allowing a person to complete an affidavit of registration online. The registration shall be transmitted by the state secretary to the appropriate local registrar. The online affidavit shall use the person’s signature from the registry of motor vehicles records and the registrar of motor vehicles shall make appropriate provisions to facilitate the electronic transfer of the image of the signature to the central voter registry. If the person’s signature cannot be found using the online affidavit of registration form, the person shall be so informed and given the option to print the affidavit of registration, append the person’s signature and mail or hand deliver the signed affidavit directly to the appropriate registrar of voters. The registrars shall certify the receipt of each completed affidavit of registration and shall notify the person of the disposition of the affidavit. Nothing in this section shall be construed to change any registration deadline or qualification of voting.

Section 34: Persons not registered at close of registration
Section 34. After eight o’clock in the evening of a day on which registration is to cease, the registrars shall not register any person to vote in the next primary or election, except that they shall furnish, or cause to be furnished, to each person waiting in line at said hour of eight o’clock for the purpose of being registered, a card or slip of identification bearing such person’s name and shall, before registration ceases, permit such person to register. The registrars may, however, enter or correct on the registers the names of persons (who have registered as voters) between December thirty-first preceding and the close of registration.

Section 35: Omitted listings compared with annual register of voters; exceptions
Section 35. Except in any city or town as to which it is otherwise provided by special law, registrars shall compare all omitted listings with the annual register of voters for the preceding year, and if it appears to their satisfaction that any of said omitted listings is that of a person entitled to vote in such preceding year they shall at any time up to and including the day of the next primary or election enter such name on the current annual register. In every case they shall require the vote by virtue of which such entry or correction is made to be attested by their clerk. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this section or of any other general or special law, this section shall apply to the city of Boston and the election commissioners thereof.

Section 36: Affidavit of voter registration; distribution; expenses
Section 36. The state secretary shall prepare in sufficient quantity blank forms for affidavits of voter registration and shall supply those forms to all registration agencies. The forms shall include the contents required by federal law, including section 6 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. section 1973gg?4, and section 303(b)(4)(A) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, 42 U.S.C. section 15483(b)(4)(A). Such form shall be designed to provide the registrant with a copy thereof at the time of registration at a registration agency.
The state secretary shall provide English and Spanish affidavits of voter registration to all registration agencies. Said secretary shall provide forms in such additional languages as he deems necessary or as required by law.
The state secretary shall provide nongovernmental and private entities with sufficient quantities of such affidavit forms free of charge. Said secretary shall make such forms widely available for distribution through governmental, nongovernmental and private entities, with particular emphasis on making them available for organized voter registration programs.
A completed affidavit of voter registration shall be mailed, transmitted or otherwise delivered forthwith, within five calendar days, to the board of registrars of the city or town wherein which registrant resides.
All expenses incurred in the mailing of affidavits by registration agencies, except by the offices of city or town clerks or by individual registrants, shall be paid by the state secretary, subject to appropriation.

Section 37: Annual register; omitted names; notice
Section 37. The registrars, as soon as they have prepared the lists required by section four, shall prepare an annual register containing the names of all qualified voters in their city or town for the current year, beginning with January first, except the name of any person who provides the registrars with a copy of a court order granting protection, or evidence of residence in a protective shelter, or an affidavit signed by a chief of police or his designee that said person is entitled to have certain information withheld from the public under section 24C of chapter 265. Such names shall be arranged in alphabetical order, and, opposite to the name of each voter, shall be placed his residence on January first preceding or on any subsequent day when he became an inhabitant of the city or town. The registrars shall enter in the annual register every name contained in the lists prepared by them under section four which they can identify as that of a person whose name was borne on the voting list of the city or town at the last preceding election or town meeting, giving the residence of each such person on January first of the current year. They shall make all inquiries and investigations necessary to identify such person, and they shall not enter in the annual register the name of a person objected to by any registrar, nor shall they enter in such register as residing at any licensed inn, lodging house or public lodging house the name of a person which has not been reported to them under section ten A, until such person has been duly notified and given an opportunity to be heard. They shall forthwith enter in the annual register the name of every person who has registered as a voter in the current year. They shall, on or before the first Monday of June in each year, send notice in writing to each voter of the preceding year whose name has not been entered in the annual register of the current year that the name of such voter may be removed from the voting list if the voter fails to respond to the notice and does not vote in the next two biennial state elections following the mailing of such notice. Such notice shall (1) be postage prepaid; (2) contain a preaddressed and postage prepaid return card; (3) be sent by forwardable mail; (4) instruct the voter to return the card before the last day to register if the voter did not change residence from the city or town; and (5) contain additional information about remaining eligible to vote, as prescribed by the state secretary. The registrars shall prepare a list of the names of voters not so entered, which shall be open to public inspection in their principal office, and shall be posted by copy in accordance with the same schedule of times and in the places where copies of voting lists are required to be posted under section fifty-seven. The registrars, in addition, may publish such lists in a newspaper devoted wholly or chiefly to the publication of local or general news. Copies of said lists shall be made available to members of the public upon payment of the cost of the copying thereof.

Section 37A: Inactive voters list
Section 37A. The name and address of a voter that is not entered in the annual register pursuant to section 37 for 2 consecutive years and who during that time fails to vote in any election shall be maintained on an inactive voters list until such voter has failed to vote in two consecutive biennial state elections and has thereafter been notified, by mail, of such removal from the inactive voters list.

Section 38: Revisions and corrections of registers, etc.
Section 38. The registrars shall, upon the personal application of a listed person for the correction of any error in their original lists, and whenever informed of any such error, make due investigation, and, upon proof thereof, correct the same on their books. When informed that a person whose name has been omitted from the voting lists of a city or town is in a hospital, a sanatorium, a rest home or convalescent or nursing home in another city or town, they shall make due investigation and, upon proof thereof, they shall restore the name of such person to the list of voters at his address of last registration, provided that he has not acquired the qualifications for registration as a voter in the town where he then resides. When informed of the omission of the name of a person who is averred to have resided in the city or town on January first in the then current year and to have been listed there in the preceding year, they shall make due investigation, and, upon proof thereof, add the name to their books. They shall revise and correct the current annual register in accordance with any facts they may have presented to them. They may, for this purpose, require that such facts be presented to them in writing, signed under the penalties of perjury. They shall strike therefrom the name of every deceased voter which has been transmitted to them under section fourteen or which has been electronically transmitted to them. After the name of a voter has been placed upon the current annual register or upon the inactive voters list, they shall not strike such name therefrom unless: (a) the voter has died; (b) they have received a duplicate copy of an affidavit of registration from the registrars of another city or town; (c) they have received a change of address notification from the registry of motor vehicles; (d) they have received a written request from the voter or the voter has confirmed in writing that he has moved to another city or town; or (e) the voter has not responded to the notice described in section thirty-seven and has not voted in the next two biennial state elections following the mailing of such notice.

Section 39: Repealed, 1969, 205, Sec. 3

Section 40: Public sessions; inspection of records
Section 40. The registrars shall perform their duties in open session. They shall distinctly announce the name of every person registering to vote. Their records shall at suitable times be open to public inspection.

Section 41: Preservation of documents
Section 41. The registrars shall preserve all written applications, complaints, certificates and affidavits received by them, and all other documents in their custody relative to listing and registration, for two years after the dates thereof; provided, however, that original affidavits of registration, or microfilm copies thereof, shall be preserved and shall be deemed to be public records, except large print affidavits of registration.

Section 41A: Duties imposed by Secs. 10A and 37 in cities not having registrars
Section 41A. The duties imposed by sections ten A and thirty-seven, respectively, upon registrars of voters shall be performed in Boston and in other cities not having registrars by the election commissioners or other persons or boards having the powers and duties of registrars, or similar powers and duties. The reports required by said section ten A shall in Boston and in such other cities be filed with said commissioners or other persons or boards.

Section 42: Affidavit of registration; exception
[Text of section effective until August 1, 2016. For text effective August 1, 2016, see below.]
Section 42. Registration as a voter shall be by affidavit of registration made in conformity with the requirements of this chapter. Except as provided in section forty-two A, every person whose name has not been entered in the annual register in accordance with sections thirty-four through thirty-seven inclusive, or a corresponding provision of law applicable to a city or town having a listing board, must, in order to register as a voter, make an affidavit of registration as provided in this chapter and in the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

Chapter 51: Section 42. Affidavit of registration; exception

[Text of section as amended by 2014, 111, Sec. 5 effective August 1, 2016. See 2014, 111, Sec. 23. For text effective until August 1, 2016, see above.]
Section 42. Registration as a voter shall be by affidavit of registration made in conformity with the requirements of this chapter by any person at least 16 years of age or older. Except as provided in section forty-two A, every person whose name has not been entered in the annual register in accordance with sections thirty-four through thirty-seven inclusive, or a corresponding provision of law applicable to a city or town having a listing board, must, in order to register as a voter, make an affidavit of registration as provided in this chapter and in the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

Section 42A: Physically disabled applicants
Section 42A. Any person claiming to have the qualifications for voting in any city or town who, by reason of physical disability, is unable to appear in person to register may make application, in writing, to the registrars of voters of such city or town for registration in the manner hereinafter provided.
The application shall be made, not later than the third day before the last day for registration of voters under section twenty-six, to the registrars of voters of the city or town in which the applicant resides. Applications received after such third day shall not be acted upon.
The registrars shall seasonably after receipt of an application for registration under this section delegate two registrars, assistant registrars, or absent registration officers to visit the person making the same, and the said officers, equally representing the two political parties, if satisfied that the applicant is unable by reason of physical disability to appear in person to register, shall provide him with a blank affidavit of registration and shall witness the signing thereof. No such person shall be provided with an affidavit of registration after the close of registration nor in any city or town other than that in which he claims the right to vote; provided, however, if the applicant is in the military or naval service of the United States, he may so register up until four o’clock post meridian on the day preceding a primary election, preliminary election or election.

Section 42B: Repealed, 1993, 475, Sec. 16

Section 42C: Registration sessions in high schools and vocational schools
Section 42C. In any city or town which accepts the provisions of this section, voter education and voluntary registration sessions shall be held by the registrars, assistant registrars or election commissioners one day each year between the first day of April and the fifteenth day of May in each public, private and vocational high school in their cities and towns. Said sessions shall take place as part of an educational assembly for all seniors.
A registrar or assistant registrar at a session held pursuant to the provisions of this section may receive affidavits of registration from registrants who reside in any other city or town of the commonwealth. The registrars shall forthwith transmit any such completed affidavits of registration to the registrars of the city or town where the registrant claims to reside, and said registrars shall receive such affidavits as provided in sections forty-six to forty-seven B, inclusive.
This section shall take effect upon its acceptance by any city or town.

Section 42D: Registration sessions in regional high schools, colleges or universities
Section 42D. The registrars or election commissioners may hold registration sessions in any regional high school, college or university, in any city or town in the commonwealth where there are persons entitled to be registered in their city or town who are regularly gathered there by reason of education or employment.

Section 42E: Voter registration affidavit forms for college, high school and vocational school students
Section 42E. All public and independent colleges, universities, high schools and vocational schools shall make available affidavit of voter registration forms at all locations where students may register for classes. Such locations shall be published along with the annual course listing for students or in some other schoolwide publication. Every such school shall publicize the availability of such voter registration affidavit forms within the school.

Section 42F: Affidavits of registration from registrants residing in other cities or towns
Section 42F. At every registration session held pursuant to this chapter, a registrar or assistant registrar shall receive affidavits of registration from registrants who reside in any other city or town of the commonwealth. The registrars shall forthwith transmit any such completed affidavits of registration to the registrars of the city or town where such registrant claims to reside, and said registrars shall receive such affidavits as provided in sections forty-six to forty-seven B, inclusive. All registration agencies shall use the registration affidavit form prescribed by the state secretary under section thirty-six.

Section 42G: Transmission of completed affidavits to city or town where registrant resides
Section 42G. All registration agencies shall provide assistance with voter registration as required by 42 USC 1973 gg?5. Registration agencies shall transmit forthwith, within five calendar days, each completed affidavit of voter registration to the board of registrars of the city or town wherein the registrant resides. The state secretary shall adopt regulations governing such transmission, which shall include, but not be limited to, provisions requiring registration agencies to employ the most cost-effective forms of transmission; provided, however, that the department of correction shall provide prison industries assistance in such transmission as the state secretary may require. A registrant shall be deemed to be a registered voter at the time of completion of a signed affidavit at a registration agency or on the date that the affidavit of voter registration is postmarked or on the day that it is delivered by hand to the registrars.
The state secretary shall enter into cooperative agreements with additional agencies of state government that agree to function as registration agencies. Such agreements shall provide that the state secretary shall conduct appropriate training of agency staff, shall provide all forms, material and equipment necessary to carry out voter registration activities, and shall have oversight responsibility to insure proper compliance with applicable provisions of federal and state law.

Section 42H: Receipt of completed affidavit by registrar
Section 42H. Registrars of voters in cities and towns shall receive completed affidavits of voter registration from registration agencies, from individuals and organizations conducting voter registration, through the United States mail, through the online portal and by hand delivery. Upon receipt of each completed affidavit, the registrars shall certify the receipt thereof and shall notify the registrant of the disposition of the affidavit. Said registrars shall add the registrant’s name, address and effective date of registration to the annual register of voters in accordance with section forty-six, effective at the time set forth in section forty-two G; provided, however, that the state secretary may, by regulation adopted pursuant to section forty-seven C, provide that electronic transmission alone of the information contained in the affidavit of registration shall be sufficient for such purpose. The registrars may correct information supplied by the registrant to the extent necessary to maintain the integrity of their records. If an affidavit is incomplete or if it appears from the facts set forth in the affidavit that the registrant is not qualified to register as a voter, the registrars shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of section forty-seven. If an affidavit is dated by the registration agency or postmarked during the period when registration to qualify as a voter in a particular election is prohibited by section twenty-six, the registrant’s name shall be added to the annual register for all subsequent elections and the registrars shall so notify such registrant. All records of voter registration held by registration agencies shall be available for inspection and copying by the registrars of the registrant’s city or town or by summons in a legal proceeding.

Section 43: Repealed, 1969, 205, Sec. 4

Section 44: Completion of affidavit of voter registration form
Section 44. A person seeking to register shall complete an affidavit of voter registration form as prescribed in section thirty-six, and shall sign the affidavit under the penalty of perjury. A person registering as a voter may, at the same time, establish his enrollment in a political party or political designation, as provided in section thirty-eight of chapter fifty-three, by indicating his desire to be so enrolled on the affidavit of voter registration. The affidavit of any person who provides the registrars with a copy of a court order granting protection, or evidence of residence in a protective shelter, or an affidavit signed by a chief of police or his designee that said person is entitled to have certain information withheld from the public under section 24C of chapter 265, or a program participant in the address confidentiality program established under section 2 of chapter 9A shall not be a public record.

Section 45: Repealed, 1971, 320, Sec. 2

Section 45A: Production of naturalization papers for inspection; notation
Section 45A. An applicant for registration may produce papers of naturalization for inspection if he so desires, and notation of such production shall be made a part of the registration of said applicant.

Section 46: Affidavit of registration; filing; addition of voter’s name to annual register
Section 46. Upon receipt of a completed affidavit of registration, the registrars shall, except as provided in section forty-seven, place said affidavit in their files and add the name of the voter to the current annual register of voters in the city or town.

Section 46A: Transmittal of duplicate certificate of registration to place of voter’s last registration
Section 46A. Except as provided in section forty-seven, the registrars, upon receipt of an affidavit of registration, shall transmit a duplicate copy thereof to the registrars in the city or town where the person last registered to vote, if within the commonwealth, or to the state secretary of the state where the person last registered to vote, if the person had indicated that his previous residence was in that state.

Section 47: Rejection of defective affidavit of registration; notices to person named
Section 47. If, after examination of an affidavit of registration, it appears to the registrars from the facts set forth in the affidavit that the person is not qualified to be registered as a voter or that the affidavit is incomplete, they may decline to enter his name on the annual register. The registrars shall notify any person whose name is not so entered and give him a reasonable opportunity to remedy the defects in his affidavit. If the registrars are still not satisfied that the affidavit meets the requirements of this chapter, they shall not accept it and shall forthwith inform the person thereof.

Section 47A: Registration of persons attaining full age by election or town meeting
[Text of section effective until August 1, 2016. For text effective August 1, 2016, see below.]
Section 47A. If, after examination of an affidavit of registration, it appears to the registrars that the person has all the qualifications to be registered as a voter except that of age, and that such person will on or before the day of the next preliminary, primary, special or general election or town meeting attain full age, they shall enter his name in the current annual register of voters.

Chapter 51: Section 47A. Pre-registration of persons having obtained the age of 16

[Text of section as amended by 2014, 111, Sec. 7 effective August 1, 2016. See 2014, 111, Sec. 23. For text effective until August 1, 2016, see above.]
Section 47A. If, after examination of an affidavit of registration, it appears to the registrars that the person has all the qualifications to be registered as a voter except that of age and the person has obtained the age of 16, then they shall enter the person’s name in the current annual register of voters with the designation ”pre-registrant” or other term or code as specified by the state secretary. The designation shall be removed when the person, on or before the day of the next preliminary, primary, special or general election or town meeting, attains full age. No pre-registrant shall be allowed to vote until the pre-registrant obtains full age unless otherwise permitted by law.

Section 47B: False statements in affidavit of registration; complaint and summons; examination of qualifications
Section 47B. If at any time subsequent to the registration of a voter the registrars have probable cause to believe that the voter has made a false statement in his affidavit of registration, they may prepare a complaint setting forth the basis for their belief, and summon the voter to appear before them in the manner set forth in section forty-eight. They shall examine the voter and determine his qualifications to vote in the manner set forth in section forty-nine.

Section 47C: Central registry of voters
Section 47C. Subject to appropriation, the state secretary shall maintain a central registry of voters which shall contain, if provided by the registrars, the names, addresses and effective dates of registration of all registered voters in the commonwealth and which shall contain the name, date of birth, occupation, veteran status, nationality, if not a citizen of the United States, for street list purposes only, and residence on January first in the preceding year and in the current year, of every person three years of age or older in the commonwealth, and shall adopt regulations governing the operation of said central registry. The names and addresses contained in said central registry shall not be a matter of public record; provided however, that they shall be available to state party committees, statewide candidate committees, state ballot question committees, the jury commissioner, adjutant general and any other individual, agency or entity that the state secretary shall designate by regulation consistent with the purposes of this section, at a fair and reasonable cost not to exceed the cost of printing or preparing computer readable documents.

The state secretary shall enter into an agreement with the Electronic Registration Information Center, Inc. on behalf of the commonwealth that shall specify the terms and conditions of the commonwealth’s membership in the Center. The agreement shall include terms providing for the periodic sharing of data between the central registry, the registry of motor vehicles and any other automatic voter registration agency as designated by the secretary, and the Center, including, but not limited to, voter names and addresses.

Section 48: Complaint; time for filing; summons and service of process
Section 48. Upon complaint signed and sworn to by a registered voter and filed with the registrars at least fourteen days in a city, or at least four days in a town, before a primary, election or town meeting, stating that the complainant has reason to believe and does believe that a certain person by him therein named has been illegally or incorrectly registered, and giving the reasons for such belief, the registrars shall examine into such complaint and, if satisfied that there is sufficient ground therefor, they shall summon the person complained of to appear before them at a certain place and time before the next primary or election or town meeting to answer to the matters set forth in the complaint, and the substance of the complaint and a copy of this section and of section forty-nine shall be set forth in the summons. Service of the summons shall be made by an officer qualified to serve civil or criminal process, not more than fourteen nor less than two days before the day named for appearance, by delivering in hand a copy of the summons to the person therein named, or by leaving it at his place of residence, or, if personal service cannot be made and the person’s residence is unknown to the officer and cannot be ascertained by inquiry at the place of alleged illegal or incorrect residence or at any later residence of such person appearing on the register, then at such person’s last residence, if any, known to the officer, or, if the person’s last residence is unknown, at the last place appearing as his residence in the register. The officer shall return the summons to the registrars before the day named for appearance with the certificate of his doings endorsed thereon.

Section 49: Examination of persons summoned; status for annual register; failure to appear
Section 49. If a person summoned before the registrars to answer such complaint appears before them, they shall examine him on oath, and shall receive such other evidence which may be offered in regard to the matters set forth in the complaint and, if satisfied that he is properly registered as a qualified voter, they shall enter in the register a statement of their determination of the facts required for registration. If the registrars are satisfied that he is not a qualified voter, they shall strike his name from the register. If they are satisfied that, although he is a qualified voter in the city or town, he is illegally or incorrectly registered in a ward or voting precinct other than the ward or voting precinct in which he is required by section three to be registered, and have determined the ward or voting precinct in which he is so required to be registered, and his place of residence therein, they shall change his place of residence as given on the register accordingly. If a person duly summoned as aforesaid does not appear as directed in the summons and the complainant produces sufficient testimony to make out a prima facie case, the name of such person shall be struck from the register; but if such person appears before the registrars before the election or town meeting following and shows sufficient cause for his failure earlier to appear, the hearing shall be reopened and the matter decided on its merits, as determined from the evidence presented on both sides. The complainant and the person complained of may be represented by counsel, and all witnesses may be cross-examined.

Section 50: Supplementary registration
Section 50. Any legal resident of the commonwealth who was included in the definition of ”Specially qualified voter” in section one of chapter fifty throughout the seven days immediately preceding the final time for registration under section twenty-six, or who becomes a citizen of the United States after the final time for registration under said section twenty-six, may appear before a registrar or assistant registrar of voters of the city or town of his legal residence, during regular business hours of any day following the final day for registration before a primary or election, as fixed by said section twenty-six, and, in accordance with this chapter, register as a voter; provided, however, that he so appears prior to four o’clock post meridian on the day preceding a primary, preliminary election or election.

Section 51: Certificate of supplementary registration; voting thereon
Section 51. To every person registered under section fifty the registrars shall issue a certificate, similar to that provided for in section fifty-nine, entitled ”Supplementary Registration?Specially Qualified Voter”, and referring by chapter and section number to this section and section fifty. Upon presentation of such certificate to the presiding officer at the proper polling place, or, in the case of an absent voter, if such certificate is attached to the voting lists, such person shall have the same right to vote as any other registered voter. Except in the case of an absent voter, after such person has voted, the presiding officer shall attach the certificate to the voting list and it shall be considered a part thereof, and shall be returned to the registrars and preserved in accordance with law.

Section 51A: Confidential registration certificate
Section 51A. To every person whose affidavit of voter registration is not a public record, and whose name and address do not appear on the annual register pursuant to sections thirty-seven and forty-four, the registrars shall issue a certificate entitled ”Confidential Registration”, similar to that provided for in section fifty-nine. Upon presentation of such certificate to the presiding officer at the proper polling place or, in the case of an absent voter, if such certificate is attached to the voting lists, such person shall have the same right to vote as any other registered voter. Except in the case of an absent voter, after such person has voted, the presiding officer shall attach the certificate to the voting list and it shall be returned to the registrars. Any such certificate shall not be a public record and no person shall make any statement or give any information in regard thereto, except as required by law.

Section 52: Duties of registrars
Section 52. A registrar shall enforce regularity in all proceedings before him, maintain order in and about the place where a session is held, or applications for registration are received, and keep the access thereto open and unobstructed.

Section 52A: Solicitation of votes and distribution of campaign literature in registration offices prohibited; penalties
Section 52A. No candidate for public office, or any person acting on behalf of a candidate, shall solicit votes or distribute campaign literature in any office where registration of voters is being conducted. Whoever violates this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year in a house of correction or by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.

Section 53: Police assistance at meetings
Section 53. The board of police or officer in charge of the police force of a city or town shall, when requested by the registrars, detail a sufficient number of police officers to attend any meeting held by a registrar in the performance of his duties, and to preserve order and enforce his directions.

Section 54: Supervisors of registration; appointment; duties; interference with supervisors; penalties
Section 54. The governor, with the advice and consent of the council, shall, on the petition of not less than ten qualified voters of a city or town, appoint for a term of one year two supervisors of registration for each place of registration therein, one from each of the two leading political parties. They shall attend all sessions or meetings for registration held at the places for which they are appointed, and either of them may attach to any book or papers there used for purposes of registration any statement touching the truth or fairness of the proceedings which he may deem proper, and may add thereto his signature or other marks for the purpose of identification.
Whoever interferes with, or aids or abets any person in interfering with, any supervisor of registration in the performance of his duty, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 55: Preparation of voting lists; contents and arrangement; distribution; revisions
Section 55. Registrars shall, from the names entered in the annual register and from the names maintained on the inactive voters list, prepare voting lists for use at elections; provided, however, that such registrars shall not enter the names of women voters in separate columns or lists. In such voting lists, such registrars shall place the names of all voters entered on the annual register and those maintained on the inactive voters list and opposite to the name of each his residence and party enrollment. The registrars shall maintain separate voting lists for active and inactive voters or one voting list if inactive voters are designated as such on the voting list. In cities they shall prepare such voting lists by wards, and if a ward or town is divided into voting precincts, they shall prepare the same by precincts. In all such cities and in towns having five thousand or more inhabitants, the voting lists shall be arranged by streets in alphabetical order, and the names of the voters on each street shall be arranged in the numerical order of the street numbers of their residences, so far as possible. All first voting lists shall be printed and available for public distribution not later than the first day of July in state election years. A sufficient number of voting lists shall be printed so that they can be furnished free of charge, upon request, to all duly organized political committees, and to all political candidates for public office in the various districts in which the city or town is located and for a reasonable fee, not to exceed the cost of printing such list, to any person upon request. Names shall be added thereto or taken therefrom as persons are found to be qualified or not qualified to vote. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the voting lists to be used at presidential primaries or any primary or election held prior to July first in any year may be that of the year preceding, revised as aforesaid.

Section 56: Repealed, 1981, 143, Sec. 1

Section 57: Posting of lists; copies for state political committees
Section 57. They shall, at least twenty days before the annual or biennial city or town election, and except in Boston, at least sixty days before the biennial state election, cause copies of the voting lists provided for in the two preceding sections to be posted in their principal office and in one or more other public places in the city or town, and in each ward of a city and in each precinct of a town. Upon application made by any state political committee organized in accordance with law, the clerk of the board of registrars shall furnish to it a copy of the voting list free of charge.

Section 58: New names added to lists; distribution of copies; posting or publication
Section 58. If a new name is added to the annual register after the voting lists have been posted, registrars shall cause it to be added to the lists posted in their principal office; provided, however, that all registrars shall maintain lists of new names added to the annual registers subsequent to the last posting of the voting lists and such lists shall contain in addition to the names, the addresses, wards and precincts, if any, and party designations, if any, of the newly registered voters; and, provided further, that all registrars shall provide copies of such lists to all duly organized political committees, and to all political candidates for public office in the various districts in which the city or town is located, and, for a reasonable fee, not to exceed the cost of printing or copying such list, to any other person upon request. If a city or town shall authorize the registrars to publish the names added to the register, they may, instead of posting them, cause all additional names to be printed in a newspaper published in the city or town, if any, otherwise in a newspaper published in the county.

Section 58A: Repealed, 1988, 79, Sec. 16

Section 59: Certificate in case of omissions or clerical errors; voting procedure
Section 59. Whenever the name of a voter, appearing at a polling place to vote in a primary, caucus or election or preliminary election, does not appear on a voting list prepared as required by section fifty-five or in whose name or residence, as placed on such list, a clerical error has been made, the presiding officer shall attempt to identify such voter and his right to vote at such polling place by consulting the inactive voters list, which list the registrars of voters shall make available at the polling place for this purpose and then, if necessary, by communicating with the board of registrars by telephone or other means at his disposal. If the presiding officer is then satisfied that such voter is entitled to vote, he shall issue a certificate in a form supplied by the registrars, stating the name, residence and party enrollment, if any, of the voter so identified, and such certificate shall be signed by such presiding officer. The certificate shall be attached to and be considered part of the voting list, returned and preserved therewith, and such voter shall be allowed to vote.
Whenever the presiding officer, after a reasonable attempt, is unable to identify a voter whose name does not appear on the voting list, such voter may request permission to vote from the registrars of voters. If said registrars find that the name of such voter has been omitted from the voting list, or a clerical error has been made in his name or residence, as placed on such list, the registrars shall issue a certificate of name, residence and party enrollment, if any, as stated on the annual register, signed by a majority of the registrars. On presentation thereof to the presiding officer of the polling place in which the voter was registered, or is authorized to vote, such voter shall be allowed to vote, and his name shall be checked on the certificate, which shall be attached to and considered a part of the voting list and returned and preserved therewith; provided, however, that if such voter desires to vote at the office of the city or town clerk or election commissioners, an absentee ballot shall be issued to such voter, who shall mark it and enclose it in an absentee ballot envelope, together with the certificate. The clerk or commissioner shall then mark on the envelope ”Listing Error”, and as soon as practicable shall transmit such envelope to the proper polling place. Such ballot shall be cast and counted as if the voter had appeared personally, and the certificate shall be attached to and considered part of the voting list. The envelopes shall be preserved in the same manner as other absentee ballot envelopes.

Section 59A: Repealed, 2004, 334, Sec. 2

Section 60: Voting lists for use at polls
Section 60. Before every election and meeting in a city or town at which voting lists may be required to be used, the registrars shall prepare such lists for each ward, voting precinct, polling place or town in which such election or meeting is being held, containing the names and residences of all persons qualified to vote therein, as the same appear upon the annual register, and shall seasonably transmit the same to the election officers in every such ward, voting precinct, polling place or town. Such registrars shall also make available at such locations the inactive voters list. Such voting lists shall be in duplicate for all elections and meetings at which duplicate lists are required to be used.

Section 61: Certification of registered voters
Section 61. They shall forthwith, after the final day for registration before a biennial state or regular city or town election, certify to the state secretary the number of registered voters in the city or town, and in each ward and precinct therein.
In cities where the city clerk is not a member of the board of registrars, the registrars shall likewise, after the last day for registration for a city election, certify to the city clerk the number of registered voters in the city, and in each ward and voting precinct therein.

Section 62: Certified copies for use at caucus; party enrollment designations
Section 62. When a caucus is called, the registrars, on the request of the chairman of the ward or town committee of the party whose caucus is to be held or of the person designated to call the caucus to order, shall furnish him for use in the caucus a certified copy of the last published voting list of the town, or of the ward of the city for which the caucus is to be held, adding thereto the names of voters registered since such publication. Said lists, if intended for use in the caucus of a political party, shall contain the party enrollment of voters whose names appear thereon established as provided in sections thirty-seven and thirty-eight of chapter fifty-three.

Section 63: Lists furnished for new wards and voting precincts
Section 63. After the biennial state election in nineteen hundred and forty-four, and in every tenth year thereafter for the purpose of furnishing the information necessary for a new division of a city into wards and voting precincts and of a town of twelve thousand inhabitants or over, which has been divided into voting precincts, into new voting precincts, the registrars shall deliver to the clerk of each city and of each such town, on or before the first Tuesday after the said election, a list of all voters therein who were registered for such election, which shall be so arranged as to show the number of voters residing in each ward or in each precinct, as the case may be, by streets. The registrars shall likewise in any other year, upon the request of the aldermen in cities or of the selectmen in such towns, furnish, for the purpose of dividing a ward into voting precincts or, unless otherwise prohibited by law, of dividing any such town into new voting precincts, a list of the voters of any ward in a city or of any precinct in such town, arranged as aforesaid.

Section 64: Online portal for verification of registration or pre-registration status
Section 64. The state secretary shall create and maintain an online portal through which a person, including those who have pre-registered pursuant to section 47A, may check to determine whether that person is registered or pre-registered to vote. The portal shall allow a person to enter the person’s name, date of birth and residential zip code. The portal shall subsequently display whether a voter with that name, date of birth and residential zip code is registered or pre-registered to vote, whether the registration of the voter is active or inactive pursuant to section 37A, the polling location for the voter and state and federal elected officials who represent the voter. The portal shall not display any other biographical information about the voter except the information provided by the user of the site. If there is no voter in the central registry of voters matching the information submitted to the portal or if the voter’s registration is inactive, the website shall inform the user how the user may obtain a voter registration form or restore the user’s registration to active status.

Section 66: Provision of data to state secretary for maintenance of voter lists; provision of data to Electronic Registration Information Center, Inc.; centralized data management

Section 66. The registry of motor vehicles, and any other state agency, shall provide data, as deemed necessary by the state secretary, for the purposes of maintaining accurate and complete voter lists. Not less than every 2 months, the registry of motor vehicles, and any other state agency the state secretary designates, shall electronically transmit to the state secretary all data, as directed by the state secretary, that is relevant to the purposes of voter registration, including, if available, the following record fields: (i) name, current address, mailing address, date of birth, driver’s license number or last 4 digits of the social security number and telephone number; (ii) date, time and nature of the last change to the information; and (iii) any additional information designated by the state secretary for such purposes and reasonably related to maintaining accurate and complete voter lists.

The state secretary shall provide the names and addresses and other data contained in the central registry of voters, as well as information received from the registry of motor vehicles and any other agency received for the purpose of maintaining accurate and complete voting lists, to the Electronic Registration Information Center, Inc.
The state secretary shall implement, if practicable, a centralized system to manage and evaluate data received from the Electronic Registration Information Center, Inc. to send mailings to voters centrally rather than from the local level. In the absence of such central management, if any actions regarding possibly inaccurate information in the central registry requires any action by the registrars, the secretary shall provide any such information to the registrars in electronic form and in a manner minimizing data management at the local level.

Chapter 52: POLITICAL COMMITTEES

Section 1: State committees; election; organization; terms; vacancies
Section 1. Each political party shall, in the manner herein provided, elect a state committee from among its members who either have enrolled on or before the ninetieth day prior to the last day for filing nomination papers for state committees with the state secretary, or are newly registered voters in their city or town enrolled in that political party and have not been enrolled in another political party during the year preceding such last day for filing nomination papers. Each state committee shall consist of one man and one woman from each senatorial district, who shall be residents thereof, to be elected at the presidential primaries by plurality vote of the members of the party in the district, and such number of members as may be appointed by the state committee as hereinafter provided. Members of said committee elected at the presidential primaries from senatorial districts shall hold office for a period of four years from the thirtieth day next following their election; provided that members of said committee elected in nineteen hundred and seventy-six shall hold office for a period beginning May fifteenth, nineteen hundred and seventy-six and ending on the thirtieth day following the day on which presidential primaries are next held. Members appointed by the state committee shall hold office for two years from the date of their appointment; provided, however, that in no event shall the terms of office of such members extend beyond the term of office of members who were elected at the presidential primaries.
The members of the state committee elected at the presidential primaries shall, within ten days after the thirtieth day next following their election, meet and organize for the purpose of choosing a secretary, treasurer, and such other officers, other than a chairman, as they may decide to elect; provided, however, that such members shall, within ten days after the November general election at which a president is elected, meet and choose a chairman. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, a chairman shall serve in his respective position until his successor has been chosen; provided, however, that in the event that a state committee requires that its chairman be a member and any such elected chairman ceases to be a member, the committee shall choose a temporary chairman who shall serve until a permanent chairman is chosen following the November election as aforesaid. Such committee may, at any time after its organization, add to its membership.
The secretary of the state committee shall file with the state secretary, and send to each city and town committee, within ten days after such permanent organization, a list of the members of the state committee and of its officers, and, within ten days after each addition to its membership made subsequently to its permanent organization, a list of the members so added.
A vacancy in the office of chairman, secretary or treasurer of the state committee or in the membership thereof shall be filled by said committee, and a statement of any such change shall be filed as in the case of the officers first chosen.

Section 1A: Repealed, 1950, 280, Sec. 2

Section 2: Ward and town committees; elections; terms
Section 2. Each political party shall, in every ward and town, elect at the presidential primaries a ward or town committee from among the members of the party who either have enrolled on or before the ninetieth day prior to the last day for filing nomination papers for such committees with the state secretary, or are newly registered voters in their city or town enrolled in that political party and have not been enrolled in another political party during the year preceding such last day for filing nomination papers. Ward and town committee members shall hold office for a period of four years ending on the thirtieth day following the day on which the presidential primaries are next held and until their successors shall have organized. If any member changes his residence from the ward or town in which he was elected during the said four years, he shall cease to be a member at the end of the calendar year during which said residence is changed. If any member, whether elected or chosen to fill a vacancy, cancels or changes his party enrolment he shall forthwith cease to be a member of said committee.
For the purposes of this chapter, notwithstanding the fact that ward lines in a city have been redistricted subsequent to a presidential primary, members of ward committees elected from wards in existence at the time of a presidential primary shall continue to represent said wards until their successors shall have been elected and organized under the redistricted ward lines at the presidential primary next following said redistricting.

Section 3: City committees
Section 3. The members of the several ward committees of a political party in a city shall constitute the city committee.

Section 4: City, ward and town committees; organization; failure to elect or organize
Section 4. Each city, ward and town committee shall within ten days after the thirtieth day next following the election of its members, meet and organize by the choice of a chairman, a secretary, a treasurer and such other officers as it may decide to elect; provided that members of said committee elected in nineteen hundred and seventy-six shall meet and organize within ten days after May fifteenth, nineteen hundred and seventy-six. At such meeting a ward or town committee may add to its elected members; provided, that by so doing the total number of members shall not be made to exceed the number determined under section nine. Ward and town committees may appoint associate members by vote at any meeting. Associate members shall not have the right to vote but shall have such other powers and duties as the ward or town committee may determine. In case there is a failure of election of a ward or town committee, the city committee or the state committee, respectively, of the political party which said ward or town committee represents shall appoint from among the voters qualified therefor the members of such committee and shall call a meeting for its organization, in such call appointing a time for holding the same and naming a person to preside thereat. If a ward committee or a city or town committee fails to meet within the time prescribed by this section and organize, the city committee or the state committee, respectively, of the political party which such ward, city or town committee represents shall call a meeting for its organization, in such call appointing a time for holding the same and naming a person to preside thereat. In the event that a ward or town committee fails to meet at the time appointed as aforesaid and organize, the election of each of its members shall be void and the same proceedings shall be had as is herein provided in the case of a failure of election.

Section 5: Lists of officers, members and associate members; acceptance of office of treasurer; filing
Section 5. The secretary of each city, ward and town committee shall, within ten days after its organization, file with the state secretary, with the city or town clerk and with the secretary of the state committee of the political party which it represents, a list of the officers and members of the committee, together with the addresses of such officers. In the case of a city, the secretary of each ward committee shall also file a copy of such list within such time with the chairman of the city committee of the political party which it represents. Within a like period after the appointment of associate members, said secretary shall likewise file a list of such associate members. The treasurer of such committee shall qualify for his office by filing a written acceptance thereof with the director of campaign and political finance, as provided in section five of chapter fifty-five. The secretary of such committee shall file with the director of the office of campaign and political finance a list of the officers of the committee, together with the addresses of such officers, within ten days after organization of such committee, or within ten days, of any change in the list of officers of such committee.

Section 5: Lists of officers, members and associate members; acceptance of office of treasurer; filing
Section 5. The secretary of each city, ward and town committee shall, within ten days after its organization, file with the state secretary, with the city or town clerk and with the secretary of the state committee of the political party which it represents, a list of the officers and members of the committee, together with the addresses of such officers. In the case of a city, the secretary of each ward committee shall also file a copy of such list within such time with the chairman of the city committee of the political party which it represents. Within a like period after the appointment of associate members, said secretary shall likewise file a list of such associate members. The treasurer of such committee shall qualify for his office by filing a written acceptance thereof with the director of campaign and political finance, as provided in section five of chapter fifty-five. The secretary of such committee shall file with the director of the office of campaign and political finance a list of the officers of the committee, together with the addresses of such officers, within ten days after organization of such committee, or within ten days, of any change in the list of officers of such committee.

Section 7: Disposition of funds upon redivision of city into wards
Section 7. Upon the redivision of a city into wards the treasurer of each ward committee of a ward affected by such redivision shall, before the termination of office of the members thereof, pay over to the treasurer of the city committee representing the same political party such funds of the ward committee as he has in his possession after paying all bills. In the statements required under section seventeen of chapter fifty-five, the treasurer of the ward committee making such payment shall report it as a disbursement and the treasurer of the city committee receiving it shall report it as a receipt.

Section 8: Election of existing committees
Section 8. Each committee existing at the time when the party which it represents first polls for any office to be filled by all the voters of the commonwealth at a biennial state election three per cent of the entire vote cast in the commonwealth for that office, and each committee existing at the time when the party it represents first polls for mayor or a selectman at a city or town election at least three per cent of the entire vote cast in the city or town for that office, shall be deemed elected under this chapter, and shall be subject to its provisions.

Section 9: Ward and town committees; number of members to be elected at presidential primaries; notice
Section 9. Ward and town committees, respectively, shall fix the number of members of ward and town committees to be elected at the presidential primaries, not less than three nor more than thirty-five for each ward and each town. Notice of the number of committee members to be elected shall be given by the ward or town committee, as the case may be, to the state secretary on or before August first of the year preceding the year in which said persons are to be elected. In case a ward or town committee fails to fix the number of members of a ward or town committee or to give such notice, the number of members of such ward or town committee to be elected shall be the number of members last so fixed or assigned.

Section 10: Rules and regulations
Section 10. A state, city or town committee may make rules and regulations consistent with law, for its proceedings, and a state committee may make rules and regulations, consistent with law, for calling conventions.

Chapter 53: NOMINATIONS, QUESTIONS TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS, PRIMARIES AND CAUCUSES

Section 1: Parties entitled to make nominations
Section 1. At any primary, caucus or convention held under this chapter, each party having the right to participate in or hold the same may nominate as many candidates for each office for which it has the right to make nominations therein as there are persons to be elected to that office, and no more. A party which makes one or more nominations shall be entitled to have the name of each of its candidates printed on the ballot to be used at the ensuing election; but, unless the nomination is made by direct plurality vote in a primary or in several caucuses held in more than one ward or in more than one precinct or group of precincts, a certificate of nomination must be filed as provided in section five.

Section 2: Nominations and elections; necessity; procedure
Section 2. Except in the case of municipal nominations where a city charter or a law applying to a particular town otherwise provides and in the case of nominations to regional district school committees elected district-wide, candidates of political parties for all elective offices, except presidential elector, shall be nominated and members of political committees, except as provided in sections one and four of chapter fifty-two, shall be elected in primaries or caucuses; provided, however, that the state secretary shall not conduct presidential and state primaries in any biennial state election year for a political party which has enrolled fewer than five percent of the total number of registered voters in the commonwealth as of the most recent count submitted to the state secretary under section thirty-eight A, and whose state committee files with the state secretary a writing so requesting, not later than August first preceding a year in which a presidential primary is to occur and otherwise not later than February first of the year of the biennial state election. All nominations and elections in primaries and caucuses shall be by direct plurality vote. No candidates shall be nominated, and no member of a political committee or convention delegate elected, in any other manner than is provided in this chapter or chapter fifty-two.

Section 3: Nomination of person not printed on primary ballot; acceptance; statement of financial interest
Section 3. A person whose name is not printed on a state primary ballot as a candidate for an office, but who receives sufficient votes to nominate him therefor, shall, not later than five o’clock post meridian of the thirteenth day after a regular state primary and the sixth day after a special state primary, file in the office of the state secretary a written acceptance of said nomination and a receipt from the state ethics commission verifying the fact that a statement of financial interest has been filed under chapter two hundred and sixty-eight B. A person whose name is not printed on a city or town primary ballot, but who receives sufficient votes to nominate him, shall, within six days from the aforementioned time and day, file a written acceptance of said nomination in the office of the city or town clerk. The name of any such person who fails to file such written acceptance, and such receipt if required, shall not be printed on the official ballot to be used at the ensuing election. When such acceptance has been filed, it may not thereafter be withdrawn. This section shall be construed to provide that written acceptance of such a nomination at a primary shall be filed as aforesaid within the time herein limited, by any such person whose nomination is finally determined after the expiration of the time so limited, otherwise his name shall not be printed on the ballot at the ensuing election.

Section 4: Conventions to nominate candidates; dates
Section 4. No convention to nominate candidates shall be called for or held on a date earlier than four days after the holding of the caucuses for the choice of delegates thereto, and all such conventions shall be called for and held on a date not later than forty-eight hours prior to the hour for filing certificates of nomination as provided in section ten.

Section 5: Certificate of nomination; contents; signatures; filing; written acceptance of candidate
Section 5. Every certificate of nomination shall state such facts as are required by section eight and shall be signed and sworn to by the presiding officer and by the secretary of the caucus or convention, who shall add to their signatures their residences. The secretary shall within the seventy-two hours succeeding five o’clock in the afternoon of the day upon which the caucus was held or the session of the convention terminated, and within the time specified in section ten, file such certificate at the place specified in section nine.
No such certificate of nomination, except for presidential electors, shall be received or be valid unless the written acceptance of the candidates thereby nominated shall be filed therewith.

Section 6: Nomination papers; contents; number of signatures; unenrolled candidates
Section 6. Nominations of candidates for any offices to be filled at a state election may be made by nomination papers, stating the facts required by section eight and signed in the aggregate by not less than the following number of voters: for governor and lieutenant governor, attorney general, United States senator, and presidential electors, ten thousand; for state secretary, state treasurer, and state auditor, five thousand; for representative in congress, two thousand; for state senator, three hundred; for state representative, one hundred and fifty; for councillor, district attorney, clerk of courts, register of probate, register of deeds, county commissioner, sheriff, and county treasurer, one thousand, except for clerk of courts, register of probate, register of deeds, county commissioner, sheriff, and county treasurer, in Barnstable, Berkshire, Franklin, and Hampshire counties, five hundred, and for any such offices in Dukes and Nantucket counties, twenty-five. In the case of the offices of governor and lieutenant governor, only nomination papers containing the names and addresses of candidates for both offices shall be valid. Nominations of candidates for offices to be filled at a city or town election, except where city charters or general or special laws provide otherwise and nominations of candidates for the office of regional district school committee members elected district-wide, may be made by like nomination papers, signed in the aggregate by not less than such number of voters as will equal one percent of the entire vote cast for governor at the preceding biennial state election in the electoral district or division for which the officers are to be elected, but in no event by less than twenty voters in the case of an office to be filled at a town election or election to a regional district school committee elected district-wide; provided, however, that no more than fifty signatures of voters shall be required on nomination papers for such town office or regional district school committee elected district-wide. At a first election to be held in a newly established ward, the number of signatures of voters upon a nomination paper of a candidate who is to be voted for only in such ward shall be at least fifty.
The name of a candidate for election to any office who is nominated otherwise than by a political party, generally referred to as an ”Unenrolled” candidate, shall not be printed on the ballot at a state election, or on the ballot at any city or town election following a city or town primary, unless a certificate from the registrars of voters of the city or town wherein such person is a registered voter, certifying that he is not enrolled as a member of any political party, is filed with the state secretary or city or town clerk on or before the last day provided in section ten for filing nomination papers. Said registrars shall issue each certificate forthwith upon request of any such candidate who is not a member of a political party or his authorized representative. No such certificate shall be issued to any such candidate who shall have been an enrolled member of any political party during the time prior to the last day for filing nomination papers as provided in section ten, and on or after the day by which a primary candidate is required by section forty-eight to establish enrollment in a political party.
Sections six and ten shall not apply to primary candidates nominated under sections twenty-three to seventy I, inclusive, except as expressly provided otherwise.

Section 7: Nomination papers; signatures; addresses; submission; deadlines; correction procedures; certification and checking; special elections
Section 7. Every voter signing a nomination paper shall sign in person as registered or substantially as registered, and shall state the address where he or she is currently registered, but any voter who is prevented by physical disability from writing may authorize some person to write his or her name and residence in his or her presence.
Every nomination paper of a candidate for a city or town office shall be submitted to the registrars of the city or town where the signers appear to be voters on or before five o’clock post meridian of the fourteenth day preceding the day on which it must be filed with the city or town clerk. Every nomination paper of a candidate for a state office shall be submitted to the registrars of the city or town where the signers appear to be voters on or before five o’clock post meridian of the twenty-eighth day preceding the day on which it must be filed with the state secretary; and certification of nomination papers of candidates for state office shall be completed no later than the seventh day before the final day for filing said papers with the state secretary.
The registrars shall inform the candidate submitting such papers if the designation of the district only in which he seeks office is incorrect, and shall give said candidate the opportunity to insert the correct designation on such papers before the signatures are certified. The registrars shall, if the candidate so desires, allow a change of district on the nomination papers, in the presence of the candidate whose name appears on the nomination papers, and the registrar and the candidate shall both initial the change of district so made and further shall in writing explain the change of district causing three copies to be made, one of each for the registrar and candidate and one to be attached to the nomination papers. If the correct district designation is not so inserted, the nomination papers shall not be approved. In no case may a correction be made to change the office for which such candidate is nominated.
Every initiative, referendum or other ballot question petition paper, except an application for a public policy question under sections nineteen to twenty-two, inclusive, shall be submitted to the registrars of the city or town where the signers appear to be voters on or before five o’clock post meridian of the fourteenth day preceding the day on which it must be filed with the state secretary; and certification of such papers shall be completed no later than the second day before the final day for filing said papers with the state secretary. In the case of special elections, every nomination paper shall be submitted to the registrars of the city or town where the signers appear to be voters on or before five o’clock post meridian in the afternoon of the seventh day preceding the day on which it must be filed with the state secretary; and certification of nomination papers of candidates shall be completed no later than the twenty-four hours before the final hour for filing said papers with the state secretary, except that, for special elections for senator or representative in congress, every nomination paper shall be submitted to the registrars of the city or town where the signers appear to be voters at or before 5:00 p.m. of the fourteenth day preceding the day on which it must be filed with the state secretary, and certification of nomination papers of candidates shall be completed no later than the 72 weekday hours before the final hour for filing those papers with the state secretary.
Each nomination paper shall be marked with the date and time it was submitted and such papers shall be certified in order of submission. In each case the registrars shall check each name to be certified by them on the nomination paper and shall forthwith certify thereon the number of signatures so checked which are names of voters both in the city or town and in the district for which the nomination is made, and only names so checked shall be deemed to be names of qualified voters for the purposes of nomination. The registrars shall place next to each name not checked symbols designated by the state secretary indicating the reason that name was disqualified. The registrars shall certify a number of names that are required to make a nomination, increased by two fifths thereof, if they are submitted in a timely manner for a certification.
The state secretary need not receive nomination papers for a candidate after receiving such papers containing a sufficient number of certified names to make a nomination, increased by two fifths thereof.
For the purposes of this section a registered voter who in signing his name to a nomination paper inserts a middle name or initial in, or omits a middle name or initial from, his name as registered shall be deemed to have signed his name substantially as registered. If the registrars can reasonably determine from the form of the signature the identity of the duly registered voter, the name shall be deemed to have been signed substantially as registered. The provisions of this section shall apply in all cases where any statute, special act, or home rule charter requires the certification of the signature of a voter by boards of registrars of voters. Signatures shall not be certified on nomination papers or initiative and referendum petitions from more than one city or town per sheet.
The state secretary shall promulgate regulations designed to achieve and maintain accuracy, uniformity, and security from forgery and fraud in the procedures for certifying nomination papers and petitions for ballot questions and names thereon pursuant to this section, and to ensure proper delivery of certified nomination papers and petitions by registrars to the person or organization who submitted such papers or petitions.

Section 7A: Nomination papers for city offices; deadlines; signatures; certification and checking
Section 7A. Except where otherwise provided by law, every nomination petition or other like paper of a candidate for a city office in a city wherein preliminary elections for the nomination of candidates for such office are held shall be submitted, on or before five o’clock in the afternoon of the fourteenth day preceding the day on which it must be filed, to the registrars of the city. In each case the registrars shall check each name to be certified by them on the nomination petition or other like paper and shall forthwith certify thereon the number of signatures so checked which are names of voters both in the city and in the district for which the nomination is made, and only names so checked shall be deemed to be names of qualified voters for the purposes of nomination. The registrars need not certify a greater number of names than are required to make a nomination, increased by one fifth thereof. Names not certified in the first instance shall not thereafter be certified on the same nomination petitions or other like papers.

Section 8: Certificates of nomination and nomination papers; contents; party designation
Section 8. All certificates of nomination and nomination papers shall, in addition to the names of candidates, specify as to each, (1) his residence, with street and number, if any, (2) the office for which he is nominated, and (3) except as otherwise provided in this section and except for elections which are not preceded by primaries or political party caucuses, the political designation, if any, which he represents, expressed in not more than three words. This information, in addition to the district name or number, if any, shall be specified on the nomination paper before any signature of a purported registered voter is obtained and the circulation of nomination papers without such information is prohibited. Certificates of nomination made by convention or caucus shall also state what provision, if any, was made for filling vacancies caused by the death, withdrawal or ineligibility of candidates. The state committees of the respective political parties at a meeting called for the purpose shall nominate the presidential electors. The surnames of the candidates for president and vice president of the United States shall be added to the party or political designation of the candidates for presidential electors. Such surnames and a list of the persons nominated for presidential electors, together with an acceptance in writing signed by each candidate for presidential elector on a form to be provided by the state secretary, shall be filed by the state chairmen of the respective political parties not later than the second Tuesday of September. Said acceptance form shall include a pledge by the presidential elector to vote for the candidate named in the filing. To the name of each candidate for alderman at large shall be added the number of the ward in which he resides. To the name of a candidate for a town office who is an elected incumbent thereof there may be added the words ”Candidate for Re-election”.
If a candidate is nominated otherwise than by a political party the name of a political party shall not be used in his political designation nor shall the name of any organization which has been adjudicated subversive under section eighteen of chapter two hundred and sixty-four be used in his political designation. Certificates of nomination and nomination papers for city or town offices need not include a designation of the party which the candidate represents. Except in the case of nomination papers of candidates for offices to be filled by all the voters of the commonwealth, or of candidates for town offices and the office of regional district school committee member elected district-wide, no nomination papers shall contain the name of more than one candidate. Such nomination papers for candidates for governor and lieutenant governor shall contain provision for the names and addresses of members of a committee of five registered voters who shall fill any vacancy caused by death, withdrawal, ineligibility or disqualification of either candidate. Such nomination papers for town offices may contain the names of candidates for any or all of the offices to be filled at the town election, but the number of names of candidates on such paper for any one office shall not exceed the number to be elected thereto.

Section 9: Certificate of nomination and nomination papers; certification of candidate as registered voter; acceptance procedure
Section 9. Certificates of nomination and nomination papers for state offices shall be filed with the state secretary and he shall forthwith issue to the candidate or other person filing the same a certificate acknowledging the time and date of the receipt thereof. Certificates of nomination or nomination papers for city and town offices shall be filed with the city or town clerk. Any candidate, including a candidate for presidential elector, not required by section forty-eight of this chapter to file a certificate of party enrollment shall, on or before the last day provided by law for filing nomination papers, file a certificate from the registrars of voters of the city or town wherein such candidate is a registered voter, certifying that such candidate is a registered voter in such city or town. Said registrars shall issue such a certificate forthwith upon request of any such candidate so registered or of his authorized representative. No nomination paper shall be received or be valid unless the written acceptance of the candidate thereby nominated shall be filed therewith. No nomination paper or certificate of nomination of a candidate for public office, as defined by chapter 268B, shall be accepted by the state secretary nor be valid unless accompanied by a receipt from the state ethics commission verifying the fact that a statement of financial interest has been filed pursuant to the provisions of said chapter 268B. No nomination paper for statewide elective office shall be received or be valid unless accompanied by a receipt from the director of campaign and political finance verifying the fact that the candidate has filed with said director the statement required by subsection (a) of section one A of said chapter 55C. The name of a candidate who fails to file any statement within the time required by said section one A shall not appear on the state primary or state election ballot.

Section 9A: Nomination papers for cities or towns; applicable provisions
Section 9A. In any city or town which accepts this section, in a city by vote of the city council subject to the provisions of its charter, and in a town by vote of the town meeting, the following provisions shall apply with respect to nomination papers:?
The final date for obtaining blank nomination papers for nomination to city or town office shall be forty-eight week day hours prior to the hour on which nomination papers are required to be submitted to the registrars of voters for certification.
Each candidate shall file with the city or town clerk, prior to obtaining blank nomination papers, a statement containing his name and address, and the city or town office for which he intends to be a candidate.
No candidate for city or town office shall receive more blank nomination papers than will contain the number of signatures required to place his name in nomination, multiplied by five.

Section 10: Certificates of nomination and nomination papers; time for filing
Section 10. All certificates of nomination and nomination papers of candidates for the office of state representative, state senator, executive council, or county office shall be filed with the state secretary on or before the last Tuesday in May of the year in which a state election is to be held. Certificates of nomination or nomination papers for the office of senator in congress, representative in congress, governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer and receiver-general, state auditor and state secretary, shall be filed on or before the last Tuesday in August of the year in which a state election is to be held. If there is a special election to fill the office of senator or representative in congress, all certificates of nomination and nomination papers shall be filed on or before the sixth Tuesday preceding the day of such election. If there is a special election to fill any other state office, all certificates of nomination and nomination papers shall be filed on or before the ninth Tuesday preceding the day of such election. Nomination papers for presidential elector shall be filed on or before the last Tuesday in August of the year in which a presidential election is to be held.
In any city, except Boston, certificates of nomination and nomination papers for any city election shall be filed on or before the thirty-fifth day preceding such city election. In any city, except Boston, the time for presenting nomination papers for certification to the registrars of voters, and for certifying the same, shall be governed by section seven, notwithstanding any contrary provision in any special law. In any city where primaries are held, under authority of general or special law, for the nomination of candidates for city offices, certificates of nomination and nomination papers shall be filed not later than the last day fixed for the filing of nomination papers for such primaries. In any city where preliminary elections for the nomination of candidates for a city office are held, nomination or other like papers required to be filed by such candidates shall be filed on or before the thirty-fifth day preceding the day of the preliminary election, notwithstanding any contrary provision in any special law.
Any provision of general or special law to the contrary notwithstanding, the last day for filing with the town clerk certificates of nomination or nomination papers for the nomination of town offices shall be the thirty-fifth day preceding the date of the election. In any town, the time for presenting nomination papers for certification to the registrars of voters, and for certifying the same, shall be governed by section seven, notwithstanding any contrary provision in any special law.
Any incumbent town meeting member may become a candidate for election by giving written notice thereof to the town clerk not later than twenty-one days prior to the last day and hour for filing nomination papers notwithstanding any contrary provision in any special law.
Certificates of nomination and nomination papers shall be filed before five o’clock in the afternoon of the last day fixed therefor.

Section 11: Certificates of nomination and nomination papers; objections; filing
Section 11. When certificates of nomination and nomination papers have been filed, and are in apparent conformity with the law, they shall be valid unless written objections are made. Such objections shall be filed, as to state offices, with the state secretary, and, as to city or town offices, with the city or town clerk in accordance with the provisions of chapter fifty-five B.

Section 12, 12A: Repealed, 1977, 927, Sec. 5

Section 13: Withdrawal of nominated candidates
Section 13. A person nominated as a candidate for any state, city or town office may withdraw his name from nomination by a request signed and duly acknowledged by him before a notary public, and filed with the officer with whom the nomination was filed, within the time prescribed by section eleven for filing objections to certificates of nomination and nomination papers and no such requests for withdrawals shall be received after such time has expired. A person nominated at a city or town preliminary election may withdraw his name from nomination in the same manner, within six days succeeding five o’clock in the afternoon of the day of holding such preliminary election. Unless otherwise provided by the city or town charter, such nominee shall be replaced by the candidate with the next highest number of votes in said preliminary, if such candidate receives a number of votes at least equal to the number of signatures required by law to place his name on the preliminary election ballot.

Section 14: Death, withdrawal or ineligibility of nominated candidates; filling vacancies; objections
Section 14. If a candidate nominated for a state, city or town office dies before the day of election, or withdraws his name from nomination, or is found ineligible, the vacancy, except for city offices where city charters provide otherwise, may be filled by the same political party or persons who made the original nomination, and in the same manner; or, if the time is insufficient therefor, the vacancy may be filled, if the nomination was made by a convention or caucus, in such manner as the convention or caucus may have prescribed, or, if no such provision has been made, by a regularly elected general or executive committee representing the political party or persons who held such convention or caucus. In the event of the death, withdrawal, ineligibility or disqualification of a candidate for governor or lieutenant governor who has been nominated by election nomination papers, except disqualification for insufficient signatures, the vacancy shall be filled by majority vote of the committee of five members whose names were placed upon said papers for the purpose before the signatures of voters were obtained thereon. In the event of the withdrawal, death or ineligibility of any candidate of a political party nominated by direct nomination for any office, the vacancy may be filled by a regularly elected general or executive committee representing the election district in which such vacancy occurs, or, if no such committee exists by the members of the town committee in any town comprising such district, by the members of the ward committee or committees in the ward or wards comprising such district if within the limits of a single city, or by delegates chosen as hereinafter provided by and from the members of the ward and town committees in the wards and towns comprising such district if within the limits of more than one municipality, at a meeting to be called by such a member or delegate, as the case may be, designated by the chairman of the state committee, and such member or delegate shall preside until a chairman of such meeting is elected. Each ward and town committee in the wards and towns compromising such a district within the limits of more than one municipality shall, as occasions arise, choose from its members delegates to fill vacancies as hereinbefore provided, in such manner as it may determine by its rules and regulations, to a number not exceeding one for each five hundred votes, or fraction thereof, cast in its ward or town for the candidate of the party for governor at the last state election, and shall forthwith notify the state secretary of the delegates so chosen. Notwithstanding any of the foregoing, when a vacancy occurs, by reason of withdrawal, death or ineligibility in a district comprised of portions of wards of a city or not all precincts of a town, then each ward and town committee which includes the precincts which are part of the district shall choose delegates as hereinabove provided to fill vacancies in such number not exceeding one for each five hundred votes or fractions thereof cast in that portion of the ward or town included in the district for the candidate of that party for governor at the last state election, provided further that said delegate so chosen shall reside in the district where the vacancy occurs. In cities and towns where candidates are nominated by nomination papers, such papers may contain the names of members of a committee of not more than five registered voters who may fill any vacancy caused by the death or physical disability of the candidate whose name appears upon such nomination paper. If a vacancy is caused by withdrawal, certificates of nomination made otherwise than in the original manner shall be filed within seventy-two week day hours in the case of state offices, or within forty-eight week day hours in the case of city or town offices, succeeding five o’clock in the afternoon of the last day for filing withdrawals. They shall be open to objections in the same manner, so far as practicable, as other certificates of nomination. No vacancy caused by withdrawal shall be filled before the withdrawal has been filed.

Section 15: Certificate of nomination to fill vacancy; contents; acceptance
Section 15. When a nomination is made to fill a vacancy caused by the death, withdrawal or ineligibility of a candidate, the certificate of nomination shall, in addition to the other facts required, state the name of the original nominee, the fact of his death, withdrawal or ineligibility, and the proceedings had for filling the vacancy; and the presiding officer and secretary of the convention or caucus, or the chairman and secretary of an authorized committee, shall sign and make oath to the truth of the certificate, and it shall be accompanied by the written acceptance of the candidate nominated. Such certificate shall be filed with the state secretary in the case of state elections and with the city or town clerk in city or town elections.

Section 16: Certificates of nomination, etc.; public inspection; preservation
Section 16. Certificates of nomination, nomination papers, objections thereto and withdrawals, when filed, shall, under proper regulations, be open to public inspection, and the state secretary and the city and town clerks shall preserve the same in their offices for one year.

Section 17: Blank forms for nominations
Section 17. The state secretary shall, upon application, provide blank forms for the nomination of candidates for all state offices; and he shall send blank forms for certificates of nomination for the office of representative in the general court to the clerk of each city and town for the use of any caucus or convention other than of political parties held therein for the nomination of candidates for that office. He shall likewise provide the clerks of towns wherein official ballots are used with blank forms for the nomination of candidates for town offices. In cities blank forms for the nomination of candidates for city offices shall be provided by the city clerk. The state secretary shall not supply candidates for town offices directly with blank forms for nomination. The city or town clerk shall not furnish blank forms for the nomination of candidates for city or town office to any person other than a candidate seeking such nomination or a person presenting the signed authorization of a candidate to secure said forms on his behalf. In no case shall any blank forms for such nominations be larger than eight and one half inches by fourteen inches, nor shall anyone be prohibited from making exact copies of such blanks provided by the secretary of state for the purpose of collecting signatures for such nominations, nor shall any such copies be rejected for certification or submittal to the secretary of state.

Section 17A: Procedure
Section 17A. Upon the filing of a petition with the chairman of the state committee of a political party, signed by fifty enrolled members of such party within a senatorial district, such chairman shall call a convention of all the ward and town committees in said senatorial district for the purpose of endorsing candidates from among the enrolled members of the party for nomination for election to membership on the state committee from said senatorial district.
Said convention shall be held not later than the tenth day prior to the time provided for the filing of nomination papers for said membership, and shall be held in the ward or town within the senatorial district which cast the highest vote at the preceding biennial state election for the political party candidate for governor.
Said convention shall elect from among its members a chairman and a secretary and shall make suitable rules for the conduct of its business. Each ward and town committee represented at such convention shall be entitled to one vote and one additional vote for every fifteen hundred votes or major fraction thereof above the first fifteen hundred votes cast at the preceding biennial state election in such ward or town for the political party candidate for governor.
Every certificate of nomination of a candidate endorsed for nomination by such a convention shall state that the nominee has been endorsed by such convention, and shall include such facts as are required by section eight. Such certificate shall be signed, sworn to and filed with the state secretary as required by section five.
Each candidate endorsed by such a convention shall not later than the last day and hour for filing nomination papers for said membership file with the state secretary his written acceptance of the nomination, otherwise his name shall not be printed on the ballot as a candidate for member of the state committee for which he was nominated. Such candidate may not withdraw such acceptance.

Section 18: Proposed amendments to federal constitution; opinion of voters ascertained
Section 18. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the commonwealth that the general court, when called upon to act upon a proposed amendment to the federal constitution, should defer action until the opinion of the voters of the commonwealth has been taken, as herein provided, relative to the wisdom and expediency of ratifying the same; therefore, if a proposed amendment to the federal constitution is duly submitted to the general court as provided in article five of the constitution of the United States, and is not ratified at the session at which it is submitted, there shall be submitted to all the voters of the commonwealth at the following state election, if such an election is to occur prior to the next regular session of the general court, otherwise at such special or regular state election as the general court may order, the question whether such ratification is desirable. The question shall be placed upon the official ballot in the following form: ”Is it desirable that the proposed amendment to the constitution of the United States (describing the same) be ratified by the general court?” The votes cast shall be received, sorted, counted, declared and transmitted to the state secretary, laid before the governor and council, and by them opened and examined in accordance with the laws relating to votes for state officers so far as they are applicable, and the governor shall thereupon communicate to the general court the total number of votes cast in the affirmative and in the negative for the proposed amendment, and likewise the same totals arranged by senatorial and representative districts. This section shall not authorize the taking of the opinion of the voters more than once in respect to any such proposed amendment unless otherwise provided by the general court.

Section 18A: Nonbinding public opinion advisory questions on local ballots
Section 18A. As used in this section ”governing body” shall mean, in a city, the city council acting with the approval of the mayor subject to the provisions of the charter of said city, in a town having a town council, the town council, and in every other town the board of selectmen.
A nonbinding public opinion advisory question may be placed on the ballot for a regular municipal election in any city or town no later than the thirty-fifth day preceding such election: by vote of the city council of such city, with approval of its mayor where so required by the city charter; by vote of the board of selectmen of a town or by vote of the town council of a town having a town council or by vote of the annual town meeting; or in conformity with the following provision of this section:
A proposal to place a nonbinding public opinion advisory question on the ballot for a regular municipal election in any city or town may be presented to the governing body thereof on a petition signed by at least ten registered voters of the city or town. If such governing body shall not approve said petition at least ninety days before said election, then the question may be so placed on said ballot when a petition signed by at least ten per cent of the registered voters of the city or town, but in no case less than twenty such voters, requesting such action is filed with the registrars, who shall have seven days after receipt of such a petition to certify the signatures. Upon certification of the signatures, the city or town clerk shall cause the question to be placed on the ballot at the next regular municipal election held more than thirty-five days after such certification.
The procedures established by this section shall be available to any city or town; provided, however, that if an alternative procedure is prescribed by a home rule charter, optional plan of government, or special act applying to such city or town, relative to the placing of public opinion questions upon the local ballot, then such alternative procedure shall apply.

Section 18B: Information relating to questions on city, town or district ballot; contents; written arguments by principal proponents and opponents; public inspection
Section 18B. (a) As used in this section ”governing body” shall mean, in a city, the city council or board of aldermen acting with the approval of the mayor subject to the charter of the city, in a town having a town council, the town council, in every other town, the board of selectmen and in a district as provided in sections 113 to 119, inclusive, of chapter 41, the prudential committee, if any, otherwise the commissioners of the district.
(b) The governing body of a city, town or district which accepts this section in the manner provided in section 4 of chapter 4 shall print information relating to each question that shall appear on the city, town or district ballot. The information shall include: (1) the full text of each question; (2) a fair and concise summary of each question, including a 1 sentence statement describing the effect of a yes or no vote, which shall be prepared by the city solicitor, town counsel or counsel for the city, town or district; and (3) arguments for and against each question as provided in subsections (d) and (e). Not later than 7 days before an election at which the question shall be submitted to the voters in a city, town or district, the information in this subsection shall be sent to each household wherein a person whose name appears on the current voting list for the city, town or district resides.
(c) Not later than the day following the date of the determination that a question shall appear on the ballot in an election, the governing body shall provide written notification to the city solicitor or town or district counsel and to the city or town clerk.
(d) Not later than 7 days after the determination that a question shall appear on the ballot, the city solicitor or town or district counsel, as applicable, shall seek written arguments from the principal proponents and opponents of the question. For the purposes of this section, the principal proponents and opponents of a question shall be those persons determined by the solicitor or counsel to be best able to present the arguments for and against the question. The solicitor or counsel shall provide not less than 7 days’ written notice to the opponents and proponents of the date on which the written arguments shall be received. Proponents and opponents shall submit their arguments, which shall be not more than 150 words, to the solicitor or counsel, together with a copy thereof to the city or town clerk or, in a district, to the clerk of each city and town within the district. The arguments and summary shall be submitted by the solicitor or counsel to the governing body at least 20 days before the election for distribution to voters in accordance with subsection (b). A copy of the arguments and summary shall also be submitted by the solicitor or counsel to the city, town or district clerk.
(e) In determining the principal proponents and opponents of a ballot question, the solicitor or counsel shall contact each ballot question committee, if any, as defined in section 1 of chapter 55. The principal proponents or opponents of a ballot question may include officers of a ballot question committee or officers of a city, town or district office or committee including, but not limited to, a finance committee or a school committee. In addition, the principal proponents or opponents may include the first 10 signers or a majority of the first 10 signers of a petition initiating the placement of such question on the ballot. The solicitor or counsel shall determine, based on a review of arguments received, the person or group best able to present arguments for and against a question. If no argument is received by the solicitor or counsel within the time specified by the solicitor or counsel, the solicitor or counsel shall prepare an argument and submit the argument to the governing body and to the city or town clerk or, in a district, to the clerk of each city and town within the district within the time specified in subsection (d).
(f) All arguments filed or prepared pursuant to this section and the information prepared pursuant to subsection (b), shall be open to public inspection at the office of city or town clerk or, in a district, at the office of the clerk of each city and town within the district. In addition, each city or town clerk shall make such information available to the voters at all polling places within the city, town or district.

Section 19: Questions of public policy submitted in certain districts upon application
Section 19. On an application signed by twelve hundred voters in any senatorial district, or by two hundred voters in any representative district, asking for the submission to the voters of that senatorial or representative district of any question of instructions to the senator or representatives from that district, and stating the substance thereof, the attorney general shall upon request of the state secretary determine whether or not such question is one of public policy, and if such question is determined to be one of public policy, the state secretary and the attorney general shall draft it in such simple, unequivocal and adequate form as shall be deemed best suited for presentation upon the ballot. Upon the fulfilment of the requirements of this and the two following sections the state secretary shall place such question on the official ballot to be used in that senatorial or representative district at the next state election.

Section 20: Applications; signatures; identification; certification; submission
Section 20. The provisions of law relative to the signing of nomination papers of candidates for state office, and to the identification and certification of names thereon and submission to the registrars therefor, shall apply, so far as apt, to applications submitted under section nineteen. Petition forms for such applications submitted under section nineteen shall be made available for use on or before the fifteenth Tuesday preceding the final date for filing as provided in section twenty-one.

Section 21: Applications; filing deadline; number of questions; resubmission
Section 21. Applications shall be filed with the state secretary not later than the first Wednesday of August before the election at which the questions are to be submitted. Not more than three questions under section nineteen shall be placed upon the ballot at one election, and they shall be submitted in the order in which the applications are filed. No question negatived and no question substantially the same shall be submitted again in less than three years.

Section 22: Instructions to representatives; necessity of majority vote
Section 22. No vote under the three preceding sections shall be regarded as an instruction under article nineteen of the bill of rights of the constitution of the commonwealth, unless the question submitted receives a majority of all the votes cast at that election.

Section 22A: Signing petitions; forms; receipt; filing date
Section 22A. The provisions of law relative to the signing of nomination papers of candidates for state office, and to the identification and certification of names thereon and submission to the registrars therefor, shall apply, so far as apt, to the signing of initiative and referendum petitions and to the identification and certification of names thereon, and, except as otherwise provided, to the time of their submission to the registrars. Initiative or referendum petition forms shall be made available no later than the fourteenth day after the date such petitions are filed with the state secretary by the first ten signers; provided, however, that in the instance of petitions filed under the provisions of section three or section four of that part of Article XLVIII of the Amendments of the Constitution under the heading ”THE REFERENDUM. III. Referendum Petitions.”, the petition forms shall be made available no later than the fourteenth day after a summary has been prepared. Registrars shall receipt in writing for each initiative or referendum petition submitted to and received by them, and shall deliver such petitions only on receiving written receipts therefor or other identification acceptable to the registrars. Each initiative and referendum petition shall state the last day and hour for filing such petitions with the registrars and with the state secretary. Certificates showing that each of the ten original signers is a registered voter at the stated address, signed by a majority of the registrars of voters, shall accompany an original initiative or referendum petition. In no case shall any blank forms for such initiative or referendum petitions be larger than eight and one half inches by fourteen inches, nor shall anyone be prohibited from making exact copies of such blanks provided by the secretary of state for the purpose of collecting signatures for such petitions, nor shall any such copies be rejected for certification or submittal to the secretary of state.

Section 22B: Repealed, 1985, 124

Section 23: Sections applicable to all primaries
Section 23. Sections twenty-four to forty, inclusive, shall apply to all primaries, except as therein otherwise provided.

Section 24: Applicability of sections relating to elections and corrupt practices
Section 24. Primaries shall be subject to all laws relating to elections and corrupt practices therein, so far as applicable and except as otherwise provided in this chapter and in chapters fifty-four, fifty-five and fifty-six.

Section 25: Withdrawal of nominations
Section 25. Withdrawals of nominations of persons to be voted for at primaries shall be subject to section thirteen, except that the date from which the time for filing withdrawals shall be computed shall be the last day for filing nomination papers for such primaries, and that the time shall be forty-eight hours in the case of a town primary.

Section 26: Repealed, 1977, 927, Sec. 8

Section 27: Repealed, 1980, 134, Sec. 4

Section 28: Dates and places for holding primaries
[ First paragraph effective until July 1, 2015. For text effective July 1, 2015, see below.]
Section 28. State primaries shall be held on the seventh Tuesday preceding biennial state elections and on the fourth Tuesday preceding special state elections, except that primaries before special elections for senator or representative in congress shall be held on the sixth Tuesday preceding said elections. Presidential primaries shall be held on the first Tuesday in March in any year in which presidential electors are to be elected. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any town may hold its preliminary or regular town elections on the same date designated as the date to hold a presidential primary, in any year in which presidential electors are to be elected, provided that such election is by a ballot independent of the ballot used at a presidential primary. City and town primaries before all city and town elections shall be held on the twenty-eighth day preceding such elections.
[ First paragraph as amended by 2015, 46, Sec. 65 effective July 1, 2015. See 2015, 46, Sec. 216. For text effective until July 1, 2015, see above.]
State primaries shall be held on the seventh Tuesday preceding biennial state elections and on the fourth Tuesday preceding special state elections, except that primaries before special elections for senator or representative in congress shall be held on the sixth Tuesday preceding said elections. If a religious holiday falls on or immediately before the second Tuesday in September in an even-numbered year, the state primary shall be held on a date set by the state secretary within 7 days of the second Tuesday in September. The state secretary shall publish the date change of the state primary not later than February 1 of that year by: (i) providing notice of the change to the state parties; (ii) filing notice with the state publications and regulations division; (iii) posting the information on the website of the state secretary; and (iv) any other means necessary to ensure proper notification. Presidential primaries shall be held on the first Tuesday in March in any year in which presidential electors are to be elected. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any town may hold its preliminary or regular town elections on the same date designated as the date to hold a presidential primary, in any year in which presidential electors are to be elected, provided that such election is by a ballot independent of the ballot used at a presidential primary. City and town primaries before all city and town elections shall be held on the twenty-eighth day preceding such elections.
Except in Boston, primaries shall be held wholly or partly by wards, precincts or towns, as the aldermen or selectmen may designate.
Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law, town charter or by-law to the contrary, if the date for holding a preliminary, primary or town election or annual town meeting falls within thirty days before or after the presidential primary, the town council in a town having a town council and the board of selectmen in any other town, after consulting the town clerk may, by majority vote, establish a date between February first and May thirty-first for holding such preliminary, primary or town election or annual town meeting. Any preliminary, primary or town election or annual meeting shall be held on the date or dates established and shall be called as provided by sections nine A and ten of chapter thirty-nine.
Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, if the date for holding a district election falls within thirty days before or after the presidential primary, the prudential committee, if any, otherwise the commissioners, of the district may, by majority vote, establish a date between February first and May thirty-first for holding such district election. Any district election shall be held on the date established and shall be called as provided by section one hundred and nineteen of chapter forty-one. For the purposes of this section, district shall mean a district created by special law or established under the provisions of a general law.

Section 29: Designation of primary officers; compensation
Section 29. The city or town clerk may designate two inspectors and two deputy inspectors, representing the two leading political parties, to serve at primaries, and from the whole body of election officers he may designate officers equally representing the two leading political parties to serve as tellers in any precinct or ward during part of the day for the purpose of receiving ballots, checking names, or canvassing and counting votes, such tellers to receive such part of a full day’s compensation of election officers as the aldermen or selectmen may determine.

Section 30: Designation of primary officers; wards or towns
Section 30. In wards or towns where voting is by precincts at elections but by wards or towns at primaries, the city or town clerk shall designate which of the election officers shall serve as primary officers.

Section 31: Ineligibility to act as primary officers
Section 31. A person shall not be ineligible to act as a primary officer because he is a candidate for delegate to a convention, or, a candidate for or member of a ward or town committee.

Section 32: Ballots; preparation; number
Section 32. Ballots shall be prepared and provided, and the number thereof determined, in state and presidential primaries by the state secretary, in city and town primaries by the city or town clerk. Notwithstanding the provisions of section forty-five of chapter fifty-four or any other general or special law to the contrary, the state secretary may provide only paper ballots for a state or presidential primary in a city or town where a political party has enrolled fewer than five percent of the total number of registered voters, as of the most recent count submitted to the state secretary under section thirty-eight A before the decision to prepare said ballots must be made. No other ballots shall be received or counted, except that if ballots provided for a state or presidential primary are not delivered, or after delivery lost, destroyed or stolen, ballots similar as far as possible shall be provided by the city or town clerk and used at the primary. The number of ballots provided at a city or town primary shall not for any ward or town exceed one ballot of each party for each voter therein.

Section 33: Ballots; color; specimen ballots
Section 33. Ballots for each party shall be printed on paper of a different color from that on which the ballots for any other party are printed. At least three facsimile copies of the ballot for each party, printed on colored paper, shall be provided for each polling place as specimen ballots.

Section 34: Ballots; contents; arrangement; form
Section 34. At the top of each ballot shall be printed the words ”Official ballot of the (here shall follow the party name)”. There shall also be printed on the ballot the number of the precinct and ward or the name of the town for which the ballot is prepared, the date of the primary and for state primaries a facsimile of the signature of the state secretary and for city or town primaries a facsimile of the signature of the city or town clerk. Names of candidates for each elective office shall be arranged alphabetically according to their surnames except as otherwise provided.
Names of candidates for nomination for all offices to be voted for at a state primary of which they are the elected incumbents or the incumbents chosen by the senate and house of representatives, or appointed by the governor, or appointed by the justices of the supreme judicial or superior court, or appointed by the county commissioners, or appointed by the county commissioners and the clerk of the courts for a county, shall be placed first in alphabetical order and names of other candidates shall follow in like order.
Names of candidates for state committee who are either elected or appointed incumbents shall be placed first in alphabetical order, and names of other candidates for said office shall follow in like order.
Names of candidates for ward and town committees shall be arranged in groups in such order as may be determined by lot, under the direction of the state secretary, who shall notify each state committee and give a representative of each such committee an opportunity to be present. When necessary, groups may be printed on the ballot in two or more columns; provided, however, that only one heading designating the number of members to be elected to such committee shall be printed.
Against the name of a candidate for an elective office, for a ward or town committee, or for state committee, shall be printed the street and number, if any, of his residence.
Against the name of a candidate for an elective office shall be printed the statement contained in the nomination paper placing him in nomination, except where vacancies caused by death, withdrawal or physical disability are filled.
Except where vacancies caused by death, withdrawal or physical disability are filled, no names shall be printed on a ballot other than those presented on nomination papers. On ballots at city and town primaries, and preliminary elections except where city charters provide otherwise, names of candidates for offices of which they are the elected incumbents, or the incumbents chosen by vote of the board of aldermen or city council in a city, or the incumbents chosen by joint convention of the board of aldermen or city council and school committee, shall be placed first in alphabetical order according to their surnames, to be followed by the names of all other candidates for such offices in alphabetical order. A candidate for nomination to the same office in a precinct, ward or district which contains any portion of the territory which he was elected to represent at the last preceding municipal or state election for that office shall be considered an elected incumbent within the meaning of this section. Against the name of each such candidate there shall be printed, if the candidate requests, a statement in not more than eight words setting forth the public offices which he holds or has held. The statement shall clearly indicate that he is a former incumbent thereof if such is the case and, if he is an elected incumbent of an office for which he seeks renomination, that he is a candidate for such renomination; and if he is a veteran, as defined in section one of chapter thirty-one, the word ”veteran” may be included in the eight word statement. Immediately following the names of candidates on ballots at city and town primaries, and preliminary elections except where city charters provide otherwise, blank spaces equal to the number of persons to be chosen shall be provided for the insertion of other names. Immediately following the names of candidates on ballots at state and presidential primaries, where there are fewer names than there are persons to be chosen, blank spaces shall be provided, equal in number to the deficiency, for the insertion of other names.
The number of persons to be voted for the different offices shall be stated on the ballot.
The form of ballots and the arrangement of printed matter thereon shall be in general the same as that of the official state ballots, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

Chapter 52: POLITICAL COMMITTEES

Section 1: State committees; election; organization; terms; vacancies
Section 1. Each political party shall, in the manner herein provided, elect a state committee from among its members who either have enrolled on or before the ninetieth day prior to the last day for filing nomination papers for state committees with the state secretary, or are newly registered voters in their city or town enrolled in that political party and have not been enrolled in another political party during the year preceding such last day for filing nomination papers. Each state committee shall consist of one man and one woman from each senatorial district, who shall be residents thereof, to be elected at the presidential primaries by plurality vote of the members of the party in the district, and such number of members as may be appointed by the state committee as hereinafter provided. Members of said committee elected at the presidential primaries from senatorial districts shall hold office for a period of four years from the thirtieth day next following their election; provided that members of said committee elected in nineteen hundred and seventy-six shall hold office for a period beginning May fifteenth, nineteen hundred and seventy-six and ending on the thirtieth day following the day on which presidential primaries are next held. Members appointed by the state committee shall hold office for two years from the date of their appointment; provided, however, that in no event shall the terms of office of such members extend beyond the term of office of members who were elected at the presidential primaries.
The members of the state committee elected at the presidential primaries shall, within ten days after the thirtieth day next following their election, meet and organize for the purpose of choosing a secretary, treasurer, and such other officers, other than a chairman, as they may decide to elect; provided, however, that such members shall, within ten days after the November general election at which a president is elected, meet and choose a chairman. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, a chairman shall serve in his respective position until his successor has been chosen; provided, however, that in the event that a state committee requires that its chairman be a member and any such elected chairman ceases to be a member, the committee shall choose a temporary chairman who shall serve until a permanent chairman is chosen following the November election as aforesaid. Such committee may, at any time after its organization, add to its membership.
The secretary of the state committee shall file with the state secretary, and send to each city and town committee, within ten days after such permanent organization, a list of the members of the state committee and of its officers, and, within ten days after each addition to its membership made subsequently to its permanent organization, a list of the members so added.
A vacancy in the office of chairman, secretary or treasurer of the state committee or in the membership thereof shall be filled by said committee, and a statement of any such change shall be filed as in the case of the officers first chosen.

Section 1A: Repealed, 1950, 280, Sec. 2

Section 2: Ward and town committees; elections; terms
Section 2. Each political party shall, in every ward and town, elect at the presidential primaries a ward or town committee from among the members of the party who either have enrolled on or before the ninetieth day prior to the last day for filing nomination papers for such committees with the state secretary, or are newly registered voters in their city or town enrolled in that political party and have not been enrolled in another political party during the year preceding such last day for filing nomination papers. Ward and town committee members shall hold office for a period of four years ending on the thirtieth day following the day on which the presidential primaries are next held and until their successors shall have organized. If any member changes his residence from the ward or town in which he was elected during the said four years, he shall cease to be a member at the end of the calendar year during which said residence is changed. If any member, whether elected or chosen to fill a vacancy, cancels or changes his party enrolment he shall forthwith cease to be a member of said committee.
For the purposes of this chapter, notwithstanding the fact that ward lines in a city have been redistricted subsequent to a presidential primary, members of ward committees elected from wards in existence at the time of a presidential primary shall continue to represent said wards until their successors shall have been elected and organized under the redistricted ward lines at the presidential primary next following said redistricting.

Section 3: City committees
Section 3. The members of the several ward committees of a political party in a city shall constitute the city committee.

Section 4: City, ward and town committees; organization; failure to elect or organize
Section 4. Each city, ward and town committee shall within ten days after the thirtieth day next following the election of its members, meet and organize by the choice of a chairman, a secretary, a treasurer and such other officers as it may decide to elect; provided that members of said committee elected in nineteen hundred and seventy-six shall meet and organize within ten days after May fifteenth, nineteen hundred and seventy-six. At such meeting a ward or town committee may add to its elected members; provided, that by so doing the total number of members shall not be made to exceed the number determined under section nine. Ward and town committees may appoint associate members by vote at any meeting. Associate members shall not have the right to vote but shall have such other powers and duties as the ward or town committee may determine. In case there is a failure of election of a ward or town committee, the city committee or the state committee, respectively, of the political party which said ward or town committee represents shall appoint from among the voters qualified therefor the members of such committee and shall call a meeting for its organization, in such call appointing a time for holding the same and naming a person to preside thereat. If a ward committee or a city or town committee fails to meet within the time prescribed by this section and organize, the city committee or the state committee, respectively, of the political party which such ward, city or town committee represents shall call a meeting for its organization, in such call appointing a time for holding the same and naming a person to preside thereat. In the event that a ward or town committee fails to meet at the time appointed as aforesaid and organize, the election of each of its members shall be void and the same proceedings shall be had as is herein provided in the case of a failure of election.

Section 5: Lists of officers, members and associate members; acceptance of office of treasurer; filing
Section 5. The secretary of each city, ward and town committee shall, within ten days after its organization, file with the state secretary, with the city or town clerk and with the secretary of the state committee of the political party which it represents, a list of the officers and members of the committee, together with the addresses of such officers. In the case of a city, the secretary of each ward committee shall also file a copy of such list within such time with the chairman of the city committee of the political party which it represents. Within a like period after the appointment of associate members, said secretary shall likewise file a list of such associate members. The treasurer of such committee shall qualify for his office by filing a written acceptance thereof with the director of campaign and political finance, as provided in section five of chapter fifty-five. The secretary of such committee shall file with the director of the office of campaign and political finance a list of the officers of the committee, together with the addresses of such officers, within ten days after organization of such committee, or within ten days, of any change in the list of officers of such committee.

Section 6: Vacancies
Section 6. A vacancy in the office of chairman, secretary or treasurer or in any other office, notice of the filling of which must be filed under the provisions of section five, of a city, ward or town committee or in the membership of a ward or town committee shall be filled by such committee from among the enrolled members of the party resident in such city, ward or town, and a statement of any such change shall be filed as in the case of the officers and members first chosen. If any member shall change his residence from the city, ward or town in which he was chosen to fill said vacancy, he shall cease to be a member at the end of the calendar year during which said residence is changed.

Section 7: Disposition of funds upon redivision of city into wards
Section 7. Upon the redivision of a city into wards the treasurer of each ward committee of a ward affected by such redivision shall, before the termination of office of the members thereof, pay over to the treasurer of the city committee representing the same political party such funds of the ward committee as he has in his possession after paying all bills. In the statements required under section seventeen of chapter fifty-five, the treasurer of the ward committee making such payment shall report it as a disbursement and the treasurer of the city committee receiving it shall report it as a receipt.

Section 8: Election of existing committees
Section 8. Each committee existing at the time when the party which it represents first polls for any office to be filled by all the voters of the commonwealth at a biennial state election three per cent of the entire vote cast in the commonwealth for that office, and each committee existing at the time when the party it represents first polls for mayor or a selectman at a city or town election at least three per cent of the entire vote cast in the city or town for that office, shall be deemed elected under this chapter, and shall be subject to its provisions.

Section 9: Ward and town committees; number of members to be elected at presidential primaries; notice
Section 9. Ward and town committees, respectively, shall fix the number of members of ward and town committees to be elected at the presidential primaries, not less than three nor more than thirty-five for each ward and each town. Notice of the number of committee members to be elected shall be given by the ward or town committee, as the case may be, to the state secretary on or before August first of the year preceding the year in which said persons are to be elected. In case a ward or town committee fails to fix the number of members of a ward or town committee or to give such notice, the number of members of such ward or town committee to be elected shall be the number of members last so fixed or assigned.

Section 10: Rules and regulations
Section 10. A state, city or town committee may make rules and regulations consistent with law, for its proceedings, and a state committee may make rules and regulations, consistent with law, for calling conventions.

Chapter 53: NOMINATIONS, QUESTIONS TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE VOTERS, PRIMARIES AND CAUCUSES

Section 1: Parties entitled to make nominations
Section 1. At any primary, caucus or convention held under this chapter, each party having the right to participate in or hold the same may nominate as many candidates for each office for which it has the right to make nominations therein as there are persons to be elected to that office, and no more. A party which makes one or more nominations shall be entitled to have the name of each of its candidates printed on the ballot to be used at the ensuing election; but, unless the nomination is made by direct plurality vote in a primary or in several caucuses held in more than one ward or in more than one precinct or group of precincts, a certificate of nomination must be filed as provided in section five.

Section 2: Nominations and elections; necessity; procedure
Section 2. Except in the case of municipal nominations where a city charter or a law applying to a particular town otherwise provides and in the case of nominations to regional district school committees elected district-wide, candidates of political parties for all elective offices, except presidential elector, shall be nominated and members of political committees, except as provided in sections one and four of chapter fifty-two, shall be elected in primaries or caucuses; provided, however, that the state secretary shall not conduct presidential and state primaries in any biennial state election year for a political party which has enrolled fewer than five percent of the total number of registered voters in the commonwealth as of the most recent count submitted to the state secretary under section thirty-eight A, and whose state committee files with the state secretary a writing so requesting, not later than August first preceding a year in which a presidential primary is to occur and otherwise not later than February first of the year of the biennial state election. All nominations and elections in primaries and caucuses shall be by direct plurality vote. No candidates shall be nominated, and no member of a political committee or convention delegate elected, in any other manner than is provided in this chapter or chapter fifty-two.

Section 3: Nomination of person not printed on primary ballot; acceptance; statement of financial interest
Section 3. A person whose name is not printed on a state primary ballot as a candidate for an office, but who receives sufficient votes to nominate him therefor, shall, not later than five o’clock post meridian of the thirteenth day after a regular state primary and the sixth day after a special state primary, file in the office of the state secretary a written acceptance of said nomination and a receipt from the state ethics commission verifying the fact that a statement of financial interest has been filed under chapter two hundred and sixty-eight B. A person whose name is not printed on a city or town primary ballot, but who receives sufficient votes to nominate him, shall, within six days from the aforementioned time and day, file a written acceptance of said nomination in the office of the city or town clerk. The name of any such person who fails to file such written acceptance, and such receipt if required, shall not be printed on the official ballot to be used at the ensuing election. When such acceptance has been filed, it may not thereafter be withdrawn. This section shall be construed to provide that written acceptance of such a nomination at a primary shall be filed as aforesaid within the time herein limited, by any such person whose nomination is finally determined after the expiration of the time so limited, otherwise his name shall not be printed on the ballot at the ensuing election.

Section 4: Conventions to nominate candidates; dates
Section 4. No convention to nominate candidates shall be called for or held on a date earlier than four days after the holding of the caucuses for the choice of delegates thereto, and all such conventions shall be called for and held on a date not later than forty-eight hours prior to the hour for filing certificates of nomination as provided in section ten.

Section 5: Certificate of nomination; contents; signatures; filing; written acceptance of candidate
Section 5. Every certificate of nomination shall state such facts as are required by section eight and shall be signed and sworn to by the presiding officer and by the secretary of the caucus or convention, who shall add to their signatures their residences. The secretary shall within the seventy-two hours succeeding five o’clock in the afternoon of the day upon which the caucus was held or the session of the convention terminated, and within the time specified in section ten, file such certificate at the place specified in section nine.
No such certificate of nomination, except for presidential electors, shall be received or be valid unless the written acceptance of the candidates thereby nominated shall be filed therewith.

Section 6: Nomination papers; contents; number of signatures; unenrolled candidates
Section 6. Nominations of candidates for any offices to be filled at a state election may be made by nomination papers, stating the facts required by section eight and signed in the aggregate by not less than the following number of voters: for governor and lieutenant governor, attorney general, United States senator, and presidential electors, ten thousand; for state secretary, state treasurer, and state auditor, five thousand; for representative in congress, two thousand; for state senator, three hundred; for state representative, one hundred and fifty; for councillor, district attorney, clerk of courts, register of probate, register of deeds, county commissioner, sheriff, and county treasurer, one thousand, except for clerk of courts, register of probate, register of deeds, county commissioner, sheriff, and county treasurer, in Barnstable, Berkshire, Franklin, and Hampshire counties, five hundred, and for any such offices in Dukes and Nantucket counties, twenty-five. In the case of the offices of governor and lieutenant governor, only nomination papers containing the names and addresses of candidates for both offices shall be valid. Nominations of candidates for offices to be filled at a city or town election, except where city charters or general or special laws provide otherwise and nominations of candidates for the office of regional district school committee members elected district-wide, may be made by like nomination papers, signed in the aggregate by not less than such number of voters as will equal one percent of the entire vote cast for governor at the preceding biennial state election in the electoral district or division for which the officers are to be elected, but in no event by less than twenty voters in the case of an office to be filled at a town election or election to a regional district school committee elected district-wide; provided, however, that no more than fifty signatures of voters shall be required on nomination papers for such town office or regional district school committee elected district-wide. At a first election to be held in a newly established ward, the number of signatures of voters upon a nomination paper of a candidate who is to be voted for only in such ward shall be at least fifty.
The name of a candidate for election to any office who is nominated otherwise than by a political party, generally referred to as an ”Unenrolled” candidate, shall not be printed on the ballot at a state election, or on the ballot at any city or town election following a city or town primary, unless a certificate from the registrars of voters of the city or town wherein such person is a registered voter, certifying that he is not enrolled as a member of any political party, is filed with the state secretary or city or town clerk on or before the last day provided in section ten for filing nomination papers. Said registrars shall issue each certificate forthwith upon request of any such candidate who is not a member of a political party or his authorized representative. No such certificate shall be issued to any such candidate who shall have been an enrolled member of any political party during the time prior to the last day for filing nomination papers as provided in section ten, and on or after the day by which a primary candidate is required by section forty-eight to establish enrollment in a political party.
Sections six and ten shall not apply to primary candidates nominated under sections twenty-three to seventy I, inclusive, except as expressly provided otherwise.

Section 7: Nomination papers; signatures; addresses; submission; deadlines; correction procedures; certification and checking; special elections
Section 7. Every voter signing a nomination paper shall sign in person as registered or substantially as registered, and shall state the address where he or she is currently registered, but any voter who is prevented by physical disability from writing may authorize some person to write his or her name and residence in his or her presence.
Every nomination paper of a candidate for a city or town office shall be submitted to the registrars of the city or town where the signers appear to be voters on or before five o’clock post meridian of the fourteenth day preceding the day on which it must be filed with the city or town clerk. Every nomination paper of a candidate for a state office shall be submitted to the registrars of the city or town where the signers appear to be voters on or before five o’clock post meridian of the twenty-eighth day preceding the day on which it must be filed with the state secretary; and certification of nomination papers of candidates for state office shall be completed no later than the seventh day before the final day for filing said papers with the state secretary.
The registrars shall inform the candidate submitting such papers if the designation of the district only in which he seeks office is incorrect, and shall give said candidate the opportunity to insert the correct designation on such papers before the signatures are certified. The registrars shall, if the candidate so desires, allow a change of district on the nomination papers, in the presence of the candidate whose name appears on the nomination papers, and the registrar and the candidate shall both initial the change of district so made and further shall in writing explain the change of district causing three copies to be made, one of each for the registrar and candidate and one to be attached to the nomination papers. If the correct district designation is not so inserted, the nomination papers shall not be approved. In no case may a correction be made to change the office for which such candidate is nominated.
Every initiative, referendum or other ballot question petition paper, except an application for a public policy question under sections nineteen to twenty-two, inclusive, shall be submitted to the registrars of the city or town where the signers appear to be voters on or before five o’clock post meridian of the fourteenth day preceding the day on which it must be filed with the state secretary; and certification of such papers shall be completed no later than the second day before the final day for filing said papers with the state secretary. In the case of special elections, every nomination paper shall be submitted to the registrars of the city or town where the signers appear to be voters on or before five o’clock post meridian in the afternoon of the seventh day preceding the day on which it must be filed with the state secretary; and certification of nomination papers of candidates shall be completed no later than the twenty-four hours before the final hour for filing said papers with the state secretary, except that, for special elections for senator or representative in congress, every nomination paper shall be submitted to the registrars of the city or town where the signers appear to be voters at or before 5:00 p.m. of the fourteenth day preceding the day on which it must be filed with the state secretary, and certification of nomination papers of candidates shall be completed no later than the 72 weekday hours before the final hour for filing those papers with the state secretary.
Each nomination paper shall be marked with the date and time it was submitted and such papers shall be certified in order of submission. In each case the registrars shall check each name to be certified by them on the nomination paper and shall forthwith certify thereon the number of signatures so checked which are names of voters both in the city or town and in the district for which the nomination is made, and only names so checked shall be deemed to be names of qualified voters for the purposes of nomination. The registrars shall place next to each name not checked symbols designated by the state secretary indicating the reason that name was disqualified. The registrars shall certify a number of names that are required to make a nomination, increased by two fifths thereof, if they are submitted in a timely manner for a certification.
The state secretary need not receive nomination papers for a candidate after receiving such papers containing a sufficient number of certified names to make a nomination, increased by two fifths thereof.
For the purposes of this section a registered voter who in signing his name to a nomination paper inserts a middle name or initial in, or omits a middle name or initial from, his name as registered shall be deemed to have signed his name substantially as registered. If the registrars can reasonably determine from the form of the signature the identity of the duly registered voter, the name shall be deemed to have been signed substantially as registered. The provisions of this section shall apply in all cases where any statute, special act, or home rule charter requires the certification of the signature of a voter by boards of registrars of voters. Signatures shall not be certified on nomination papers or initiative and referendum petitions from more than one city or town per sheet.
The state secretary shall promulgate regulations designed to achieve and maintain accuracy, uniformity, and security from forgery and fraud in the procedures for certifying nomination papers and petitions for ballot questions and names thereon pursuant to this section, and to ensure proper delivery of certified nomination papers and petitions by registrars to the person or organization who submitted such papers or petitions.

Section 7A: Nomination papers for city offices; deadlines; signatures; certification and checking
Section 7A. Except where otherwise provided by law, every nomination petition or other like paper of a candidate for a city office in a city wherein preliminary elections for the nomination of candidates for such office are held shall be submitted, on or before five o’clock in the afternoon of the fourteenth day preceding the day on which it must be filed, to the registrars of the city. In each case the registrars shall check each name to be certified by them on the nomination petition or other like paper and shall forthwith certify thereon the number of signatures so checked which are names of voters both in the city and in the district for which the nomination is made, and only names so checked shall be deemed to be names of qualified voters for the purposes of nomination. The registrars need not certify a greater number of names than are required to make a nomination, increased by one fifth thereof. Names not certified in the first instance shall not thereafter be certified on the same nomination petitions or other like papers.

Section 8: Certificates of nomination and nomination papers; contents; party designation
Section 8. All certificates of nomination and nomination papers shall, in addition to the names of candidates, specify as to each, (1) his residence, with street and number, if any, (2) the office for which he is nominated, and (3) except as otherwise provided in this section and except for elections which are not preceded by primaries or political party caucuses, the political designation, if any, which he represents, expressed in not more than three words. This information, in addition to the district name or number, if any, shall be specified on the nomination paper before any signature of a purported registered voter is obtained and the circulation of nomination papers without such information is prohibited. Certificates of nomination made by convention or caucus shall also state what provision, if any, was made for filling vacancies caused by the death, withdrawal or ineligibility of candidates. The state committees of the respective political parties at a meeting called for the purpose shall nominate the presidential electors. The surnames of the candidates for president and vice president of the United States shall be added to the party or political designation of the candidates for presidential electors. Such surnames and a list of the persons nominated for presidential electors, together with an acceptance in writing signed by each candidate for presidential elector on a form to be provided by the state secretary, shall be filed by the state chairmen of the respective political parties not later than the second Tuesday of September. Said acceptance form shall include a pledge by the presidential elector to vote for the candidate named in the filing. To the name of each candidate for alderman at large shall be added the number of the ward in which he resides. To the name of a candidate for a town office who is an elected incumbent thereof there may be added the words ”Candidate for Re-election”.
If a candidate is nominated otherwise than by a political party the name of a political party shall not be used in his political designation nor shall the name of any organization which has been adjudicated subversive under section eighteen of chapter two hundred and sixty-four be used in his political designation. Certificates of nomination and nomination papers for city or town offices need not include a designation of the party which the candidate represents. Except in the case of nomination papers of candidates for offices to be filled by all the voters of the commonwealth, or of candidates for town offices and the office of regional district school committee member elected district-wide, no nomination papers shall contain the name of more than one candidate. Such nomination papers for candidates for governor and lieutenant governor shall contain provision for the names and addresses of members of a committee of five registered voters who shall fill any vacancy caused by death, withdrawal, ineligibility or disqualification of either candidate. Such nomination papers for town offices may contain the names of candidates for any or all of the offices to be filled at the town election, but the number of names of candidates on such paper for any one office shall not exceed the number to be elected thereto.

Section 9: Certificate of nomination and nomination papers; certification of candidate as registered voter; acceptance procedure
Section 9. Certificates of nomination and nomination papers for state offices shall be filed with the state secretary and he shall forthwith issue to the candidate or other person filing the same a certificate acknowledging the time and date of the receipt thereof. Certificates of nomination or nomination papers for city and town offices shall be filed with the city or town clerk. Any candidate, including a candidate for presidential elector, not required by section forty-eight of this chapter to file a certificate of party enrollment shall, on or before the last day provided by law for filing nomination papers, file a certificate from the registrars of voters of the city or town wherein such candidate is a registered voter, certifying that such candidate is a registered voter in such city or town. Said registrars shall issue such a certificate forthwith upon request of any such candidate so registered or of his authorized representative. No nomination paper shall be received or be valid unless the written acceptance of the candidate thereby nominated shall be filed therewith. No nomination paper or certificate of nomination of a candidate for public office, as defined by chapter 268B, shall be accepted by the state secretary nor be valid unless accompanied by a receipt from the state ethics commission verifying the fact that a statement of financial interest has been filed pursuant to the provisions of said chapter 268B. No nomination paper for statewide elective office shall be received or be valid unless accompanied by a receipt from the director of campaign and political finance verifying the fact that the candidate has filed with said director the statement required by subsection (a) of section one A of said chapter 55C. The name of a candidate who fails to file any statement within the time required by said section one A shall not appear on the state primary or state election ballot.

Section 9A: Nomination papers for cities or towns; applicable provisions
Section 9A. In any city or town which accepts this section, in a city by vote of the city council subject to the provisions of its charter, and in a town by vote of the town meeting, the following provisions shall apply with respect to nomination papers:?
The final date for obtaining blank nomination papers for nomination to city or town office shall be forty-eight week day hours prior to the hour on which nomination papers are required to be submitted to the registrars of voters for certification.
Each candidate shall file with the city or town clerk, prior to obtaining blank nomination papers, a statement containing his name and address, and the city or town office for which he intends to be a candidate.
No candidate for city or town office shall receive more blank nomination papers than will contain the number of signatures required to place his name in nomination, multiplied by five.

Section 10: Certificates of nomination and nomination papers; time for filing
Section 10. All certificates of nomination and nomination papers of candidates for the office of state representative, state senator, executive council, or county office shall be filed with the state secretary on or before the last Tuesday in May of the year in which a state election is to be held. Certificates of nomination or nomination papers for the office of senator in congress, representative in congress, governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer and receiver-general, state auditor and state secretary, shall be filed on or before the last Tuesday in August of the year in which a state election is to be held. If there is a special election to fill the office of senator or representative in congress, all certificates of nomination and nomination papers shall be filed on or before the sixth Tuesday preceding the day of such election. If there is a special election to fill any other state office, all certificates of nomination and nomination papers shall be filed on or before the ninth Tuesday preceding the day of such election. Nomination papers for presidential elector shall be filed on or before the last Tuesday in August of the year in which a presidential election is to be held.
In any city, except Boston, certificates of nomination and nomination papers for any city election shall be filed on or before the thirty-fifth day preceding such city election. In any city, except Boston, the time for presenting nomination papers for certification to the registrars of voters, and for certifying the same, shall be governed by section seven, notwithstanding any contrary provision in any special law. In any city where primaries are held, under authority of general or special law, for the nomination of candidates for city offices, certificates of nomination and nomination papers shall be filed not later than the last day fixed for the filing of nomination papers for such primaries. In any city where preliminary elections for the nomination of candidates for a city office are held, nomination or other like papers required to be filed by such candidates shall be filed on or before the thirty-fifth day preceding the day of the preliminary election, notwithstanding any contrary provision in any special law.
Any provision of general or special law to the contrary notwithstanding, the last day for filing with the town clerk certificates of nomination or nomination papers for the nomination of town offices shall be the thirty-fifth day preceding the date of the election. In any town, the time for presenting nomination papers for certification to the registrars of voters, and for certifying the same, shall be governed by section seven, notwithstanding any contrary provision in any special law.
Any incumbent town meeting member may become a candidate for election by giving written notice thereof to the town clerk not later than twenty-one days prior to the last day and hour for filing nomination papers notwithstanding any contrary provision in any special law.
Certificates of nomination and nomination papers shall be filed before five o’clock in the afternoon of the last day fixed therefor.

Section 11: Certificates of nomination and nomination papers; objections; filing
Section 11. When certificates of nomination and nomination papers have been filed, and are in apparent conformity with the law, they shall be valid unless written objections are made. Such objections shall be filed, as to state offices, with the state secretary, and, as to city or town offices, with the city or town clerk in accordance with the provisions of chapter fifty-five B.

Section 12, 12A: Repealed, 1977, 927, Sec. 5

Section 13: Withdrawal of nominated candidates
Section 13. A person nominated as a candidate for any state, city or town office may withdraw his name from nomination by a request signed and duly acknowledged by him before a notary public, and filed with the officer with whom the nomination was filed, within the time prescribed by section eleven for filing objections to certificates of nomination and nomination papers and no such requests for withdrawals shall be received after such time has expired. A person nominated at a city or town preliminary election may withdraw his name from nomination in the same manner, within six days succeeding five o’clock in the afternoon of the day of holding such preliminary election. Unless otherwise provided by the city or town charter, such nominee shall be replaced by the candidate with the next highest number of votes in said preliminary, if such candidate receives a number of votes at least equal to the number of signatures required by law to place his name on the preliminary election ballot.

Section 14: Death, withdrawal or ineligibility of nominated candidates; filling vacancies; objections
Section 14. If a candidate nominated for a state, city or town office dies before the day of election, or withdraws his name from nomination, or is found ineligible, the vacancy, except for city offices where city charters provide otherwise, may be filled by the same political party or persons who made the original nomination, and in the same manner; or, if the time is insufficient therefor, the vacancy may be filled, if the nomination was made by a convention or caucus, in such manner as the convention or caucus may have prescribed, or, if no such provision has been made, by a regularly elected general or executive committee representing the political party or persons who held such convention or caucus. In the event of the death, withdrawal, ineligibility or disqualification of a candidate for governor or lieutenant governor who has been nominated by election nomination papers, except disqualification for insufficient signatures, the vacancy shall be filled by majority vote of the committee of five members whose names were placed upon said papers for the purpose before the signatures of voters were obtained thereon. In the event of the withdrawal, death or ineligibility of any candidate of a political party nominated by direct nomination for any office, the vacancy may be filled by a regularly elected general or executive committee representing the election district in which such vacancy occurs, or, if no such committee exists by the members of the town committee in any town comprising such district, by the members of the ward committee or committees in the ward or wards comprising such district if within the limits of a single city, or by delegates chosen as hereinafter provided by and from the members of the ward and town committees in the wards and towns comprising such district if within the limits of more than one municipality, at a meeting to be called by such a member or delegate, as the case may be, designated by the chairman of the state committee, and such member or delegate shall preside until a chairman of such meeting is elected. Each ward and town committee in the wards and towns compromising such a district within the limits of more than one municipality shall, as occasions arise, choose from its members delegates to fill vacancies as hereinbefore provided, in such manner as it may determine by its rules and regulations, to a number not exceeding one for each five hundred votes, or fraction thereof, cast in its ward or town for the candidate of the party for governor at the last state election, and shall forthwith notify the state secretary of the delegates so chosen. Notwithstanding any of the foregoing, when a vacancy occurs, by reason of withdrawal, death or ineligibility in a district comprised of portions of wards of a city or not all precincts of a town, then each ward and town committee which includes the precincts which are part of the district shall choose delegates as hereinabove provided to fill vacancies in such number not exceeding one for each five hundred votes or fractions thereof cast in that portion of the ward or town included in the district for the candidate of that party for governor at the last state election, provided further that said delegate so chosen shall reside in the district where the vacancy occurs. In cities and towns where candidates are nominated by nomination papers, such papers may contain the names of members of a committee of not more than five registered voters who may fill any vacancy caused by the death or physical disability of the candidate whose name appears upon such nomination paper. If a vacancy is caused by withdrawal, certificates of nomination made otherwise than in the original manner shall be filed within seventy-two week day hours in the case of state offices, or within forty-eight week day hours in the case of city or town offices, succeeding five o’clock in the afternoon of the last day for filing withdrawals. They shall be open to objections in the same manner, so far as practicable, as other certificates of nomination. No vacancy caused by withdrawal shall be filled before the withdrawal has been filed.

Section 15: Certificate of nomination to fill vacancy; contents; acceptance
Section 15. When a nomination is made to fill a vacancy caused by the death, withdrawal or ineligibility of a candidate, the certificate of nomination shall, in addition to the other facts required, state the name of the original nominee, the fact of his death, withdrawal or ineligibility, and the proceedings had for filling the vacancy; and the presiding officer and secretary of the convention or caucus, or the chairman and secretary of an authorized committee, shall sign and make oath to the truth of the certificate, and it shall be accompanied by the written acceptance of the candidate nominated. Such certificate shall be filed with the state secretary in the case of state elections and with the city or town clerk in city or town elections.

Section 16: Certificates of nomination, etc.; public inspection; preservation
Section 16. Certificates of nomination, nomination papers, objections thereto and withdrawals, when filed, shall, under proper regulations, be open to public inspection, and the state secretary and the city and town clerks shall preserve the same in their offices for one year.

Section 17: Blank forms for nominations
Section 17. The state secretary shall, upon application, provide blank forms for the nomination of candidates for all state offices; and he shall send blank forms for certificates of nomination for the office of representative in the general court to the clerk of each city and town for the use of any caucus or convention other than of political parties held therein for the nomination of candidates for that office. He shall likewise provide the clerks of towns wherein official ballots are used with blank forms for the nomination of candidates for town offices. In cities blank forms for the nomination of candidates for city offices shall be provided by the city clerk. The state secretary shall not supply candidates for town offices directly with blank forms for nomination. The city or town clerk shall not furnish blank forms for the nomination of candidates for city or town office to any person other than a candidate seeking such nomination or a person presenting the signed authorization of a candidate to secure said forms on his behalf. In no case shall any blank forms for such nominations be larger than eight and one half inches by fourteen inches, nor shall anyone be prohibited from making exact copies of such blanks provided by the secretary of state for the purpose of collecting signatures for such nominations, nor shall any such copies be rejected for certification or submittal to the secretary of state.

Section 17A: Procedure
Section 17A. Upon the filing of a petition with the chairman of the state committee of a political party, signed by fifty enrolled members of such party within a senatorial district, such chairman shall call a convention of all the ward and town committees in said senatorial district for the purpose of endorsing candidates from among the enrolled members of the party for nomination for election to membership on the state committee from said senatorial district.
Said convention shall be held not later than the tenth day prior to the time provided for the filing of nomination papers for said membership, and shall be held in the ward or town within the senatorial district which cast the highest vote at the preceding biennial state election for the political party candidate for governor.
Said convention shall elect from among its members a chairman and a secretary and shall make suitable rules for the conduct of its business. Each ward and town committee represented at such convention shall be entitled to one vote and one additional vote for every fifteen hundred votes or major fraction thereof above the first fifteen hundred votes cast at the preceding biennial state election in such ward or town for the political party candidate for governor.
Every certificate of nomination of a candidate endorsed for nomination by such a convention shall state that the nominee has been endorsed by such convention, and shall include such facts as are required by section eight. Such certificate shall be signed, sworn to and filed with the state secretary as required by section five.
Each candidate endorsed by such a convention shall not later than the last day and hour for filing nomination papers for said membership file with the state secretary his written acceptance of the nomination, otherwise his name shall not be printed on the ballot as a candidate for member of the state committee for which he was nominated. Such candidate may not withdraw such acceptance.

Section 18: Proposed amendments to federal constitution; opinion of voters ascertained
Section 18. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the commonwealth that the general court, when called upon to act upon a proposed amendment to the federal constitution, should defer action until the opinion of the voters of the commonwealth has been taken, as herein provided, relative to the wisdom and expediency of ratifying the same; therefore, if a proposed amendment to the federal constitution is duly submitted to the general court as provided in article five of the constitution of the United States, and is not ratified at the session at which it is submitted, there shall be submitted to all the voters of the commonwealth at the following state election, if such an election is to occur prior to the next regular session of the general court, otherwise at such special or regular state election as the general court may order, the question whether such ratification is desirable. The question shall be placed upon the official ballot in the following form: ”Is it desirable that the proposed amendment to the constitution of the United States (describing the same) be ratified by the general court?” The votes cast shall be received, sorted, counted, declared and transmitted to the state secretary, laid before the governor and council, and by them opened and examined in accordance with the laws relating to votes for state officers so far as they are applicable, and the governor shall thereupon communicate to the general court the total number of votes cast in the affirmative and in the negative for the proposed amendment, and likewise the same totals arranged by senatorial and representative districts. This section shall not authorize the taking of the opinion of the voters more than once in respect to any such proposed amendment unless otherwise provided by the general court.

Section 18A: Nonbinding public opinion advisory questions on local ballots
Section 18A. As used in this section ”governing body” shall mean, in a city, the city council acting with the approval of the mayor subject to the provisions of the charter of said city, in a town having a town council, the town council, and in every other town the board of selectmen.
A nonbinding public opinion advisory question may be placed on the ballot for a regular municipal election in any city or town no later than the thirty-fifth day preceding such election: by vote of the city council of such city, with approval of its mayor where so required by the city charter; by vote of the board of selectmen of a town or by vote of the town council of a town having a town council or by vote of the annual town meeting; or in conformity with the following provision of this section:
A proposal to place a nonbinding public opinion advisory question on the ballot for a regular municipal election in any city or town may be presented to the governing body thereof on a petition signed by at least ten registered voters of the city or town. If such governing body shall not approve said petition at least ninety days before said election, then the question may be so placed on said ballot when a petition signed by at least ten per cent of the registered voters of the city or town, but in no case less than twenty such voters, requesting such action is filed with the registrars, who shall have seven days after receipt of such a petition to certify the signatures. Upon certification of the signatures, the city or town clerk shall cause the question to be placed on the ballot at the next regular municipal election held more than thirty-five days after such certification.
The procedures established by this section shall be available to any city or town; provided, however, that if an alternative procedure is prescribed by a home rule charter, optional plan of government, or special act applying to such city or town, relative to the placing of public opinion questions upon the local ballot, then such alternative procedure shall apply.

Section 18B: Information relating to questions on city, town or district ballot; contents; written arguments by principal proponents and opponents; public inspection
Section 18B. (a) As used in this section ”governing body” shall mean, in a city, the city council or board of aldermen acting with the approval of the mayor subject to the charter of the city, in a town having a town council, the town council, in every other town, the board of selectmen and in a district as provided in sections 113 to 119, inclusive, of chapter 41, the prudential committee, if any, otherwise the commissioners of the district.
(b) The governing body of a city, town or district which accepts this section in the manner provided in section 4 of chapter 4 shall print information relating to each question that shall appear on the city, town or district ballot. The information shall include: (1) the full text of each question; (2) a fair and concise summary of each question, including a 1 sentence statement describing the effect of a yes or no vote, which shall be prepared by the city solicitor, town counsel or counsel for the city, town or district; and (3) arguments for and against each question as provided in subsections (d) and (e). Not later than 7 days before an election at which the question shall be submitted to the voters in a city, town or district, the information in this subsection shall be sent to each household wherein a person whose name appears on the current voting list for the city, town or district resides.
(c) Not later than the day following the date of the determination that a question shall appear on the ballot in an election, the governing body shall provide written notification to the city solicitor or town or district counsel and to the city or town clerk.
(d) Not later than 7 days after the determination that a question shall appear on the ballot, the city solicitor or town or district counsel, as applicable, shall seek written arguments from the principal proponents and opponents of the question. For the purposes of this section, the principal proponents and opponents of a question shall be those persons determined by the solicitor or counsel to be best able to present the arguments for and against the question. The solicitor or counsel shall provide not less than 7 days’ written notice to the opponents and proponents of the date on which the written arguments shall be received. Proponents and opponents shall submit their arguments, which shall be not more than 150 words, to the solicitor or counsel, together with a copy thereof to the city or town clerk or, in a district, to the clerk of each city and town within the district. The arguments and summary shall be submitted by the solicitor or counsel to the governing body at least 20 days before the election for distribution to voters in accordance with subsection (b). A copy of the arguments and summary shall also be submitted by the solicitor or counsel to the city, town or district clerk.
(e) In determining the principal proponents and opponents of a ballot question, the solicitor or counsel shall contact each ballot question committee, if any, as defined in section 1 of chapter 55. The principal proponents or opponents of a ballot question may include officers of a ballot question committee or officers of a city, town or district office or committee including, but not limited to, a finance committee or a school committee. In addition, the principal proponents or opponents may include the first 10 signers or a majority of the first 10 signers of a petition initiating the placement of such question on the ballot. The solicitor or counsel shall determine, based on a review of arguments received, the person or group best able to present arguments for and against a question. If no argument is received by the solicitor or counsel within the time specified by the solicitor or counsel, the solicitor or counsel shall prepare an argument and submit the argument to the governing body and to the city or town clerk or, in a district, to the clerk of each city and town within the district within the time specified in subsection (d).
(f) All arguments filed or prepared pursuant to this section and the information prepared pursuant to subsection (b), shall be open to public inspection at the office of city or town clerk or, in a district, at the office of the clerk of each city and town within the district. In addition, each city or town clerk shall make such information available to the voters at all polling places within the city, town or district.

Section 19: Questions of public policy submitted in certain districts upon application
Section 19. On an application signed by twelve hundred voters in any senatorial district, or by two hundred voters in any representative district, asking for the submission to the voters of that senatorial or representative district of any question of instructions to the senator or representatives from that district, and stating the substance thereof, the attorney general shall upon request of the state secretary determine whether or not such question is one of public policy, and if such question is determined to be one of public policy, the state secretary and the attorney general shall draft it in such simple, unequivocal and adequate form as shall be deemed best suited for presentation upon the ballot. Upon the fulfilment of the requirements of this and the two following sections the state secretary shall place such question on the official ballot to be used in that senatorial or representative district at the next state election.

Section 20: Applications; signatures; identification; certification; submission
Section 20. The provisions of law relative to the signing of nomination papers of candidates for state office, and to the identification and certification of names thereon and submission to the registrars therefor, shall apply, so far as apt, to applications submitted under section nineteen. Petition forms for such applications submitted under section nineteen shall be made available for use on or before the fifteenth Tuesday preceding the final date for filing as provided in section twenty-one.

Section 21: Applications; filing deadline; number of questions; resubmission
Section 21. Applications shall be filed with the state secretary not later than the first Wednesday of August before the election at which the questions are to be submitted. Not more than three questions under section nineteen shall be placed upon the ballot at one election, and they shall be submitted in the order in which the applications are filed. No question negatived and no question substantially the same shall be submitted again in less than three years.

Section 22: Instructions to representatives; necessity of majority vote
Section 22. No vote under the three preceding sections shall be regarded as an instruction under article nineteen of the bill of rights of the constitution of the commonwealth, unless the question submitted receives a majority of all the votes cast at that election.

Section 22A: Signing petitions; forms; receipt; filing date
Section 22A. The provisions of law relative to the signing of nomination papers of candidates for state office, and to the identification and certification of names thereon and submission to the registrars therefor, shall apply, so far as apt, to the signing of initiative and referendum petitions and to the identification and certification of names thereon, and, except as otherwise provided, to the time of their submission to the registrars. Initiative or referendum petition forms shall be made available no later than the fourteenth day after the date such petitions are filed with the state secretary by the first ten signers; provided, however, that in the instance of petitions filed under the provisions of section three or section four of that part of Article XLVIII of the Amendments of the Constitution under the heading ”THE REFERENDUM. III. Referendum Petitions.”, the petition forms shall be made available no later than the fourteenth day after a summary has been prepared. Registrars shall receipt in writing for each initiative or referendum petition submitted to and received by them, and shall deliver such petitions only on receiving written receipts therefor or other identification acceptable to the registrars. Each initiative and referendum petition shall state the last day and hour for filing such petitions with the registrars and with the state secretary. Certificates showing that each of the ten original signers is a registered voter at the stated address, signed by a majority of the registrars of voters, shall accompany an original initiative or referendum petition. In no case shall any blank forms for such initiative or referendum petitions be larger than eight and one half inches by fourteen inches, nor shall anyone be prohibited from making exact copies of such blanks provided by the secretary of state for the purpose of collecting signatures for such petitions, nor shall any such copies be rejected for certification or submittal to the secretary of state.

Section 22B: Repealed, 1985, 124

Section 23: Sections applicable to all primaries
Section 23. Sections twenty-four to forty, inclusive, shall apply to all primaries, except as therein otherwise provided.

Section 24: Applicability of sections relating to elections and corrupt practices
Section 24. Primaries shall be subject to all laws relating to elections and corrupt practices therein, so far as applicable and except as otherwise provided in this chapter and in chapters fifty-four, fifty-five and fifty-six.

Section 25: Withdrawal of nominations
Section 25. Withdrawals of nominations of persons to be voted for at primaries shall be subject to section thirteen, except that the date from which the time for filing withdrawals shall be computed shall be the last day for filing nomination papers for such primaries, and that the time shall be forty-eight hours in the case of a town primary.

Section 26: Repealed, 1977, 927, Sec. 8

Section 27: Repealed, 1980, 134, Sec. 4

Section 28: Dates and places for holding primaries
[ First paragraph effective until July 1, 2015. For text effective July 1, 2015, see below.]
Section 28. State primaries shall be held on the seventh Tuesday preceding biennial state elections and on the fourth Tuesday preceding special state elections, except that primaries before special elections for senator or representative in congress shall be held on the sixth Tuesday preceding said elections. Presidential primaries shall be held on the first Tuesday in March in any year in which presidential electors are to be elected. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any town may hold its preliminary or regular town elections on the same date designated as the date to hold a presidential primary, in any year in which presidential electors are to be elected, provided that such election is by a ballot independent of the ballot used at a presidential primary. City and town primaries before all city and town elections shall be held on the twenty-eighth day preceding such elections.
[ First paragraph as amended by 2015, 46, Sec. 65 effective July 1, 2015. See 2015, 46, Sec. 216. For text effective until July 1, 2015, see above.]
State primaries shall be held on the seventh Tuesday preceding biennial state elections and on the fourth Tuesday preceding special state elections, except that primaries before special elections for senator or representative in congress shall be held on the sixth Tuesday preceding said elections. If a religious holiday falls on or immediately before the second Tuesday in September in an even-numbered year, the state primary shall be held on a date set by the state secretary within 7 days of the second Tuesday in September. The state secretary shall publish the date change of the state primary not later than February 1 of that year by: (i) providing notice of the change to the state parties; (ii) filing notice with the state publications and regulations division; (iii) posting the information on the website of the state secretary; and (iv) any other means necessary to ensure proper notification. Presidential primaries shall be held on the first Tuesday in March in any year in which presidential electors are to be elected. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any town may hold its preliminary or regular town elections on the same date designated as the date to hold a presidential primary, in any year in which presidential electors are to be elected, provided that such election is by a ballot independent of the ballot used at a presidential primary. City and town primaries before all city and town elections shall be held on the twenty-eighth day preceding such elections.
Except in Boston, primaries shall be held wholly or partly by wards, precincts or towns, as the aldermen or selectmen may designate.
Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law, town charter or by-law to the contrary, if the date for holding a preliminary, primary or town election or annual town meeting falls within thirty days before or after the presidential primary, the town council in a town having a town council and the board of selectmen in any other town, after consulting the town clerk may, by majority vote, establish a date between February first and May thirty-first for holding such preliminary, primary or town election or annual town meeting. Any preliminary, primary or town election or annual meeting shall be held on the date or dates established and shall be called as provided by sections nine A and ten of chapter thirty-nine.
Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, if the date for holding a district election falls within thirty days before or after the presidential primary, the prudential committee, if any, otherwise the commissioners, of the district may, by majority vote, establish a date between February first and May thirty-first for holding such district election. Any district election shall be held on the date established and shall be called as provided by section one hundred and nineteen of chapter forty-one. For the purposes of this section, district shall mean a district created by special law or established under the provisions of a general law.

Section 29: Designation of primary officers; compensation
Section 29. The city or town clerk may designate two inspectors and two deputy inspectors, representing the two leading political parties, to serve at primaries, and from the whole body of election officers he may designate officers equally representing the two leading political parties to serve as tellers in any precinct or ward during part of the day for the purpose of receiving ballots, checking names, or canvassing and counting votes, such tellers to receive such part of a full day’s compensation of election officers as the aldermen or selectmen may determine.

Section 30: Designation of primary officers; wards or towns
Section 30. In wards or towns where voting is by precincts at elections but by wards or towns at primaries, the city or town clerk shall designate which of the election officers shall serve as primary officers.

Section 31: Ineligibility to act as primary officers
Section 31. A person shall not be ineligible to act as a primary officer because he is a candidate for delegate to a convention, or,, a candidate for or member of a ward or town committee.

Section 32: Ballots; preparation; number
Section 32. Ballots shall be prepared and provided, and the number thereof determined, in state and presidential primaries by the state secretary, in city and town primaries by the city or town clerk. Notwithstanding the provisions of section forty-five of chapter fifty-four or any other general or special law to the contrary, the state secretary may provide only paper ballots for a state or presidential primary in a city or town where a political party has enrolled fewer than five percent of the total number of registered voters, as of the most recent count submitted to the state secretary under section thirty-eight A before the decision to prepare said ballots must be made. No other ballots shall be received or counted, except that if ballots provided for a state or presidential primary are not delivered, or after delivery lost, destroyed or stolen, ballots similar as far as possible shall be provided by the city or town clerk and used at the primary. The number of ballots provided at a city or town primary shall not for any ward or town exceed one ballot of each party for each voter therein.

Section 33: Ballots; color; specimen ballots
Section 33. Ballots for each party shall be printed on paper of a different color from that on which the ballots for any other party are printed. At least three facsimile copies of the ballot for each party, printed on colored paper, shall be provided for each polling place as specimen ballots.

Section 34: Ballots; contents; arrangement; form
Section 34. At the top of each ballot shall be printed the words ”Official ballot of the (here shall follow the party name)”. There shall also be printed on the ballot the number of the precinct and ward or the name of the town for which the ballot is prepared, the date of the primary and for state primaries a facsimile of the signature of the state secretary and for city or town primaries a facsimile of the signature of the city or town clerk. Names of candidates for each elective office shall be arranged alphabetically according to their surnames except as otherwise provided.
Names of candidates for nomination for all offices to be voted for at a state primary of which they are the elected incumbents or the incumbents chosen by the senate and house of representatives, or appointed by the governor, or appointed by the justices of the supreme judicial or superior court, or appointed by the county commissioners, or appointed by the county commissioners and the clerk of the courts for a county, shall be placed first in alphabetical order and names of other candidates shall follow in like order.
Names of candidates for state committee who are either elected or appointed incumbents shall be placed first in alphabetical order, and names of other candidates for said office shall follow in like order.
Names of candidates for ward and town committees shall be arranged in groups in such order as may be determined by lot, under the direction of the state secretary, who shall notify each state committee and give a representative of each such committee an opportunity to be present. When necessary, groups may be printed on the ballot in two or more columns; provided, however, that only one heading designating the number of members to be elected to such committee shall be printed.
Against the name of a candidate for an elective office, for a ward or town committee, or for state committee, shall be printed the street and number, if any, of his residence.
Against the name of a candidate for an elective office shall be printed the statement contained in the nomination paper placing him in nomination, except where vacancies caused by death, withdrawal or physical disability are filled.
Except where vacancies caused by death, withdrawal or physical disability are filled, no names shall be printed on a ballot other than those presented on nomination papers. On ballots at city and town primaries, and preliminary elections except where city charters provide otherwise, names of candidates for offices of which they are the elected incumbents, or the incumbents chosen by vote of the board of aldermen or city council in a city, or the incumbents chosen by joint convention of the board of aldermen or city council and school committee, shall be placed first in alphabetical order according to their surnames, to be followed by the names of all other candidates for such offices in alphabetical order. A candidate for nomination to the same office in a precinct, ward or district which contains any portion of the territory which he was elected to represent at the last preceding municipal or state election for that office shall be considered an elected incumbent within the meaning of this section. Against the name of each such candidate there shall be printed, if the candidate requests, a statement in not more than eight words setting forth the public offices which he holds or has held. The statement shall clearly indicate that he is a former incumbent thereof if such is the case and, if he is an elected incumbent of an office for which he seeks renomination, that he is a candidate for such renomination; and if he is a veteran, as defined in section one of chapter thirty-one, the word ”veteran” may be included in the eight word statement. Immediately following the names of candidates on ballots at city and town primaries, and preliminary elections except where city charters provide otherwise, blank spaces equal to the number of persons to be chosen shall be provided for the insertion of other names. Immediately following the names of candidates on ballots at state and presidential primaries, where there are fewer names than there are persons to be chosen, blank spaces shall be provided, equal in number to the deficiency, for the insertion of other names.
The number of persons to be voted for the different offices shall be stated on the ballot.
The form of ballots and the arrangement of printed matter thereon shall be in general the same as that of the official state ballots, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

Section 34A: Absentee ballots; application; forms; envelopes; preparation
Section 34A. Prior to each biennial or special state primary the state secretary shall prepare in such quantities as he may deem necessary the following papers:?
(a) Official absent voting ballots, similar in all respects to the official ballot to be used at such primary, on paper similar in color to the official ballot of the respective parties. Instructions for the use of said absentee ballots may be printed on the back of the ballots.
(b) Blank forms of application for such ballots, worded substantially as provided by section eighty-seven of chapter fifty-four, except that the application shall indicate that the ballot is to be used at the primary, and shall also indicate the party whose ballot the voter desires to obtain.
Any form of written communication evidencing a desire that an absent voting ballot be sent to him for use of voting at any regular or special state primary or any presidential primary, and specifying the party whose ballot he desires to obtain, shall be given the same effect as an application for an absent voting ballot made in the form prescribed by law.
(c) Envelopes conforming substantially to subsections (c) and (d) of section eighty-seven of said chapter fifty-four.

Section 35: Cross constituting as vote
Section 35. A cross (X) marked against a name shall constitute a vote for the person so designated except that no cross shall be required where the voter has inserted the name of the candidate for whom he intends to vote. A cross in the circle at the head of a group of candidates for a ward or town committee shall count as a vote for each candidate therein. A voter may vote for one or more candidates in any such group by marking a cross against the name of each such candidate, except that no cross shall be required where the voter has inserted the name or names of candidates for whom he intends to vote. If he votes for more candidates than the number to be elected, his vote shall not be counted.

Section 35A: Use of pasters or stickers
Section 35A. Pasters, commonly called stickers, to be used at primaries shall not be more than one half inch in width and four and one half inches in length and shall be subject to the same restrictions with respect to names and residences of candidates and the size of the type in which the names shall be printed as are imposed by sections forty-one and forty-four of chapter fifty-four with respect thereto in the case of election ballots.

Section 35B: Persons nominated by pasters or write-ins; notice
Section 35B. The city or town clerk shall forthwith notify a person who appears to have been nominated by means of pasters or write-ins of the necessity of complying with section three.

Section 36: Delivery of ballots, etc., at polling places; posting specimen ballots
Section 36. The city or town clerk, before the opening of the polls on the day of the primary, shall deliver at the polling place to the warden or, if he is absent, to the clerk or, if both are absent, then to any inspector, ballot boxes, ballots, specimen ballots, voting lists, suitable blank forms and apparatus for canvassing and counting the ballots and making the returns, a seal of suitable device and a record book for each polling place. The presiding officer at each polling place shall, before the opening of the primary, conspicuously post in such polling place at least three specimen ballots, as provided in section thirty-three, for each party, which shall be kept so posted until the polls are closed.

Section 37: Party enrollment of voters
Section 37. The voting lists used at primaries shall contain the party enrollment of the voters whose names appear thereon established as provided in this section, in section thirty-eight, and in section forty-four of chapter fifty-one. Except as provided by section thirty-seven A, a voter desiring to vote in a primary shall give his name, and, if requested, his residence, to one of the ballot clerks, who shall distinctly announce the same, and, if the party enrolment of such voter is shown on the voting list, the name of the party in which he is enrolled. If the party enrollment of the voter is not shown on the voting list the ballot clerk shall ask such voter in which political party’s primary he desires to vote, and the ballot clerk, upon reply, shall distinctly announce the name of such political party, and shall record the voter’s selection upon the voting list. The ballot clerk shall then give the voter the ballot of the political party so requested. If the voter was unenrolled before selecting a party ballot, he shall continue to be unenrolled and shall be recorded as unenrolled in the current annual register of voters.
After marking his ballot the voter shall give his name, and, if requested, his residence, to the officer in charge of the voting list at the ballot box, who shall distinctly announce the same. If the party enrolment of the voter is shown on the voting list he shall also make announcement of such enrolment and the officer in charge of the ballot box shall, before the voter’s ballot is deposited, ascertain that it is of the political party in which such voter is enrolled. If the enrolment of the voter is not shown on such voting list, the officer in charge of the ballot box shall announce the political party whose ballot the voter is about to deposit, and the officer in charge of the voting list shall repeat the same distinctly and record the same upon such voting list.
The voting lists used at primaries shall be returned to the city or town clerk to be retained in his custody as long as he retains the ballots cast, whereupon such voting lists shall be transmitted to the registrars of voters for preservation for two years, after the expiration of which they may be destroyed. Said officers shall, at any time after the primary, upon receiving a written request therefor signed by any person, furnish a copy of said list to such person upon the payment of a reasonable fee or shall allow such person to examine and copy such list without charge under such supervision as the clerk may reasonably require. The party enrolment of each voter, if any, shall be recorded in the current annual register of voters, and whenever a voter shall establish, cancel or change his enrolment it shall likewise be so recorded. In preparing the current annual register of voters, the party enrolment, if any, of each voter included therein, as shown by the register of voters for the preceding year, shall be transferred thereto. Upon receipt of a written request from a primary candidate or any officer of any ward, town or city committee or duly organized political committee for a copy of the party enrolment list of voters in any city or town, the board of registrars or the election commissioners, as the case may be, shall prepare said list and shall furnish at once the said list, free of charge, to the party requesting the same and they shall also furnish a copy of said list to any person on payment of a reasonable fee, not to exceed the cost of printing such list.

Section 37A: Absentee ballots; application; unenrolled voters; recording upon voting lists
Section 37A. A voter desiring to vote by absentee ballot in a primary shall specify on his application for the ballot the party with which he is enrolled or, if he is unenrolled, the party in whose primary he desires to vote. A city or town clerk shall not supply any voter with the absentee ballot of more than one party at any one primary. If an enrolled voter requests the ballot of a party other than the party in which the voter is enrolled, the clerk shall supply the voter with the absentee ballot of the party in which such voter is enrolled.
The officers processing absentee ballots shall cause to be recorded upon the voting lists to be used at the polling place the political party in whose primary the absentee voter has cast his ballot if he is unenrolled, or the officers charged with the casting of such absentee ballot at the polling place shall so record on the voting list the political party in whose primary the absentee voter has cast his ballot if he is unenrolled.
If the voter was unenrolled before selecting a party ballot, he shall continue to be unenrolled and shall be recorded as unenrolled in the current annual register of voters.

Section 38: Party designation of voters and eligibility to vote under party enrollments; certificate to establish, change or cancel enrollment
[Text of section effective until August 1, 2015. For text effective August 1, 2015, see below.]
Section 38. No voter enrolled under this section or section thirty-seven shall be allowed to receive the ballot of any political party except that in which he is so enrolled; provided, however, that, except as otherwise provided in said section thirty-seven, a voter may, except within a period beginning at eight o’clock in the evening of the twentieth day prior to any primary and ending with the day of such primary, establish, change or cancel his enrollment by forwarding to the board of registrars of voters a certificate signed by such voter under the pains and penalties of perjury, requesting to have his enrollment established with a party or political designation, changed to another party or political designation, or cancelled, or by appearing in person before a member of said board and requesting, in writing, that such enrollment be so established, changed or cancelled. Except as otherwise provided in section twelve of chapter four, sections one and two of chapter fifty-two, and sections forty A and forty-eight of this chapter, such enrollment, change or cancellation shall take effect upon the receipt by said board of such certificate or appearance, as the case may be; provided, however, that no such enrollment, change or cancellation shall take effect for a primary during the twenty days prior to such primary. No voter enrolled as a member of one political party or political designation shall be allowed to receive the ballot of any other political party, upon a claim by him of erroneous enrolment, except upon a certificate of such error from the registrars, which shall be presented to the presiding officer of the primary and shall be attached to, and considered a part of the voting list and returned and preserved therewith; but the political party or political designation enrolment of a voter shall not preclude him from receiving at a city or town primary the ballot of any municipal party, though in no one primary shall he receive more than one party ballot.

Chapter 53: Section 38. Party designation of voters and eligibility to vote under party enrollments; certificate to establish, change or cancel enrollment

[Text of section as amended by 2014, 111, Sec. 9 effective August 1, 2015. See 2014, 111, Sec. 24. For text effective until August 1, 2015, see above.]
Section 38. No voter enrolled under this section or section thirty-seven shall be allowed to receive the ballot of any political party except that in which he is so enrolled; provided, however, that, except as otherwise provided in said section thirty-seven, a voter may, except within a period beginning at eight o’clock in the evening of the twentieth day prior to any primary and ending with the day of such primary, establish, change or cancel his enrollment by forwarding to the board of registrars of voters a certificate signed by such voter under the pains and penalties of perjury, requesting to have his enrollment established with a party or political designation, changed to another party or political designation, or cancelled, or by appearing in person before a member of said board and requesting, in writing, that such enrollment be so established, changed or cancelled. Except as otherwise provided in section twelve of chapter four, sections one and two of chapter fifty-two, and sections forty A and forty-eight of this chapter, such enrollment, change or cancellation shall take effect upon the receipt by said board of such certificate or appearance, as the case may be; provided, however, that no such enrollment, change or cancellation shall take effect for a primary during the twenty days prior to such primary; provided further, that a voter registered in a political designation that is not a political party as defined in section 1 of chapter 50 shall be considered unenrolled for the purpose of the primary and shall be eligible to receive a ballot of a political party of the voter’s choosing. No voter enrolled as a member of one political party or political designation shall be allowed to receive the ballot of any other political party, upon a claim by him of erroneous enrolment, except upon a certificate of such error from the registrars, which shall be presented to the presiding officer of the primary and shall be attached to, and considered a part of the voting list and returned and preserved therewith; but the political party or political designation enrolment of a voter shall not preclude him from receiving at a city or town primary the ballot of any municipal party, though in no one primary shall he receive more than one party ballot.

Section 38A: Enrolled and unenrolled voters; precinct count
Section 38A. The board of registrars of voters of every city or town shall submit to the state secretary a count for each precinct of the number of voters enrolled in each political party and each political designation and the number of unenrolled voters. The count shall be correct as of the last day to register voters under section twenty-six of chapter fifty-one before every regular state and presidential primary and biennial state election, and in an even-numbered year in which no presidential primary is held, also as of February first. The secretary shall receive the count in writing not later than ten days after each such date, and shall issue a report thereof.

Section 39: Counting votes
Section 39. In counting votes when the ballots are removed from the ballot box, they shall first be sorted into piles, one for each party, and each pile shall be counted and sealed separately. Votes shall be counted only for nominations of the party on whose ballot they appear.

Section 39A: Repealed, 1966, 176, Sec. 1

Section 40: Number of votes necessary to nominate candidate not on ballot
Section 40. No person who is a candidate at a primary for nomination for or election to a political office, if no candidate’s name is printed on the ballot therefor, shall be deemed to be nominated or elected unless he receives a number of votes at least equal to the number of signatures which would be required by law to place his name on the ballot at such primary as a candidate as aforesaid.

Section 40A: Petitions for recounts
Section 40A. Petitions for recounts of the ballots cast at a primary of a political party may be signed only by registered voters enrolled in such political party on or before the last day to register to vote for the primary.

Section 41: Sections applicable to nominations at state primaries
Section 41. Primaries shall be held for the nomination of candidates of political parties for all offices to be filled at a state election, except presidential elector. Sections forty-two to fifty-three A, inclusive, shall apply to such primaries.

Section 42: Primaries held by wards, precincts or groups of precincts; notice to state secretary
Section 42. In cities or towns where the aldermen or selectmen determine the question of holding state primaries by wards, precincts or groups of precincts, they shall give notice of their determination to the state secretary on or before June first; except that in the case of primaries before special elections they shall give such notice at least twenty-one days before the primaries.
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Section 43: Polls; hours when open
Section 43. The polls at every primary shall be open at least thirteen hours. Such hours shall be designated in cities by the aldermen or councillors, and in towns by by-laws or vote, or, in default of such by-laws or vote, by the selectmen. The polls shall in no case be kept open after eight o’clock in the evening. The polls shall not be closed before eight o’clock in the evening.

Section 44: Nomination papers; number of signatures
Section 44. The nomination of candidates for nomination at state primaries shall be by nomination papers. In the case of the governor, lieutenant-governor, attorney general and United States senator, nomination papers shall be signed in the aggregate by at least ten thousand voters; in the case of the state secretary, state treasurer and state auditor, they shall be signed by at least five thousand voters. Such papers for all other offices to be filled at a state election shall be signed by a number of voters as follows: for representative in congress, two thousand voters; for councillor, district attorney, clerk of courts, register of probate, register of deeds, county commissioner, sheriff and county treasurer, one thousand voters, except that in Barnstable, Berkshire, Franklin, and Hampshire counties such papers for nomination to the office of clerk of courts, register of probate, register of deeds, county commissioner, sheriff and county treasurer shall be signed by five hundred voters; for state senator, three hundred voters; for representative in the general court, one hundred and fifty voters. In Dukes and Nantucket counties such papers for nomination to all offices within the county to be filled at any state election shall be signed by twenty-five voters. In no event shall the number of signatures required be more than the number of a candidate for the same office in the same electoral district or division to have his name placed on the ballot as provided for under section six.

Section 45: Nomination papers; contents; signatures; acceptance; number of candidates; penalty provisions
Section 45. Every nomination paper shall state in addition to the name of the candidate, (1) his residence, with street and number thereof, if any, (2) the office for which he is nominated, and (3) the political party whose nomination he seeks. This information, in addition to the district name or number, if any, shall be stated on the nomination papers before any signature of a purported registered voter is obtained and the circulation of nomination papers without such information is prohibited. The candidate may state, on one or more nomination papers, in not more than eight words, the public offices which he holds or has held. The statement shall clearly indicate that he is a former incumbent thereof if such is the case and, if he is an elected incumbent of an office for which he seeks renomination that he is a candidate for such renomination. If he is a veteran, as defined in section one of chapter thirty-one, the word ”veteran” may be included in the eight word statement.
Signatures shall be subject to section seven.
A nomination paper shall be valid only in respect to a candidate whose written acceptance is thereon; provided, however, that a candidate for ward or town committee who accepts nomination for such office more than once shall withdraw from all but one such nomination paper or shall be disqualified.
No nomination paper for use in the nomination of candidates to be voted for at state primaries shall contain the name of more than one candidate.
Whoever knowingly subscribes falsely to a statement on a primary nomination paper shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars.

Section 46: Nomination papers; submission to registrars; certification; correction of district; number of names
Section 46. Every nomination paper of a candidate for state office shall be submitted on or before five o’clock post meridian of the twenty-eighth day preceding the day on which it must be filed with the state secretary to the registrars of the city or town in which the signers appear to be voters; provided, however, that before special state primaries, every such nomination paper shall be so submitted on or before five o’clock post meridian of the seventh day preceding the day on which it must be filed with the state secretary, except that, for special elections for senator or representative in congress, every nomination paper shall be submitted to the registrars of the city or town where the signers appear to be voters at or before 5:00 p.m. of the fourteenth day preceding the day on which it must be filed with the state secretary, and certification of nomination papers of candidates shall be completed no later than the 72 weekday hours before the final hour for filing those papers with the state secretary. Every nomination paper of a candidate for president at the presidential primaries shall be submitted to said registrars on or before five o’clock post meridian of the fourteenth day before the final date for filing said papers with the state secretary and certification of said papers shall be completed no later than the seventh day before the final day for filing said papers with the state secretary. Nomination papers for candidates for state, ward, and town committees shall be submitted to said registrars on or before five o’clock post meridian on the eleventh day before the final day for filing with the state secretary and certification shall be completed no later than the fourth day before the final day for filing said papers with the state secretary. Each nomination paper shall be marked with the date and time it was submitted and such papers shall be certified in order of submission. Said registrars shall check each name to be certified by them on the nomination paper and shall forthwith certify thereon the number of signatures so checked which are names of voters both in the city or town and in the district for which the nomination is made, and who are not enrolled in any other party than that whose nomination the candidate seeks, and only names so checked shall be deemed to be names of qualified voters for the purpose of nomination. The registrars shall place next to each name not checked symbols indicating the reason that name was disqualified. The certification of voters shall be signed by a majority of the board of registrars.
The registrars shall inform the candidate submitting such papers if the designation of the district only in which he seeks office is incorrect, and shall give said candidate the opportunity to insert the correct designation on such papers before the signatures are certified. The registrars shall, if the candidate so desires, allow a change of district on the nomination papers in the presence of the candidate whose name appears on the nomination papers, and the registrar and the candidate shall both initial the change of district so made and further shall in writing explain the change of district causing three copies to be made, one of each for the registrar and candidate and one to be attached to the nomination papers. If the correct district designation is not so inserted, the nomination papers shall not be approved. In no case may a correction be made to change the office for which such candidate is nominated.
The provisions of section seven relative to the number of names to be certified and received, and, except as otherwise provided in this section, the provision relative to time of certification shall apply to such papers.
No person shall be a candidate for nomination for more than one office; but this shall not apply to candidates for membership in political committees.

Section 47: Nomination papers; preparation; availability
Section 47. Nomination papers for use in the nomination of candidates to be voted for at state primaries shall be prepared, and on request furnished, by the state secretary. Nomination papers for use in the nomination of candidates for all offices shall be available for use on or before the fifteenth Tuesday preceding the date for filing as provided in section forty-eight, except in the case of primaries before special elections. In no case shall any blank forms for such nominations be larger than eight and one half inches by fourteen inches, nor shall anyone be prohibited from making exact copies of such forms provided by the secretary of state for the purpose of collecting signatures for such nominations, nor shall any such copies be rejected for certification or submittal to the secretary of state.

Section 48: Nomination papers; certificates of nomination; filing; political party membership; term limits
Section 48. Nomination papers of candidates to be voted on at presidential primaries except candidates for state, ward and town committees, shall be filed with the state secretary on or before the first Friday in January preceding the day of the primaries.
Nomination papers of candidates for election to state, ward and town committees at presidential primaries shall be filed with the state secretary on or before the third Tuesday in November of the year preceding said presidential primaries.
All certificates of nomination and nomination papers of candidates for the office of state representative, state senator, executive council, or county office shall be filed with the state secretary on or before the last Tuesday in May of the year in which a state election is to be held. Certificates of nomination or nomination papers for the office of senator in congress, representative in congress, governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer and receiver general, state auditor and state secretary, shall be filed on or before the first Tuesday in June of the year in which a state election is to be held. In the case of primaries before special elections, such nomination papers shall be filed on or before the fifth Tuesday preceding the day of the primaries. The state secretary shall forthwith issue to the candidate or other person filing such nomination papers a certificate acknowledging the time and date of the receipt thereof.
There shall not be printed on the ballot at the state primary the name of any person as a candidate for nomination for any office to be filled by all the voters of the commonwealth, or for representative in congress, governor’s councillor, senator in the general court, representative in the general court, district attorney, clerk of court, register of probate and insolvency, register of deeds, county commissioner, sheriff, or county treasurer, unless a certificate from the registrars of voters of the city or town wherein such person is a registered voter, certifying that he has been enrolled as a member of the political party whose nomination he seeks throughout the ninety days prior to the last day herein provided for filing nomination papers with the state secretary, is filed with the state secretary on or before such filing deadline. Said registrars shall issue such certificate, signed by a majority thereof, forthwith upon request of any such candidate so enrolled or of his authorized representative. Said registrars of voters shall issue such certificate to any person seeking the nomination of a political party, who is a newly registered voter of that city or town enrolled in that political party and who has not been an enrolled member of another political party during the year preceding the last day for filing nomination papers with the state secretary. No such certificate shall be issued to any person who is a candidate for nomination for any such office, if such person has been an enrolled member of another political party during the year prior to the last day for filing nomination papers with the state secretary as provided by this section.
There shall not be printed on the ballot at the state primary or state election the name of any person as a candidate for nomination or election for any office to be filled by all the voters of the commonwealth, or for representative in congress, governor’s councillor, senator in the general court or representative in the general court, if said person: (a) is a candidate for the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary, Treasurer, Auditor or Attorney General who, by the end of the then current term of office will have served, or but for resignation would have served, for two consecutive terms in that office within the eleven year period immediately preceding the end of the then current term of office; (b) is a candidate for the office of governor’s councillor, senator in the general court, representative in the general court, or representative in congress from Massachusetts who, by the end of the then current term of office will have served, or but for resignation would have served, four consecutive terms in that office within the nine year period immediately preceding the end of the then current term of office; or (c) is a candidate for the office of United States Senator from Massachusetts who, by the end of the then current term of office will have served, or but for resignation would have served, two consecutive terms in that office within the seventeen year period immediately preceding the end of the then current term of office. For the purpose of this section, (i) any person elected or appointed to the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, representative in the general court, senator in the general court, representative in congress or United States Senator from Massachusetts who serves more than one-half of a term in that office, shall be deemed to have served an entire term in that office, and (ii) any person serving in one of the foregoing offices as of January 15, 1995 shall be deemed to be serving his first term in that office.

Section 48A: Repealed, 1985, 477, Sec. 21

Section 49: Nomination in case of withdrawal, death or ineligibility
Section 49. If a person nominated to be voted for at a state primary dies before the day of the primary, or withdraws his name from nomination, or is found ineligible, and there is no other candidate for the party nomination for the office, the vacancy may be filled by the state committee, if the candidate is one to be voted for by all the voters of the commonwealth; and, in the case of candidates for nomination or election in a district, by the members of the ward and town committees in the wards and towns comprising the district.

Section 50: Vacancies caused by withdrawal; nominations to fill; objections
Section 50. In cases of withdrawal, nominations to fill vacancies shall be filed with the state secretary within seventy-two week day hours succeeding five o’clock in the afternoon of the last day for filing withdrawals.
They shall be open to objections in the same manner, so far as practicable, as other nominations.
No vacancy caused by withdrawal shall be filled before the withdrawal has been filed.

Section 51: Counting ballots
Section 51. No ballots cast at a state primary in cities or towns shall be counted until the close of the polls.

Section 52: Canvass and return of votes; certification and notification of nominees
Section 52. Upon receipt of the records of votes cast at state primaries, the city or town clerk shall forthwith canvass the same and within four days after said primary make return of the votes for candidates for nomination for state offices to the state secretary, who shall forthwith canvass such returns, determine the results thereof, notify the successful candidates, and certify to the state committees the names of the persons nominated for state offices. Said secretary shall also forthwith notify a person who has received sufficient votes by pasters or write-ins to be nominated of the necessity of complying with the requirements of section three.

Section 53: Vacancies caused by ties; filling
Section 53. In case of a tie vote where the number of persons receiving equal votes exceeds the number of nominations available, there shall be deemed to be a vacancy. If the tie is between candidates for an office to be filled by all the voters of the commonwealth, the vacancy shall be filled by the state committee. If the tie is between candidates for nomination for any other office, the vacancy shall be filled by the members of the ward and town committees in the district for which the nomination is to be made.
All vacancies caused by ties shall be filled only by the choice of one of the candidates receiving the tie vote.

Section 53A: Objections to nominations; withdrawals by nominees
Section 53A. When nominations at the state primaries are in apparent conformity with law, they shall be valid unless written objections are made thereto in accordance with the provisions of chapter fifty-five B. A person nominated at such primaries may withdraw his name from nomination by a request signed and duly acknowledged by him and filed with the state secretary within the time prescribed in said chapter fifty-five B for filing objections to such nominations.

Section 54: Repealed, 1973, 429, Sec. 5

Section 54A, 54B: Repealed, 1939, 473, Sec. 20

Section 54C, 54D: Repealed, 1973, 429, Sec. 5

Section 55: Primaries for city and town nominations; objections; withdrawals
Section 55. The nomination of candidates of political and municipal parties to be voted for at city and town elections, in cities and towns where such nominations are permitted by law, and which vote that primaries shall be held therein, shall be made under sections twenty-three to forty, and fifty-six to sixty-four, both inclusive.
The provisions of section fifty-three A relative to filing objections to nominations at state primaries and to the withdrawal of names from nomination shall apply in the case of nominations at city or town primaries, except that such objections or withdrawals shall be filed with the city or town clerk.

Section 56: Primaries for nomination; submission of question; notice of result to state secretary
Section 56. In any city or town which has adopted the provisions of law for nominating by primaries, the following question shall be put on the official ballot at any city election or annual town meeting on petition of five per cent of the voters registered at the time of the preceding city election or annual town meeting, filed with the city or town clerk on or before the last day for filing nomination papers: ”Shall primaries for the nomination of candidates to be voted for at city (or town) elections continue to be held in this city (or town)?” In any city or town not nominating by primaries, where such nominations are permitted by law, the following question may, by similar petition, be put on the ballot at the next city election or annual town meeting: ”Shall primaries for the nomination of candidates to be voted for at city (or town) elections be held in this city (or town)?” In accordance with the result of such vote, such primaries shall or shall not thereafter be held.
Clerks of cities or towns which vote to hold primaries or to rescind such action shall forthwith notify the state secretary of such vote.
The provisions of law relative to the signing of nomination papers of candidates for state office, and to the identification and certification of names thereon and submission to the registrars therefor, shall apply, so far as apt, to the signing of petitions under this section and to the identification and certification of names thereon.

Section 57: Notices of intention to participate in primaries
Section 57. Notices of intention to participate in primaries shall be furnished to the city or town clerk, not later than the thirtieth day prior to the day on which the primaries are to be held, by the city and town committees of such political and municipal parties as are entitled to and desire to participate therein.

Section 58: Blank nomination papers; contents
Section 58. The city or town clerk shall seasonably prepare, and the city or town shall provide, blank nomination papers for use in the nomination of candidates to be voted for at city or town primaries. Such papers shall state the place where, and the day and hour prior to which, nomination papers shall be filed. The city or town clerk shall not furnish such papers to any person other than a candidate seeking nomination or a person presenting the signed authorization of a candidate to secure said papers on his behalf.

Section 59: Nominations on blank nomination papers; signatures; acceptance
Section 59. Nominations of candidates for elective offices, to be voted for at a primary, shall be made by nomination papers, as hereinafter provided. Such nominations shall be made on the blank nomination papers prepared in accordance with the preceding section; and no nomination paper offered for filing shall be received or be valid to which is attached any card, paper or other device containing the name of a candidate, his written acceptance, or the signature of any voter required by this section. Such papers shall be signed by at least five voters of the ward or town where the primary is to be held, who shall add to their signatures the street and number, if any, of their residences. Such papers for a district composed of more than one ward shall be signed by a number of voters equal in the aggregate to not less than five voters for each ward in said district. In towns, nomination papers shall not contain a larger number of names of candidates than there are persons to be elected. In cities, nomination papers shall not contain the name of more than one candidate. No vacancy caused by the death, withdrawal or ineligibility of any candidate shall be filled, unless the person entitled to fill such vacancy files the written acceptance of the candidate who is nominated to fill the vacancy.

Section 60: Nomination papers; contents
Section 60. Section forty-five shall apply to nomination papers for city and town primaries, except that in towns such nomination papers may contain the names of candidates for any or all of the offices to be filled at the town election, but the number of names of candidates on such paper for any one office shall not exceed the number to be elected thereto.

Section 61: Nomination papers; filing; certification; correction of district
Section 61. All nomination papers of candidates to be voted for at city or town primaries shall be filed with the city or town clerk not less than thirty-five days previous to the day on which the primary is to be held for which the nominations are made. Every such nomination paper shall be submitted at or before five o’clock in the afternoon of the fourteenth day preceding the day on which it must be filed to the registrars of the city or town where the signers appear to be voters, and the registrars shall check each name to be certified by them on the nomination paper and shall forthwith certify thereon the number of signatures so checked which are names of voters both in the city or town and in the district for which the nomination is made and only names so checked shall be deemed to be names of qualified voters for the purposes of nomination. The registrars need not certify a greater number of names than are required to make a nomination, increased by one fifth thereof. Names not certified in the first instance shall not thereafter be certified on the same nomination papers. The city or town clerk shall not be required, in any case, to receive nomination papers for a candidate after receiving papers containing a sufficient number of certified names to make a nomination, increased by one fifth thereof.
The registrars shall inform the candidate submitting such papers if the designation of the district only in which he seeks office is incorrect, and shall give said candidate the opportunity to insert the correct designation on such papers before the signatures are certified. The registrars shall, if the candidate so desires, allow a change of district on the nomination papers, and the registrar and the candidate shall both initial the change of district so made and further shall in writing explain the change of district causing three copies to be made, one each for the registrar and candidate and one to be attached to the nomination papers. If the correct district designation is not so inserted, the nomination papers shall not be approved. In no case may a correction be made to change the office for which such candidate is nominated.
There shall not be printed on the ballot at a city or town primary the name of any person as a candidate for nomination for any office to be filled at a city or town election unless such person has been an enrolled member of the political party whose nomination he seeks throughout the ninety days prior to the last day for submitting primary nomination papers to the registrars of voters prior to said primary, or is a newly registered voter of the city or town enrolled in the political party.

Section 62: Death, withdrawal, or ineligibility of candidates; filling vacancies
Section 62. If a person nominated to be voted for at a city or town primary dies before the day of the primary, or withdraws his name from nomination, or is found ineligible, and there is no other candidate for the party nomination for the office, the vacancy may be filled by vote of the town committee in a town, by vote of the city committee if it occurs for an office to be filled by all the voters of a city, or by vote of the ward committee if it occurs for an office to be filled by the voters of a ward. In cases of vacancies caused by withdrawal, nominations to fill such vacancies shall be filed with the town clerk within twenty-four week-day hours, by a certificate signed by the chairman and secretary of said committee, or if the vacancy occurs in a city, with the city clerk within forty-eight week-day hours, by a similar certificate, signed by the chairman and secretary of the city committee or of the ward committee, as the case may be. No vacancy caused by withdrawal shall be filled before the withdrawal has been filed. If there is a failure to make a nomination at a city or town primary by reason of a tie vote, the vacancy, if in respect to an office to be filled by all the voters of the city or town, shall be filled by vote of the city or town committee and, if in respect to an office to be filled by the voters of a ward, by vote of the ward committee; provided, that any such vacancy shall be filled only by the choice of one of the candidates receiving the tie vote.

Section 63: Polls; hours
Section 63. The polls at every such primary shall be open during such hours, not less than nine in cities nor four in towns, as may be designated by the aldermen or selectmen.

Section 64: Returns of votes; canvass and certification
Section 64. City and town clerks shall canvass the returns of votes, determine the results, and issue proper certificates thereof to the successful candidates.

Section 65 to 70: Repealed, 1932, 310, Sec. 23

Section 70A: Sections applicable
Section 70A. Sections seventy B to seventy H, inclusive, shall apply to presidential primaries.

Section 70B: Delegates to national conventions; election; number
Section 70B. In any year in which candidates for presidential electors are to be elected, the selection of delegates and alternate delegates to national conventions of political parties shall be by that system adopted by the state committee, provided such system shall not include the placing of the names of delegates on the presidential primary ballot; and provided, further, that the distribution of delegates under any such system shall reflect the preference expressed by the voters on the presidential preference portion of the ballot at the presidential primary. The system adopted by the state committee shall be set forth in written rules and procedures covering all aspects of the delegate selection process and a copy of such rules and procedures shall be filed with the state secretary on or before October first of the year preceding the year in which presidential electors are to be elected. The number of district delegates and alternate district delegates, not less than two from each congressional district, and the number of delegates and alternate delegates at large shall be fixed by the state committee, who shall give notice thereof to the state secretary on or before the first Tuesday in January. At such primaries, members of the state, ward and town committees shall also be chosen as provided in chapter fifty-two.

Section 70C: Primaries by wards, precincts or groups of precincts; notice to state secretary
Section 70C. In cities and towns where the question of holding presidential primaries by wards, precincts or groups of precincts is determined by the aldermen or selectmen, they shall give notice of their determination to the state secretary on or before the third Wednesday in November in the year preceding the year in which presidential electors are to be elected.

Section 70D: Nomination papers
Section 70D. Nominations of candidates for state, ward and town committee shall be by nomination papers which shall be prepared and, on request, furnished by the state secretary. Nomination papers for candidates for state committees shall be signed by at least fifty voters, and nomination papers for candidates for ward and town committees shall be signed by at least five voters.
The provisions of section forty-five shall apply to the nomination papers of candidates to be voted for at presidential primaries, except that only candidates for state committee may use the eight word statement allowed under the provisions of said section forty-five; provided, however, that a candidate for state committee may, if he is a veteran, as defined in section one of chapter thirty-one, use the word ”veteran”. The nomination papers of a candidate for state committee who is an elected incumbent thereof may also contain the statement ”Candidate for Re-election”. Nomination papers may contain the name of more than one candidate for members of ward and town committees.

Section 70E: Order of names on ballots; statement of preference; preferential vote count
Section 70E. The state secretary shall cause to be placed on the official ballot for use at presidential primaries the names of those candidates or potential candidates for the office of president of the United States whom he shall have determined to be generally advocated or recognized in national news media throughout the United States, the names of any other candidates or potential candidates for nomination for president whose names are proposed therefor by nomination papers prepared and furnished by the state secretary, signed in the aggregate by at least twenty-five hundred voters, and the names of those candidates or potential candidates for nomination for president whose names appear on written lists signed by the chairman of the state committees of the political parties, arranged in such order as may be determined by lot under the direction of the state secretary, a blank space in which the voter may, if he does not vote for any of the candidates for president whose names are printed on the ballot insert the name of any person of his choice as a candidate for president and a blank space in which a voter may vote no preference. A vote both for no preference and for a candidate whose name has been inserted by the voter shall be counted as a vote for that candidate. The chairman of the state committee of a political party and the state secretary shall submit lists or prepare lists of candidates for president, as aforesaid, no later than the first Friday in January and shall notify each such candidate forthwith, by registered mail, of the presence of his name on said lists. No name shall be removed from said lists, nor from the ballot, unless such candidate shall file with the state secretary an affidavit stating that he does not desire his name printed upon said ballot at the forthcoming presidential primary. Such affidavit shall be filed with the state secretary no later than five o’clock post meridian on the second Friday in January.
The names of candidates for state committee shall next be placed upon the ballot in the manner provided in section thirty-four. The names of candidates for ward or town committee appearing in nomination papers containing three or more nominations shall next be placed upon said ballot, arranged in groups and in the same order as in the nomination papers. The order in which the groups shall appear shall be determined by lot in the manner provided in section thirty-four. The names of candidates appearing in nomination papers containing one or two nominations shall follow, alphabetically arranged.
There shall also be printed on the ballot appropriate instructions to aid the voter with respect to expressing his preference for a candidate for nomination as president. Election officers in the presidential primaries, in counting and tabulating the votes showing the voters’ preference for president, shall disregard the omission or inaccuracy of initials, the omission, inaccuracy or misspelling of Christian names, and the misspelling of surnames, if the intent of the voter to express a preference for any particular individual can be ascertained. Such statements of voters of presidential preference shall be counted, tabulated and entered in the records of election officers of votes cast.

Section 70F: Canvass of returns; notice; certification; certificates
Section 70F. Upon the receipt of the records of the votes cast at presidential primaries and within four days after said primary the city or town clerk shall forthwith canvass the same and make return of the votes for nomination for president, and for election as members of the state committee to the state secretary, who shall forthwith canvass such returns, determine the results thereof, notify the successful candidates, and certify to the state committees the names of the persons appearing on the ballots as candidates or potential candidates for president and the results of the vote therefor, and the names of the persons elected as members of state committees. Said clerks shall determine the results of the votes for members of ward and town committees, issue proper certificates thereof to the successful candidates and notify the chairmen of the city and town committees of the respective parties, and the chairmen of the state committees of the respective parties.

Section 70G: Filling vacancies
Section 70G. In case of the death, withdrawal or ineligibility of a candidate for state committee, the vacancy may be filled as provided in section forty-nine.
In case of the death, withdrawal or ineligibility of a candidate for a ward or town committee, the vacancy may not be filled but members may be added as provided in section four of chapter fifty-two.
If there is a tie vote, as defined in section fifty-three, for members of the state committee it shall be filled by the ward and town committees of the district in which it exists.
If there is a vacancy in a ward or town committee caused by a tie or a failure to elect the number provided for in section nine of chapter fifty-two the members elected shall fill the vacancy.
All vacancies caused by ties shall be filled only by the choice of one of the candidates receiving the tie vote.

Section 70H: Applicability of certain other sections
Section 70H. The provisions of law relating to primaries and nomination papers consistent with the five preceding sections shall apply to presidential primaries, so far as practicable.

Section 70I: Delegates and alternate delegates to national conventions; voting for president on first roll call
Section 70I. If there is a roll call vote for president at the national convention of a political party, all delegates and alternate delegates whose selection is subject by party rule to the approval of a presidential candidate shall vote on the first such roll call for that presidential candidate unless released by such candidate.

Section 70J: Repealed, 1975, 600, Sec. 20

Section 70K: Repealed, 1969, 61, Sec. 4

Section 71: Nomination at caucuses
Section 71. In cities and towns which have not accepted the provisions of law relating to primaries for the nomination of municipal officers, political parties which nominate candidates for elective city or town offices shall do so by direct plurality vote in caucuses, except when city or town charters provide otherwise. All provisions of law relative to the preparation of nomination papers and ballots, to primaries and elections, to ballots cast at primaries and elections, and to recounts of such ballots, shall, so far as applicable, apply to such caucuses.

Section 72: Regulations for city or town caucuses
Section 72. Each city or town committee may make reasonable regulations, consistent with law, relative to caucuses called by it and to determine membership in the party, and to restrain persons not entitled to vote at caucuses from attendance thereat or taking part therein. But no political committee shall prevent any voter from participating in a caucus of its party for the reason that the voter has supported an unenrolled candidate for political office.

Section 72A: Time for holding city or town caucuses
Section 72A. Caucuses before regular city or town elections shall be held not later than the thirty-eighth day preceding such city or town elections, notwithstanding any contrary provision in any general or special law.

Section 73: Caucuses held by precincts or groups of precincts; notice
Section 73. If in a city, except Boston, or town wherein elections are held by precincts, the city or town committee of either of the two leading political parties shall file with the aldermen or selectmen, at least two weeks prior to the time of holding its caucuses, a notice that such party desires to hold its caucuses by precincts, or by groups of precincts in any ward, the aldermen or selectmen shall furnish a polling place in each precinct or group of precincts for the use of such party, as provided in section ninety-three, and the caucuses of such party shall be held accordingly.

Section 74: Caucuses relative to special elections
Section 74. Caucuses relative to a special election shall be held at such time and place and subject to such reasonable notice as the political committee whose duty it is to provide for holding the same may determine. Calls therefor shall be issued by the chairman and secretary of said political committee.

Section 75: Calling of caucuses; notice
Section 75. Every caucus of a political party shall be called by a written or printed notice. No caucus or meeting of a political party not so called shall be recognized as valid under sections seventy-one to eighty-one, inclusive. The presiding officer at a caucus shall open it at the hour appointed therefor in the notice thereof.

Section 76: Persons entitled to vote or take part in caucuses; oath; challenges; penalties
Section 76. Notices of caucuses shall apply to all members of the party calling them, and to them only. No person having voted in the caucus of one political party shall be entitled to vote or take part in the caucus of another political party within the twelve ensuing months; except that voting or taking part in the caucuses of any municipal party by any voter shall not affect his legal right to vote or to take part in the caucuses of any political party, for any other election, and having voted or taken part in the caucuses of a political party for any previous election, shall not affect his right to vote or take part in the caucuses of any municipal party, nor shall a voter who is enrolled under section thirty-seven or thirty-eight as a member of a political party be entitled to vote in the caucus of another political party held in a city while so enrolled. No voter, not hereinbefore disqualified, shall be prevented from voting or participating in any caucus if he takes the following oath, which shall be administered to him by the presiding officer of the caucus:
You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you are a registered voter in this ward (or town) and have the legal right to vote in this caucus; that you are a member of the political party holding the same, and intend to vote for its candidates at the polls at the election next ensuing; and that you have not taken part or voted in the caucus of any other political party for twelve months last past.
Such voter may be challenged like any other voter. Any person whose right to vote is challenged for any cause recognized by law shall not be permitted to vote until he has taken the foregoing oath; and the clerk or secretary of the caucus shall make a record of the administration of said oath to every person taking the same, which record shall state whether or not said person voted. The record shall be returned with the proceedings of said caucus and shall be prima facie evidence in any court that such person took said oath and voted in said caucus.
A caucus officer or a voter violating any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months.

Section 77: Balloting; use of voting lists
Section 77. In balloting, the voting lists furnished under section sixty-two of chapter fifty-one shall be used as check lists, and no persons shall vote or take part in a caucus whose name does not appear upon said lists, unless he presents to the presiding officer of the caucus the certificate provided for by section fifty-nine of said chapter.

Section 78: Tie vote for caucus officers
Section 78. If there is a tie vote for any caucus officer, the caucus officers elected shall fill the vacancy.

Section 79: Certificate of election; notice of nomination
Section 79. The presiding officer and secretary or clerk of each caucus shall within three week days after its final adjournment deliver or send to each caucus officer a certificate of his election, and to each candidate for an elective office a notice of his nomination.

Section 80: Returns of caucuses where direct nominations made; tabulation of results; notice; recounts
Section 80. Returns of all caucuses of political parties at which are made any direct nominations for a district comprising more than one ward, or where caucuses are held by precincts or by groups of precincts in any ward or town, shall be made in accordance with section one hundred and ten. Immediately upon receipt of such returns the city or town clerk shall tabulate and determine the results thereof, shall notify the successful candidates, and cause their names to be printed on the ballot to be used at the ensuing election. Recounts of ballots cast at such caucuses shall be made as provided in section one hundred and twelve.

Section 81: Tie votes in direct nominations; filling vacancies
Section 81. If there is a tie vote for any candidate of a political party nominated directly for any office, for a district comprising more than one ward, the regularly elected general or executive committee representing the party for the election district in which such vote has been cast shall fill the vacancy, but only by the choice of one of the candidates receiving such tie vote.

Section 82: Polling places provided; notice
Section 82. At least two weeks prior to the date on which caucuses are to be held, the chairman or secretary of the city or town committee shall notify the aldermen or the selectmen respectively of such date, and said aldermen or selectmen shall, at the expense of the city or town, provide polling places for said caucuses, in case of a city, not less than one for each ward; and shall, at least ten days prior to the date of said caucus, give said chairman or secretary notice of the places so provided.

Section 83: Notice of caucuses; procedure
Section 83. Notice of caucuses, signed by the chairman and secretary, shall be issued by each city and town committee not less than seven days prior to the day on which they are to be held. The notices shall state the place where and the day and hour when the several caucuses are to be held. They shall be conspicuously posted in at least five places on the public ways, and, if practicable, in every post office in the city or town, or shall be published at least twice in one or more local newspapers. The hour fixed for calling the caucus to order shall not be later than eight o’clock in the evening. The notice shall designate by name or office the person who shall call such caucus to order, and he shall preside until a chairman is chosen. If he is absent at the time appointed, any member of the ward or town committee present shall call the caucus to order and preside until a chairman is chosen. The first business in order shall be the choice of a chairman, a secretary and such other officers as the meeting may determine. No person shall serve as a caucus officer at any caucus in which he is a candidate for a nomination to an elective office.

Section 84: Balloting; duration
Section 84. A ballot shall be taken for the choice of any candidate, to be selected by such caucus, and the polls shall be kept open at least thirty minutes.

Section 85: Tie vote for elective office; proceedings
Section 85. If a majority of caucus officers is not elected, or there is a tie vote for candidates for an elective office, the caucus shall at once proceed to another ballot unless some one present entitled to vote objects; in which case the caucus shall adjourn to any subsequent day. The hour and place shall, if practicable, be the same as that named in the call.

Section 86: Ballots and check lists; transmission to city or town clerk; preservation
Section 86. The secretary of each caucus shall forthwith, after the ballots cast therein have been counted, transmit them, with the check list used at the caucus, to the city or town clerk, who shall preserve them for ten days. If during said time ten voters entitled to vote in said caucus shall file with said clerk a written request so to do, he shall preserve the ballots and voting lists for three months, and shall produce the same if required by any court having jurisdiction or authority over them.

Section 87: Contested elections or nominations; preservation of ballots; notice; recount; penalties
Section 87. If within three week days after any caucus a person who has received votes thereat for nomination or election to any office shall file a written statement with the city or town clerk, claiming an election or nomination or declaring an intention to contest the election or nomination of any other person, the clerk shall preserve the ballots for such nomination or office until the claim or contest has been finally determined. Upon receipt of such statement, the clerk shall immediately give written notice to the persons affected and to the chairman and secretary of the caucus, fixing a time within twenty-four hours thereafter and a place at which said ballots will be recounted. The chairman and secretary of the caucus shall, at said time and place, recount said ballots and determine the questions raised. Each candidate affected may be present during such recount, or may be represented by an agent appointed by him in writing. If it shall appear upon a recount that persons were nominated or elected other than those declared to have been nominated or elected, certificates of such change shall be made in the manner provided in section five as to an original certificate.
Any presiding officer, secretary or clerk of a caucus who wilfully neglects or refuses to comply with the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months.

Section 88: Calling of caucuses
Section 88. All caucuses for the election of caucus officers, or for the nomination of candidates for any city of town office in any city or town wherein the laws relating to primaries have not been adopted, held by a political party which has adopted the provisions of law for the use of official ballots, shall be called and held as provided in sections eighty-nine to one hundred and sixteen, inclusive.

Section 89: Adoption of law for official ballots; calling caucuses; notice
Section 89. Any city or town committee shall, at the written request of fifty voters, members of its party, call caucuses of said party to determine by ballot whether the provisions of law for the use of official ballots shall be adopted. The notice of said caucus shall state the purpose for which it is called, the place, the day, and the hour, not earlier than six o’clock and not later than half past seven o’clock in the evening, of holding said caucus. It shall be issued at least seven days prior to the day named therefor, and shall be published at least twice in one or more local newspapers, if any, and shall be posted in at least five public places in each ward or town. The polls shall be kept open at least one hour. If said caucuses shall vote to adopt said provisions, all caucuses of said political party in said city or town shall thereafter be called and conducted accordingly.

Section 90: Revocation of acceptance of special provisions; notice
Section 90. A political party in a city or town which has accepted said special provisions may, not less than one year after the date of the caucus wherein such provisions were adopted, revoke such action at a caucus called and held in the manner provided in the preceding section. Upon the adoption of said provisions or upon the revocation of such adoption, the secretary of the city or town committee of such political party shall, within ten days thereafter, file a notice thereof with the state secretary and with the clerk of the city or town and the secretary of the state committee of the political party so voting.

Section 91: Time of holding caucuses
Section 91. All such caucuses of a political party for the choice of candidates for a city or town election, except caucuses relating to a special election, shall be held on the same day in each city and town. The city or town committee shall fix the days for holding all caucuses mentioned in this section, and all calls for the same shall be issued by its chairman and secretary. No two political parties shall hold their caucuses on the same day. The party first filing a copy of the call for a caucus with the city of town clerk shall be entitled to precedence as to the day so fixed.

Section 92: Notices of caucuses; contents
Section 92. Notices of caucuses in said cities or towns shall state the place where and the day and hour when nomination papers shall be issued; the place where and the earliest day and hour when such nomination papers may be filed, which time shall be not less than twenty-four week day hours succeeding three o’clock of the day fixed for issuing such papers; the place where and the day and hour prior to which such nomination papers shall be filed; and the day on which the several caucuses will be held, and shall be issued not less than eighteen days prior thereto.

Section 93: Provision of polling places; voting lines
Section 93. At least two weeks prior to the day named for a caucus, the chairman or secretary of the city or town committee shall give notice of such date to the aldermen or to the selectmen, who shall, at least ten days prior to such date, notify the city or town committee of the places selected for holding the caucuses, and shall, at the expense of the city or town, provide polling places, in a city not less than one for each ward, and in cities and towns where elections or caucuses are held in voting precincts, one in each of such precincts, as the city or town committee shall designate, but not less than one for each ward, and furnish them with booths, registering ballot boxes, guard rails and the like, as they are arranged for state elections, also postage for mailing credentials and notices or certificates of nomination and election.
If twenty-five voters of a ward or of a town shall request in writing at least twelve days before any caucus of the political party to which they belong, the aldermen or selectmen shall so arrange the polling place of such ward or town as to allow voting to proceed in two or more lines at the caucus.

Section 94: Notice by city or town committees
Section 94. At least seven days prior to the day named for a caucus, the city or town committee shall issue a notice that such caucus will be held, stating the place, the day and the hour of holding the same. The hour shall not be earlier than two o’clock in the afternoon nor later than half past seven o’clock in the evening. Such notices, and notices relative to the filing of nomination papers, shall be published at least twice in one or more local newspapers, if any.

Section 95: Blank nomination papers; contents
Section 95. The city or town shall provide, and the city or town clerk shall seasonably prepare, for each political party, blank nomination papers for use in the different wards of the city or in the town. Such papers shall state the place where, and the day and hour prior to which, signed nomination papers shall be filed. On the back of each, the first sentence of section seven, sections forty-five and sixty, and sections ninety-six to one hundred and one, inclusive, shall be printed. They shall be delivered only to the chairman or secretary of the political committee for whose use they have been prepared.

Section 96: Nominations made by nomination papers; acceptance; vacancies
Section 96. Nominations of candidates for elective city or town offices and for caucus officers to be voted for at a caucus, shall be made by nomination papers, as hereinafter provided. Such nominations shall be made on the blank nomination papers prepared and delivered in accordance with the preceding section; and no nomination paper offered for filing shall be received or shall be valid to which is attached any card, paper or other device, containing the name of a candidate, his written acceptance, or containing the signature of any voter required by this section. Such papers shall be signed in person by at least five voters of the ward or town where the caucus is to be held, and for a district composed of more than one ward shall be signed by a number of voters equal in the aggregate to not less than five voters for each ward in said district, and shall be subject to sections forty-five and sixty, except that the nomination paper of a candidate for caucus officer shall not contain the statement permitted by section forty-five. No vacancy caused by the death, withdrawal or ineligibility of any of the above candidates shall be filled, unless the person entitled to fill such vacancy files the written acceptance of the candidate nominated to fill the vacancy.

Section 97: Nomination papers; sealing; filing; opening
Section 97. All nomination papers shall be sealed up and filed with the secretary of the city or town committee not less than ten week days previous to the day on which the caucus is to be held for which the nominations are made, and he shall endorse upon them the time when he received them. They shall not be opened until the time for their filing has expired, when the secretary, at his office, shall publicly open them and publicly announce the nominations therein made.

Section 98: Correction of errors; notice
Section 98. The secretary of the city or town committee shall immediately give notice to the person filing the nomination paper of any error, irregularity or informality appearing therein, and such person may, within two week days after the time when the nomination papers were opened, correct the same, or said secretary may make such correction.

Section 99: Proceedings in cities when papers not filed; filling vacancies
Section 99. If, in a city, nomination papers placing persons in nomination for all the offices to be filled at a caucus in any ward are not filed, the secretary of the city committee shall forthwith notify the chairman or secretary of the committee of such ward, who shall forthwith call a meeting of said committee, which may nominate candidates for all offices for which nomination papers have not been filed, and shall immediately file with the secretary of the city committee nomination papers signed by all the members of the committee who agree to the nominations therein made. In case of disagreement two sets of such nomination papers may be filed. If, at the expiration of two week days after the time at which nomination papers were opened, proper nomination papers have not been filed for all the offices to be filled, or upon any vacancy caused by death or otherwise, except a withdrawal, the chairman and secretary of the city committee may file nomination papers for such offices or vacancies.

Section 100: Proceedings in towns when papers not filed
Section 100. If, in a town, nomination papers placing persons in nomination for all the offices to be filled at a caucus are not filed, or upon a vacancy by death or otherwise, except a withdrawal, the chairman or secretary of the town committee shall forthwith call a meeting of said committee, which shall have all the powers relative to the nomination of candidates conferred in the preceding section upon a ward committee and the chairman and secretary of a city committee.

Section 101: Withdrawals; filling vacancies
Section 101. A person nominated by a nomination paper may, within forty-eight week day hours succeeding five o’clock in the afternoon of the day fixed for opening nomination papers, withdraw his name from nomination by a request signed by him in person and filed with the secretary of the city or town committee. Thereupon, the secretary shall immediately give notice of such withdrawal and of the provisions of this section to the person who filed such nomination paper, and such person may, within twenty-four week day hours succeeding five o’clock in the afternoon of the last day fixed for making withdrawals, present a new name on a nomination paper signed by himself in person; otherwise the chairman and secretary of the committee may file nomination papers for the vacancy. If at any time after the expiration of the time for filling vacancies it shall appear that a vacancy has been created by death, the chairman of the committee may file with the city or town clerk a new name to fill such vacancy; and if the time is sufficient therefor, the new name shall be printed upon the official ballot.

Section 102: Nomination papers; delivery to city or town clerk
Section 102. Not less than seven week days before the day upon which the caucuses are to be held and before five o’clock in the afternoon of the last day, the secretary of each city or town committee shall deliver to the city or town clerk the nomination papers filed with him.

Section 103: Nomination papers; correction of errors
Section 103. If an error or informality is found in any nomination paper, it shall be forthwith returned to the secretary of the committee by whom it was filed, for correction; and if not corrected and again filed before five o’clock in the afternoon of the day following its return to said secretary, it shall be void.

Section 104: Objections to nomination papers
Section 104. Objections to nomination papers, and all other questions relating thereto, shall be considered in cities by the board of registrars, the city clerk and the city solicitor; and in towns by the board of registrars.

Section 105: Ballots; provision by cities or towns
Section 105. Ballots for each political and municipal party, ballot boxes, voting lists, specimen ballots, blank forms and apparatus, seals and record books, shall be provided and treated in accordance with sections thirty-two to thirty-six, inclusive, so far as applicable, except that the chairman and secretary of the city or town committee, or, if they fail to do so, the city or town clerk, may determine the number of ballots to be provided for each ward or town, not exceeding one for each voter therein.

Section 106: Form of official ballot
Section 106. On the back and outside of each ballot when folded shall be printed the words ”Official ballot of the (here shall be inserted the party name)” followed by the number of the precinct and ward or the name of the town for which the ballot is prepared, the date of the caucus and a facsimile of the signature of the secretary of the political committee.
Ballots shall be printed on white paper, except as otherwise provided by law.
Names of candidates for caucus officers shall be arranged in groups in the order in which they are filed.
Against the name of a candidate for an elective or caucus office shall be printed the street and number, if any, of his residence.
A star (*) against a name shall indicate that a person is a candidate for re-election.

Section 107: Applicability of certain laws
Section 107. Caucuses, except as otherwise provided, shall be held in general accordance with the laws governing the conduct of elections and the manner of voting thereat.

Section 108: Order of business
Section 108. The order of business shall be as follows:
First, Any necessary preliminary business.
Second, Balloting until half past eight o’clock in the evening, when the polls shall be closed unless the caucus shall vote to keep them open until a later hour; but every voter waiting in line at the hour for closing the polls shall be allowed to vote.
Third, After the polls have been closed, any other business properly before the caucus.

Section 109: Challenges
Section 109. If the right of a person offering to vote is challenged for any legal cause, and he takes the oath required by section seventy-six, the presiding officer shall require him, or some one in his behalf, to write his name and residence on the outside of the ballot offered, and before it is received the presiding officer shall add thereto the name of the person challenging and the cause alleged for the challenge. No officer or other person shall give any information in regard to a ballot cast by a challenged voter unless required by law so to do.

Section 110: Counting of ballots; announcement of result; sealing; transmittal of records
Section 110. Immediately after the polls have been declared closed, but not before, the ballots shall be counted in full view of the voters. When they have been counted and the result ascertained, the presiding officer shall make public announcement thereof in open meeting, and the clerk shall, in open meeting, enter in words at length in the record book, the total number of names checked on the voting list, the total number of ballots cast, the names of all persons voted for, the number of votes for each person, and the title of the office for which he was a candidate. The clerk shall forthwith make a copy of said record, certify, seal and transmit it to the city or town clerk. He shall then, before the adjournment of the caucus, and in the presence of those who counted the same, seal up all ballots cast, with the voting lists used, and a statement of any challenge made.
The warden and clerk shall endorse upon such package the name of the political party holding the caucus, its date, its purpose, and, if in a city, for what ward and precinct the ballots were cast. The warden shall forthwith transmit, by the officer detailed to attend the caucus, to the city or town clerk, the ballots cast, the voting lists, the ballot boxes, the ballot box seals, the counting apparatus, the copy of the records, and the record book.
The city or town clerk shall safely keep such sealed packages for ten days. If within said time ten voters entitled to vote in said caucus file with him a written request so to do, he shall preserve said ballots and voting lists for three months and shall produce them if required by any court having jurisdiction or authority over them.

Section 111: Voting lists; certified copies
Section 111. The city or town clerk, upon written application signed by at least ten voters of a ward or town, for a copy of a list as checked, shall open the envelope containing the voting list used at any caucus in such ward or town and shall furnish to them a certified copy thereof as checked.

Section 112: Recount of ballots
Section 112. If before five o’clock in the afternoon of the second day next succeeding the day of a caucus, ten or more voters of any town or ward shall sign, adding thereto their respective residences on January first of that year, and file with the city or town clerk a sworn statement that the records and returns made by the caucus officers of such town or ward are erroneous, specifying the error, or that challenged votes were cast by persons not entitled to vote therein, said city or town clerk shall forthwith transmit such statement to the registrars of voters with the sealed package containing the ballots and voting lists, and said registrars shall give written notice to the person affected, fixing a place and time, as early as may be, at which said ballots will be recounted, and at such place and time shall open the packages containing the ballots and voting lists and recount said ballots and determine the questions raised, and shall reject any challenged vote cast by a person found not to have been entitled to vote; and such recount shall stand as the true result of the vote cast in such caucus. Each candidate affected may be present during such recount, or may be represented by an agent appointed by him in writing. If it shall appear upon a recount that persons were nominated or elected other than those declared to have been nominated or elected, certificates of such change shall be made as in the case of the original certificate.

Section 113: Caucus officers; eligibility; terms; oaths; duties
Section 113. At the caucus held for the choice of candidates for a city or town election there shall be chosen annually a warden, a clerk, and at least five inspectors, and, in wards having more than five precincts, such additional inspectors as the city committee of the political party whose caucuses are to be held may determine. They shall be voters of the ward or town where elected and members of the political party whose caucus is to be held. No person shall be eligible to the position of warden, clerk or inspector who is a state, county or city employee, or a member of a ward or town committee, and no person shall serve as a caucus officer at any caucus wherein he is a candidate for nomination to an elective office. Every caucus officer shall hold office for one year, beginning with the first day of the month succeeding his election, and until his successor is elected. He shall, before entering upon the performance of his duties, be sworn by the warden, clerk, or a justice of the peace, and a record thereof made upon the record book of such caucus. The respective duties of caucus officers shall be in general the same required of election officers at elections.

Section 114: Vacancies; additional officers
Section 114. A majority of the caucus officers present at a caucus may fill temporary vacancies and elect additional officers to serve in that caucus only. Such temporary officers shall be duly sworn. Permanent vacancies shall be filled by a majority vote of all the caucus officers.

Section 115: Appointment of officers for first caucus
Section 115. A city or town committee of a political party which has adopted the provisions of law for the use of official ballots shall, at least ten days before holding any caucus thereunder, appoint caucus officers in each ward, town, or voting precinct in cities and towns where caucuses are held in such precincts, to serve at the first caucus to be held thereafter.

Section 116: Caucus officers in newly incorporated cities or cities redivided into wards
Section 116. In a newly incorporated city, or upon a redivision into wards of a city to which said provisions apply, the caucus officers to serve in the first caucuses held in the next succeeding year shall be appointed by the city committee; and at such caucuses the regular caucus officers shall be chosen. Where additional polling places are provided, after the election of caucus officers, officers to act in such polling places shall be appointed by the city committee.

Section 117: Caucuses to nominate municipal officers; convention delegates; committees
Section 117. A caucus of the voters, or of a specified portion thereof in a ward of a city, or in a town, may be called and held for the nomination of candidates to be voted for at any city election, or at any election of town officers for which official ballots are used, or for the selection of delegates to a convention, or for the appointment of a committee. The proceedings of such caucuses shall be invalid unless at least twenty-five voters participate and vote therein. Except as provided in this section and in section one hundred and twenty-one, no caucus or meeting other than those of political parties shall be entitled to nominate a candidate whose name shall be placed on the official ballot, or to select delegates to a political convention for the nomination of a candidate whose name shall be placed on such ballot.

Section 118: Notice of caucus; chairman; order of business
Section 118. The notice for a caucus under the preceding section shall be written or printed, shall state the place where, and the day and hour when, said caucus is to be held, shall be issued at least seven days prior thereto, and shall be conspicuously posted in at least five places on lines of public travel, and, if practicable, in every post office within the city or town, or shall be published at least twice in one or more local newspapers. Said notice shall be signed by one or more voters of the ward, town or district for which the caucus is called, and shall designate by name or office the person who shall call such caucus to order, and he shall preside until a chairman is chosen. In his absence, the caucus may choose a temporary chairman. The first business in order shall be the organization of the caucus by the choice of a chairman, a secretary, and such other officers as the meeting may require. The persons receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected or nominated. The caucus may adopt regulations consistent with law.

Section 119: Elections by ballot; written request
Section 119. Upon the written request of ten or more voters present at a caucus and entitled to vote therein, presented by a motion or otherwise to the presiding officer for the time being, at any time before the choice of the officer to which it relates, any candidate, delegate or member of a political committee, and unless the caucus votes otherwise, the chairman of the caucus, shall be elected by ballot. In balloting, the voting lists furnished under section sixty-two of chapter fifty-one shall be used as check lists.

Section 120: Preservation of ballots and voting lists
Section 120. The secretary of a caucus held under the three preceding sections shall, at the written request of ten voters entitled to vote in the caucus, preserve all ballots cast and voting lists used therein for three months, and shall produce the same if required by any court, board, convention or other tribunal having jurisdiction thereof.

Section 121: Calling town caucus at annual meeting; rescission; nominations; tie vote
Section 121. A town in which official ballots are used, may at any annual meeting vote to hold a town caucus for the nomination of candidates for town officers required to be voted for by official ballot at its annual meeting and after such vote has been in effect therein for a period of not less than three years may, by a vote at a meeting held at least sixty days before an annual town meeting, rescind such action. Such caucus shall be called by the selectmen in the same manner as provided in section one hundred and eighteen for the calling of other caucuses and shall be called to order by the town clerk who shall preside until the election of a chairman. Except as aforesaid, the town clerk shall not act or serve as a caucus officer. The town in town meeting may determine whether nominations shall be made separately or partly or wholly on one ballot, and may within the limits defined by law, prescribe the day and hour when such caucus shall be held and how long the polls shall be kept open, and make provision for the preparation and use of ballots. Such action may be altered, amended or rescinded at any future town meeting but shall continue in effect until so altered, amended or rescinded.
At a town caucus held under the provisions of this section the two persons receiving the highest number of votes cast for the nomination of candidates for an office shall be declared nominated for such office; but, if two or more persons are to be elected to the same office at such election, the several persons, to a number equal to twice the number so to be elected to such office, receiving at such caucus the highest number of votes, the second highest number of votes, and so on to the number to be nominated shall be the candidates whose names shall be printed on the official ballots to be used at such election. If the caucus results in a tie vote among candidates for nomination receiving the smallest number of votes, which, but for the tie vote, would entitle a person receiving such number to have his name printed upon the official ballot for the election, all candidates participating in such tie vote shall have their names printed upon the official ballots, although there be printed upon them the names of candidates to a number exceeding twice the number to be elected.
If a person receives less than eight per cent of the votes of those voting for candidates for such office, he shall not be declared nominated therefor, although thereby the number of names to be printed upon the official ballots will be less than twice the number to be elected.
During such time as town caucuses are held under this section in any town, no political or municipal party caucus shall be held therein for the nomination of candidates for town office. The provisions of sections one hundred and seventeen to one hundred and twenty, inclusive, so far as applicable, shall apply to caucuses held under this section.

Section 122: Regional school district-wide elections; applicable provisions
Section 122. The following provisions shall apply to regional school district-wide elections:
(a) Any person who is a resident of a member community and is a registered voter in the community in which he resides shall be entitled to have his name printed on the ballot to be used in the district-wide election if he shall file with the district clerk nomination papers signed by the number of voters as provided in section six who are registered and qualified to vote in the regional school district in which he resides.
(b) The state secretary shall supply candidates with a certificate of nomination and nomination papers through the district clerk.
(c) Other provisions of this chapter and chapters fifty-four and fifty-six relative to state elections shall apply to regional school district elections.
(d) Every nomination paper of a candidate shall be submitted to the registrars of the city or town where the signers appear to be voters on or before five o’clock post meridian of the twenty-eighth day preceding the day on which it must be filed with the district clerk. Nomination papers shall be filed by the candidate with the district clerk on or before the eleventh Tuesday preceding the day of election. The district clerk shall certify a correct list of candidates to the state secretary on or before the tenth Tuesday preceding the day of election. If the state secretary does not receive said certified list of candidates, on or before said date, the names of candidates for the regional district school committee shall not be printed on the ballot. The district clerk shall receive the election results from the city and town clerks, tabulate the results and certify the winners.

Chapter 54: ELECTIONS

Section 1: Decennial division of cities into wards and precincts
Section 1. In the year 2001, and every tenth year thereafter, no later than June fifteenth, a city, by vote of its city council may, or if the existing wards in such city do not contain, as nearly as can be ascertained, an equal number of inhabitants, shall make a new division of its territory into such number of wards as may be fixed by law. Any such vote of a city council hereunder dividing a city into wards shall, at the same time, divide each ward into such number of precincts as is required by section two. Within 7 days of the last day the city council may vote, the city clerk shall give written notice to the state secretary of the number and designation of wards and precincts provided for in this section and in section two, together with an official map and description of said wards and precincts indicating, as nearly as can be ascertained, the numbers of inhabitants residing therein. The provisions of this section and section two shall not apply to any city which has a special law to the contrary covering the procedure for the division of wards and precincts.
The state secretary shall make available to the local election districts review commission, for its scrutiny, the written notices, maps and descriptive information submitted to him by city clerks in reference to the new or unrevised wards and precincts of their respective cities under this section. If the said commission shall find that any such plan of new or unrevised wards or precincts of any city conflicts with the applicable requirements of this chapter, or is of questionable constitutionality, it shall transmit a written notice of such findings, with a clear indication of the deficiencies of such plan, to the mayor of such city, or in a city having a council-manager form of government to the city manager, not later than 35 days after the final day to give written notice to the state secretary. Said mayor or city manager shall, within 7 days following his receipt of such notice, present to the city council of such city his recommendations for a division of the city into wards and precincts free of the defects cited by the commission. If the city council shall fail to ordain such division, or a substitute division, conformable to this chapter within 7 days after said presentation by said mayor or city manager, he shall issue forthwith, not later than 14 days after the last day to receive notice from the local election district review commission, an executive order making a division of said city into wards and precincts subject to the approval of the local election districts review commission which shall take effect according to the provisions of this chapter, as though it had been ordained by the city council.
For any city that fails to act by the forty-ninth day following the final day to give notice to the state secretary, the local election districts review commission shall, within 15 days, make such division of the city into wards and precincts or appoint a master who shall make such division which shall be subject to approval and amendment by the commission. The cost of redistricting by a master shall be paid by the city.
Should the state secretary determine that decennial federal census figures are available at such time as to allow this process to begin earlier, the state secretary shall designate the date on which such process shall begin.

Section 2: Division of cities and wards into voting precincts; census; effect upon formation of congressional, representative, senatorial or councillor districts
Section 2. Each city shall be divided into convenient voting precincts, designated by numbers or letters and containing not more than four thousand inhabitants. Every ward shall constitute a voting precinct by itself, or shall be divided into precincts containing as nearly as may be an equal number of inhabitants, consisting of compact and contiguous territory entirely within the ward, and bounded, so far as possible, by the center line of known streets or ways or by other well defined limits that constitute block boundaries recognized by the United States bureau of the census. If a ward constituting one precinct contains more than four thousand inhabitants, the aldermen shall divide it into two or more voting precincts. They may so divide a ward or precinct containing less than four thousand inhabitants. Except as provided in section one, when new precincts are established, the new division shall take effect on the thirty-first day of December following the making thereof.
Notwithstanding any authorization or requirement of this chapter, any precinct established or remaining unchanged following the decennial federal census shall remain unchanged for the purpose of forming congressional, representative, senatorial or councillor districts based on said census until the formation thereof as aforesaid, and if such precinct is within a ward the territory of which in such formation is included in two or more congressional, representative, senatorial or councillor districts, shall remain unchanged for the purpose of electing such officers so long as such districts are required by the constitution to be used for such purpose.

Section 3: Repealed, 1971, 820, Sec. 5

Section 4: New divisions of cities into wards, when effective; congressional districts
Section 4. All regular municipal elections and primaries held in any city after it has been redivided into wards or into any districts for electing city officers shall be held in such city as redivided.
In the division of wards into voting precincts under this chapter, no voting precinct shall be so formed that it will be partly in one congressional district and partly in another congressional district.

Section 5: Maps or descriptions of new divisions; publication and posting
Section 5. When a ward has been divided into new voting precincts, or the voting precincts thereof have been changed, the aldermen shall forthwith cause a map or description of the division to be published, in which the new precincts shall be designated by numbers or letters and shall be defined clearly and, so far as possible, by known boundaries; and they shall cause copies thereof to be furnished to the registrars of voters, to the assessors, and to the election officers of each precinct so established. The aldermen shall cause copies thereof to be posted in such public places in each precinct of a ward so divided as they may determine or shall give notice by mail to each registered voter affected by such change of voting precinct.

Section 6: Division of towns into voting precincts
Section 6. In the year 2001 and every tenth year thereafter, no later than June fifteenth, the board of selectmen of every town of less than six thousand, two hundred inhabitants may, on their own motion, or shall, when so directed by the town meeting, and the board of selectmen of every town having precincts or six thousand, two hundred or more inhabitants shall, divide the town in the manner hereinafter provided into convenient voting precincts. Any voting precincts so established hereunder shall be composed of compact and contiguous territory. The selectmen shall, so far as possible, make the center line of streets or ways, or other well defined limits that constitute block boundaries recognized by the United States bureau of the census, the boundaries of such precincts, and shall designate them by numbers or letters.
In any town, each precinct established hereunder shall contain, as nearly as may be, an equal number of inhabitants, but not more than four thousand inhabitants. The times and procedures required by this section for precincts shall also apply to any district for electing town councillors, school committee members, representative town meeting members, or other town officers, notwithstanding any general or special law or charter to the contrary.
Such division of a town into precincts shall be made by the board of selectmen setting forth an official description of the precincts so established, together with a statement of the number of inhabitants residing in each precinct as nearly as such number may be determined. The board of selectmen shall also cause an official map of the precincts established by them hereunder to be prepared. Upon the adoption by the board of selectmen of a town of such a division, the town clerk shall transmit forthwith to the state secretary, not later than 7 days after the date on which the board of selectmen is authorized or required to divide the town into precincts under this section, a copy of said division, together with an official map of said precincts and a statement by the board of selectmen of the number of inhabitants in each such precinct, as nearly as such number may be determined. The state secretary shall make the same available to the local election districts review commission for its scrutiny. If said commission shall find that any plan of town precincts established under this section conflicts with the applicable provisions of this chapter, or is of questionable constitutionality, it shall transmit a written notice of such findings, with a clear indication of the deficiencies of such plan, to the board of selectmen of the town not later than 35 days following the date the town clerk must transmit to the state secretary a copy of the division. The board of selectmen of such town shall make a new or revised division of the town into precincts in the manner and within the time prescribed by said commission, but not later than the forty-ninth day following the date the town clerk must transmit to the state secretary a copy of such division.
If any town consisting of one precinct and having six thousand, two hundred or more inhabitants, which is required to be divided into precincts under this section shall not be so divided within the time specified above, the local election districts review commission shall, no later than 64 days following the date the town clerk must transmit to the state secretary a copy of such division make such division of the town into precincts conforming with the standards set forth in this section. The commission may appoint a master who shall, within fifteen days, make such division of the town into precincts, said division to be subject to approval by the commission and to amendment by it.
For any town that fails to act by the forty-ninth day following the date the town clerk must transmit to the state secretary a copy of such division, the local election districts review commission shall, within 15 days, make such division of the town into precincts or appoint a master who shall make such division which shall be subject to approval and amendment by the commission. The cost of redistricting by a master shall be paid by the town.
Should the state secretary determine that decennial federal census figures are available at such time as to allow this process to begin earlier, the state secretary shall designate the date on which such process shall begin.

Section 7: Changes in voting precincts of towns
Section 7. Upon its own initiative a board of selectmen of a town may, and upon direction of the town meeting of such town said board shall, make any change in the voting precincts of said town, in the same manner provided in section six and subject to the restrictions contained in section nine A.

Section 7A: Dividing precincts to facilitate voting; applicable laws
Section 7A. Any precinct in a town where town meeting members are elected may be divided for the sole purpose of facilitating voting therein. Every such division of a precinct shall be designated by the addition of a letter to the number designating such precinct, or of a number to the letter designating such precinct, as for example, precincts 1A, 1B and so on, or precincts A1, A2 and so on. The number of town meeting members representing such precinct immediately preceding such a division shall remain unchanged and such members shall be elected from the same territory until a general revision of precincts is made. Notice of every such division shall be given forthwith to the state secretary. Except as provided herein, all provisions of law relating to voting precincts and to polling places shall apply to such divisions. Within twenty days after such a division, the selectmen shall cause notice in writing to be given to each registered voter in any precinct so divided specifying the polling place to be used by such voter. A division of a precinct made hereunder shall take effect on the thirty-first day of December following the making thereof.

Section 8: Maps or descriptions of new precincts; posting
Section 8. When a town has been divided into voting precincts or the voting precincts thereof have been changed, the selectmen shall post in the office of the town clerk and in at least three public places in each new precinct a map or description in which the new precincts shall be designated by numbers or letters, and defined clearly and, so far as possible, by known boundaries. They shall furnish copies thereof to the registrars of voters and the assessors of such town, and to the election officers of each precinct so established.

Section 9: Discontinuance of voting precincts
Section 9. Any town of fewer than 6,200 inhabitants may discontinue its voting precincts; and subsequent elections therein shall be held as if no such division had been made. Any such discontinuance shall be subject to the second paragraph of section nine A.

Section 9A: Redivision into precincts or districts; elections thereafter; census
Section 9A. All regular municipal elections and primaries held in any town after it has been redivided into precincts or into any districts for electing town officers shall be held in such town as redivided.
Any precinct established or remaining unchanged following the decennial federal census shall remain unchanged for the purpose of forming congressional, representative, senatorial or councillor districts based on said census until the formation of the districts aforesaid, and, if such precinct is in a town the territory of which in such formation is included in two or more congressional, representative or senatorial districts, shall remain unchanged for the purpose of electing such officers as long as such districts are required by the constitution to be used for such purpose.

Section 10: Changes in wards; notice to state secretary
Section 10. When wards of a city have been changed or when voting precincts in a city or town have been established, changed or discontinued, the city or town clerk shall forthwith give a written notice thereof to the state secretary, stating the number, designation and official description of such wards or voting precincts and in a city the wards where such precincts are situated.

Section 11: Election officers in certain cities
Section 11. Subject to section eleven B, the mayor of every city, except where city charters provide otherwise and except as provided in sections eleven A and thirty-six, shall annually not earlier than July fifteenth nor later than August fifteenth appoint as election officers for each voting precinct, one warden, one deputy warden, one clerk, one deputy clerk, four inspectors and four deputy inspectors, who shall, at the time of their appointment, be enrolled voters in the commonwealth, except as otherwise provided in section 11B; provided, however, that the state secretary shall establish a waiver system to allow a city to request permission to appoint fewer election officers than specified in this paragraph. The persons so appointed shall be enrolled voters in the commonwealth, except as otherwise provided in section 11B. He may, in like manner, appoint two inspectors and two deputy inspectors in addition, and such additional inspectors as he may deem necessary, not less than two nor more than four for each three hundred voters, to count and tabulate the votes or to serve at any election. Every such appointment shall be filed in the office of the city clerk of such city within forty-eight hours after it is made, and shall be acted on by the aldermen not less than three days after the filing of such appointment and on or before September first following. After said September first, the mayor, with the approval of the aldermen, may, from time to time, appoint temporary additional inspectors to count and tabulate the votes. Records of appointments made under authority of this section shall be open to public inspection.

Section 11A: Deputies
Section 11A. In any city subject to section eleven, the aldermen of which accept this section or have accepted corresponding provisions of earlier laws, no deputy warden, deputy clerk or deputy inspector provided for by said section shall be appointed.

Section 11B: Filing for appointment in cities; procedure; eligibility; examinations
Section 11B. The chairman of the city committee of each political party entitled to representation in the appointment of election officers may, not later than June first in each year, file with the registrars lists of enrolled members of such party who desire appointment as election officers as submitted to him by the several ward committees. The registrars shall, not later than April fifteenth of each year, make written notification to the chairman of record of the city committee of each political party and the chairman of record of the ward committee of each political party that said list must be submitted no later than June first of the same year. Upon the filing of such lists the registrars shall forthwith proceed to the consideration thereof and shall, on or before June thirtieth, submit to the mayor or other appointing authority the names of persons whose names appear on the lists, who in their opinion are qualified to act as election officers. The lists submitted by the several ward committees shall contain not more than eight names for each office to be filled. Supplemental lists for any election district as submitted by the several ward committees therein may be filed by the said chairman at any time before the appointments for such district are made, for the purpose of filling vacancies which may occur in the original lists. No person shall be appointed as an election officer until he is found qualified to act as such as herein provided. Appointments shall be made from the original list before any names are taken from any supplemental list.
If, upon the expiration of fifteen days after notice given in writing prior to June fifteenth, in any year by the mayor or other appointing authority to the chairman of any political committee by whom lists are to be filed hereunder, and to the chairman of the state committee of such political party, neither the state nor city chairman shall have filed original or supplemental lists, the mayor or other appointing authority may appoint as election officers registered voters in the commonwealth, except as otherwise provided in this section recommended by the city clerk or election commission, who, in the opinion of the mayor or other appointing authority, are qualified to act as such.
Not more than 2 such election officers may be appointed who: (1) are 16 or 17 years of age; (2) are residents of the commonwealth; (3) are United States citizens when appointed; (4) are able to speak, read and write the English language; (5) have provided a letter from a parent or guardian giving permission for them to serve as election officers; (6) have provided a letter from their school principal giving permission for them to be absent from school to serve as election officers if the election or a training will take place when school is in session or, if home schooled, have provided a copy of the document indicating approval to be home schooled; and (7) agree to attend required training sessions. If an election officer under this paragraph attends a school that encourages or requires community service, serving as an election officer may be considered a community service activity. In no case shall a person 16 or 17 years of age serve as an election officer on the day of an election for more than the number of hours permitted for such a person to work pursuant to section 66 of chapter 149.
The registrars may, if they deem it necessary, conduct examinations of persons whose names appear on the lists filed hereunder. Five days’ notice shall be given of any such examination. The chairman of each city committee may appear and be heard either in person or by counsel, during the conduct of such examinations.

Section 12: Election officers in towns; procedure; eligibility; examinations
Section 12. The selectmen of every town shall annually, not earlier than July fifteenth nor later than August fifteenth, appoint as election officers for each voting place or precinct, except as provided in section twenty-four, one warden, one deputy warden, one clerk, one deputy clerk, two inspectors and two deputy inspectors, who shall be enrolled voters in the commonwealth, except as otherwise provided in this section. They may, in like manner, appoint two inspectors and two deputy inspectors in addition, and such number of tellers as may be necessary to count the ballots cast. Said tellers shall be appointed for the counting of said ballots at the close of the polls. In the event that the selectmen fail to appoint such election officers on or before August fifteenth, the board of registrars of voters shall forthwith appoint said officers. The state secretary shall establish a waiver system to allow a town to request to appoint fewer election officers than specified in this paragraph.
The chairman of the town committee of each political party may, not later than June first in each year, file with the registrars a list of enrolled members of such party who desire appointment as election officers. The selectmen shall, not later than April fifteenth of each year, make written notification to the chairman of record of the town committee of each political party that said list must be submitted no later than June first of the same year. Upon the filing of such lists the registrars shall forthwith proceed to the consideration thereof, and shall, on or before June thirtieth submit to the selectmen the names of persons whose names appear on the lists who in their opinion are qualified to act as election officers. The lists submitted by town committees shall contain not more than eight names for each office to be filled. Supplemental lists may be filed with the selectmen and registrars by the said chairman at any time before the appointments are made, for the purpose of filling vacancies which may occur in the original lists. No person shall be appointed as an election officer until he is found qualified to act as such as herein provided. Appointments shall be made from the original list before any names are taken from any supplemental list. All persons listed on the original list who have not been appointed as election officers shall be notified by certified mail of the appointment of a person listed on the supplemental list at least five days prior to such appointment.
If, upon the expiration of fifteen days after notice given in writing prior to June fifteenth in any year by the selectmen to the chairman of any political committee who has not filed original or supplemental lists, and to the chairman of the state committee of such political party, neither the state nor town chairman shall have filed such lists, the selectmen may appoint as election officers registered voters in the commonwealth, except as otherwise provided in this section and recommended by the town clerk, who in the opinion of the selectmen, are qualified to act as such.
Not more than 2 such election officers may be appointed who: (1) are 16 or 17 years of age; (2) are residents of the commonwealth; (3) are United States citizens when appointed; (4) are able to speak, read and write the English language; (5) have provided a letter from a parent or guardian giving permission for them to serve as election officers; (6) have provided a letter from their school principal giving permission for them to be absent from school to serve as election officers if the election or a training will take place when school is in session or, if home schooled, have provided a copy of the document indicating approval to be home schooled; and (7) agree to attend required training sessions. If an election officer under this paragraph attends a school that encourages or requires community service, serving as an election officer may be considered a community service activity. In no case shall a person 16 or 17 years of age serve as an election officer on the day of an election for more than the number of hours permitted for such a person to work pursuant to section 66 of chapter 149.
The registrars may, if they deem it necessary, conduct examinations of persons whose names appear on the lists filed hereunder. Five days’ notice shall be given of any such examination. The chairman of each town committee may appear and be heard either in person or by counsel, during the conduct of such examinations.

Section 13: Party representation; term of office; removal
Section 13. Such election officers shall be enrolled voters so appointed as equally to represent the 2 leading political parties, except that, without disturbing the equal representation of such parties, not more than 1/3 of the election officers not representing either of them may be appointed. The warden shall be of a different political party from the clerk, and not more than one half of the inspectors shall be of the same political party. In each case the principal officer and his deputy shall be of the same political party. The preceding party representation requirements of this section apply only if the chairman of the city or town committee of each political party or the chairman of the state committee of such party files with the registrars lists of enrolled members of the party who desire appointment as election officers in accordance with the provisions of sections eleven B and twelve. Except as otherwise provided in sections eleven and twelve, every election officer shall hold office for one year, beginning with September first succeeding his appointment, and until his successor is qualified, or until his removal; provided, that election officers appointed to count and tabulate votes shall serve at such primaries or elections and at such times as shall be designated by the appointing authority. An election officer may be removed by the mayor, with the approval of the aldermen, or by the selectmen, after a hearing, upon written charge of incompetence or official misconduct preferred by the city or town clerk, or by not less than six voters of the ward, or, in a town, of the voting precinct where the officer is appointed to act.

Section 14: Vacancies; filling
Section 14. If there is a vacancy in the number of election officers, or if an election officer declines his appointment and gives notice thereof to the city or town clerk within ten days following the date of his appointment, the mayor or the selectmen shall, except as provided in section sixteen, fill the vacancy; and, if the party representation requirements of section thirteen apply, the appointment shall be so made as to preserve the equal representation of the two leading political parties. Appointments to fill vacancies shall not be subject to confirmation by the aldermen, any provision of general or special law to the contrary notwithstanding.

Section 15: Eligibility of candidates
Section 15. No person shall, at a state, city or town election, be eligible or act as an election officer in a voting precinct where he is a candidate for election; and if a person appointed an election officer becomes such a candidate, and does not forthwith resign his office, the mayor or selectmen, if he is a candidate at a state election, shall remove him from office before November first, or, if a candidate at a city election, the mayor shall so remove him at least eight days before the day of the election, or if a candidate at a town election the selectmen shall remove him before the election. Neither a town moderator nor any member of a board of selectmen shall be eligible or act as an election officer in a state or presidential primary, or state election.

Section 16: Deputies; duties
Section 16. If a warden, clerk or inspector is absent at the opening of the polls or subsequently on the day of election, or if the office is vacant, the deputy of such officer shall act for that election in his place. If the warden and deputy warden, clerk and deputy clerk, or an inspector and his deputy, shall be absent, the voters of the precinct on nomination and by hand vote shall fill the vacancy, and the officer so elected shall act during the remainder of the election; but otherwise no deputy officer shall act in an official capacity or be admitted to the space reserved for election officers while the polls are open or during the counting of the votes.
In cities where no deputy warden or deputy clerk is appointed, if a warden or clerk is absent at the opening of the polls or subsequently on the day of election, or if the office is vacant, the senior inspector of the same political party as such warden or clerk shall act as warden or clerk for that election, and the voters of the precinct, on nomination and by hand vote, shall fill the vacancy in the office of inspector.

Section 16A: Vacancies; appointments to fill
Section 16A. In any city or town which accepts this section, if the warden, clerk or inspector, or the deputy of any such officer, if any, is not present at the opening of the polls, the city or town clerk may appoint a person to fill such vacancy who shall be an enrolled voter of the same political party as the absent officer, if any competent person enrolled in such party is present and willing to serve.

Section 17: Ballot clerks; duties
Section 17. At state elections in cities and in towns, and in city elections, the presiding election officer of each voting place or precinct shall detail two inspectors of different political parties to act as ballot clerks, who shall have charge of the ballots and shall furnish them to voters.

Section 18, 19: Repealed, 1960, 431, Sec. 4

Section 20: Oath of office
Section 20. Every election officer before entering upon the performance of his official duties shall be sworn before the city or town clerk, the presiding officer or clerk at the polls, or any officer qualified to administer oaths, and a record thereof shall be made.

Section 21: Repealed, 1960, 431, Sec. 4

Section 22: Compensation of election officers
Section 22. Election officers shall receive such compensation as the city council or the selectmen respectively may determine; but no deputy officer shall receive compensation except for attendance at the opening of the polls or for services in place of an absent officer.

Section 23: Supervisors of elections; political party representation; violations
Section 23. Upon the written petition of ten qualified voters of a ward or of a town, presented at least twenty-one days before a state or city election therein, the governor may appoint, for such ward or town for each voting precinct named in the petition, two voters of the city or town, who shall not be signers of the petition or members of any political committee or candidates for any office, to act as supervisors at such election. One supervisor shall be appointed from each of the two leading political parties. They shall be sworn by the city or town clerk or by an officer qualified to administer oaths. The supervisors shall attend the polling places for which they are appointed, may challenge persons offering to vote, and shall witness the conduct of the election and the counting of votes; but they shall not make any statement tending to reveal the state of the polls before the public declaration of the vote. They shall remain where the ballot boxes are kept after the polls are open and until the ballots are sealed for transmission to the officers entitled to receive them. Each supervisor may affix his signature, for the purpose of identification, to the copy of the record of votes cast, or attach thereto any statement touching the truth or fairness or conduct of the election. Supervisors shall receive such compensation as the city council or selectmen may determine.
Any supervisor appointed under this section violating any provision of this section, or any person who prevents any such supervisor from doing any of the acts authorized by this section, or hinders or molests him in doing any such acts, or aids or abets in preventing, hindering or molesting him in doing any of such acts, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months.

Section 24: Designation of polling places
Section 24. The aldermen in cities, except where city charters provide otherwise, and the selectmen of towns divided into voting precincts, shall, twenty days at least before the biennial state or annual or biennial city election and ten days at least before any special election of a state or city officer therein, designate the polling place for each voting precinct and cause it to be suitably fitted up and prepared therefor. In a city or town which has provided voting booths such booths may be placed in the public ways of such city or town, provided said ways are left reasonably safe and convenient for public travel. It shall be in a public, orderly, and convenient portion of the precinct; provided, however that if the aldermen or selectmen determine that the public convenience would be better served, the aldermen may designate a polling place in an adjacent precinct of a city, and the selectmen may designate a polling place in another precinct of a town or may house all polling places in a single building within the town. In any city or town, if the polling places for two or more precincts are located in the same building and the total number of registered voters in any such two or more precincts does not exceed three thousand, only one set of election officers need be appointed for such precincts, but separate ballot boxes and voting lists for each precinct shall be used. If, in a town of five precincts or less, all of which are located in one building, the selectmen so vote, only one warden need be appointed to supervise all such precincts, and the number of inspectors shall be determined by the selectmen, without disturbing the balance between the political parties. There shall, however, be one clerk appointed for each such precinct. Alcoholic beverages shall not be sold in any portion of a building which is designated as a polling place, during voting hours or while ballots are being counted therein. When the polling places have been designated in the city of Boston, the board of election commissioners of said city may post in such places as it may determine a printed description of the polling places designated and may give further notice thereof; and when the polling places have been designated in any other city or in any town, the aldermen of such city in at least five public places in each precinct thereof, and the selectmen of such town in at least three public places in each precinct thereof, shall forthwith post a printed description of the polling places designated and may give further notice thereof. When a polling place in a voting precinct is changed from one location to another, the board of election commissioners in the city of Boston, the aldermen in any other city or the selectmen in any town shall cause printed descriptions of such polling place to be posted in such public places in such precinct as they determine and shall give notice by mail to each residence of one or more registered voters therein.

Section 25: Marking shelves and guard rails
Section 25. The aldermen or selectmen shall cause each polling place in their respective cities and towns to be provided with a sufficient number of suitable marking shelves or compartments where voters may conveniently and secretly mark their ballots; and they shall cause a guard rail to be so placed that only persons inside thereof can approach within six feet of the ballot boxes or of the marking shelves or compartments, or of the voting machines if any are used. The ballot boxes, marking shelves or compartments and voting machines, if any are used, shall be in view of persons in the polling place outside the guard rail. The number of marking shelves or compartments shall be not less than one for every seventy-five voters at such polling place, and not less than five in any voting precinct of a city, and not less than three in any town or voting precinct thereof, except that, where voting machines are used, only one such marking shelf or compartment need be provided, which shall be for the use of challenged voters. Every marking shelf or compartment shall at all times be provided with proper supplies and conveniences for marking the ballots. Where voting machines are used, one voting machine shall be provided at each polling place for every four hundred voters, or the major part thereof, entitled to vote therein.
Where electronic voting systems are used, if the system requires the use of a special marking unit, such units shall be supplied to a number of not less than one for every one hundred and twenty-five voters.

Section 25A: Display of national flag
Section 25A. In any city or town which accepts this section by vote of its city council or selectmen, the national flag shall be displayed at each polling place during the hours when voting is taking place thereat.

Section 25B: Early voting; application for early voting ballots; early voting period, sites and lists; counting of early voting ballots
[ Text of section added by 2014, 111, Sec. 12 effective on and shall be implemented for the 2016 biennial state election. See 2014, 111, Sec. 26.]
Section 25B. (a) The election officers and registrars of every city or town shall allow any qualified voter, as defined in section 1 of chapter 51, to cast a ballot for any biennial state election during the early voting period as set forth in this section including, but not limited to, any city or town election held at the same time.
(b) Any qualified voter wanting to early vote by mail may file with his or her local election official an application for an early voting ballot. Any form of written communication evidencing a desire to have an early voting ballot be sent for use for voting at an election shall be given the same effect as an application made in the form prescribed by the state secretary. No application shall be deemed to be seasonably filed unless it is received in the office of the city or town clerk or registrars of voters before noon on the last day of the early voting period as prescribed in subsection (c).
(c) The voting period for early voting shall run from the eleventh business day preceding the general election until the close of business on the business day preceding the business day before the election; provided, however, that if the eleventh business day before the election falls on a legal holiday the early voting period shall begin on the first business day prior to the legal holiday.
(d) Early voting shall be conducted during the usual business hours of each city or town clerk. A city or town may, in its discretion, provide for additional early voting hours beyond the hours required by this subsection, including weekend hours.
(e) All early voting ballots voted by mail shall be received by the city or town clerk before the hour fixed for closing the polls.
(f) Each city and town shall establish an early voting site that shall include the election office for the city or town; provided, however, that if the city or town determines that the office is unavailable or unsuitable for early voting, the registrars of each city or town shall identify and provide for an alternative centrally-located, suitable and convenient public building within each city or town as an early voting site. A city or town may also provide for additional early voting sites at the discretion of the registrars for that city or town. Each early voting site shall be accessible to persons with disabilities.
(g) The designation of an early voting site shall be made not less than 14 days prior to the beginning of the voting period established in subsection (b). Not less than 7 days prior to the beginning of the early voting period and at least once during the voting period, the registrars for each city or town shall publish the location of the early voting sites as well as the applicable dates and hours. Notice shall be published in every newspaper listed for the city or town in the New England Newspaper & Press Association and shall also be conspicuously posted in the office of the city clerk or on the principal official bulletin board of each city or town, on any other public building considered necessary, on the city or town’s website, if any, and on the website of the state secretary.
(h) At least 21 days prior to each biennial state election, the state secretary shall deliver to each city or town, in quantities as the state secretary determines necessary, the following papers: (1) official early voting ballots, similar to the official ballot to be used at the election; and (2) envelopes of sufficient size to contain the ballots specified in clause (1) bearing on their reverse the voter’s affidavit in compliance with the requirements of subsection (j).
(i) An early voting ballot along with an envelope shall be provided to each qualified voter who participates in early voting.
(j) A qualified voter casting a ballot at an early voting site shall complete an affidavit under the regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter, which shall include a notice of penalties under section 26 of chapter 56.
(k) Prior to the beginning of early voting, the registrars for each city or town shall prepare a list for the early voting sites, containing the names and residences of all persons qualified to vote at each voting site, as the names and residences appear upon the annual register, and shall reasonably transmit the applicable list to the election officers at each early voting site designated by the registrars.
(l) The registrar or presiding official at the early voting site shall cause to be placed on the voting lists opposite the name of a qualified voter who participates in early voting the letters “EV” designating an early voter.
(m) The registrars shall prepare lists of all voters casting ballots during the early voting period and update the voter list in a manner prescribed by the state secretary.
(n) The counting of early voting ballots including, but not limited to, informing election officers and any challengers present under section 85A shall be set by regulations promulgated under this chapter. All envelopes referred to in this section shall be retained with the ballots cast at the election and shall be preserved and destroyed in the manner provided by law for the retention, preservation or destruction of official ballots.
(o) The state secretary shall promulgate regulations to implement this section including, but not limited to, a process for establishing additional early voting locations and a process for applying for, receiving, separating, compiling, recording and securing early voter ballots.
(p) Section 72 shall not apply to this section; provided, however, that a city or town may opt to detail a sufficient number of police officers or constables for each early voting site at the expense of the city or town to preserve order, protect the election officers and supervisors from any interference with their duties and aid in enforcing the laws relating to elections.
[ Subsection (q) added by 2015, 119, Sec. 13 effective November 2, 2015.]
(q) No early voting ballot cast under this section shall be counted if the officer charged with the duty of counting the ballot is cognizant of the fact that the voter has died prior to the opening of the polls on the day of the election.

Section 26: State ballot boxes; furnishing
Section 26. The state secretary shall, at the expense of the commonwealth, provide every city and town for use at every precinct or division of a precinct therein under the provisions of section seven A with a state ballot box approved by the state secretary in accordance with section thirty-two.

Section 27: Blank forms and envelopes for returns; injury, tampering, or destruction; penalties
Section 27. The state secretary shall provide every city and town with suitable blank forms and envelopes for all certificates, copies of records and returns required to be made at his office, with such printed directions thereon as he may deem necessary; and such other blank forms and suggestions and instructions, as will assist the election officers in the performance of their duties. The clerks of the courts of the several counties shall in like manner provide cities and towns with suitable blank forms and envelopes for all certificates, copies of records and returns required to be made to the county commissioners and boards of examiners.
Whoever wilfully or maliciously injures, tampers with or destroys a ballot box or any of the blank forms or apparatus furnished to a city or town under this section or section twenty-six shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 28: Care, custody and repair of ballot boxes, counting apparatus, and voting machines
Section 28. The clerk of each city or town shall provide therein a place for the safe keeping of the ballot boxes and counting apparatus furnished by the commonwealth, and of voting machines used in such city or town. He shall have the care and custody thereof, and see that they are kept in good order and repair. The custody, care and repair of all such voting machines, ballot boxes and apparatus shall be at the expense of the city or town, but shall be subject to the supervision and control of the state secretary, who may, at the expense of the commonwealth, subject to approval as provided in section thirty-two, cause necessary improvements to be made in any of such voting machines, ballot boxes or apparatus.

Section 29: Replacement of defective, lost or destroyed ballot boxes
Section 29. If a state ballot box becomes defective or is lost or destroyed, the state secretary, upon application by the city or town clerk, shall provide another ballot box at the expense of such city or town.

Section 30: Voting place or precinct seals; use and custody
Section 30. The city or town clerk shall furnish to the clerk of each voting place or precinct a seal of suitable device with a designation thereon of such voting place or precinct; and such seal shall be used in sealing all envelopes or other containers required by law to be used at elections. The clerk of the voting place or precinct shall retain custody of the seal, and shall, at the end of his term of office, deliver it, with the records of the voting place or precinct and other official documents in his custody to the city or town clerk.

Section 30A: Custodians of voting machines; duties; eligibility
Section 30A. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of section thirteen, where voting machines are used the city or town clerk or election commissioners shall appoint in writing one or more custodians of voting machines, who shall assist him or them in the preparation and upkeep of voting machines, shall instruct the election officers in the use of said machines, and shall perform their duties under the supervision of the city or town clerk or election commissioners. If a voting machine requires adjustment during the course of an election, a custodian shall, if requested to do so by the warden, make such repairs or adjustments as may be required to return the voting machine to operating condition, and for this purpose may enter within the guard rail in any polling place, but he shall not make any such adjustments or repairs except in the presence of not less than two election officers of the precinct, who shall be designated by the warden so as to give equal representation to the two leading political parties. No person holding an appointment as an election officer under section eleven shall be appointed a custodian under this section. No person shall be appointed or act as a custodian in a voting precinct where he is a candidate for election, nor shall such person be permitted to perform any work in advance upon a voting machine to be used in such a precinct.

Section 31: Sending ballot boxes, blank forms, and counting apparatus to polls; installation of voting machines; voters’ authority certificates
Section 31. Every city and town clerk shall send to the election officers at each polling place, before the opening of the polls on the day of an election or meeting at which the same are required to be used, the ballot box, blank forms and counting and other apparatus.
Where voting machines are used the city or town clerk on or before the day of election and before the hour fixed for the opening of the polls shall provide for the installation of the machines in the polling places. He shall send to the election officers before the polls are opened on election day blank forms and other necessary supplies, including voters’ authority certificates, not less than one for each registered voter, in a form approved by the state secretary. Each voter’s certificate shall be so prepared as to be capable of being inserted by the election officer after receiving it from the voter in a suitable container to be furnished by the board or officer responsible for the conduct of the election. The city or town clerk shall also forward to the election officers before the polls are
opened an amount of official absent voting ballots to be used in the event all of the voting machines require repair or adjustment during the course of an election. All such ballots cast shall be marked ”cast due to machine failure” in large type on the back of each ballot. Election officials at such voting place shall indicate on their official voting list those voters using said marked ballots.

Section 32: Examination and approval of voting equipment
Section 32. The state secretary shall examine all types of voting equipment including ballot boxes, counting apparatus, and voting machines and determine whether such equipment complies with the minimum requirements for such equipment imposed by law and whether the use of such equipment would further the efficient administration of elections.
Any person owning or interested in such equipment may submit it to the state secretary for examination. For the purpose of assistance in examining such new equipment, the secretary, subject to appropriation, may employ not more than three individuals who are experts in one or more of the fields of data processing, mechanical engineering and public administration.
Within thirty days after completing the examination and approval of any such equipment the state secretary shall make and file in his office his report on the equipment together with a written or printed description and drawings and photographs clearly identifying the equipment. As soon as practicable after such filing, the state secretary upon request shall send a copy of the report to any governing body within the state.
Any voting equipment that receives the approval of the state secretary may be used for conducting elections. Any voting equipment that does not receive such approval shall not be adopted for or used at any election. After such equipment has been approved by the state secretary, any change or improvement in the equipment that does not impair its accuracy, efficiency or capacity shall not render necessary a reexamination or reapproval of the equipment.
All voting equipment being used upon the effective date of this act shall within twelve months of said effective date be submitted to the state secretary for his approval. Within twenty-four months of the effective date of this act the secretary shall approve or disapprove of such equipment and promulgate uniform regulations for such equipment in accordance with section thirty-seven.

Section 33: Requirements and use of voting machines, electronic voting systems, and ballots
Section 33. Voting machines shall furnish convenient, simple and satisfactory means of voting at primaries and elections and of ascertaining and recording the true result thereof with facility and accuracy, special regard being given to the prevention and detection of double voting at primaries and elections and of voting for candidates of more than one political party at a primary; but no machine shall be approved which does not secure to the voter as much secrecy in voting as is afforded by the use of the official ballot. Ballot boxes shall have sufficient locks and keys or seal fastenings, and shall contain mechanical devices for receiving and registering every ballot deposited therein; but no such box shall record any distinguishing number or mark upon a ballot. No machine, ballot box or counting apparatus, not approved in accordance with this and the preceding section, shall be used at any election, primary or caucus; nor shall any such machines, ballot boxes or counting apparatus be used except in accordance with the laws relating to primaries and elections.
On voting machines which provide adequate mechanical safeguards, the names of candidates and the questions to be submitted to the voters may be arranged in the same manner as on the official paper ballot. On all other voting machines to be used at state elections the names of the candidates for each office shall be arranged in a horizontal row or vertical column under or opposite to the titles of the offices, to be determined in accordance with the type of mechanical safeguard against over-voting used in the particular machine. At state primaries separate voting machines may be used for the listing of names of candidates of each of the political parties; provided, that the number of machines to be used for each such party in each polling place shall be determined by the city or town clerk or election commissioners and notice of such determination shall be sent to the state secretary not later than one hundred and twenty days preceding the date of the primary.
Electronic voting systems shall furnish convenient and simple means of voting at primaries, preliminary elections and elections, and of ascertaining and recording the results thereof with facility and accuracy, special regard being given to the prevention and detection of double voting, or of voting for candidates of more than one political party at a primary; but no system shall be approved which does not secure to the voter as much secrecy in voting as is afforded by the use of the official ballot.
At primaries, separate marking units, where necessary, may be used for the marking of the ballots of each party, as determined by the city or town clerk.
The arrangement of names and questions on voting machines and on ballots or ballot labels used in electronic voting systems shall be, in general, the same as on the official ballot, except as hereinbefore provided.

Section 33A: Additional requirements for voting machines
Section 33A. Voting machines shall be provided with convenient spaces, which shall be specified and described on the cards of instructions, where the name of a person may be written in or a paster or sticker affixed by a voter who desires to vote for a person whose name does not appear on the voting machine. They shall be suitably lighted so that the voter will be able to easily read the titles of the offices, the names of the candidates and the questions submitted to the voters. The machines shall be equipped with proper devices or locks to prevent any operation of the machine before of after the voting, and with the following counters or indicators:?A ”Public Counter”, which shall mean the counter or other device that registers each time the machine is operated during the election and shows the number of persons who have voted thereon, a ”Protective Counter”, which shall mean the device or counter which registers the grand total of times that the machine has been operated, a ”Candidate Counter”, which shall mean the counters on which are registered numerically the votes cast for candidates, a ”Question Counter”, which shall mean the counters upon which are registered numerically the votes cast on questions submitted to the voters, and the ”Vote Indicators”, which shall mean the pointers or other devices upon which are registered the votes for candidates or on questions submitted to voters. Voting machines which contain electronic components need not be equipped with a protective counter, and, instead of candidate and question counters, may be equipped with internal components which register votes electronically. All voting machines used in primary elections shall be so equipped that the election officers can adjust the machines to prevent voters from voting for candidates of any party in which they are not enrolled.

Section 33B: Use of voting machines; regulations; mechanical failures
Section 33B. During the period the polls are open for voting, the exterior of the voting machine shall remain in plain view of the election officers. If so requested, an election officer shall instruct voters outside the guard rail in the manner of operating the machine. When the name of a voter has been checked on the voting list, as required by sections sixty-seven and seventy-six, and he is found to be qualified to vote, he shall be given a voter’s authority certificate and admitted within the guard rail. Before entering a machine, the voter shall hand his voter’s authority certificate to the officer in charge of the machine, who shall deposit it in the receptacle provided therefor and shall then release the machine to permit the voter to close the curtain and cast his ballot. Except as otherwise provided in section seventy-nine, during the voting no officer shall be, nor permit any other person to be, in any position to see or learn how any voter is voting or has voted. The election officer attending the machine shall from time to time inspect the face of the machine to see that neither the ballot labels nor the voting indicators have been tampered with or injured. During the election the doors of the counter compartment shall not be unlocked or opened. If through mechanical failure a machine ceases to function, it shall be inspected and put in working order, if possible, by the custodian of voting machines, designated under section thirty A, in the presence of two election officers of different political parties, who shall make and sign a statement setting forth the cause of the failure of the machine to properly operate and such statement shall be filed with the election returns. If the machine cannot be put in working order, it shall be placed out of service for that election and a statement that the machine is out of order shall be signed by the election officers and filed with the election returns.

Section 33C: Instructions to voter after entering voting machine booth; re-entry after voting
Section 33C. If any voter, after he has enclosed himself in the voting machine booth, or in a compartment which contains a marking unit, wherever electronic voting systems are used, shall ask for further instructions concerning the manner of operating the machine or marking unit, two election officers of different political parties shall given him such instructions. No officer or person instructing him shall in any manner request or seek to persuade or induce any such voter to vote for any candidate or candidates, or for or against any question submitted to the voters. After giving such instructions, and before such voter shall have registered his vote, the officers or persons instructing him shall retire, and such voter shall then register his vote as he may desire. No voter after registering his vote and emerging from the machine booth or the marking compartment shall be permitted to reenter it.

Section 33D: Voting for persons not listed on ballot labels of machine
Section 33D. Every vote cast for any person whose name does not appear on the ballot labels of the machine as a nominated candidate for office shall be written or affixed or enclosed on or in the appropriate place on the machine provided for that purpose, or it shall not be counted.

Section 33E: Electronic voting systems; marking implements; stickers or pasters on ballots; inspection; instructions to voters; write-in candidates
Section 33E. If there is an approved electronic voting system in use, a voter may vote by punching holes in a data processing card, or by marking his ballot with special inks, or in a special manner, in conformity with the approved electronic voting system in use.
The city or town clerk shall provide special marking implements, styluses, fluorescent or opaque inks, in such quantity as to insure a sufficient supply throughout the election. The presiding officer shall periodically inspect each unit to ascertain that all things necessary are available to the voter. If special marking implements are used, pencils shall also be supplied for inserting the names of candidates which are not printed upon the ballot or ballot label. If the system used employs the paper ballot, every vote cast for any person whose name does not appear upon said ballot as a nominated candidate for the particular office shall be written or affixed by sticker or paster in the appropriate place provided on said ballot for the purpose or it shall not be counted. This section shall not be construed to limit in any way the right of the voter to write in his choice for any office in the appropriate space provided. Notwithstanding the provisions of section thirty-four of chapter fifty-three, on paper ballots to be used in any system which counts said ballots electronically, blank spaces shall be left at the end of the list of candidates for each different office equal to the number to be nominated or elected thereto.
At each precinct where special marking units are used, one or more such units, properly equipped for voting, shall be placed on public exhibition for the instruction of voters waiting to vote. These shall be placed outside the guard rail, and an election officer shall be detailed by the presiding officer to provide instructions for voters.
Before the opening of the polls the presiding officer, accompanied by a majority of the election officers, shall examine each such special marking unit and determine whether it is properly equipped and whether the ballot labels, if used, are properly in place.
If the system used requires the employment of a punch card or data processing card, each voter shall be supplied with an envelope for such card or an equivalent means for preserving the secrecy of the ballot, approved by the state secretary under the provisions of section thirty-two. If a voter wishes to vote for a candidate whose name is not printed upon the official ballot for an office, he may write in the name and address of the candidate of his choice or may affix a sticker or paster containing such name and address inside said envelope or in another approved place. After voting, the voter shall remove his card from the marking unit, shall enclose it at once in any envelope required, and shall insert the card, in any required envelope, in the ballot box. So far as practical, the same proceedings shall be had in each polling place as are required by sections seventy-six to eighty-five A, inclusive.

Section 33F: Computers and counting units; central tabulation centers; preparation; testing
Section 33F. If the system employed makes use of a computer, or similar counting unit for the tabulation of the vote cast either on paper ballots or punched cards, the city or town clerk shall designate, no later than one week prior to the date of the primary, preliminary election or election, a central tabulation center, or may designate all the polling places as tabulation centers, where such ballots or cards shall be counted. There shall be at least one computer or counting unit at each such tabulation center. If a central tabulation center is designated, it may be located in any municipality within the commonwealth; provided, however, that said tabulation center is no greater distance than fifty miles from the municipality conducting said primary, preliminary election, or election. Said clerk shall also require that a program for the counting of the votes, prepared by a suitably skilled technician, be in readiness for use in said computer or counting unit, no later than the fourth day prior to the primary, preliminary election or election. Said clerk shall cause to be prepared a set of ballots or punched cards, whichever is appropriate, so marked or perforated as to adequately test the programmed computer or counting unit, to demonstrate its rejection of cards or ballots which contain more votes for any office than the voter is entitled to, and to test any other contents of the program which in the opinion of the clerk may have a bearing upon the accuracy of the count to be made by such computer or counting unit.

Section 33G: Lease or purchase of marking units or tabulating units; bonds from manufacturers or distributors
Section 33G. If any special marking units or special tabulating units are leased or purchased by a city or town, the manufacturer or distributor of such units shall give to the city or town clerk a bond, with sufficient sureties, to keep such units in working order for at least two calendar years from the date of lease or purchase. Said manufacturer or distributor shall also give to said clerk a bond, with sufficient sureties, conditioned to defend and indemnify the city or town leasing the units against any suit at law or in equity and for any expense, damage or inconvenience which they may incur or suffer by reason of any suit brought against them for infringement of patents or other rights arising from the lease or use of such units.

Section 33H: Election officers for tabulation center; tabulation of votes
Section 33H. For any tabulation center designated under section thirty-three F, the mayor or the board of selectmen shall appoint, in conformity with sections eleven to twenty-two, inclusive, the following election officers: a warden, a deputy warden, a clerk and deputy clerk and as many inspectors and deputy inspectors as the city or town clerk determines to be necessary.
Each city or town chairman of a political party may appoint in writing a qualified computer expert to monitor the electronic counting of ballots at such tabulating center. He shall be assigned by the presiding officer to a position within the center which will enable him to observe all operations.
The warden shall be the presiding officer at the tabulation center; provided, however, that the city or town clerk shall be the presiding officer at a central tabulation center, and shall assign to the election officers such duties as will insure the accurate and complete tabulation of the ballots, in accordance with such rules and regulations for the operation of such tabulation center as are promulgated by the office of the state secretary.
Each precinct shall be tabulated separately. The sheet showing the result, as printed by the computer or tabulating unit, shall be fastened to the precinct record for transmittal to the office of the city or town clerk, and the warden and clerk shall be responsible for said sheet and shall each sign it. Each precinct tabulation sheet shall show the total number of names checked on the voting lists, the total number of ballots cast, the names of all persons voted for, the number of votes for each person and the title of the office for which he was a candidate, the number of blank ballots for each office and the number of affirmative and negative votes in answer to any question submitted to the voters. The machine record shall be added to the precinct record sheet showing hand-counted ballot totals, and the precinct record sheet shall then be signed by the precinct warden and clerk. The presiding officer at the tabulation center, or such election officer as he shall designate, shall then publicly and in the presence of the other election officers, audibly and distinctly, announce the number of votes cast for each candidate for each office, and the number of affirmative and negative votes cast upon any question. Such announcement may be made for each precinct, as soon as the precinct record has been completed.
Any ballot or card which is rejected by the computer or counting unit, or which is mutilated so that it cannot be inserted in the computer or counting unit, shall be counted by hand by two inspectors of different political parties, and the result of the count of all such ballots shall be entered separately on the precinct record sheet, and added to the machine tabulated totals and the absentee ballot and other totals thereon. No such rejected or mutilated ballot shall be repunched for inserting into the computer or tabulating unit.

Section 33I: Examination of electronic poll books; compliance with minimum requirements; approval for use in elections
[ Text of section added by 2016, 218, Sec. 101 effective November 7, 2016.]
Section 33I. (a) The state secretary shall examine all types of electronic poll books and determine whether such equipment complies with the minimum requirements for such equipment imposed by regulation promulgated by the state secretary and whether the use of such equipment would further the efficient administration of elections.
(b) Any person owning or interested in such equipment may submit it to the state secretary for examination. For the purpose of assistance in examining such new equipment, the state secretary may, subject to appropriation, employ the services of technical experts.
(c) Any electronic poll book that receives the approval of the state secretary may be used for conducting elections. Any electronic poll book that does not receive such approval shall not be adopted for or used at any election. After such equipment has been approved by the state secretary, any change or improvement in the equipment that does not impair its accuracy, efficiency or capacity shall not render necessary a reexamination or reapproval of the equipment.
(d) A city or town may vote to use approved electronic poll books by a vote of the board of selectmen or town council in a town or city council in a city taken at least 60 days before the first election at which such equipment is to be used. Notification of use of an approved electronic poll book shall be sent to the state secretary within 5 days after the vote.
(e) The state secretary shall promulgate regulations for the certification process, standards, including security, and use of electronic poll books at a polling place or early voting location.

Section 34: Use of voting machines by cities and towns
Section 34. A city or town may, by vote of a majority of the city council or by vote of a majority of the board of selectmen, at a meeting held at least one hundred and twenty days before the primary, preliminary election or election at which voting machines are to be used, determine upon and purchase, lease, or lease with an option to purchase, one or more voting machines approved as provided in section thirty-two, and order the use thereof at primaries, preliminary elections and elections of state, city or town officers in such city or town; and thereafter at all primaries and elections of state, city or town officers in that city or town, until otherwise ordered by the city council in a city and the selectmen in a town, said machines shall be used at primaries and preliminary elections and for voting for the officers to be elected at such elections and for taking the vote upon questions submitted to the voters. Notice of such determination to use voting machines, or to discontinue the use thereof, shall be sent to the state secretary by the city or town clerk within five days after such determination; provided, however, that no such discontinuance shall take place later than ninety days prior to a state or presidential primary or state election, nor later than thirty days prior to a city or town primary, preliminary election or election at which it is to become effective.
A city or town may, by vote of a majority of the city council or by vote of a majority of the board of selectmen, at a meeting held not later than one hundred and twenty days prior to a state or presidential primary or state election, and not later than sixty days prior to a municipal primary, preliminary election or election at which an electronic voting system is first to be used, determine upon the use of, and may lease, purchase, or lease with an option to purchase, the marking units or automatic tabulating equipment necessary to any electronic voting system approved for use in the commonwealth in accordance with section thirty-two. Thereafter, at all primaries, preliminary elections and elections held in said city or town, until otherwise ordered by vote of the city council in a city or of the selectmen in a town, said electronic voting system shall be used in those polling places designated by the city council or board of selectmen.
Notice of determination to use an approved electronic voting system, or to discontinue its use, shall be sent to the state secretary by the city or town clerk within five days after such determination; provided, however, that no such discontinuance shall take place later than ninety days prior to a state or presidential primary or state election, nor later than thirty days prior to a city or town primary, preliminary election or election at which it is to become effective; and, provided further, that no such discontinuance shall prevent the state secretary from selecting appropriate voting machines and vote tally systems pursuant to section thirty-two.

Section 35: Public exhibition of voting machines; instruction to voters; delivery to polls; examination
Section 35. The body, board or official charged with the conduct of elections shall cause to be done all things necessary to properly carry on primaries and elections where voting machines are used. Before every primary and election they shall cause to be placed on public exhibition one or more machines for the instruction of voters. Such machines shall be equipped with ballot labels as nearly as practicable like those to be used on the machine at the primary or election, as to titles of offices, names of candidates and forms of questions. On the day of the election they shall provide at each polling place a mechanical model of the voting machine, which shall be placed outside the guard rail and shall be suitable for the instruction of the voters and illustrating the manner of voting. Before the opening of the polls they shall cause each machine to be prepared for use and delivered at the polling place. On the day of the election the keys to each voting machine shall be delivered by the city or town clerk to the election officers a reasonable time before the opening of the polls in a separate sealed envelope on which shall be written the number and location of the election precinct or polling place, the number of the voting machine, the number of the seal with which it is sealed and the number registered on the protective counter as reported by the city or town clerk. No such envelope shall be opened until at least one of the election officers from each of two political parties are present at the polling place and have examined the envelope to see that it has not been opened. Before opening such an envelope, all election officers present shall examine the seal on the machine to see that it is intact, and they shall compare the numbers on the envelope with the numbers registered on the protective counter and on the seal on the machine to see whether or not they agree. If they do not agree, the machine shall not be opened until the city or town clerk shall have been notified and personally or by the custodian designated under section thirty A shall have examined such machine and certified that it is properly prepared and arranged for the election. If the numbers agree, the election officers shall open the doors of the counter compartment of the machine. All the election officers present shall examine the counter compartment of every machine to see whether or not it registers zero. A candidate for public office whose name appears on said machine or his representative duly authorized in writing shall likewise be permitted to examine and check the figures on the back of a voting machine before the polls open to determine that its figures are properly registered. In cities and towns which use printer type voting machines approved pursuant to section thirty-two, such examination by a candidate whose name appears on said machine or his representative, duly authorized in writing, shall be conducted by means of the printer sheets to determine the figures on each machine are properly registered. Polling places shall be open one half hour before voting begins for the purpose of permitting such candidates to examine said machines. After such examination the doors of each counter compartment shall be closed and locked and not again opened until the polls are closed. If any counter shall be found not to be set at zero, the number and letter of such counter, together with the number registered thereon, shall be stated in a writing signed by the election officers and posted on the wall of the polling place, and a duplicate of such writing shall be filed with the election returns. At the close of the polls such number shall be subtracted from the number then found registered on the counter. Each machine shall remain locked and sealed against voting until the time set for opening the polls. It shall be then unlocked for voting and the seal removed.

Section 35A: Challenged or absent voting ballots where voting machines used; questions submitted to voters
Section 35A. At polling places where voting machines are used ballots cast by challenged voters, and absent voting ballots cast at elections where such voting is permitted by law, shall be deposited in ballot boxes provided in accordance with law. For such polling places, the state secretary or the city or town clerk, as the case may be, shall prepare for the use of voters voting in person whose right to vote is challenged official absent voting ballots, marked ”Challenged Ballots” in large type on the back thereof, when folded. Any such official absent voting ballot so used shall be an official ballot, as such term is used in section thirty-five B. When the state secretary shall determine that it is not feasible for the summary of any question or questions submitted to the people to appear on the voting machine, he shall prepare separate sheets of paper containing such summary and provide such sheets for each polling place, to be used by the voters casting their votes on the voting machine, and one such sheet shall be furnished to each voter as he prepares to cast his vote by the use of such a machine.

Section 35B: Casting challenged votes where voting machines used; counting votes
Section 35B. If the right of a person offering to vote by the use of such a machine is challenged, said person shall not be permitted to cast his vote by the use thereof, but shall be supplied by the presiding officer at the polling place with an official ballot prepared under section thirty-five A, which shall be received, subject to section eighty-five. Upon the deposit of such ballot in the ballot box, the election officers having charge of the voting lists shall cause to be placed thereon, opposite the name of the person casting such ballot, the letters in capitals ”C.V.”
After the closing of the polls, where voting machines are used, the warden, or an election officer, in the presence of an election officer of a different political party, and subject to verification by any or all election officers present, shall, in the order of the offices as arranged on the voting machine, read and announce in distinct tones the result as shown by the counters. He shall, in the same manner, read and announce the vote on each constitutional amendment or other question as shown by the same machine. Such results and votes may be read by means of a printer mechanism, if the voting machine is so equipped, and such results may be accumulated through the use of memory cartridges which are read directly or indirectly to a central computer. As each vote is read and announced, it shall be recorded on the total sheets, and, when completed, the record thereof shall be compared with the numbers on the counters of the machine. The votes written in, or voted by pasters or stickers, for persons not named on the ballot labels of the machine shall then be announced and recorded. The result shall, in like manner, be read, compared and announced, one at a time, from each machine in the polling place until all the votes on the counters have been read, compared and announced, after which the total vote shall be tabulated and entered in the official returns. A candidate for public office whose name appears on said machine, or his representative duly authorized in writing shall, within one hour after the official vote for said office has been announced, be permitted to examine and check the vote recorded on each voting machine. After the vote is tabulated, the election officers shall lock and seal each machine, and enclose and seal the keys in an envelope on which shall be written the number, if any, and the location of the election precinct or polling place, the number of the machine, the number on the seal and the number registered on the counters. In tabulating the votes, total sheets shall be used upon which shall be set down the total number of votes cast for each candidate and the total number of yes and no votes cast on each question as recorded by the voting machines. The totals of ballots cast by challenged voters and of absent voter ballots shall be recorded separately or on separate total sheets and added to the total vote cast by the use of voting machines for each candidate and each question. The total sheets shall be sealed up in envelopes and transmitted to the city or town clerk with the ballots, keys, voting lists and records of the election officers.
All provisions of law relative to primaries and elections, so far as applicable to the use of voting machines and not inconsistent with this section or sections thirty-two, thirty-five A, thirty-seven or regulations promulgated thereunder, shall apply to all primaries and elections held at polling places where voting machines are used.

Section 36: Number of election officers present when voting machines used
Section 36. In any election when voting machines are used in any polling place in any city or town, the number of election officers in such polling place may be less than six in the discretion of the board, body or official in which or in whom the authority to determine the number of election officers in such polling place is vested by law, subject to section thirteen.

Section 37: Regulations for use of voting machines, ballot boxes, etc.
Section 37. The state secretary shall promulgate regulations governing the approval of voting equipment under section thirty-two.
The state secretary shall promulgate regulations governing the contents, form, character and kind of ballots, ballot labels, ballot cards, formats, records, papers and documents and other materials and supplies and procedures necessary in the use of any voting equipment approved in accordance with section thirty-two and in the process of counting and tabulating the ballots.
The state secretary shall prescribe by regulation approved methods of voting such as paper ballot voting, machine voting and electronic voting.
The state secretary shall prescribe rules and regulations to achieve and maintain the maximum degree of accuracy, impartiality and efficiency on the procedures of voting and of counting, tabulating and recording votes.

Section 38: Repealed, 1977, 930, Sec. 8

Section 39: Seller’s bonds; electronic voting systems, voting machines or ballot boxes
Section 39. When an electronic voting system, voting machines or ballot boxes are purchased by the commonwealth or by a city or town, the persons of whom the purchase is made shall give to the state secretary, city or town clerk or election commissioners, as the case may be, a bond with sufficient sureties to keep such system, machines or ballot boxes in working order for two years. Such persons shall also give a bond with sufficient sureties, conditioned to defend and indemnify the commonwealth or cities and towns purchasing, leasing or using the system, machines or ballot boxes against any legal action and for any expense, damage or inconvenience which they may incur or suffer by reason of any suit brought against them for infringement of patents or other rights, arising from the purchase, lease, or use of such system, machines or ballot boxes.

Section 40: Preparation and furnishing
Section 40. All ballots for use in elections of state officers shall be prepared and furnished by the state secretary, and all ballots for use in elections of city or town officers, by the city or town clerk. Ballots for use in an electronic voting system shall be in a form approved by the state secretary under sections thirty-two and thirty-seven.

Section 41: Names; residences; political designation; incumbents
Section 41. Ballots for the use of voters in a voting precinct, polling place or town shall contain the names of all candidates duly nominated for election therein, and, except as provided in section forty-three, they shall contain the name of no other person.
To the name of each candidate for a state office shall be added the name of the city or town where he resides, with the name of the street and number, if any, of his residence, except as provided in section forty-one A. To the name of each candidate for a city office shall be added the name of the street on which he resides, with his street number, if any; and to the name of each candidate for alderman at large shall also be added the number of the ward where he resides.
To the name of each candidate for a state or city office, except for city elections which are not preceded by primaries, shall be added in the same space his party or political designation. Failure to make a political designation shall result in the term ”Unenrolled” being used. To the name of a candidate for a state or city office who is an elected incumbent thereof there shall be added in the same space the words ”Candidate for Reelection”, except in the case of political party candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor. A candidate for election to the same office in a precinct, ward or district which contains any portion of the territory which he was elected to represent at the last preceding municipal or state election for that office shall be considered an elected incumbent within the meaning of this section; provided, however, that a district alderman, councilor or school member seeking election as an at-large alderman, at-large councilor or at-large school committee member, shall not be considered an incumbent. To the name of each candidate for a town office upon an official ballot shall be added the name of the street on which he resides, with his street number, if any and, except for town elections which are not preceded by primaries or political party caucuses, the political designation contained in the certificate of nomination or nomination papers. To the name of each candidate for a town office upon an official ballot who is an elected incumbent thereof shall be added the words ”Candidate for Re-election”. The town clerk shall add the words ”Caucus Nominee” to the name of any candidate nominated for a town office by a caucus held under the provisions of sections one hundred and seventeen to one hundred and twenty, inclusive, of chapter fifty-three.
If a candidate shall receive the nomination of more than one party or more than one political designation for the same office, he may, by a writing delivered to the officer or board required by law to prepare the official ballot, direct in what order the several nominations or political designations shall be added to his name upon the official ballot, and such directions shall be followed by such officer or board.
For all elections following primaries, such direction shall be filed within the time required by section three of chapter fifty-three for acceptance of a write-in or sticker nomination; and for all other elections, within seventy-two hours next succeeding the last time for filing nomination papers or certificates of nomination.
If, during said time, said candidate shall neglect to so direct, said officer or board shall add said nominations or political designations to the name of said candidate upon the official ballot in such order as said officer or board shall determine. The name of any person shall not be printed on the official ballot or on ballot labels more than once as a candidate for the same office nor more than once for any office wherein a full term and a partial term running concurrently are to be filled.

Section 41A: Governor and lieutenant governor candidates; grouping party nominees; order
Section 41A. The surnames of candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor shall be placed upon the official ballot for use at state elections in groups, according to their political party or designation; except, in the case where two candidates have the same surname, then christian names and addresses as they appear on the voting list for each candidate, shall be placed on the ballot. On the right of each such group shall appear a square in which the voter may designate by a cross (X) his choice. The placing of such a cross in the square shall constitute a vote for the candidate for governor and a vote for the candidate for lieutenant governor so designated. The order of the various groups on the ballot shall be determined as follows:?The group in which appears the name of a candidate for governor who is an elected incumbent shall be placed first, except as provided in section thirty-three. Next in order shall appear the groups of candidates of political parties, arranged alphabetically in accordance with the surnames of the candidates for governor, and all other groups of candidates for such offices shall follow, in like order.

Section 42: Arrangement of names; blank spaces; name of city or town, etc.
Section 42. Except as provided in section forty-one A, under the designation of the office, the names of the candidates for re-election to any office to be filled at a state election of which they are the elected incumbents shall be placed first on the ballot in alphabetical order according to their surnames; next and in like order the names of candidates of political parties, as defined in chapter fifty, and the names of all other candidates shall follow in like order.
Under the designation of the office, the names of candidates for each municipal elective office shall, except as city charters otherwise provide, be arranged alphabetically according to their surnames, except that names of candidates for re-election to any such office of which they are the elected incumbents or the incumbents chosen by vote of the board of aldermen or city council in a city, or the incumbents chosen by joint convention of the board of aldermen or city council and school committee, shall be placed first on the ballot in alphabetical order according to their surnames, next and in like order the names of candidates of political parties as defined in chapter fifty, and the names of all other candidates shall follow in like order. A candidate for election to the same office in a precinct, ward or district which contains any portion of the territory which he was elected to represent at the last preceding municipal or state election for that office shall be considered an elected incumbent within the meaning of this section; provided, however, that a district alderman, councilor or school committee member seeking election as an at-large alderman, at-large councilor or at-large school committee member shall not be considered an incumbent. The names of candidates for different terms of service in the same office shall be arranged in groups according to the length of their respective terms, and the names of candidates nominated by single wards but to be voted for at large, shall be arranged in groups by wards in like order. In the case of representatives in congress, the designation may be ”congressman”. Blank spaces shall be left at the end of the list of candidates for each different office equal to the number to be elected thereto, in which the voter may insert the name and address of any person not printed on the ballot for whom he desires to vote for such office; provided, however, that a mistake in stating the address of such person shall not invalidate a vote if the address stated is sufficient to indicate the person for whom the vote was intended. If the approval of any question is submitted to the voters, it shall be printed on the ballot after the names of the candidates.
The names and addresses of the candidates for regional district school committees elected district-wide at state elections who are elected incumbents shall be placed first on the ballot in alphabetical order according to their surnames; and the names and addresses of all other such candidates shall follow in like order. No political or other designation shall appear on the ballot. There shall be printed such directions as shall instruct the voter to vote for the appropriate number of candidates from each community. If the state secretary cannot accommodate all the names on the ballot in a particular community, he may in his discretion print a separate paper ballot for candidates for regional district school committees.
Ballots shall be so printed as to give to each voter an opportunity to designate by a cross (X), in a square at the right of the name and designation of each candidate, or of each group of candidates for governor and lieutenant governor and at the right of each question, his choice of candidates and his answer to such question; and upon the ballots may be printed such directions as will aid the voter; for example, ”vote for one,” ”vote for not more than two,” ”yes,” ”no,” and the like. On each ballot shall be printed the words ”Official Ballot for”, followed by the name of the electoral district, city or town for which the ballot is prepared, and, if the content of the ballot differs within a city or town, the ward and precinct of the city or the precinct of the town, if any, the date of the election, and a facsimile of the signature of the officer who has caused the ballot to be prepared. The state secretary shall prepare a sufficient number of ballots for the use of persons qualified under section one F of chapter fifty-one to vote for electors of president and vice president, upon which there shall be so printed the words ”Official Presidential Elector Ballot for”, followed by the date of the election and a facsimile of the signature of the state secretary. A blank space shall be left at the end of the list of candidates for president and vice president in which the voter may insert the surnames of candidates for president and vice president, which are contained in lists submitted to the state secretary as provided by section seventy-eight A.

Section 42A: Questions submitted to voters; designation
Section 42A. The state secretary and the city or town clerks shall cause each question appearing upon ballots prepared by them to be designated as follows: Questions submitted to the people under Article XLVIII of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth shall appear first in order upon the ballot numbered consecutively, and the first such question so appearing shall be designated by the numeral 1; additional questions shall follow numbered so that all questions appearing upon such ballot shall be numbered consecutively; provided, however, that the fair, concise summary of any measure submitted to the voters under the provisions of said Article XLVIII shall be accompanied on the ballot by the one sentence statement describing the effect of a yes or no vote, prepared as required in section 53. The questions required to be placed upon the official ballot at a biennial state election by section eleven of chapter one hundred and thirty-eight shall be numbered as a single question having three parts, and the questions required to be placed upon the official ballot at such an election by section fourteen of chapter one hundred and twenty-eight A shall be numbered as a single question having two parts.

Section 42B: Public policy questions; placement on ballots
Section 42B. When a question to be submitted to the voters is one of public policy, it shall be stated upon the ballot of every voter thereon: ”This question is not binding.”.

Section 42C: Deadline for ballot questions
Section 42C. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary establishing a later time, the state secretary shall not print on the biennial state election ballot any question to the voters for which he receives final written notice after the sixtieth day before said election. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary establishing a later time, a city or town clerk shall not print on a city or town election ballot any question to the voters for which he receives final written notice after the thirty-fifth day before such election.

Section 43: Presidential electors; arrangement of names
Section 43. The names of the candidates for presidential electors shall not be printed on the ballot, but in lieu thereof the surnames of the candidates of each party for president and vice president shall be printed thereon in one line under the designation ”Electors of president and vice president” and arranged in the alphabetical order of the surnames of the candidates for president, with the political designation of the party placed at the right of and in the same line with the surnames. A sufficient square in which each voter may designate by a cross (X) his choice for electors shall be left at the right of each political designation.

Section 43A: State elections and primaries; officers to be elected; manner and order of appearance on ballots
Section 43A. At state elections and primaries at which any of the following offices are to be voted for, such offices shall appear on ballots and on ballot labels on voting machines in the following order consecutively:?Presidential elector, senator in congress, governor and lieutenant governor, as a group at a state election, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and receiver general, auditor, congressman, councillor, senator and representative in the general court; all other offices to be voted for shall immediately follow said offices consecutively, in such order as the secretary of state may determine; and on ballots, and on ballot labels on voting machines on which the names of the candidates of each political party are arranged in a vertical row, questions to the voters shall follow all of said offices, in such order as the secretary of state may determine.
On ballot labels on voting machines used at state elections and primaries there shall be a space separating the names of the candidates for the office of senator in congress from the names of the candidates for the office of governor, which space shall be not less than one inch in width horizontally when the names of the candidates of each political party are arranged in a horizontal row or one inch in depth vertically when the names of the candidates of each political party are arranged in a vertical row.
On ballots at state elections at which the office of presidential elector is to be voted for, said office shall appear on the ballot in the first column at the left side thereof and the office of senator in congress, if any is to be voted for, shall appear in the same column beneath said office of presidential elector; on ballots at state election and primaries at which the office of presidential elector is not to be voted for, the office of senator in congress, if any is to be voted for, shall appear in the first column at the left side thereof, the groups of candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor shall follow. If neither of the offices of presidential elector or senator in congress is to be voted for, the groups of candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor shall appear on the ballot at the top of the first column at the left of the ballot.

Section 44: Official ballots
Section 44. The official ballots shall, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, be of ordinary white printing paper, of two or more pages, and shall, before distribution, be so folded as to measure not less than four and one half nor more than five inches in width and not less than six nor more than thirteen and one half inches in length. The names of all candidates shall be printed in black ink in lines at a right angle with the length of the ballot. The names of all candidates shall be in capital letters not less than one eighth nor more than one quarter of an inch in height, except that surnames and political designations of the candidates for president and vice president and the names of the candidates for the office of senator in congress shall be in capital letters not less than three sixteenths of an inch in height.

Section 45: Number of ballots provided; ballot labels for voting machines
Section 45. One set of ballots, not less than one for each registered voter, shall be provided for each polling place at which an election for state, city or town officers is to be held. The state secretary or the city or town clerk, as the case may be, may provide a duplicate set of ballots for any polling place when he deems it necessary.
Where voting machines or electronic voting systems are used, the state secretary or the city or town clerk, as the case may be, shall provide sets of ballot labels equal to at least one and one half sets for each such machine or marking unit, provided that at least two sets are provided for each precinct. Official ballots shall also be furnished where voting machines are used, in accordance with section thirty-five A.

Section 46: Packaging ballots; record
Section 46. Ballots, in convenient numbers, shall be arranged in packages. A record of the number of ballots printed and delivered to each polling place shall be kept by the state secretary, or the city or town clerk, for one year.

Section 47: Vacancies; printing ballots
Section 47. If a vacancy occurs or is declared in the list of nominations, by reason of death or ineligibility, the name of the candidate nominated to fill such vacancy shall, if the ballots have not been printed, be placed on them or, if the ballots have been printed, ballots containing the new nomination shall, when practicable, be substituted.

Section 48: Cards of instruction; specimen ballots; copies of information for voters material
Section 48. The state secretary in state elections, city clerks in city elections, and town clerks in town elections at which official ballots are used, shall, for every such election, prepare and cause to be printed in large clear type cards containing full instructions to voters for obtaining ballots, marking them, obtaining assistance and new ballots in place of those accidentally spoiled; and on separate cards such abstracts of the laws imposing penalties upon voters as they shall deem proper. They shall also provide for each polling place ten or more specimen ballots which shall be facsimiles of the ballots provided for voting, but printed without the endorsements and on colored paper. For each polling place where voting machines are used they shall also provide ten voting machine sample ballots which shall be facsimiles of the face of the voting machine as it will appear when set up for use. For each polling place where an electronic voting system is used they shall also provide ten marking unit sample ballots which shall be facsimiles of the booklet, page or ballot display contained in the marking units, printed on one sheet, in a manner suitable for posting. For state elections the state secretary shall supply to each polling place at least one for every one hundred voters thereof copies of the information for voters material provided for in section fifty-four.

Section 48A: Voters’ bill of rights; postings; preparation and revision
Section 48A. The state secretary shall provide a voters’ bill of rights, which shall summarize appropriate election laws of the United States and the commonwealth as the state secretary determines, in a form suitable for posting for every polling place for every election. The state secretary shall also include the voters’ bill of rights in appropriate publications of the state secretary and on the electronic website of the state secretary, and shall transmit copies of the voters’ bill of rights to state and municipal offices where citizens register to vote, including but not limited to the offices of city and town registrars of voters, offices of city and town clerks, and offices of the registry of motor vehicles.
The state secretary shall prepare the voters’ bill of rights after consulting the joint committee on election laws of the general court, and the state secretary shall revise it to reflect changes in the election laws of the United States and the commonwealth.

Section 49: Lists of candidates; copies of proposed constitutional amendments or laws
Section 49. The state secretary, at least five days before state elections, shall transmit to the city or town clerk printed lists of the names, residences and designations of candidates to be voted for at each polling place, substantially in the form of the official ballot, and also printed copies of any proposed amendment to the constitution, law, or proposed law, to be submitted to the people. Upon the receipt thereof the city or town clerk shall conspicuously post in not less than three public places in each ward of a city, or in each town, or in towns divided into voting precincts in each precinct, the lists and copies aforesaid for such ward, town or precinct.

Section 50: City elections; posting names of candidates
Section 50. At least four days before a city election, city clerks shall cause to be posted in every voting precinct the names, residences and designations of all candidates duly nominated to be voted for in their respective cities, substantially in the form of the official ballot.

Section 51: Town elections; posting names of candidates
Section 51. In towns using official ballots the town clerk, at least four days before an election therein, shall cause to be posted in one or more public places the names, residences and designations of all candidates duly nominated to be voted for in the town, substantially in the form of the official ballot.

Section 52: Lists of candidates; questions submitted to voters; availability for publication; state and city elections
Section 52. Before every state election, the state secretary shall make available a list of all candidates to be voted for. He shall also print with said lists the form of any question to be submitted to the voters. Such lists shall be public records and one copy shall be sent to every newspaper in the commonwealth listed in the Directory of New England Newspapers and Periodicals, to be used at the discretion of said newspapers. Before every city election, city clerks shall make available a list of all candidates to be voted for in their respective cities, and the form of any question to be submitted to the voters at such election. Such lists shall be public records and one copy shall be sent to every newspaper listed in the Directory of New England Newspapers and Periodicals, located in such city, to be used at the discretion of said newspapers.

Section 53: Mailing lists of voters; copies of measures, summaries, ballot question titles, statements and arguments to voters; public examination; petition for amendment
Section 53. The election commissioners in the city of Boston, at least twenty-four days, and the registrars of voters in every other city or town, at least ninety days, before the biennial state election, shall cause to be sent to the state secretary mailing lists of the voters whose names appear on the latest voting lists of their respective cities and towns, prepared as required by section fifty-five of chapter fifty-one and indicating, so far as practicable, those addresses that appear to be group residential quarters, with the number of registered voters residing at each such address, and shall promptly furnish him with subsequent additions to and corrections in such lists. The secretary shall cause to be printed and sent to all residential addresses and to each voter residing in group residential quarters, with copies of the measures to which they refer, a summary prepared by the attorney general, a ballot question title prepared jointly by the attorney general and state secretary, fair and neutral 1?sentence statements describing the effect of a yes or no vote prepared jointly by the attorney general and the state secretary, a statement of not more than 100 words prepared by the secretary of administration and finance regarding the fiscal consequences of the measure for state and municipal government finances and, as provided in section 54, arguments for and against measures to be submitted to the voters under Article XLVIII of the Articles of Amendment to the Constitution. The secretary shall make available for public examination a copy of the ballot question titles, 1?sentence statements describing the effect of a yes or no vote and fiscal effect statements and shall publish them in the Massachusetts register by the second Wednesday in May. Any 50 voters may petition the supreme judicial court for Suffolk county to require that a title or statement be amended; provided, however, that the petition shall be filed within 20 days after the publication of the title and statement. The court may issue an order requiring amendment by the attorney general and the state secretary only if it is clear that the title, 1?sentence statement or fiscal effect statement in question is false, misleading or inconsistent with the requirements of this section.
The secretary shall also cause to be printed and sent in like manner any question to be placed on the ballot at a biennial state election for the purpose of ascertaining the will of the people upon a particular subject provided that such question is received by the secretary on or before the first Wednesday of July preceding such election. Any such question shall be presented as set forth in this section for measures submitted under Article XLVIII of the Amendments to the Constitution, provided that the publication and judicial review procedures set forth herein shall be inapplicable where questions are received by the secretary on or after the first Wednesday in May. This section shall not apply to a question of public policy filed in accordance with section nineteen of chapter fifty-three.

Section 54: Arguments on measures; preparation; submission, filing; printing; mailing
Section 54. The state secretary shall cause to be printed and sent, in the manner provided in section fifty-three, arguments for and against every measure to be submitted to the voters of the commonwealth. No argument shall contain more than one hundred and fifty words. The secretary shall seek such arguments from the principal proponents and opponents of each initiative or referendum petition, legislative amendment, legislative substitute or other measure to be submitted to all the voters of the commonwealth and such arguments may be filed on or before the tenth day following the date that any such measure is finally received by the secretary for submission to the voters or within such further time as he shall designate. For purposes of this section, the principal proponents and opponents of a measure shall be those persons determined by the secretary to be best able to present the argument for and against the measure, respectively, at the time the measure is finally received by the secretary for submission to the voters, provided that the principal proponents of an initiative or referendum petition shall be the first ten signers of such petition, or a majority of them. In determining the principal proponents and opponents of a measure, the state secretary shall contact each nonelected political committee which is organized under the provision of chapter fifty-five and which is on file with the director of campaign and political finance to influence the outcome of such a measure. If no argument is received by the secretary from the principal proponents or opponents of a measure within the time allowed by this section, the secretary shall prepare such argument. All arguments filed with or prepared by the secretary under this section shall be open to public inspection.

Section 55 to 58: Repealed, 1991, 234, Sec. 11

Section 58A: General Laws submitted to municipal voters for acceptance; form of question; filing date
Section 58A. Whenever any provision of the General Laws, submitted for acceptance to the voters of a city or town, is to be placed on the ballot at any election, the city or town clerk shall place it on the ballot in the following form:?
”Shall this (city or town) accept the provisions of section (here insert section number) of chapter (here insert chapter number) of the General Laws, a fair and concise summary of which appears below?”

(Set forth here a fair, concise summary and purpose of the law to be acted upon, as determined by the city solicitor or town counsel, as the case may be.) If a majority of the voters voting on said question vote in the affirmative, then said provisions shall take effect in said city or town, but not otherwise.
The provisions of this section relative to the form of submitting for acceptance to the voters of a city or town of any provision of the General Laws shall not apply to the submission for acceptance of any provision of the General Laws in which or in the act creating such provision there is set forth the form in which the question of the acceptance shall be submitted to the voters.
The final date for notifying, or filing a petition with, the city or town clerk or the state secretary to place such a question on the ballot shall be, if no final date is otherwise provided, thirty-five days before the city or town election or sixty days before the state election.
The provisions of this section, including the provision for a fair, concise summary determined by the city solicitor or town counsel, shall also apply whenever any special act is submitted for acceptance to the voters of a city or town, except to the extent that the special act expressly provides otherwise.

Section 59: Packaging and delivery to city or town clerks
Section 59. Ballots for state elections shall be enclosed in a package by the state secretary, sealed and marked with the number of ballots of each kind therein, and specimen ballots, cards of instruction, cards containing abstracts of the laws imposing penalties upon voters, and copies of any measure to be submitted to the people shall be enclosed in another package, and the whole shall be further enclosed in a single package with marks on the outside indicating its contents and the polling place for which it is intended, and transmitted to city and town clerks, so as to be received at least twelve hours before the date of election. The clerks shall return receipts therefor to the secretary. He shall keep a record of the time when and the manner in which the several packages are transmitted, and shall preserve the receipts therefor for one year.
The clerk of each city and of each town using official ballots shall enclose the ballots, specimen ballots, cards of instruction and cards containing abstracts of the laws imposing penalties upon voters for city or town elections in the same manner.

Section 60: Duties of city and town clerks; delivery to polls; receipts
Section 60. The city or town clerk, on the day of every state or city election, before the opening of the polls, shall transmit to the election officers of each polling place therein, all things mentioned in the preceding section which have been provided for such polling place; and the presiding election officer at the polling place shall receipt therefor to the clerk, and such receipt, with a record of the number of ballots transmitted, shall be kept in the clerk’s office for one year. At town elections, the town clerk shall, on the day of the election, before the opening of the polls, deliver the ballots at the polling place to the ballot clerks, who shall receipt therefor, and their receipt shall be preserved in the office of the clerk for one year. If a moderator presides at such election, no such ballots shall be delivered to voters until he has been chosen. The town clerk shall also deliver the specimen ballots, cards of instruction and cards containing abstracts of the laws imposing penalties upon voters at the same time and place. No ballots or specimen ballots shall be delivered by city or town clerks except as provided herein and in section thirty-five A.

Section 61: Failure to deliver; substitute ballots
Section 61. If the ballots provided for any polling place are not delivered, or if after delivery they are destroyed or stolen, the city or town clerk shall cause similar ballots to be prepared; and upon receipt of such new ballots, accompanied by a statement by him on oath that they have been so prepared and transmitted by him, and that the original ballots have not been delivered or have been so destroyed or stolen, the ballots so substituted shall be used.

Section 62: Biennial state elections
Section 62. The biennial state election for the choice of the officers to be elected pursuant to sections one hundred and fifty to one hundred and sixty-two, inclusive, shall be held on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November in every even-numbered year.

Section 63: Calling city and town elections; notice
Section 63. Elections of state officers and city officers shall be called by the aldermen, and the city clerk shall, under their direction, cause notice of such elections to be conspicuously posted in the office of the city clerk or on the principal official bulletin board of such city and any other public building they deem necessary. Before every city election, the clerk shall make available a list of all candidates. He shall also print with said list the form of any question to be submitted to the voters. Such lists shall be public records and one copy shall be sent to every newspaper in said city listed in the Directory of New England Newspapers and Periodicals, to be used at the discretion of said newspapers. Such notices shall be in lieu of the notices or warrants for election required in any city by special statutes. Elections of state officers and town officers shall be called in towns as provided in section ten of chapter thirty-nine. The biennial state and the annual or biennial city and town elections shall be called at least seven days before the day prescribed for the holding thereof.

Section 64: Notices or warrants; requisites; time of opening and closing polls
Section 64. Notices or warrants for state and city elections and for the election of town officers in towns where official ballots are used shall specify by name all the offices to be voted for, and state, in the form in which it will appear upon the ballot, any question submitted to the voters. They shall specify the time when the polls will be opened, and in cities and in towns when voting by precincts, when the polls will be closed, and in towns when not voting by precincts, when they may be closed.
The polls shall in no case be kept open after eight o’clock in the evening. At state elections the polls shall not be closed before eight o’clock in the evening.
In cities and towns at the election of state officers, the polls may be open as early as fifteen minutes before six o’clock in the forenoon, and shall be open not later than seven o’clock in the forenoon and shall be kept open at least thirteen hours. In cities at the election of city officers, the polls may be open as early as fifteen minutes before six o’clock in the forenoon, and shall be open not later than ten o’clock in the forenoon and shall be kept open at least ten hours.
In towns, at the election of town officers, the polls may be opened as early as fifteen minutes before six o’clock in the forenoon, and shall be opened as early as twelve o’clock, noon, and shall be kept open at least four hours, and until the time specified in the warrant when they may or will be closed; and in towns not voting by precincts they may be kept open for such longer time as the meeting shall direct. The selectmen in any town may provide that the hours during which the polls shall be open for the purpose of voting on a question to be submitted to the voters of said town shall be the same as the hours designated by said selectmen for the election of town officers. After an announcement has been made by the presiding officer of a time so fixed for closing the polls they shall not be closed at an earlier hour.

Section 65: Activities at polling places; regulations; penalties
Section 65. At an election of state or city officers, and of town officers in towns where official ballots are used, the presiding election officer at each polling place shall, before the opening of the polls, post at least three cards of instruction, three cards containing abstracts of the laws imposing penalties upon voters, and at least three specimen ballots within the polling place outside the guard rail, and have available at the check in area at state elections a number of copies of the information for voters material provided for in section fifty-four at least one for every one hundred voters; and no other poster, card, handbill, placard, picture or circular intended to influence the action of the voter shall be posted, exhibited, circulated or distributed in the polling place, in the building where the polling place is located, on the walls thereof, on the premises on which the building stands, or within one hundred and fifty feet of the building entrance door to such polling place. In polling places in which voting machines or approved electronic voting systems are used, the samples of the ballot posted shall be, substantially, replicas of the ballot labels, cards or ballots upon which the voters must vote in using the particular machine or system. Pasters, commonly called stickers, shall not be posted, circulated or distributed in the polling place, in the building where the polling place is located, on the walls thereof, on the premises on which the building stands, or within one hundred and fifty feet of the building entrance door to such polling place. Such pasters shall be subject to all the restrictions imposed by sections forty-one and forty-four as to names and residences of candidates and the size of the type in which the names shall be printed; but no political or other designation shall appear on such pasters, and no vote by paster shall be counted if such designation appears. The presiding election officer shall, at the opening of the polls, publicly open the packages containing the ballots and deliver them to the ballot clerks. All specimen ballots not posted shall be kept in the custody of the presiding officer until after the closing of the polls.
No rule, regulation or provision of law shall prohibit a person who is a member of a police or fire department of the commonwealth, or any political subdivision thereof, who is not on active duty, from distributing such material one hundred and fifty feet distant from a building entrance door to a polling place in an election where there appears on the ballot a referendum pertaining to, or affecting, the conditions of employment, including hours of labor and compensation, in the department of which said person is a member subject to the provisions of this section.
No person shall be allowed to collect signatures upon petitions, referendum petitions or nomination papers within one hundred and fifty feet from the building entrance door to a polling place.
Whoever posts, exhibits, circulates or distributes any poster, card, handbill, placard, picture or circular intended to influence the action of a voter, or any paster to be placed upon the official ballot, in violation of any provision of this section, shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty dollars.

Section 66: State ballot boxes; use and custody
Section 66. The state ballot boxes shall be used for receiving the ballots in state and city elections, and in town elections where official ballots are used. The election officers at each polling place shall, at the opening of the polls and before any ballots are received, publicly open the ballot box, and ascertain by personal examination, and publicly show, that the same is empty, and shall immediately thereafter lock or fasten the box. The clerk of the precinct, polling place or town shall make a record of the condition of the ballot box register and, if a key is used, it shall be retained by the police officer or constable at the polling place. The ballot box shall not, after it is shown to be empty, be removed from public view until all ballots have been removed therefrom and the box has been relocked or sealed. The ballot box shall not be opened nor any ballot removed therefrom until the polls are closed; but in order to make room for ballots, the presiding officer may, in the presence of all the election officers, open the box and pack and press down the ballots therein.
The presiding officer of each polling place shall have charge of the ballot box and ballot box seal, and shall, at the close of each election, return the same, either personally or by a police officer or constable in attendance at the polling place, to the city or town clerk.
Except as hereinafter provided, if it becomes impossible to use the state ballot box, the voting shall proceed in such manner as the presiding officer shall direct, and in such case the clerk shall record the reason why such ballot box is not used, and shall enclose an attested copy of such record in the envelope with the ballots cast. The provisions as to the use and custody of the state ballot box shall, so far as applicable, apply to the ballot box substituted therefor.
If it becomes impossible for voting to proceed because the ballot box is too full, the presiding officer, in the presence of a majority of the other election officers, shall open the ballot box, remove the ballots therefrom, without counting them, except that they may be divided into convenient packages, and shall place them in a container of fiber, wood, or metal. He shall then cause the container to be tied up lengthwise and crosswise with heavy twine securely tied, and the knot shall be sealed with stationer’s sealing wax. Any election officer who so desires may affix his private seal to the container in such a way as to indicate later whether it has been opened. The container, with the uncounted ballots, shall not be removed from the polling place, but shall remain beside the ballot box, in full view of the voters and the election officers, until the polls close, when the container shall be opened in order to count the votes.

Section 67: Voting lists; delivery and use; voting by persons not on list
[ Text of section effective until November 7, 2016. For text effective November 7, 2016, see below.]
Section 67. One voting list shall be delivered to the ballot clerks and another to the officer in charge of the ballot box; except that, where voting machines are used, one voting list shall be delivered to the officer at the entrance to the space within the guard rail. When a ballot is delivered to a voter, his name shall be checked on the first voting list and, except where voting machines are used, it shall be checked on the second when he deposits his ballot. Except where voting machines are used, the officer in charge of the ballot box and the officer in charge of the voting list shall be of different political parties. No person shall vote if his name is not on the voting list, nor until the election officer shall check his name thereon, unless he presents a certificate from the registrars of voters as provided by section fifty-one or section fifty-nine of chapter fifty-one, or unless he is voting by provisional ballot under section 76C.
Chapter 54: Section 67. Voting lists; delivery and use; voting by persons not on list
[ Text of section as amended by 2016, 218, Sec. 102 effective November 7, 2016. For text effective until November 7, 2016, see above.]
Section 67. One voting list shall be delivered to the ballot clerks and another to the officer in charge of the ballot box; except that, where voting machines are used, one voting list shall be delivered to the officer at the entrance to the space within the guard rail. When a ballot is delivered to a voter, his name shall be checked on the first voting list and, except where voting machines are used, it shall be checked on the second when he deposits his ballot. Except where voting machines are used, the officer in charge of the ballot box and the officer in charge of the voting list shall be of different political parties. No person shall vote if his name is not on the voting list, nor until the election officer shall check his name thereon, unless he presents a certificate from the registrars of voters as provided by section fifty-one or section fifty-nine of chapter fifty-one, or unless he is voting by provisional ballot under section 76C. A city or town may vote to use electronic poll books rather than paper voting lists in accordance with section 33I.

Section 67A: Additional state ballot boxes; use in towns
Section 67A. If the selectmen so vote, more than one state ballot box may be used at any polling place in any town at state elections and at town elections if official ballots are used therein. If more than one ballot box is to be used at any polling place as aforesaid, the voting lists for use thereat shall each be divided by the selectmen into as many sections as there are ballot boxes. Upon written request of the selectmen of a town for one or more additional ballot boxes for use as herein provided, the state secretary shall provide the same at the expense of such town.

Section 68: Statements made before public declaration of vote; penalties
Section 68. No election officer shall, before the public declaration of the vote, make any statement of the number of ballots cast, the number of votes given for any person, the name of any person who has voted or whose name has not been checked, or of any other fact tending to show the state of the polls, except as expressly permitted by section one hundred and five and except that he shall when requested make a statement of the figures on the ballot box register, which statement shall not be considered an official declaration as to the state of the polls or of the number of ballots cast.
Any election officer who violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months.

Section 69: Persons permitted within guard rail
Section 69. No persons except the election officers, supervisors, custodians of voting machines when acting in the course of their duties, the city or town clerks, and voters admitted for the purpose of voting, shall, during the progress of an election and until the public declaration of the vote, be permitted within the guard rail, unless authorized by the election officers for the purpose of keeping order and enforcing the law. Children, in the company of a voter, may be admitted within the guardrail unless the election officer in charge deems that the admittance of such child would disrupt the maintenance of order.

Section 70: Number of voters permitted within guard rail; voters in line at closing time
Section 70. No more than four voters, besides election officers and supervisors, custodians of voting machines when acting in the course of their duties, and the city or town clerk, in excess of the number of marking compartments provided, shall be allowed at one time within the guard rail. Where voting machines are used, the number of voters allowed within the guard rail shall not be more than twice the number of voting machines provided. After the time fixed for closing the polls, no voters shall be admitted within the guard rail, except the election officers and supervisors, and except voters who are then in the polling place or in line at the door thereof. The presiding officer of the polling place shall provide or cause to be provided to each voter so outside the guard rail a card or slip bearing such voter’s name, and the voter shall as soon as practicable present the same to one of the ballot clerks and shall then be permitted to vote if otherwise qualified. When the polls are closed, the presiding officer shall cause a police officer or other qualified person to be stationed at the end of the line of persons waiting to vote to see that no other persons vote than those who were in the polling place or in line at the door at the time fixed for closing the polls. After the last voter in line at the door has entered within the guard rail, the voters shall be allowed five minutes in which to cast their votes.

Section 71: Presiding officers; powers and duties
Section 71. The presiding officer at each polling place shall enforce the performance by election officers of their duties. During an election and the counting of the ballots after the close of the polls, he shall have authority to maintain order and to enforce obedience to his lawful commands, in and about the polling place and to keep the access thereto open and unobstructed, and he may require any police officer, constable or other person to communicate his orders and directions and assist in their enforcement.

Section 71A: Supervision of election officers in cities and towns
Section 71A. Election officers in cities and in towns shall perform their duties under the supervision of the city or town clerk.

Section 72: Preservation of order by police
Section 72. The board or officer in charge of the police force of each city and town shall detail a sufficient number of police officers or constables for each building that contains the polling place for one or more precincts at every election therein to preserve order and to protect the election officers and supervisors from any interference with their duties and to aid in enforcing the laws relating to elections; provided, however, that this section may apply to section 25B at the discretion of the election officers and registrars for a city or town.

Section 73: Smoking or intoxicating liquors in polling places prohibited; penalties
Section 73. Any person who, during an election or town meeting, shall, in a polling place or place of such meeting, smoke or have in his possession a lighted pipe, cigar or cigarette, or carry into any such place or keep therein any intoxicating liquor, shall be deemed guilty of disorderly conduct; and the presiding officer shall order him to remove such pipe, cigar, cigarette or liquor, or to withdraw from such place, and for disobedience of such order shall cause him to be removed from such polling place or meeting.
Whoever, when so ordered by the presiding officer of an election, caucus, primary or town meeting, refuses or fails to remove any pipe, cigar, cigarette or liquor, or to withdraw from the polling place, as provided by this section, shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty dollars.

Section 74: Detention of offenders; effect on right to vote
Section 74. If a person at an election refuses to obey the lawful commands of the presiding officer or, by disorderly conduct interrupts or disturbs the proceedings of an election officer, the presiding officer may require any police officer, constable or other person to take him into custody and detain him until after the election; but the presiding officer may at any time order his release. Such order of detention shall not be so enforced as to prevent such person, if a voter at that polling place, from voting.

Section 75: Report of violations; prosecutions
Section 75. Every election officer shall forthwith report every violation of any provision of sections sixty-five to eighty-five and one hundred and four to one hundred and thirty-seven, both inclusive, to the police officer or constable in attendance at the polling place, and such police officer or constable shall cause the offender to be prosecuted.

Section 76: Voting; giving name and address upon request; delivery of ballot
Section 76. Each voter desiring to vote at a polling place shall give his name and, if requested, his residence to one of the officers at the entrance to the space within the guard rail, who shall thereupon distinctly announce the same. If such name is found on the voting list, the election officer shall check and repeat the name and shall admit the voter to the space enclosed by the guard rail and, in case official ballots, other than those marked ”Challenged Ballots” as provided by section thirty-five A, are used, such voter shall be given one ballot. The use of electronic means such as tape recording equipment or radio broadcasting equipment for the recording or broadcasting of the names of voters not yet checked as having voted shall be prohibited.

Section 76A: Repealed, 1975, 95

Section 76B: Failure to present voter identification; right to challenge vote
Section 76B. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a person desiring to vote, who fails to present suitable written identification when so requested by an election officer, shall be permitted to vote, but that person’s right to vote may be challenged under section 85.
(b)(1) Subject to paragraph (3), a person asserting a right to vote in an election for federal office shall present identification under paragraph (2) if:
(a) the person registered to vote in the city or town by mail after January 1, 2003; and
(b) the person has not previously voted in an election for federal office in the commonwealth.
(2)(A) A person meets the requirements of this paragraph if the person:
(a) in the case of a person who votes in person:
(i) presents to the appropriate election officer a current and valid photo identification; or
(ii) presents to the appropriate election officer a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter; or
(b) in the case of a person who votes by absentee ballot, submits with the ballot:
(i) a copy of a current and valid photo identification; or
(ii) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.
(B)(i) A person who desires to vote in person but does not satisfy clause (a) of subparagraph (A) may cast a provisional ballot under section 76C.
(ii) A person who desires to vote by absentee ballot but who does not meet the requirements of subclause (ii) of said clause (a) of said subparagraph (A) may return the absentee ballot by mail, and the ballot shall be treated as a provisional ballot under section 76C.
(3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to a person:
(a) who registers to vote by mail and submits as part of that registration either:
(i) a copy of a current and valid photo identification; or
(ii) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or government document that shows the name and address of the voter;
(b) who registers to vote by mail and submits with that registration either:
(i) a driver’s license number;
(ii) at least the last 4 digits of the individual’s social security number; and
(iii) with respect to whom the city or town clerk matches the information submitted under clause (i) with an existing state identification record bearing the same number, name and date of birth as provided in that registration; or
(c) who:
(i) is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. sections 1973ff?1 et seq.;
(ii) is provided the right to vote otherwise than in person under section 3(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act, 42 U.S.C. section 1973ee?1(b)(2); or
(iii) is otherwise entitled by federal law to vote otherwise than in person.

Section 76C: Provisional ballot
Section 76C. (a) Whenever a person asserting a right to vote in a primary, caucus, preliminary, or other election appears at the polling place for the precinct in which that person resides, but that person is not permitted to vote, that person shall be allowed to deposit a provisional ballot as provided in this section. A precinct election officer who cannot confirm a potential voter’s eligibility to vote on election day shall notify the individual of the option of appearing before the city or town clerk to dispute eligibility or vote a provisional ballot in that precinct pursuant to the procedures set forth in this section. An election officer who believes that the individual may be eligible instead to vote in a different precinct shall direct the individual to the polling place for that precinct.
(b) To cast a provisional ballot, an individual shall execute a provisional ballot affirmation before a precinct officer at the polling place declaring that the individual is a registered voter in the city or town and resides within the geographical boundaries of the precinct.
(c) A provisional voter shall be requested to present identification when completing a provisional ballot. Failure to present identification shall not prevent the voter from completing a provisional ballot.
(d) A provisional ballot shall be counted if the city or town clerk determines that the individual is eligible to vote in the precinct in the election under the law of the commonwealth. A provisional ballot shall not be counted if the city or town clerk determines that the individual is ineligible to vote in the precinct in the election under the law of the commonwealth. A provisional ballot cast by a person whose name is not on the voting list for the city or town in which they are claiming the right to vote, but whom the city or town clerk determines to be eligible to vote in another precinct of the same city or town, shall be counted in the precinct in which the person cast the provisional ballot for all offices for which the person is eligible to vote.
(e) An individual who votes in an election for federal office as a result of a federal or state court order or any other order extending the time established for closing the polls by a state law in effect 10 days before the date of that election may only vote in that election by casting a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot cast during an extension of the time for closing the polls required by orders described in this subsection shall be separated and held apart from other provisional ballots cast by those not affected by the order.
(f) The city or town clerk shall count all eligible provisional ballots. A provisional ballot cast by an individual whose voter information is verified before 5:00 p.m. on the third day after a presidential or state primary or the twelfth day after a state election shall be removed from its provisional ballot envelope, grouped with other ballots in a manner that allows for the secrecy of the ballot to the greatest extent possible, and counted as any other ballot.
(g) The city or town clerk must determine persons to be entitled to vote a provisional ballot whenever those persons have registered to vote in that city or town in the past and affirm in writing, signed under the penalties of perjury, that they have continuously resided in the city or town, unless the city or town clerk affirmatively establish, by evidence other than failure to respond to the street listing under section 4 of chapter 51, or failure to respond to a notice under section 37 of said chapter 51, that the person has not in fact continuously resided in that city or town.
(h) The city or town clerk shall report the disposition of all provisional ballots to the state secretary on or before the fourth day following a presidential or state primary and on or before the fifteenth day following a state election.
(i) Instructions shall be posted in each precinct on how to cast a provisional ballot. Each polling place shall have instructional sheets, as provided by the state secretary, instructing individuals on the process of casting a provisional ballot and determining whether the ballot was counted and if not, why.
(j) The state secretary shall make a toll-free telephone number available to individuals for the purpose of determining the status of provisional ballots. Provisional voters wishing to determine the disposition of their ballot may call the office of the state secretary 7 days or more after a presidential or state primary and 20 days or more after an election. The state secretary, before providing information to a voter on the disposition of his ballot, shall verify the identity of the voter by name, address, date of birth and provisional voter number. The state secretary shall not discuss the disposition of any provisional ballot with any person other than that provisional voter.
(k) The state secretary shall promulgate regulations to achieve and maintain accuracy, uniformity and security from forgery and fraud in the procedures for casting provisional ballots.

Section 77: Marking ballots
Section 77. The voter on receiving his ballot shall, without leaving the enclosed space, retire alone to one of the marking compartments and shall, except in the case of voting for presidential electors or groups of candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, and except as provided in section thirty-three E, prepare his ballot by marking a cross (X) in the square at the right of the name of each candidate for whom he intends to vote or by inserting the name and residence of such candidate in the space provided therefor; and, upon a question submitted to the vote of the people, by making a cross in the square at the right of the answer which he intends to give.

Section 77A: Repealed, 1972, 400, Sec. 8

Section 78: Voting for presidential electors, governor, and lieutenant governor; marking ballots
Section 78. In order to vote for presidential electors, the voter shall make a cross (X) in the square at the right of the party or political designation appearing on the ballot at the right of the surnames of the candidates for president and vice president, to vote for whom such candidates for electors are nominated; and the making of a cross as aforesaid shall be deemed and taken as a vote for such candidates for presidential electors, except as provided in section thirty-three E. A vote by sticker or write-in in the blank space at the end of the list of names of presidential and vice presidential candidates may be cast for those candidates whose names are contained in lists filed with the state secretary under the provisions of section seventy-eight A and shall be deemed to be a vote for each of the candidates for presidential elector whose names are contained in the appropriate list so filed; provided, however, that in such case the voter shall list only the surnames of the candidates for president and vice president. In order to vote for governor and lieutenant governor, the voter shall mark a cross (X) in the square at the right of the names of the group of candidates for said offices for whom he desires to vote, or by inserting the name and residence of any person for either office in the blank space provided therefor; provided, however, that no such inserted name may be that of a candidate whose name is printed upon the ballot as a candidate for the office.

Section 78A: List of candidates for electors pledged to presidential candidates other than those on official ballot; written acceptances; filing; certification; form of write-in or sticker vote
Section 78A. In any year in which presidential electors are to be elected, not later than the sixtieth day prior to the date of the election, there may be filed with the secretary of the commonwealth, in a form to be prescribed by him, a list of names and addresses of candidates for such electors, containing the names and addresses of a candidate for president and for vice president to whom such electors shall be pledged in writing. Said list shall contain the written acceptance of each candidate for presidential elector, who shall be a voter of the commonwealth, and the written acceptance of the presidential and vice presidential candidates, who shall be candidates other than those whose names are to be printed upon the official ballot. Said secretary shall certify to all city and town clerks and election commissioners the names of the candidates designated by any such list for the offices of president and vice president and the form of write-in or sticker vote for such candidate which will be deemed acceptable under the provisions of section seventy-eight.

Section 79: Assistance in marking ballots
Section 79. A voter who states to the presiding officer that from blindness or other physical disability or inability to read or to read in the English language he is unable to prepare his ballot or register his vote upon a voting machine shall be assisted in such marking or registering by any person whom he may designate.

Section 80: Prohibited markings; use of red pencils or red ink by election officers
Section 80. Except as authorized by this chapter, no voter, election officer or other person shall place on a ballot any mark by which it may be identified; nor shall any person place a mark against any name upon a ballot not cast by himself; nor shall any election officer engaged in counting ballots, except the election officer or officers actually entering the count of ballots cast on tally sheets, hold in either hand during the counting of ballots a pen, pencil or other marking device. Election officers shall use only red pencils or red ink in recording or tabulating the vote in election precincts.

Section 81: Spoiled ballots
Section 81. If a voter spoils a ballot, he may obtain two others, one at a time, upon returning each spoiled one, and all ballots so returned shall immediately be marked by an election officer ”Spoiled”.

Section 82: Folding ballots; time for marking ballots
Section 82. Before leaving the marking compartment the voter shall fold his ballot, without displaying the marks thereon, as it was folded when received by him, and shall keep it so folded until he has voted. A voter shall mark and deposit his ballot without undue delay, shall leave the space enclosed by the guard rail as soon as he has voted, and shall not remain within the guard rail more than ten minutes. No voter shall occupy a voting compartment more than five minutes, if all the marking compartments are in use and other voters are waiting to occupy the same, nor shall he occupy a marking compartment occupied by another, except as provided in section seventy-nine.

Section 83: Deposit of ballots, voting list check, endorsement
Section 83. Except where voting machines are used, a voter after marking his ballot shall give his name and, if requested, his residence, to one of the officers in charge of the ballot box who shall distinctly announce the same. If the name is found on the voting list by the election officer, he shall distinctly repeat the name and check it on the voting list; and the voter may then deposit his ballot in the ballot box with the official endorsement uppermost and in sight. No ballot without the official endorsement, except as provided in section sixty-one, shall be deposited in the ballot box.

Section 84: Removal of ballots before close of polls
Section 84. No person shall remove any ballot from the space enclosed by the guard rail before the polls are closed. No voter whose name has been checked on the voting list in charge of the ballot clerk, other than an election officer or supervisor, shall again enter such enclosed space during the election.

Section 85: Challenge of person’s right to vote, procedures
Section 85. If in any state, city or town election at which official ballots are used the right of a person offering to vote is challenged for any legal cause, the presiding officer shall administer to him the following oath:
You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you are the identical person whom you represent yourself to be, that you are registered in this precinct (or town) and that you have not voted at this election.
He shall also be required to write his name and residence on the outside of the ballot offered, and the presiding officer shall add thereto the name of the person challenging, and the cause assigned therefor, whereupon such ballot shall be received; and no person shall make any statement or give any information in regard thereto, except as required by law. The clerk shall record the name and residence of every person who has been challenged and has voted.

Section 85A: Challengers
Section 85A. The state committee of a political party may appoint a person to act as a challenger of voters at any polling place in the commonwealth at a state election, and a city or town committee of such a party, in a city or town in which municipal officers are nominated by primaries or by caucuses of political parties, may appoint a person to act as such challenger at any polling place in such city or town at a municipal election. Such challenger may challenge any voter during the hours that said polling place is open for the purpose of voting; and a statement signed by the chairman of the committee appointing him shall be sufficient evidence of his right so to act. He may be compensated for his services by the political party whose committee appointed him. He shall be assigned by the election officer presiding at the polling place to such position within the polling place as will enable him to see and hear each voter as he offers to vote. Nothing herein contained shall deprive any other person of the right to challenge a voter as provided by law.

Section 86: Absent or physically disabled voters
Section 86. Any voter who during the hours that polling places are open on the day of a special state election or the biennial state election or of any special or regular state primary or of a presidential primary is absent from the city or town where he is a voter by reason of being a specially qualified voter as defined in section one of chapter fifty, or his employment in another community, attendance at any institution of higher education or for any other reason or who will be unable to by reason of physical disability to cast his vote in person at the polling place or who for reasons of religious belief will be unable to cast his vote in person on the day of an election and whose application for an official absent voting ballot has been filed with the city or town clerk as provided in section eighty-nine, and certified under section ninety-one, may vote in accordance with sections eighty-seven to one hundred and three, inclusive. A voter who will be unable by reason of permanent physical disability to cast his vote in person at the polling place may file once with the city or town clerk a certificate executed by a registered physician who is personally acquainted with the voter and aware of his permanent physical disability, stating that it is reasonably certain because of permanent physical disability that the voter will be unable to cast his vote in person at the polling place on the day of the election. The city or town clerk shall maintain a list of such permanently disabled voters and such voters shall not be required to file any such certification thereafter with their applications for an absent voting ballot. Not later than twenty-eight days before every primary, preliminary election or election, the city or town clerk shall send to each voter whose name appears on the permanently disabled voters’ list an application for an absent voting ballot, which application said clerk shall complete so far as possible except for the voter’s signature.

Section 87: Preparation of absent voting ballots, envelopes, instructions
Section 87. Prior to each biennial state election the state secretary shall prepare in such quantities as he may deem necessary the following papers:
(a) Official absent voting ballots, similar in all respects to the official ballot to be used at such election, except that they shall be printed on paper differing in color from that used for official or specimen ballots.
[There is no subsection (b).]
(c) Envelopes of sufficient size to contain the ballots specified in subsection (a) bearing on their reverse the voter’s affidavit of compliance with the requirements of section ninety-two.
(d) Envelopes of size sufficient to contain the envelope identified in subsection (c), addressed to the clerks of the several cities and towns within the commonwealth, upon which shall be printed blank spaces for the name, address and voting place of the sender, which shall be filled in by the city or town clerk prior to the mailing of such envelopes.
The state secretary shall furnish such explanatory matter and instructions as he may deem appropriate to carry into effect the purposes of sections eighty-six to one hundred and three, inclusive.

Section 88: Distribution of absent voting ballots
Section 88. The state secretary shall retain for his own use so many of the papers provided for in the preceding section as he may deem sufficient, and shall supply each city and town clerk in the commonwealth with as many of them as he may deem necessary.

Section 89: Applications; seasonably filed; spoiled ballots; application by family member
Section 89. Any form of written communication evidencing a desire to have an absent voting ballot be sent for use for voting at an election shall be given the same effect as an application made in the form prescribed by the state secretary. No application shall be deemed to be seasonably filed unless it is received in the office of the city or town clerk or registrars of voters before noon on the day preceding the election for which such absent voting ballot is requested; provided, however, that if the day preceding such election is a Sunday or legal holiday, then it shall be received by such clerk or registrars before five o’clock post meridian on the last previous day on which such office is open. An application by a voter admitted to a health care facility after noon of the fifth day before the relevant election, as provided in subsection (c) of section ninety-one B, may be received up until the time the polls close.
The provisions of section eighty-one relative to spoiled ballots shall apply to absent voting ballots; provided, however, that no request for a substitute ballot from a voter who has received his ballot by mail shall be valid unless it is accompanied by the spoiled ballot and received in the office of the city or town clerk or the registrars of voters before noon on the day preceding the election for which such substitute absent voting ballot is requested.
No ballot shall be mailed or delivered, as provided in section ninety-one B, until an application has first been filed and certified by the registrars and returned to the clerk, as provided in section ninety-one. Said application may request an absent voting ballot for each regular or special primary and regular or special election which occurs within the calendar year in which the application is received by the city or town clerk or registrars.
A family member of a person qualified to vote by absent voting ballot may apply in the same manner on behalf of such person. Such applicant shall state his relationship to the absent voter, shall sign the application under the pains and penalties of perjury, and shall transmit the application to the clerk of the city or town of the absent voter’s residence.

Section 89A: Repealed, 1993, 475, Sec. 37

Section 90: Repealed, 1946, 140, Sec. 14

Section 91: Applications; filing and certification; notation on voting lists; posting
Section 91. When an application for an official absent voting ballot is received by the clerk of a city or town, it shall be transmitted by him to the registrars, who shall examine it and, if they believe the signature thereon to be genuine and the person executing the signature to be a duly registered voter or a family member of a duly registered voter, shall execute the certificate thereon and return the application to said clerk. Notwithstanding the provisions of the first sentence, if an application for an official absent voting ballot is received by the registrar, assistant registrar, or clerk of a city or town, from the voter who will be absent from said city or town on the date of the election and who requests to make application for an absent voting ballot and to vote in the presence of the registrar, assistant registrar, or clerk during the same visit, said registrar, assistant registrar, or clerk shall examine said application, and if he believes the signature thereon to be genuine and the person executing the signature to be a duly registered voter, shall execute the certification thereon and remain present while the voter marks the ballot as set forth in paragraph two of section ninety-two. The clerk shall cause to be placed on the voting lists prepared as required by section sixty of chapter fifty-one, opposite the name of each voter on whose application such certificate has been so executed, the letters in capitals A. V. If the registrars find the person signing the application not to be a duly registered voter, they shall send him written notice to that effect and shall preserve the application during the time fixed by law for the preservation of ballots cast in the coming election, after which time said application shall be destroyed. The clerk shall prepare lists, arranged by voting precincts, of the names and addresses of all voters on whose applications for absent voting ballots the certificate has been executed as provided in this section, and shall post copies of such lists for public inspection. An applicant for an absent voting ballot who has been furnished a certificate of supplementary registration, as authorized by section fifty-one of chapter fifty-one, shall submit such certificate with his application, and the clerk shall cause to be placed on such certificate opposite the name of the applicant the letters in capitals A. V. Every such certificate shall be securely affixed to the voting lists required by section sixty of chapter fifty-one to be transmitted to the polling place for the precinct where such applicant claims the right to vote and shall be considered a part thereof.
Sections fifty-nine and fifty-nine A of chapter fifty-one shall apply to applications for absent voting ballots, but the certificate mentioned in section fifty-nine shall be issued by the city or town clerk.

Section 91A: Applications of specially qualified voters
Section 91A. A specially qualified voter, as defined in section one of chapter fifty, who qualifies for an absent voting ballot pursuant to section eighty-six, or a family member of such specially qualified voter, may apply for an absent voting ballot in the manner prescribed in section eighty-nine. The registrars may cause an investigation of such resident’s qualifications to be made by a police officer who shall forthwith, after such investigation, report to them his findings with respect thereto, and for such purpose, the board or officer in charge of the police force of the city or town shall give the registrars such assistance as they may require.
If the registrars certify that such resident has the qualifications for voting, the clerk shall deliver an official absent voting ballot to such resident in the manner prescribed in section ninety-one B. If not so certified, such registrars shall give written notice thereof to the applicant and give him an opportunity to be heard. Such registrars shall, seasonably, before every election prepare a list of the names and addresses of specially qualified voters so certified and shall promptly post such lists in their principal office and transmit a copy thereof for each precinct, to the election officers of each such precinct.
Applications under this section shall be subject to challenge under sections forty-seven A to forty-nine, inclusive, of chapter fifty-one, and shall be subject to the penalties for offenses concerning the listing or registration of voters as provided by sections one, two, three, five, six, seven, eight and nine of chapter fifty-six.

Section 91B: Delivery of ballots
Section 91B. The official absent voting ballot and accompanying papers described in section eighty-seven shall be delivered as hereinafter provided.
(a) Except as required by subsections (b) and (c), the ballot and accompanying papers shall be mailed postage prepaid or, if the voter so requests, delivered when called for at the office of the clerk. No ballot shall be mailed to a designated health care facility within the city or town where the voter is registered.
(b) To a voter who is a patient or resident at a designated health care facility, the ballot and accompanying papers shall be delivered, in person, by a registrar, assistant registrar or absent registration officer, at the designated address. For the purposes of this section, a ”designated health care facility” shall mean a health care facility as defined in section twenty-five B of chapter one hundred and eleven, within the city or town, which has been designated for the purpose of supervised absentee voting, in writing, and filed with the city or town clerk, not later than twenty-eight days before a primary or election, by any two registrars or election commissioners.
(c) To a voter who states, under penalty of perjury, that he has been admitted to a health care facility, as defined in section twenty-five B of chapter one hundred and eleven after noon of the fifth day before the relevant election, the ballot and accompanying papers shall, unless the clerk determines that there is insufficient time, be delivered in the same manner as provided in subsection (b); provided, however, that if permitted in the sole discretion of the city or town clerk, a person designated in writing by the voter and who is not a candidate for an office at the election, may instead perform the functions of an election official. If the health care facility is outside the city or town and no such family member is available for such purpose, the ballot need not be delivered in person, but may be mailed.

Section 91C: Absentee ballot for Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, or UOCAVA, voter; entering application for ballot into voter registration information system; transmission of absentee ballot
Section 91C. (a) Upon receipt of a properly executed application for an absentee ballot from a Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, or UOCAVA, voter, a city or town clerk shall retain the application and, without delay, enter the application in the voter registration information system.
(b) Within 24 hours of receiving the absentee ballots or ballot file from the state secretary’s office, the city or town clerk shall transmit such ballot to all UOCAVA voters for whom an application was received in accordance with subsection (a) and shall enter the date of transmission into the voter registration information system.
(c) If a request for an absentee ballot is received from a UOCAVA voter 45 or more days before a federal election, the city or town clerk shall send the ballot and instructions to the applicant not later than 45 days prior to the federal election using either mail or electronic transmission, as requested by the voter.
(d) If a request for an absentee ballot is received from a UOCAVA voter less than 45 days before a federal election, the city or town clerk shall send the ballot and instructions without delay using either mail or electronic transmission, as requested by the voter.
(e) If a request for an absentee ballot is received from a UOCAVA voter 45 or more days before a federal election and the state secretary has determined that the city or town clerk is unwilling or unable to transmit the ballot at least 45 days before the election, the state secretary may, on behalf of the city or town clerk, after notice to the city or town clerk and in accordance with the voter’s choice, electronically transmit or mail the appropriate absentee ballot and instructions to the voter not later than the day 45 days prior to the federal election.
The state secretary shall enter in the voter registration information system the transmission date on which absentee voters were sent ballots by the state secretary pursuant to this subsection.
(f) The state secretary may promulgate regulations to carry out this section.

Section 92: Method of voting
Section 92. A voter who has received an official absent voting ballot shall mark it in the presence of no other person, except as provided in section ninety-eight. The voter shall then enclose and seal the ballot in the envelope provided pursuant to clause (c) of the first paragraph of section eighty-seven, and execute the affidavit on such envelope. The voter shall return the ballot, sealed in such envelope, as hereinafter provided.
(a) A voter who receives the ballot by mail, as provided in subsection (a) of section ninety-one B, may return it by mail to the city or town clerk in the envelope provided pursuant to subsection (d) of section eighty-seven, or such voter or a family member may deliver it in person to the office of the city or town clerk. A voter to whom a ballot was delivered in person at the office of the clerk as provided in said subsection (a) of said section ninety-one B shall return it without removing the ballot from such office.
(b) A voter to whom an election official delivered the ballot in person at a designated health care facility, as provided in subsection (b) of section ninety-one B, shall return it to such election official, who shall return it in his custody to the office of the city or town clerk.
(c) A voter to whom a ballot was delivered in person as provided in subsection (c) of section ninety-one B shall return it to the person who delivered it, and such person shall immediately return it in his custody to the office of the city or town clerk.

Section 93: Time for mailing or delivering ballots
Section 93. All absent voting ballots voted as provided in section ninety-two shall be received by the city or town clerk before the hour fixed for closing the polls.

Section 94: Examination of ballots; acceptance or rejection
Section 94. The city or town clerk or a person designated by him shall open each envelope purporting to contain an official absent voting ballot as soon as possible after receiving it, in the view of any persons who may be present. He shall remove therefrom the inner envelope provided for in clause (c) of the first paragraph of section eighty-seven and, without opening such inner envelope, compare the signature thereon with the signature on the application therefor, except if a family member signed the application or if the voter received assistance in signing the application or the envelope, and examine the affidavit on each such envelope. If he finds that such affidavit has been improperly executed, or does not sufficiently indicate that the ballot was marked and mailed or delivered as required by sections ninety-two and ninety-three, or except as provided in the preceding sentence was not signed by the person who signed the application therefor, he shall mark across the face thereof ”Rejected as defective”, and shall place on the absent voting disposition list required by section ninety-one or section ninety-one A, as the case may be, opposite the name of the voter the capital letter R. Each envelope, so marked, all applications for absent voter ballots and all lists referred to in this section shall be preserved and destroyed in the manner provided by law for the retention, preservation or destruction of official ballots. If he does not mark the envelope ”Rejected as defective”, he shall mark a check against the name of the voter on the absent voting disposition list required by section ninety-one or section ninety-one A, as the case may be. Said clerk, or such person, shall record on tally sheets prepared and furnished by the state secretary all envelopes, as well as accepted or rejected ballots of absent voters; and, in cities and towns divided into voting precincts, a separate record shall be made for each precinct.
Said clerk shall notify, as soon as possible, each voter whose ballot was rejected that such ballot has been rejected. Said notice shall be on a form prescribed by the state secretary and provided by the clerk. Unless the clerk determines that there is clearly insufficient time for the voter to return another ballot, the clerk shall then proceed as if the voter had requested a substitute ballot under section eighty-nine. If the clerk received the original ballot by mail, the clerk shall enclose the substitute ballot and other papers described in section eighty-seven with the mailed notice of rejection. If the original ballot was delivered to the voter in the office of the clerk or at a health care facility, the clerk shall attempt to communicate to the voter as soon as possible that the substitute ballot is available. If the clerk timely receives an inner envelope purporting to contain such a substitute ballot, and does not mark it ”Rejected as Defective” under this section, he shall strike the letter R from any list on which it has been placed under the preceding paragraph.

Section 95: Duties of election officers; deposit of absent voting ballots; receipt and counting of federal write-in absentee ballots
Section 95. The city or town clerk, on the day of the election, but no later than one hour after the hour for the closing of the polls, shall transmit all envelopes purporting to contain official absent voting ballots received on or before the close of business on the day preceding the day of the election and which have not been marked ”Rejected as Defective”, as provided in section ninety-four or ”Rejected as Voted in Person”, as provided in section one hundred, to the election officers in the several precincts where the voters whose names appear on such envelopes assert the right to vote. The warden or his deputy shall forthwith, after receipt of any such envelopes, distinctly announce the name and residence of each such voter and check his name on the voting lists referred to in section sixty of chapter fifty-one, or on his certificate of supplementary registration attached to such lists, as provided in section fifty-one of chapter fifty-one, or on the copy of the lists of specially qualified voters, disposition list required by section ninety-one A, as the case may be, if it has not already been so checked. He shall open the envelopes in which the ballot is enclosed in such a manner as not to destroy the affidavit thereon, take the ballot therefrom without opening it or permitting it to be examined and deposit it in the ballot box. All envelopes referred to in this section shall be retained with the ballots cast at the election and shall be preserved and destroyed in the manner provided by law for the retention, preservation or destruction of official ballots.
Envelopes purporting to contain official absent voter ballots which are received on the day of the election, or in the case of ballots from outside the United States, after the day of a state or city final election in accordance with section ninety-nine, shall be processed in the office of the registrars. Said envelopes shall be processed in the same manner as those received on or before the close of business on the day preceding the day of the election. Said ballots may be counted at the office of the registrars after the hour of the closing of the polls and after the canvass and the count has been completed said registrars shall amend each precinct tally sheet, official return book and check list delivered to the office of the registrars. Such ballots from outside the United States, received on or after the day of a state election in accordance with section ninety-nine, and which are counted at the office of the registrars, shall be counted at a public meeting of the board of registrars of voters. The registrars may hold this meeting as soon as they have received all absent voting ballots mailed to such voters outside the United States, but shall hold it in any event after five o’clock in the afternoon on the tenth day following such state election. Written notice of such meeting shall be given by said board to the chairman of the city or town committee of each political party at least three days before such meeting.
Federal write-in absentee ballots shall be received and counted as provided in section 103 of the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. section 1973ff?2, for any preliminary, primary or general election for federal, state, city, town, county or district office or any ballot question. Federal write-in absentee ballots received for state and city final elections shall be counted only at the public meeting of the registrars held under the preceding paragraph, and only if no valid state ballot has been received from the same voter, but shall be counted even if the voter has not applied for a state absent voter ballot or if the voter’s application was received after the thirtieth day before the election.
Federal write-in absentee ballots from absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters as defined in section 107 of said Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act that are transmitted by email or facsimile as permitted by this section, shall be counted for federal, state, city, town, county or district offices at any preliminary, primary or general election or any ballot question so long as they are received by the city or town clerk before the hour fixed for closing the polls as provided in section 93, but only if no valid state ballot has been received from the same voter; provided, however, that section 99 shall apply to federal write-in absentee ballots sent by mail; and provided further, that a federal write-in absentee ballot shall be counted even if the voter has not applied for a state absent voter ballot or if the voter’s application was received after the thirtieth day before the election. Federal write-in absentee ballots received for preliminary, primary, county, district, city and town elections shall be processed in the office of the registrars after the hour of the closing of the polls and the registrars shall amend each precinct tally sheet to include the counted federal write-in absentee ballots.
Absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters may mail, email or send by facsimile, a completed federal write-in absentee ballot directly to local election officials or use transmission services provided and administered through the Federal Voting Assistance Program, or any successor program. Email or facsimile transmissions of a federal write-in absentee ballot shall include a completed form approved by the Federal Voting Assistance Program, or any successor program, declaring that the voter voluntarily waives the right to a secret ballot. Failure to include such form shall not invalidate the ballot.
The secretary of state shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of this section to establish procedures for electronic transmission, including email and facsimile transmissions, of election materials.

Section 96: Challenges
Section 96. All ballots transmitted under any provision of sections eighty-six to one hundred and three, inclusive, shall be subject to challenge when and as cast for non-compliance with any provision of sections eighty-six to one hundred and three, inclusive, or for any other reason allowed by law, including that the voter was not unable by reason of physical disability to cast his vote in person at the polling place on the day of the election, and if challenged shall be disposed of in accordance with section eighty-five, except that so much of said section as involves the administering of an oath shall not apply thereto, and the writing of the name and address of the voter on the ballot shall be performed by the officer charged with depositing the ballot in the ballot box.

Section 97: Immaterial irregularities
Section 97. No ballot transmitted under any provision of sections eighty-six to one hundred and three, inclusive, shall be rejected for any immaterial addition, omission or irregularity in the preparation or execution of any writing or affidavit required by said sections.

Section 98: Absent voter unable to mark ballot
Section 98. An absent voter who because of blindness or other physical disability or inability to read or read in the English language is unable to prepare his ballot may at his discretion be assisted in marking it by any person whom he may designate. Such designated person shall add in writing a statement that the voter is unable to write, the reason therefor, and shall sign the voter’s name on the inner envelope.

Section 99: Late ballots; disposition
Section 99. All envelopes received by clerks of cities and towns after the hour fixed for closing of the polls on the day of election shall be retained by them unopened until the time set by law for the destruction of ballots cast, at which time the envelopes shall likewise be destroyed, unopened and unexamined; provided, however, that such envelopes received within ten days following a state or city final election and mailed on or before the day of election, from a location outside the United States, shall be processed in accordance with the second paragraph of section ninety-five. A postmark, if legible, shall be evidence of the time of mailing.

Section 100: Voting in person; death of absent voter
Section 100. Except as hereinafter provided, no person to whom an absent voting ballot has been mailed or delivered, as provided in section ninety?two, and opposite whose name on the voting lists the letters A. V. have been placed as provided in section ninety-one, or on whose certificate of supplementary registration the letters A. V. have been placed, as provided in said section ninety?one, shall be permitted to vote in person. No ballot mailed or delivered under the provisions of sections eighty?six to one hundred and three, inclusive, shall be counted if the officers charged with the duty of counting the same are cognizant of the fact that the voter has died prior to the opening of the polls on the day of the election. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the city or town clerk shall, on the day of the election, at his request, give to any person whose name has not been checked as provided in section ninety?four, a certificate of his name and residence, as stated in the annual register, signed by such clerk, and such clerk shall then forthwith place on the list of absent voters, opposite the name of the person to whom such certificate is furnished, the capital letter C. On presentation of such certificate to the presiding election officer of the ward, voting precinct or town in which such voter is registered he shall, after his name has been checked on the voting list or on his certificate of supplementary registration, as the case may be, be allowed to vote. Such presiding officer shall preserve each certificate issued under this section and return it to the city or town clerk in the manner in which the voting lists are required by section one hundred and seven to be enclosed. The city or town clerk shall by telephone authorize the presiding officer to issue such certificate if said clerk determines that a voter at the polling place is entitled to it, and said presiding officer shall then similarly sign and issue such certificate. If, after a certificate is furnished under this section, an envelope purporting to contain an absent voting ballot is received from a voter to whom such a certificate has been issued, and opposite whose name on the list of absent voters the capital letter C has been placed as herein required, said clerk shall mark across the face of such envelope ”Rejected as Voted in Person”, and such envelope shall be preserved and destroyed in the manner provided by law for the retention, preservation and destruction of official ballots.

Section 101: Repealed, 1987, 438, Sec. 8

Section 102: Printed information and instructions as to absent voting
Section 102. The state secretary shall prepare for the use of election officers, city and town clerks and registrars of voters such printed information and instructions as he may deem proper to facilitate the operation of sections eighty-six to one hundred and three, inclusive. Such printed matter shall be transmitted to said officials prior to each state election. The state secretary may prepare and distribute such general information relative to said sections as he may deem expedient.

Section 103: Jurisdiction of courts
Section 103. The supreme judicial and superior courts shall have jurisdiction in equity to require the certification of any application for an absent voting ballot which the registrars have unreasonably refused to certify, to order the counting of any ballot improperly rejected, or to enjoin the counting of any ballot which cannot reasonably be identified as the ballot of a person lawfully entitled to vote as provided in sections eighty-six to one hundred and two, inclusive, or which was not cast in accordance therewith; provided, that no proceeding hereunder shall be begun later than the date fixed by law for the final canvass of votes cast for candidates for state offices.

Section 103A: Sections applicable to city and town elections, primaries and caucuses, and to regional vocational school district elections
Section 103A. Sections eighty-six to one hundred and three Q, inclusive, of this chapter, sections twenty-one and twenty-seven of chapter fifty-six and sections thirty-four A and thirty-seven A of chapter fifty-three shall, so far as applicable, apply to special and regular city primaries, preliminary elections, elections and to town primaries, preliminary elections and elections whether special or regular and to special and regular regional vocational school district elections including elections called to authorize bond issues for said districts. It shall not apply to caucuses wherein official ballots are not used. All the rights, powers, duties and obligations imposed and conferred upon the state secretary by said sections shall, with respect to said city and town elections, preliminary elections, primaries and caucuses, be exercised and performed by the clerk of such city or town, and, in construing said sections for the purposes of this section, any reference to state elections shall be considered as referring to said city or town function. The city or town clerk shall provide the papers required by said sections in a form prescribed by the state secretary.
In each such city which holds its regular city election annually, or which holds such election biennially in the even numbered years, and in which the date for such election is fixed by general or special law at a date earlier than the third Tuesday of December, the date of such city election shall be said third Tuesday and not such earlier date.

Section 103B to 103H: Repealed, 1993, 475, Sec. 46

Section 103I: Repealed, 1967, 115, Sec. 1

Section 103J to 103O: Repealed, 1993, 475, Sec. 46

Section 103P: City or town elections; preliminary elections or primaries
Section 103P. The provisions of this section shall apply to any regular annual or biennial city or town election, notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary. The mayor and aldermen in cities or selectmen in towns may fix the day of holding preliminary elections or primaries in their cities and towns. Where the filing of nomination papers and certification of names thereon in cities and towns that have preliminary elections is based upon the day of the election, they may fix the time for filing nomination papers and for certification of the names thereon. Where nominations for election at a city or town election are made by nomination papers, or by caucuses or conventions, they may fix the last day for filing certificates of nomination and nomination papers. In any city or town where petitions to place questions on the official ballot are filed, they may also fix the last day for filing such petitions. All such petitions shall be submitted to the registrars of voters for certification of the names thereon on or before the fourteenth day preceding the day so fixed for filing.
In any city or town election wherein the voting list of the current year is not available for the purpose of certifying names, the voting list of the preceding year, as amended or revised from time to time, may be used therefor.
Any action taken by the mayor and aldermen or selectmen fixing any day as authorized by this section shall be taken not later than the sixtieth day prior to the day so fixed, and such day so fixed shall be prior to the day otherwise provided by general or special law, and if not so fixed general or special laws shall otherwise apply thereto.
Notice of such action shall be published in one or more local newspapers, if any, or posted in at least five public places within the city or town.
[ Paragraph added by 2015, 46, Sec. 66 effective July 1, 2015. See 2015, 46, Sec. 216.]
Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, if the day fixed by a city or town for holding a preliminary or primary election falls on a religious holiday and impairs the rights of voters as determined by the state secretary, the city or town shall change the date of the election so as to protect the rights of voters.

Section 103Q: Informality; liberal construction
Section 103Q. No mere informality in the manner or carrying out any provision of law affecting voting by absent voting ballot at an election shall invalidate such election or constitute sufficient cause for the rejection of the returns thereof, and such provisions shall be construed liberally to effectuate their purposes.

Section 104: Use of state blank forms and apparatus; canvass of votes
Section 104. The blank forms and apparatus provided by the state secretary shall be used in ascertaining the result of the election or vote in state elections in cities and towns, in city elections, in elections of town officers in towns where official ballots are used, and also in taking the vote upon any proposed amendment to the constitution, upon any law or proposed law submitted to the voters by referendum or initiative petition, and upon any other question submitted by statute to the voters of any senatorial or representative district, or of any city or town in which official ballots are used. If it is impossible to use such blank forms or apparatus, the canvass of the votes shall be made as the presiding officer shall direct; and the clerk shall record the facts relating to the failure to use such blank forms or apparatus, and shall enclose an attested copy of such record in the envelope with the ballots cast.

Section 105: Proceedings at close of polls; counting votes; announcing and recording results
Section 105. Procedures at any precinct where an electronic voting system is in use shall be in accordance with the provisions of section one hundred and five A. In any other precinct, if the state ballot box is used, the clerk shall, as soon as the polls are closed, record the total number of ballots received at the polling place, the ballot box register, and the total number of spoiled ballots. The election officers shall then publicly and in the presence of the other election officers, audibly and distinctly count and announce the number of names checked on each voting list used at the election, shall publicly announce the number so counted and thereafter the clerk shall record the same. The ballot box shall be opened by the presiding officer and the ballots taken therefrom and audibly counted in public view, one by one, and the whole number of ballots cast shall be publicly announced by him. The ballots may be divided into convenient packages, and each block or package shall be canvassed and counted by two election officers representing the two leading political parties, detailed by the presiding officer. The result of the canvass and count shall be reported to the presiding officer, who shall cause it to be correctly recorded on the blank forms provided therefor. Immediately thereafter, the election officers shall proceed to count audibly all unused ballots, and the total number of unused ballots shall be publicly announced by the presiding officer who shall cause this information to be correctly recorded on blank forms provided therefor.
The clerk in open meeting shall publicly announce the result of the vote and enter on the total vote sheet, which shall be considered the precinct record, the total number of names checked on the voting list, the total number of ballots cast, the names of all persons voted for, the number of votes for each person and the title of the office for which he was a candidate, the number of blank ballots for each office, and the number of affirmative and negative votes in answer to any question submitted to the voters and shall forthwith certify such record, seal up the same, and deliver it, outside of the ballot container or envelope, but in a separate sealed envelope, to the city or town clerk, who shall forthwith enter it on his records; provided, that if voting machines are used, the general or precinct record sheet, as the case may be, shall be the record referred to in this paragraph.
At state elections, the city or town clerk, or such person as he shall designate in each precinct or polling place, shall immediately transmit to such central tabulation facilities as the state secretary shall designate, by telephone or telegraph, the vote cast for candidates for offices to be voted for by all the voters of the commonwealth and for congressman, by precincts or by polling places as the count for each such office is completed.
The voting lists and all ballots removed from the ballot box shall be kept in open view of the voters present until enclosed and sealed up, and all proceedings in the canvass and counting of votes shall be public and in open view of the voters, and there shall be no adjournment or postponement until the canvass and counting have been completed, and the voting lists and ballots have been enclosed and sealed up.
Upon the completion of the canvass and the counting, the warden shall place all ballots including absentee ballots, and all lists into a container and place a seal upon all such containers. The clerk shall receive from all the polling places such sealed containers and shall place all election material, so far as practical, in a locked facility.
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the clerks of precincts or the town clerk in a town not divided into precincts may, if authorized in writing by the election commissioners or election commission in a city having such a body, by the city clerk in any other city or by the town clerk in a town, publicly announce the number of votes cast for each candidate for each office as soon as the count of ballots for that office has been completed, and the number of affirmative or negative votes cast upon any question submitted to the voters, as soon as the count of ballots upon such question has been completed.

Section 105A: Electronic voting methods; proceedings at close of polls; counting of ballots; announcement of vote; transportation to tabulation center
Section 105A. At any precinct using an approved electronic voting method, the clerk shall, as soon as the polls are closed, record the total number of ballots received, the number registered on the ballot box, and the total number of spoiled ballots. The election officers shall then, publicly and in the presence of the other election officers, audibly and distinctly count and announce the number of names checked on each voting list used, and the clerk shall record the same. The ballot box shall be opened by the presiding officer, and the ballots taken therefrom and counted, and the whole number of ballots cast shall be publicly announced by him.
Notwithstanding other provisions of this section to the contrary, if the approved electronic voting system is equipped to count votes electronically while the polls are open, the election officers shall read the vote totals from the counting device after the polls close, by means of a printer mechanism or otherwise and any person who in any manner ascertains or discloses the count of such votes before the polls close shall be punished as provided in section sixty-eight.
The ballots removed from the box shall be inspected by teams of two election officers, detailed by the presiding officer to represent the two major political parties. Such inspection shall include the removal of each ballot from its enclosing envelope and an examination of said envelope for write?in or sticker votes. If any such are found, the ballot shall at once be examined, and any ballot which together with its envelope contains more votes for an office than the number to which the voter was entitled shall be hand?counted in the precinct or at the tabulation center.
The count of over-voted ballots shall be entered on sheets provided for the purpose, and the total transferred to the precinct total sheet and signed by the precinct warden and clerk.
The remaining election officers shall also count all unused ballots and the total number of unused ballots shall be publicly announced by the presiding officer, who shall cause this information, to be correctly recorded on blank forms provided therefor.
No public announcement of the vote cast on absentee ballots or upon over-voted ballots shall be made at the polling place.
Unless the polling places have been designated as tabulation centers under section thirty-three F, all remaining ballots, used and unused, together with the ballot envelopes or folders and the precinct total tally sheet, shall be enclosed in a container and locked. The presiding officer shall retain possession of the key. Said container shall forthwith be transmitted to the tabulating center designated under section thirty-three F, if located within said municipality, accompanied by the presiding officer, the precinct clerk, and a police officer, where all uncounted ballots shall be tabulated. If the tabulation center is located outside said municipality, the container from each precinct shall be brought by the presiding officer, precinct clerk, and a police officer to the city or town clerk’s office where said container shall be transported to the tabulation center only after all of the containers have arrived at said clerk’s office. Upon arrival at the city or town clerk’s office each presiding officer shall transfer possession of the key to his container to said clerk. Transportation of the containers to a tabulation center outside said municipality shall be in vehicles designated by said clerk and owned by the municipality conducting the election. The containers shall be loaded for transportation to said tabulation center in full view of the public. The unloading of the containers at said tabulation center shall be done in the presence of the election officers appointed under section thirty-three H. The vehicle transporting said containers outside said municipality shall be accompanied by the city or town clerk or his designee and a police escort at all times during transportation to the tabulation center and said containers shall not be opened at any time during their transportation from the precincts to the city or town clerk’s office and then to the tabulation center.
The counted ballots, both absentee and other, shall be sealed in separate envelopes and shall be transmitted, in accordance with the provisions of section one hundred and seven, to the office of the city or town clerk forthwith. The voting lists shall also be sealed in separate envelopes and transmitted to the office of the city or town clerk.
The voting lists and all ballots removed from the ballot box shall be kept in open view of the voters present until enclosed and sealed up, or until locked in containers for transport to the tabulation center, and there shall be no adjournment or postponement of the proceedings at the polling place until all such proceedings have been completed and the ballots or ballot cards transmitted to the tabulation center.
Sealed and locked ballot or card carrying cases shall be under the constant control and supervision of the precinct warden and clerk and accompanied by police guard during the transportation of said ballot or card carrying cases to the tabulation center, within or outside the municipality.

Section 106: Defective ballots
Section 106. If the use of a state ballot box is required, no ballot shall be counted unless it has been deposited in and cancelled by such ballot box, or has been otherwise deposited in accordance with section sixty-six. Only official ballots shall be counted in any election for which they are provided. If a voter marks more names than there are persons to be elected to an office, or if his choice cannot be determined, his ballot shall not be counted for such office. Ballots cast but not counted shall be marked ”defective” on the outside thereof, and shall be preserved like other ballots.

Section 107: Enclosing and sealing ballots and voting lists; certification
Section 107. The presiding officer at every polling place at elections of state and city officers and of town officers in towns where official ballots are used shall, after the record of the counting has been made, cause all ballots cast to be publicly enclosed in an envelope or container and sealed up with a seal of durable material provided therefor and also with the private seal of any election officer who may desire to affix the same. Seals for containers may be of material used in such manner as to effectively lock the container, or the container may be tied up lengthwise and crosswise with heavy twine securely tied and with the knot sealed with stationer’s sealing wax. The warden and the clerk of the voting precinct, polling place or town shall endorse upon such envelope or container the polling place, the election and the date, and also a certificate that all the ballots cast by the voters of such precinct, polling place or town, and none other, are contained therein. He shall cause all ballots not cast to be enclosed in an envelope or container and sealed up as aforesaid, and shall certify on the envelope or container the contents thereof. Such presiding officer shall cause the voting lists to be enclosed in an envelope and sealed up as aforesaid, and the warden and the clerk shall certify thereon to the identity of the voting lists enclosed. He shall forthwith personally deliver to the city or town clerk or transmit to him, by the police officer or constable in attendance at the election, all the ballots cast, and not cast, the voting lists, the ballot box, the ballot box seals and counting apparatus. This section shall not apply to ballots used in any approved electronic voting system which requires the transmittal of said ballots to a tabulation center.

Section 108: Copies of voting lists as checked
Section 108. At any time after the election, upon written request of any person, the city or town clerk shall, within a reasonable time, open the envelope in which the voting lists have been enclosed, as provided in section one hundred and seven, and make a copy of the lists as checked. The clerk shall thereupon furnish a copy of said lists to the person making the request on payment of a reasonable fee or shall allow such person to examine and copy said lists without charge under such supervision as the clerk may reasonably require. After any such voting list has been so copied, said clerk shall at once enclose it in an envelope, seal up the same and certify thereon to the identity of such lists.

Section 109: Ballots and lists; custody; disposition
Section 109. City and town clerks shall retain in their custody the envelopes or containers containing the ballots cast, without examining them or permitting them to be examined by any person except as required by law, and upon the expiration of the period fixed for their preservation shall cause such ballots to be destroyed.
City and town clerks shall retain in their custody the voting lists as long as they retain the ballots cast. They shall then transmit such voting lists to the registrars of voters, and shall destroy the ballots marked ”Spoiled”, without examining them or permitting them to be examined. Such voting lists shall be preserved by the registrars of voters for reference for two years after the expiration of which they may be destroyed.
City and town clerks shall retain in their custody ballots not cast for 30 days or until any contest is determined or claim is withdrawn under section 134, and shall then make such disposition of the ballots not cast as they consider proper.

Section 109A: Audit of votes following presidential general election
Section 109A. (a) For the purposes of this section, ”audited precinct” shall mean any precinct selected under subsection (c) to conduct audits as provided in this section.
(b) An audit shall be conducted pursuant to this section following any presidential general election.
(1) Each precinct selected pursuant to subsection (c) shall conduct a hand-counted audit of votes cast on the day of election of: (i) races in which more than 1 candidate’s name appears on the ballot for president and vice president, representative in congress, senator in congress, representative in the general court and senator in the general court; and (ii) 1 statewide ballot question, if any appear on the ballot, chosen by random drawing.
(2) If a valid petition for a recount is made pursuant to section 135 for a race subject to audit by this section, then the votes for that race shall not be audited in any precinct named in the petition; provided, however, that if an audit has commenced in a precinct where the valid petition for a recount is made, the audit in the precinct shall be suspended. The audit of the race in question shall proceed in any precinct selected pursuant to subsection (c) not included in the petition for a recount.
(3) Any random drawing required by this subsection shall be conducted by the state secretary. The drawing shall occur at the same time and place as the drawing required by subsection (c).
(c) The precincts to be audited shall be chosen in a random, publicly verifiable, non-computerized drawing supervised by the state secretary within 48 hours after polls are closed. The drawing shall be fully observable to the public and representatives of each political party and shall use a procedure that can be easily understood to be random by members of the public. Notice of the time and place of the drawing shall be given at least 10 days before the election on the electronic website of the state secretary. The number of precincts selected to be audited in this drawing shall be equal to 3 per cent of all precincts in the commonwealth, rounded up to the next highest whole number.
(d)(1) The board of registrars or election commission in a municipality where 1 or more precincts selected to be audited are located shall conduct the audit. The board of registrars or election commission may employ tally clerks to count the ballots. Audits shall begin not later than 2 business days following the random drawing of precincts supervised by the state secretary and shall continue on each successive business day or other day at the discretion of the board or commission in each municipality. The time and place of the audits in a municipality where 1 or more precincts selected to be audited are located shall be publicly announced in advance. The audits shall be performed in full public view and conducted pursuant to the procedures for hand counts of ballots in sections 135 and 135A.
(2) The state secretary shall issue uniform written training materials for audit personnel to each municipality at least 10 days prior to any election to be audited pursuant to this section.
(3) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, to conduct the audit the board or commission shall unseal the envelopes or containers containing the ballots. The board or commission shall, when the audit is complete, enclose all the ballots in their proper envelopes or containers, seal each envelope or container with a seal provided and certify upon each envelope or container that it has been opened and again sealed in conformity to law.
(4) Voter intent shall be the standard for counting votes. Individuals charged with tabulating votes during the audit shall disregard the omission or inaccuracy of initials, the omission, inaccuracy or misspelling of given names and the misspelling of surnames if the intent of the voter to express a preference for any particular individual can be ascertained. The statements of voters shall be counted, tabulated and entered, together with any other votes cast, on official audit report forms provided by the state secretary.
(e) Upon completion of the audit in each municipality, the board of registrars or election commission shall record each race audited in each precinct on a separate audit report form provided by the state secretary. The registrars shall submit the completed audit report forms to the state secretary not later than 14 days following the election. An audit report form shall provide for the entry of:
(i) the number of votes for each candidate or each yes and no vote and the blank votes and over-votes as recorded in the audit hand count;
(ii) the election night tallies reported for each candidate or each yes and no vote, the blank votes and over-votes for the same ballots that were counted in the audit;
(iii) the differences between the audit hand count results and the election night tallies for each candidate, yes and no question and blank votes;
(iv) the number of votes for each contest for which voter intent is discernible but that are not marked by the voter according to the instructions provided to the voters under section 48 and any explanatory notes related thereto; and
(v) any additional notes on perceived causes of discrepancies.
(f) Upon receipt of the results of the audit, the state secretary shall calculate the total number of votes for each candidate and ballot question as recorded in the audit hand count and shall compare this total to the sum of the originally reported votes for each candidate and ballot question in the audited precincts. When the comparison reveals a discrepancy between the hand-counted audit and the originally reported tally of the audited precincts the discrepancy shall be analyzed to ascertain its cause. The state secretary shall oversee the analysis and shall publish the findings and make the findings available online, along with the factual information on which such findings were based, within 180 days of beginning the analysis.
(g) If there is a discrepancy between the results reached pursuant to an audit and originally reported tallies, the hand count of the official paper ballots conducted pursuant to the audit shall be the official vote of record and the board of registrars or election commission shall amend each precinct tally sheet, official return book and check list delivered to the office of the registrars.
(h) If there is a discrepancy between the results reached in a precinct pursuant to an audit and the originally reported tallies in that precinct in any audited race or any audited ballot question that reasonably leads to doubt about the outcome of the election or systemic failure to accurately count ballots, the state secretary may order audits of additional precincts, offices or ballot questions as shall be necessary to ensure that the outcome of the election is accurate and that the cause of the systemic failure is identified.
(i)(1) Upon receipt of the results of the audit, the state secretary shall make information in the audit reports publicly available on a precinct-by-precinct basis as soon as practicable, but not later than 10 days after receipt of the audit report form, in both human and machine readable formats, such as a spreadsheet or comma-separated-value file. This information shall also be posted on the electronic website of the state secretary.
(2) The state secretary shall publish the results of the audit in the report required by section 133 or in some other document in which the results of the audit may easily be compared with the number of votes received by each candidate for nomination and for election for a state and federal office.
(3) The audit and publication of the results shall be completed prior to the time the commonwealth shall make a final determination concerning the appointment of its presidential electors.
(j) The state secretary shall promulgate rules and regulations to implement the requirements of this section.

Section 110: Rejection of records
Section 110. No record of votes cast or copy thereof shall be rejected if the number of votes given for each candidate for an office can be ascertained therefrom.

Section 110A: Central tabulation facilities
Section 110A. The returns transmitted under section one hundred and five shall be considered unofficial and shall be in addition to returns required under this chapter, and shall be disseminated as received by the state secretary from the central tabulation facilities established by him under said section one hundred and five. Subject to the approval of the governor and council, the state secretary may make, and from time to time amend, rules governing the establishment of such central tabulation facilities and the administration thereof.

Section 111: Examination of precinct records; errors; certification
Section 111. The city or town clerk shall forthwith after each election examine the copies of the records of the election officers, and if any error appears therein, shall forthwith give notice thereof to the officers by whom the error was made, who shall forthwith make an additional record under oath in conformity with the facts and deliver a copy thereof to the city or town clerk. Such copy of the records made, with or without notice as aforesaid, shall be received by the city or town clerk at any time before the last day fixed for the transmission of copies of records of the votes cast in the city or town, or on which the results of the election are required to be declared.
The city or town clerk shall examine all original and all additional copies of the records and make them part of the records of such election, and shall certify and attest copies of the records of votes for the several candidates.

Section 112: Copies of records of votes to state secretary
Section 112. The clerk of each city and town and in Boston the Board of Election Commissioners, within fifteen days after the day of any election therein for a senator in congress, representative in congress, governor, lieutenant governor, councillor, state secretary, state treasurer, state auditor, attorney general, clerk of courts, register of probate, sheriff, district attorney, senator or representative in the general court, or for presidential electors, shall transmit to the state secretary copies of the records of votes cast for such officers, together with copies of the records of votes cast on any constitutional amendment, law or proposed law, and on any question submitted to them by statute in any senatorial or representative district or in two or more cities or towns. Said record shall be certified, attested, and sealed by the city or town clerk or election commissioners. The city or town clerk shall within fifteen days after an election for county treasurer or register of deeds, transmit to the county commissioners, and within fifteen days after an election for county commissioners, transmit to the clerk of the courts the records of votes for such officers, certified, attested and sealed as aforesaid; except that in Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop the records of votes for register of deeds shall be transmitted to the election commissioners of Boston. Such copies shall be transmitted in envelopes, upon which shall be stated the offices for, questions on which and districts in which the votes were cast.

Section 113: Unsealed copies transmitted to state secretary; proceedings
Section 113. If any such copy transmitted to the state secretary is not sealed as required by law, he shall forthwith give notice thereof to the officers who transmitted the same; and thereupon another copy shall be made, attested, certified, sealed and transmitted to the secretary. If the second copy is received by him before determination of the persons appearing to be elected and the original appears to be in substantial conformity therewith, the original copy shall not be rejected.

Section 114: Endorsement or memorandum of receipt
Section 114. The state secretary shall cause the date of the receipt of each copy of the records of votes to be endorsed on the envelope containing it; and if received unsealed, a memorandum thereof shall be made on the copy.

Section 115: Copies of records of votes to governor and council; examination; determination of results
Section 115. The state secretary shall lay before the governor and council the copies of the votes cast. After such delivery, the governor, with at least five councillors, shall examine the copies. They shall tabulate said votes and determine who appear to be elected to the several offices, and what appears to be the result of the votes on any question or questions, and shall forthwith transmit to the state secretary an abstract of such tabulation and determination. The state secretary, upon application, shall furnish to newspapers copies of such abstract. In case of a state-wide or district-wide recount under section one hundred and thirty-five, the state secretary shall in like manner lay before the governor and council the copies of the amended records received by him under said section, and the governor with at least five councillors shall, if necessary, revise the aforesaid tabulation and determination accordingly.

Section 116: Certification of results; summons; certificates of election
Section 116. The governor shall, in the presence of at least five councillors, certify to the results of the examination of the copies of the records of votes cast for governor and lieutenant governor, for councillors, for state secretary, state treasurer, state auditor and attorney general, and for senators and representatives in the general court, and shall issue his summons to such persons as appear to be chosen to said offices. The governor shall issue certificates of election to such persons as appear to be chosen to the offices of senator in congress, representative in congress, clerk of the courts, register of probate, sheriff and district attorney, which shall be countersigned and transmitted by the state secretary. No certification shall be made or summons or certificate issued under this section until after five o’clock in the afternoon of the fifteenth day following a state election, or, in case a state-wide or district-wide recount is held in accordance with section one hundred and thirty-five, until the tabulation and determination under the preceding section have been revised in accordance with the results of such recount; provided, however, that such certification may be made or summons or certificate issued on or after the seventh day following a special state election, unless a candidate who received votes at that election files with the state secretary, not later than five o’clock in the afternoon of the sixth day following the election, a written statement of intention to seek a recount or otherwise to contest the election.

Section 116A: Election of person not listed on state ballot; financial interest statement
Section 116A. Any person whose name does not appear on the state election ballot, but who receives sufficient votes to elect him to an office appearing on said ballot, shall within three days after the certification of his election file a statement of financial interest under chapter two hundred and sixty-eight B with the state ethics commission, if he has not already done so.

Section 117: Return to state secretary; laying before legislature; filing
Section 117. After such certification, such copies shall be replaced in their respective envelopes and delivered with the certificate of examination to the state secretary, who shall on the first Wednesday in January lay the same, with schedules showing the number of ballots cast for each person voted for, before the senate and house of representatives.
Except for the above purposes, all such copies, both original and corrected, transmitted to the state secretary, shall remain on file in his office and be there open to the inspection of any interested person.

Section 118: Presidential electors; copies of records of votes; proclamations; certificate of election
Section 118. The copies of the records of votes for presidential electors shall, in any event, within ten days after they have been transmitted to the state secretary, be examined by the governor and council, who shall thereafter declare, by proclamation, the names of the persons who have received at least one-fifth of the entire number of votes cast for electors, and the number of votes received by each such person. The several persons, to the number of electors required to be chosen, who have received the highest number of votes so ascertained, unless notice of a contest has been received by the governor, shall, at the expiration of fourteen days from the date of such proclamation, be deemed to be elected; and the governor shall thereupon issue a certificate of election to every such person.

Section 119: Petition to court for declaration of election; notice; hearing
Section 119. Any person who appears, by the proclamation of the governor, to have received not less than one fifth of the entire number of votes cast for electors, may, if the election is contested, apply by petition to the supreme judicial court for Suffolk county, for a declaration of his election as an elector. Such petition shall set forth the name of every person whose election is contested and the ground for the contest, shall be filed within seven days after the date of such proclamation and shall not thereafter be amended. Before any proceedings thereon, the petitioner shall recognize to the commonwealth, in such sum and with such sureties as the court shall order, to pay all costs incurred in the prosecution of his petition if he shall not prevail. If the petitioner prevails, the cost shall be paid by the commonwealth. The court shall fix a day for a hearing by the full court, which shall be not less than three nor more than seven days after the date of the filing of the petition, and shall order notice of the hearing to be given, with a statement of the substance of the petition in such manner as it may direct, to the governor and to every person whose election is contested. The court shall also order such notice to be published in at least one newspaper designated by it in each county.

Section 120: Procedure; compulsion and immunity of witness
Section 120. The petitioner and the contestant may appear and produce evidence at the hearing, and no person other than the petitioner or a contestant shall be made a party to the proceedings on such petition, or be heard thereon. If more than one petition is pending, or the election of more than one person is contested, the court may order the cases to be heard together and shall apportion the costs between them, and shall finally determine all questions of law and fact. No person shall be excused from testifying or producing papers or documents therein on the ground that his testimony or the production of the papers or documents will tend to criminate him; but no person so testifying shall be liable to any suit or prosecution, civil or criminal, for any matter or cause in respect to which he shall be so examined or to which his testimony shall relate, except to a prosecution for perjury committed in such testimony. The court shall forthwith certify its decision to the governor, who shall thereupon issue certificates of election in accordance therewith. If the petitioner does not prosecute his petition it shall be dismissed and notice thereof given to the governor, who shall issue certificates of election to the persons entitled thereto.

Section 121: Examination of records; certificates of election; notice to state secretary
Section 121. The county commissioners to whom the copies of the records of votes for county treasurer and register of deeds have been transmitted shall, on the first Wednesday of the month following the election, examine such copies, determine what persons appear to be elected, issue certificates of election to them and give notice to the state secretary of the name, residence, and number of votes received by each candidate in each city and town, with the name and term of office of every person elected.
In Suffolk county, the election commissioners of Boston shall, within ten days after the election of register of deeds, in like manner examine the copies of the records of votes, determine who appears to be elected, issue a certificate and give notice as above provided.

Section 122: Board of examiners; duties; certificates of election; notice to state secretary
Section 122. In each county, except Suffolk and Nantucket, the judge and register of the probate court and the clerk of the courts shall be a board of examiners; and if two of said offices are held by the same person in any county, the sheriff shall be a member of the board. The members of said board shall each be paid at the rate of three dollars a day for every day employed in the performance of their duties and ten cents a mile for travel to and from the place of their meeting; and their accounts shall be audited and settled by the county treasurer. Said board shall meet on the first Wednesday of the month following an election for county commissioners and shall examine such copies, determine what persons appear to be elected, issue certificates of election to them and give notice to the state secretary of the name, residence and number of votes received by each candidate in each city and town, with the name and term of office of every person so elected, and shall, within three days thereafter deposit said copies in the office of the clerk of the courts.

Section 123: Incomplete records; new copies of returns
Section 123. If it shall appear to the governor and council, to the board of examiners, to the election commissioners or to the county commissioners, that any copy of a record of votes examined by them is incomplete or erroneous, they may order a new copy of the records to be made and transmitted to them. Such new copy shall be transmitted by the city or town clerk within seven days thereafter, and if found to be correct and in conformity to the requirements of law, shall have the same force as a first copy.

Section 124 to 128: Repealed, 1946, 130, Sec. 4

Section 129: Copies of returns of votes; transmittal to state secretary
Section 129. City and town clerks shall, within fifteen days after an election for representative in the general court, transmit to the state secretary an attested copy of the record of votes cast for all candidates for said office in each voting precinct and in each town not divided into voting precincts.

Section 130: Number of ballots cast; statement at length
Section 130. The whole number of ballots cast at elections shall be stated in words at length in the records of votes and in all copies thereof, but if not so stated, the record or copy shall not be invalid if the true result can be ascertained therefrom.

Section 131: Violations; effect on records
Section 131. A violation by a public officer or election officer of laws relative to providing ballot boxes, blank forms and other apparatus or to the care and preservation thereof, or to the manner of canvassing and counting votes, shall not invalidate any record or copy of a record or certificate made by a city, precinct or town clerk, or affect the title of a person declared to be elected to office.

Section 132: Number of names checked; certification
Section 132. The city or town clerk shall, within fifteen days after an election of state, city or town officers, certify to the state secretary the total number of voters checked on the voting list at such election in each voting precinct of the town. In the case of an election of state officers said clerk shall send a duplicate copy, sealed, to said state secretary, to be by him transmitted to the governor and council. The committee of the council tabulating the returns of votes shall include in their report thereon the number of ballots cast in a district wherein a question is submitted to the voters and a return thereon is made to the state secretary. The city or town clerk shall within fifteen days after an election at which electors of president and vice-president are to be chosen likewise certify to the state secretary the total number of names checked on the list of persons qualified to vote only for such electors at such election in each voting precinct or town, and a duplicate copy thereof, sealed, to be by him transmitted to the governor and council.

Section 133: Number of registered voters, etc.; report
Section 133. The state secretary shall before February first of each year report to the general court the number of registered voters in each city and town at the date of the last preceding state, and city or town election, as the case may be, and the total number of persons who voted at each such election in every city and town, and in every voting precinct therein, and, in the year following a state election, the number of votes received by each candidate for nomination and for election for a state office, and for election for a state committee, arranged by cities, towns and districts, and a concise statement of other matters relating to elections, with such suggestions as he deems advisable.

Section 134: Contested elections; retention of ballots; recounts
Section 134. If a person who has received votes for any office at an election shall, within thirty days thereafter, himself or by his agent serve upon a city or town clerk a written claim to such office or a declaration of an intention to contest the election of any other person, the clerk shall retain the envelopes or containers containing the ballots for such office until such claim is withdrawn or the contest is determined. Any court of competent jurisdiction, or any body having jurisdiction under any constitution, statute, or charter to judge the elections or returns of its own members, may require the clerk to produce such envelopes or containers and ballots.

Section 135: Petition for recount; filing; contents; examination; recounts; notice; amendment of records
Section 135. A petition for a recount may be filed with the city or town clerk on or before five o’clock post meridian on the sixth day following a primary or preliminary election, or on or before five o’clock post meridian on the tenth day following an election, in a ward of a city or in a town, if ten or more voters of such ward or town, except a town having more than twenty-five hundred voters and voting by precincts and except Boston, and in such a town voting by precincts ten or more voters of each precinct in which a recount is petitioned for and in Boston fifty or more voters of a ward, shall sign in person as registered, or substantially as registered, and shall state the address where he is currently living with the street and number, if any, and his address on January the first preceding. In the case of any petition for a recount hereunder, the registrars need not certify a greater number of names than is required hereby for the holding of the recount, increased by one fifth thereof.
Such petition shall be on a form furnished by the state secretary, shall be accompanied by a written request for a recount signed by the candidate on whose behalf the recount is being conducted, shall be sworn to by one of the subscribers before a notary public, and shall contain a statement that they have reason to believe and do believe that the records, or copies of records, made by the election officers of such ward or town, or of such precinct in a town having more than twenty-five hundred voters and voting by precincts, are erroneous, specifying wherein they deem such records or copies thereof to be in error, or that challenged votes were cast by persons not entitled to vote therein, and that they believe a recount of the ballots cast in such ward, precinct or town will affect the nomination or election of one or more candidates voted for at such primary, preliminary election or election, specifying the office or will affect the decision of a question voted upon at such election, specifying the question. The city or town clerk shall forthwith transmit to the registrars of voters such petition and statement, and the envelopes or containers containing all records of the election, including the sealed envelopes containing the ballots cast, the original tally sheets, the envelopes containing the spoiled and unused ballots, the voting lists used at the election, the certificates issued to voters omitted from the voting list, the precinct clerk’s election record, the absentee ballot envelopes and applications for such absentee ballots as were cast at the election, the lists of voters who were sent absentee ballots with the notation as to whether such ballots were cast or rejected or whether such voter voted in person, and the sealed envelopes containing the ballots rejected as defective. In the case of a recount of the votes for an office any candidate for such office shall, upon his request, be permitted to obtain and examine the record books and the clerk of the precinct’s book, so called, where used, and may require that a count be made of the number of persons checked as having voted on the voting lists used at each precinct, and that an examination be made of the figures on each ballot box register.
The registrars shall first examine the petition and statement and attach thereto a certificate of the number of names of subscribers which are names of registered voters in such ward, precinct or town and shall then, without unnecessary delay, but not before the last hour for filing petitions for recounts as aforesaid, open the envelopes or containers, except envelopes containing absentee ballots rejected as defective, recount the ballots cast and determine the questions raised, and shall examine all ballots cast by or for challenged voters, and all provisional ballots received under section 76C and reject any such ballot cast by or for a person found not to have been entitled to vote. They shall examine the sealed inner ballot envelopes rejected as defective as to the reasons for rejection and shall determine whether each such ballot should have been rejected or accepted. The registrars’ determinations shall be subject to protest as said envelopes are examined at the recount. If the registrars determine to accept an inner envelope originally rejected as defective, they shall open such envelope and count the ballot therein, and shall attach such envelope to such ballot. The registrars shall endorse on the back of every cast ballot subsequently rejected and on the back of every inner ballot envelope of absentee ballots originally rejected as defective the reason for such rejection or subsequent acceptance and said statement shall be signed by a majority of said registrars. A member of the board of registrars shall endorse over his signature on the back of each protested ballot the block number of which it is a part and the office for which the vote is protested, together with the name of the candidate for whom the vote is counted.
The registrars at the recount shall determine how protested votes are to be counted and the registrars shall assign tally clerks to count the votes.
In cases of recounts at elections where voting machines have been used the city or town clerk shall transmit to the registrars the records of the election officers, the envelopes or containers containing the total sheets showing the votes recorded by the voting machines, cast by challenged voters and cast by absent voting ballots, respectively, and containing the ballots cast by challenged voters and the absent voting ballots cast, and all other material specified in section one hundred and thirty-five A.
State?wide recounts in cases of offices to be filled or questions to be voted upon at the state election by all the voters of the commonwealth may be requested as provided in the foregoing provisions of this section so far as applicable, except that any petition therefor shall be on a form approved and furnished by the state secretary, shall be signed in the aggregate by at least one thousand voters, and shall be submitted on or before five o’clock post meridian of the tenth day following such election to the registrars of voters of the city or town in which the signers appear to be voters, who shall forthwith certify thereon the number of signatures which are names of registered voters in said city or town, and except that said petitions for recount shall be filed with the state secretary on or before five o’clock post meridian of the fifteenth day following such election. The state secretary shall hold such petitions for recount until after the official tabulation of votes by the governor and council and if it then appears that the difference in the number of votes cast for the two leading candidates for the office, or in the number of affirmative and negative votes on a question, for which recount is desired is more than one half of one per cent of the total number of votes cast for such office or on such question, the petitions for recount shall be void. If such difference in the votes so cast appears to be one half of one per cent or less of the total votes cast for such office or on such question, he shall forthwith order the clerk of each city and town of the commonwealth to transmit forthwith, and said clerk shall so transmit, the envelopes or containers containing the ballots, sealed except in the case of those containing ballots which have already been recounted in respect to said office or question under authority of this section, to the registrars of the city or town who shall, without unnecessary delay, open the envelopes or containers, recount the ballots cast for said office or on such question and determine the questions raised. The registrars shall examine the sealed inner ballot envelopes originally rejected as defective and shall proceed as provided in the third paragraph. The registrars determinations shall be subject to protest as said envelopes are examined at the recount. If a state-wide recount is petitioned for, all ballots cast at a state election shall be held, except as otherwise provided herein, by the city and town clerks until the expiration of sixty days after said election.
District-wide recounts in cases of offices to be filled or questions to be voted upon at state elections, except by all the voters of the commonwealth, may be requested in the same manner as state-wide recounts, except that the petition shall be signed by one-fourth the number of voters required to sign nomination papers for state primary candidates in the appropriate district under section forty-four of chapter fifty-three and provided that the difference in the numbers of votes cast for any candidate seeking an office or nomination and the candidate who is the apparent winner of that office or nomination, or in the number of affirmative and negative votes on a question, for which the recount is desired is not more than one-half of one per cent of the total number of votes cast for such office or nomination or on such question. State-wide and district-wide recounts may be requested for state primaries, and for presidential primaries except for ward and town committees, in the same manner as for state elections, except that the petition shall be submitted to the registrars of voters on or before the third day following the primary, certification shall be completed on or before the sixth day following the primary, and the petition shall be filed with the state secretary on or before the seventh day following the primary. In the case of such state-wide and district-wide recounts for state primaries, the state secretary shall order the recount conducted as soon after the filing of the petition as it appears to him that the difference in votes is within the margin specified in this paragraph.
The board of registrars of voters in any city or town shall set the date of any recount for an office or question which appeared on a state primary or state election ballot, except for state-wide offices to be filled or on such questions to be voted on at the state election by all the voters of the commonwealth, for a date not more than six days after the last say for filing a recount petition for a primary, and not more than ten days after the last day for filing a recount petition for an election. Said board shall forthwith, upon setting the date of any such recount, notify the state secretary in writing of the office to be recounted, the time and place of the recount and the number of observers to which each candidate is entitled. Said board shall give not less than three days written notice to each candidate for the office for which a recount was petitioned under authority of this section, or to such person as shall be designated by the petitioners for any recount of ballots cast upon question submitted to the voters, of the time and place of making the recount, and each such candidate or person representing petitioners as aforesaid shall be allowed to be present and to witness such recount at each table where a recount of the ballots affecting such candidate is being held, accompanied by one or more counsel, if he so desires. Each such candidate or person may also be represented by agents, appointed by him or his counsel in writing, sufficient in number to provide one such agent for each officer counting or checking such ballots; provided, that no such candidate or person may have more than one such agent, other than his counsel, witnessing the work of any one officer at any one time. Each such candidate, person, counsel and agent shall have the right to watch and inspect the ballots, tally sheets and all other papers used in the recount, and to watch every individual act performed in connection therewith. In the case of a recount of ballots cast for offices which are filled by all the voters of the commonwealth, such notice may be given to the duly organized state political committees. In the case of a recount of the ballots cast upon a question submitted to all the voters as aforesaid, one representative from any committee organized to favor or to oppose the question so submitted shall be permitted to be present and witness the recount.
All recounts shall be upon the questions designated in the statements or petitions filed, and no other count shall be made, or allowed to be made, or other information taken, or allowed to be taken, from the ballots on such recount, except that in the case of a recount of the ballots cast for an office, the votes cast for all of the candidates for such office, including blanks cast, shall be recounted and all spoiled and unused ballots shall also be counted and determination shall be made whether each sealed absentee ballot envelope rejected as defective should have been rejected or accepted, and the results recorded on the blank forms provided therefor, together with the absentee ballot envelopes and applications for such absent voting ballots. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prevent the immediate commencement of the work of actually recounting the ballots at the recount.
If, after a petition for a recount of the votes for an office in any ward, town, or precinct of a town has been filed, a candidate who requested the recount files a written request with the city or town clerk that the recount petitioned for be discontinued, the city or town clerk shall immediately suspend the recount and give written notice to each candidate for the office that, unless written notice of a candidate’s objection is received within seventy-two hours after such notice is sent, the recount shall be discontinued. If no such notice of objection is received, the recount shall be discontinued.
If, after a petition for state-wide recount for an office has been filed, the leading candidate, together with every other candidate whose votes therefor are not exceeded in number by the votes of the leading candidate by more than one half of one per cent of the total number of votes cast for such office, shall file a written request with the state secretary that the recount petitioned for be discontinued, the state secretary shall immediately order such recount discontinued whereupon such proceedings shall terminate.
The registrars shall, when the recount is complete, enclose all the ballots in their proper envelopes or containers, seal each envelope or container with a seal provided therefor, and certify upon each envelope or container that it has been opened and again sealed in conformity to law; and shall likewise make and sign a statement of their determination of the questions raised. The registrars shall also enclose all protested ballots in a separate envelope, seal the envelope with a seal provided therefor and certify upon the envelope that it contains all ballots that have been protested. When ballots are summoned to court, only such ballots as have been duly recorded as protested at a recount shall be required to be produced except by express order of the court. The envelopes or containers, with such statement, shall be returned to the city or town clerk, who shall alter and amend, in accordance with such determination, such records as have been found to be erroneous; and the records so amended shall stand as the true records of the election. Copies of such amended records of votes cast at a state election shall be made and transmitted as required by law in the case of copies of original records; provided, that such copies of amended records shall in case of a state-wide recount be transmitted by the city or town clerk to the state secretary within four days of the completion of such recount. If, in case of a recount of votes for town officers, it shall appear that a person was elected other than the person declared to have been elected, the registrars of voters shall forthwith make and sign a certificate of such fact, stating therein the number of votes cast, as determined by the recount, for each candidate for the office the election to which is disputed, and shall file the same with the town clerk. The town clerk shall record the certificate and shall, within twenty-four hours after such filing, cause a copy of such certificate, attested by him, to be delivered to or left at the residence of the person so declared to have been elected, and to the person who by such certificate appears to be elected.
Registrars of voters may employ such clerical assistance as they deem necessary to enable them to carry out this section and in the investigation of challenged votes may summon witnesses and administer oaths.

Section 135B: Recount where electronic voting system used; petition specifying recount by hand
Section 135B. The recount of the votes cast in any polling place where an electronic voting system is used shall consist of the inserting of the original ballots or ballot cards in a computer or tabulating mechanism which has been programmed and tested in accordance with section thirty-three F; provided, that if the recount petition so specifies, said recount shall consist of the checking of the original ballots or ballot cards by hand. Any such recount shall be in conformity with the provisions of section one hundred and thirty-five, so far as applicable.

Section 136: Information regarding ballots cast by challenged voters
Section 136. No officer recounting ballots shall, except as required by law, make any statement or give any information relative to a ballot cast by a challenged voter.

Section 137: Election results in cities; declaration before recounts; certificates of election
Section 137. The city clerk shall not declare the result of an election for city officers or of a vote upon any question submitted to the voters until the time for filing a petition for a recount of ballots has expired, or, if such petition has been filed, until the ballots have been recounted and the returns amended, notwithstanding any special act relating to the city. After the ballots have been recounted and the records amended, the city clerk shall forthwith declare the result of the election, and shall thereupon issue certificates of their election to the persons elected. No person elected to a city office shall act in an official capacity by virtue of such election before his certificate of election has been issued.

Section 138: Presidential electors
Section 138. If, upon examination of the copies of the records of votes for presidential electors, it appears that a majority of the whole number of electors has not been chosen, the governor shall forthwith, by proclamation, call together the general court; and the senators and representatives assembled in joint convention shall by ballot choose electors to complete the full number.
If the whole number of electors has not been chosen when the electors meet on the date fixed under federal law, or if an elector has died or is then absent, the electors present shall forthwith choose electors from the citizens of the commonwealth to complete the full number.

Section 139: Repealed, 2004, 236, Sec. 5

Section 140: Senators and representatives in congress; vacancies
Section 140. (a) Upon failure to choose a senator or representative in congress or upon creation of a vacancy in that office, the governor shall immediately cause precepts to be issued to the aldermen in every city and the selectmen in every town in the district, directing them to call an election on the day appointed in the precepts for the election of such senator or representative. The day so appointed shall not be more than 160 nor less than 145 days after the date that a vacancy is created or a failure to choose occurs. Filing a letter of resignation creates a vacancy under this section, even if the resignation is not effective until some later time, but the date of the election to fill a vacancy under this section shall be after the resignation is effective.
(b) If a vacancy under this section is created after February 1 of an even-numbered year, the governor shall not issue the precepts required by subsection (a), except as subsection (c) provides for a vacancy for senator.
(c) If a vacancy is created for senator in congress after April 10 of an even-numbered year, the governor shall issue precepts under this section, unless section 152 requires that office to appear on the biennial state election ballot in that year. If this section prevents issuance of precepts for senator, the office shall appear on the biennial state election ballot in that year. If a vacancy for senator is created after April 10 of an even-numbered year, but on or before the seventieth day preceding the regular state primary, the precepts shall appoint the day of the regular state primary and the biennial state election for holding the special primary and special election required by this section.
(d) If at the time a senator or representative in congress is elected at the biennial state election, there exists a vacancy in that office, the senator or representative shall also be deemed to have been elected to serve out that vacancy.
(e) A senator elected to fill a vacancy under this section shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(f) Upon failure to choose a senator in congress or upon a vacancy in that office, the governor shall make a temporary appointment to fill the vacancy; provided, however, that the person so appointed shall serve until the election and qualification of the person duly elected to fill the vacancy pursuant to subsection (a) or (c).

Section 141: Representatives in general court; vacancies
Section 141. Upon a vacancy in the office of representative in the general court or upon failure to elect, the speaker of the house of representatives shall issue precepts to the aldermen of each city and the selectmen of each town comprising the district or any part thereof, appointing such time as the house of representatives may order for an election to fill such vacancy; provided, that if such vacancy occurs during a recess between the first and second annual sessions of the same general court, the speaker may fix the time for an election to fill such vacancy. All such elections shall be held on a Tuesday. Upon receipt of such precepts, the aldermen or the selectmen shall call an election, which shall be held in accordance with the precepts.

Section 142: District attorneys and county officers
Section 142. Upon failure to choose a district attorney, clerk of the courts or in Suffolk county of the supreme judicial or superior court, register of probate or sheriff, the governor shall cause precepts to be issued to the proper officers, directing them to call an election on the day appointed therein for the election of such officer.
Upon a vacancy by removal or otherwise in any of the above named offices, he shall in like manner cause precepts to be issued for an election to fill such vacancy at the next biennial state election for which precepts can be seasonably issued, unless the term of the office expires on the first Wednesday of January following such state election.
Upon a vacancy in the office of district attorney, register of probate or sheriff, the governor with the advice and consent of the council may appoint some person thereto until a district attorney, register of probate or sheriff is qualified.
Upon a vacancy in the office of clerk of the courts in any county, or of the clerk of the supreme judicial court in Suffolk county, the justices of said court may appoint a clerk to hold the office until a clerk is qualified.
Upon a vacancy in the office of a clerk of the superior court in Suffolk county, the justices of said court may appoint a clerk to hold the office until a clerk is qualified.

Section 143: County treasurers; registers of deeds
Section 143. Upon failure to choose a county treasurer or a register of deeds for a county or district, except Suffolk and Nantucket counties, the county commissioners shall forthwith issue precepts to the aldermen of each city and the selectmen of each town in such county or district, directing them to call an election for the election of such officer on a day appointed therein.
Upon a vacancy by removal or otherwise in the office of county treasurer or of register of deeds in a county or district, except in Suffolk and Nantucket counties, the county commissioners shall in like manner issue precepts for an election to fill such vacancy at the next biennial state election for which precepts can be seasonably issued, unless the term of the office expires on the first Wednesday of January following such state election, and may appoint some person to fill such office until a person is elected thereto and qualified. The person so appointed shall give bond as provided in section three of chapter thirty-five or section three of chapter thirty-six, as the case may be.
Upon failure to choose a register of deeds in Suffolk county, or upon a vacancy in that office, the city council of Boston shall call meetings to elect a register of deeds or to fill such vacancy, as is above provided for an election in other counties; and, upon a vacancy in that office in said Suffolk county, the superior court shall appoint some person to the office until a person is elected thereto and qualified.
Upon failure to choose a register of deeds in Nantucket county, or upon a vacancy in that office, the selectmen of the town of Nantucket shall call a meeting to elect a register of deeds as is above provided for an election in other counties, and may appoint some person to the office until a person is elected thereto and qualified.

Section 143A: Register of deeds; vacancies
Section 143A. Upon a vacancy by removal or otherwise in the office of register of deeds in a county or district in which said office is under the general superintendency or jurisdiction of the secretary of the commonwealth the secretary shall forthwith issue precepts for an election to fill such vacancy at the next biennial state election for which precepts can be seasonably issued, unless the term of said office expires on the first Wednesday of January following such state election, and the state secretary shall appoint some person to fill such office until a person is elected thereto and qualified. The person so appointed shall give bond as provided in section 3 of chapter 36.

Section 144: County commissioners
Section 144. Upon failure to choose a county commissioner, the board of examiners shall forthwith issue precepts to the aldermen of each city and to the selectmen of each town in such county, directing them to call an election to elect such officer on a day appointed therein.
Upon a vacancy by removal or otherwise in the office of county commissioner, the board of examiners shall in like manner issue precepts for an election to fill such vacancy at the next biennial state election for which precepts can be seasonably issued, unless the term of office of the commissioner whose office is so vacant expires on the first Wednesday of January following such election.
Also upon such vacancy, the two remaining county commissioners and the clerk of the courts for the county, or a majority of them, may appoint a person, not a resident of the same town as either of the remaining commissioners, to fill the office of county commissioner until a person is elected thereto and qualified.

Section 145: Death after election but before term
Section 145. If a person elected to any of the offices mentioned in the 4 preceding sections dies before the first Wednesday of January following his election, the office shall be filled as in case of a vacancy.

Section 146: Notice to state secretary
Section 146. The county commissioners in each county shall forthwith notify the state secretary of any vacancy in the office of county treasurer or of register of deeds; and the board of examiners shall give like notice to the state secretary of any vacancy in the office of county commissioner, and in each case they shall send to him a copy of the precepts issued by them for an election.

Section 147: Elections to fill vacancies
Section 147. At elections held because of a failure to elect or to fill vacancies, the proceedings shall be the same, so far as applicable, as in elections to the same office at the biennial state election.

Section 148: Meetings; organization; record of proceedings
Section 148. The persons chosen as presidential electors shall meet at the state house on the date fixed by federal law next following their election at three o’clock in the afternoon and organize by the choice of a presiding officer and secretary. The state secretary shall call the meeting to order, call the roll of electors, and preside until a presiding officer shall be chosen. The secretary of the electors shall keep a journal of their proceedings and deposit the same in the office of the state secretary, where it shall be recorded and filed.

Section 149: Compensation
Section 149. Each elector shall receive from the commonwealth three dollars for each day of attendance, and one dollar for every five miles of travel from his residence to the place of meeting.

Section 150: State officers
Section 150. At the biennial state election there shall be chosen by the voters of the commonwealth, as prescribed by the constitution, a governor, lieutenant governor, state secretary, state treasurer, state auditor and attorney general; by the voters in each councillor district, one councillor; by the voters in each senatorial district, one senator; and by the voters in each representative district, such number of representatives as the district is entitled to elect.

Section 151: Presidential electors
Section 151. At the biennial state election in each year in which presidential electors are required to be elected, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of senators and representatives in congress to which the commonwealth is entitled, shall be chosen by the voters of the commonwealth in the manner and with the effect provided by section seventy-eight.

Section 152: Senators in congress
Section 152. At the biennial state election in nineteen hundred and twenty-two, and in every sixth year thereafter, and in nineteen hundred and twenty-four, and in every sixth year thereafter, a senator in congress shall be chosen by the voters of the commonwealth.

Section 153: Representatives in congress
Section 153. At each biennial state election a representative in congress shall be chosen by the voters in each congressional district.

Section 154: District attorneys
Section 154. At the biennial state election in nineteen hundred and twenty-two, and in every fourth year thereafter, a district attorney shall be chosen by the voters in each of the districts into which the commonwealth is divided for the administration of the criminal law.

Section 155: Clerks of courts
Section 155. At the biennial state election in nineteen hundred and twenty-two, and in every sixth year thereafter, the clerk of the courts in counties other than Suffolk, and in Suffolk the clerk of the supreme judicial court for that county and the clerks of the superior court for civil and for criminal business therein, shall be chosen by the voters of their respective counties.

Section 156: Registers of probate
Section 156. At the biennial state election in nineteen hundred and twenty-four, and in every sixth year thereafter, a register of probate shall be chosen by the voters of each county.

Section 157: Registers of deeds
Section 157. At the biennial state election in nineteen hundred and twenty-two, and in every sixth year thereafter, a register of deeds shall be chosen by the voters of each district for the registry of deeds, and of each county not divided into districts.

Section 158: County commissioners
Section 158. There shall be chosen by the voters of each of the counties, except Suffolk and Nantucket, at the biennial state election in nineteen hundred and forty, and in every fourth year thereafter, two county commissioners for said county, and at the biennial state election in nineteen hundred and forty-two, and in every fourth year thereafter, one county commissioner for said county, and in addition at each biennial state election such number of county commissioners as may be required to be chosen under section one hundred and forty-four to fill vacancies.
Not more than one of the county commissioners shall be chosen from the same city or town. If two persons residing in the same city or town shall appear to have been chosen to said offices, only the person receiving the larger number of votes shall be declared elected; but if they shall receive an equal number of votes, no person shall be declared elected. If a person residing in a city or town where a county commissioner who is to remain in office also resides, shall appear to have been chosen, he shall not be declared elected. If the person is not declared elected by reason of the above provisions, the person receiving the next highest number of votes for the office, and who resides in another city or town, shall be declared elected.

Section 159: Sheriffs
Section 159. At the biennial state election in nineteen hundred and twenty-six, and in every sixth year thereafter, a sheriff shall be chosen by the voters in each county.

Section 160: County treasurers
Section 160. At the biennial state election in nineteen hundred and twenty-four, and in every sixth year thereafter, a county treasurer shall be chosen by the voters in each county, except Suffolk and Nantucket.

Section 161: Repealed, 1972, 735, Sec. 10

Section 162: Regional district school committees members
Section 162. At the biennial state elections, members of regional district school committees elected at district-wide elections shall be chosen by the voters in each such district. The length of such terms of office shall be determined by the regional school districts; provided, however, that such terms shall not exceed four years.

Chapter 54A: ELECTION OF CERTAIN CITY AND TOWN OFFICERS BY PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION OR PREFERENTIAL VOTING
• [Repealed, 1972, 596, Sec. 2.]

Chapter 55: DISCLOSURE AND REGULATION OF CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURES AND CONTRIBUTIONS

Section 1: Definitions
Section 1. For the purpose of this chapter, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context, the following words shall have the following meanings:
”Ballot question committee”, a political committee which receives or expends money or other things of value for the purpose of favoring or opposing the adoption or rejection of a specific question or questions submitted to the voters including, without limitation, a charter change, an initiative or referendum question or a constitutional amendment.
”Candidate”, any individual who seeks nomination or election to public office, whether or not such individual is nominated or elected. For the purpose of this chapter, an individual shall be deemed to be seeking nomination or election to such office if he has (1) received a contribution or made an expenditure, or has given his consent for any other person or committee to receive a contribution or make an expenditure, for the purpose of influencing his nomination or election to such office, whether or not the specific public office for which he will seek nomination or election is known at the time the contribution is received or the expenditure is made, or (2) taken the action necessary under the laws of the commonwealth to qualify himself for nomination or election to such office, or, if said individual holds elective public office, whether elected or appointed to such office, and he has (3) received any money or anything of value, or made any disbursement resulting from any purchases, made from said individual, or a committee, or a person acting on behalf of said individual or committee, whether through the device of tickets, advertisements, or otherwise, for any fund-raising activity, including a testimonial, regardless of the purpose of said activity, held on behalf of said individual at any time while he holds said public office.
”Candidate’s committee”, the political committee organized on behalf of a candidate, as provided in section five. The term ”candidate’s committee” shall also apply to the campaign fund of a candidate who has not organized a political committee for the purpose of carrying out the election campaign of such candidate or who receives contributions or makes expenditures independently of said committee.
”Clearly identified candidate”, a candidate whose name, photo or image appears in a communication or a candidate whose identity is apparent by unambiguous reference in a communication.
”Contribution”, a contribution of money or anything of value to an individual, candidate, political committee, or person acting on behalf of said individual, candidate or political committee, for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of said individual or candidate, or for the purpose of supporting or opposing a political party committee, or for the purpose of promoting or opposing a charter change, referendum question, constitutional amendment, or other question submitted to the voters, and shall include any: (1) gift, subscription, loan, advance, deposit of money, or thing of value, except a loan of money to a candidate by a national or state bank made in accordance with the applicable banking laws and regulations and in the ordinary course of business; (2) transfer of money or anything of value between political committees; (3) payment, by any person other than a candidate or political committee, or compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to such candidate or committee; (4) purchase from an individual, candidate, or political committee, or person acting on behalf of said individual, candidate, or political committee, whether through the device of tickets, advertisements, or otherwise, for fund-raising activities, including testimonials, held on behalf of said individual, candidate or political committee, to the extent that the purchase price exceeds the actual cost of the goods sold or services rendered; (5) discount or rebate not available to other candidates for the same office and to the general public; and (6) forgiveness of indebtedness or payment of indebtedness by another person; but shall not include the rendering of services by speakers, editors, writers, poll watchers, poll checkers or others, nor the payment by those rendering such services of such personal expenses as may be incidental thereto, nor the exercise of ordinary hospitality; provided, however, that a transfer of funds or payments by a depository candidate or his committee to the political committee of a party, for goods or services provided to a candidate or his committee by such political party shall not be considered to be a contribution.
”Director”, the director of campaign and political finance.
”Election”, any convention or caucus of a political party held to nominate a candidate, and any city, town or state preliminary, primary or election, and any special preliminary, primary or election.
”Electioneering communication”, any broadcast, cable, mail, satellite or print communication that: (1) refers to a clearly identified candidate; and (2) is publicly distributed within 90 days before an election in which the candidate is seeking election or reelection; provided, however, that ”electioneering communication” shall not include the following communications: (1) a communication that is disseminated through a means other than a broadcast station, radio station, cable television system or satellite system, newspaper, magazine, periodical, billboard advertisement, or mail; (2) a communication to less than 100 recipients; (3) a news story, commentary, letter to the editor, news release, column, op-ed or editorial broadcast by a television station, radio station, cable television system or satellite system, or printed in a newspaper, magazine, or other periodical in general circulation; (4) expenditures or independent expenditures or contributions that must otherwise be reported under this chapter; (5) a communication from a membership organization exclusively to its members and their families, otherwise known as a membership communication; (6) bonafide candidate debates or forums and advertising or promotion of the same; (7) email communications; and (8) internet communications which are not paid advertisements.
”Electioneering communication expenditure”, any expenditure made or liability incurred by an individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity as payment for an electioneering communication.
”Executive agent”, an executive agent as defined in section thirty-nine of chapter three.
”Expenditure”, any expenditure of money, or anything of value, by an individual, candidate, or political committee, or a person acting on behalf of said individual, candidate, or political committee, for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of said individual or candidate, or of presidential and vice presidential electors, or for the purpose of promoting or opposing a charter change, referendum question, constitutional amendment, or other question submitted to the voters, and shall include: (1) any purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money, or anything of value; and (2) any transfer of money or anything of value between political committees.
”Independent expenditure”, an expenditure made or liability incurred by an individual, group, association, corporation, labor union, political committee or other entity as payment for goods or services to expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate; provided, however, that the expenditure is made or incurred without cooperation or consultation with any candidate or a nonelected political committee organized on behalf of the candidate or an agent of the candidate and is not made or incurred in concert with or at the request or suggestion of the candidate, a nonelected political committee organized on behalf of the candidate or agent of the candidate.
”Joint contribution”, any contribution made by a check from more than 1 person to a candidate or political committee that includes either the signature or imprinted name of more than 1 individual contributor on a check.
”Legislative agent”, a legislative agent as defined in section thirty-nine of chapter three.
”People’s committee”, a political committee which is not a candidate’s committee, a political party committee or a ballot question committee, that: (i) only receives contributions from individuals; (ii) limits contributions received from any individual to the indexed amount provided for in the definition of ”political action committee”; (iii) has been in existence for 6 months or more; and (iv) contributes to 5 or more candidates; provided, however, that a ”people’s committee” shall initially organize as a political action committee and may become a people’s committee after 6 months.
”Political action committee”, a political committee which is not a candidate’s committee, a political party committee nor a ballot question committee; provided, however, that a political committee which only receives contributions from individuals in an amount or value of one hundred dollars or less in any calendar year, which has been in existence for six months or more and which contributes to five or more candidates shall not be a political action committee; provided, further, that said one hundred dollar amount shall be indexed biennially for inflation by the director, who, not later than December thirty-first of each odd numbered year, shall calculate and publish such index amount, using the federal consumer price index for the Boston statistical area.
”Political committee”, any committee, association, organization or other group of persons, including a national, regional, state, county, or municipal committee, which receives contributions or makes expenditures for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of a candidate, or candidates, or of presidential and vice presidential electors, or for the purpose of opposing or promoting a charter change, referendum question, constitutional amendment, or other question submitted to the voters.
”Political party committee”, a political committee organized in accordance with chapter fifty-two on behalf of a political party, as defined in section one of chapter fifty, whether elected or non-elected.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, any receipt or disbursement of any money or anything of value by an individual, or person acting on behalf of said individual, which is not otherwise a ”contribution” or ”expenditure” as defined in this section, resulting from any purchases from said individual, or any person acting on behalf of said individual, whether through the device of tickets, advertisements, or otherwise, for any fund-raising activity, including a testimonial, held on behalf of said individual, regardless of the purpose of said activity, shall be deemed to be a ”contribution” or ”expenditure” if said individual: (1) is a candidate in accordance with the provisions of clauses (1) or (2) of the definition of ”Candidate” at the time of said receipt or disbursement; (2) holds elective public office, whether elected or appointed to such office, at the time of said receipt or disbursement, and thereby becomes a candidate in accordance with the provisions of clause (3) of said definition; or (3) becomes a candidate in accordance with said clauses (1) or (2) of said definition subsequent to such receipt or disbursement, and shall be reported as a contribution or an expenditure in accordance with the provisions of sections eighteen and nineteen.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, communications from a membership organization, not including a corporation subject to section eight, to its members and their families on any subject shall not be deemed to be a contribution or expenditure.

Section 2: Accounts of contributions and expenditures; violations; penalties
Section 2. Every candidate shall keep detailed accounts of all contributions received by him, or by a person acting on his behalf, and of all expenditures made by him, or by a person acting on his behalf. Said accounts may be kept by an agent duly authorized thereto, but the candidate shall be responsible for said accounts, which shall be kept separate and distinct from all other accounts and shall include contributions made by the candidate from his own personal funds or otherwise. Said accounts shall include:
(1) the full name and residential address of each person who has made a contribution, in an amount or value in excess of fifty dollars in a reporting period, and such information for each contribution of less than or equal to the sum of fifty dollars, if the aggregate of all contributions received from such contributor within said reporting period is in excess of fifty dollars, and the amount of value and date of the contribution;
(2) the amount or value and date of each contribution made in a reporting period, which is not otherwise included under clause (1);
(3) the full name and address of each person to whom an expenditure is made in excess of fifty dollars in a reporting period, a receipted bill stating the particulars of each such expenditure, including the amount or value, date and purpose of each such expenditure;
(4) the amount or value, date and purpose of each expenditure made in a reporting period, which is not otherwise included under clause (3).
The candidate shall preserve all receipted bills and accounts relative to all contributions received, expenditures made and any other campaign finance activity, which shall include the full name and residential address of all persons who have made a contribution to said candidate regardless of the amount of said contribution. The candidate shall preserve said receipted bills and accounts for six years from the date of the relevant election.
In addition to the information otherwise required by this section, a candidate shall keep and preserve accounts including the occupation and employer or employers of each person who has made a contribution in an amount or value of two hundred dollars or more in any one calendar year, and such information for each contribution of less than two hundred dollars, if the aggregate of all contributions received from such contributor within any one calendar year is two hundred dollars or more; provided, however, that a candidate shall satisfy such requirement of including said occupation and employer by requesting a contributor’s occupation and employer at the time a contribution is solicited and making one additional written request. A candidate shall be allowed to keep any such contribution if such candidate has complied with the provisions of this paragraph.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

Section 3: Director of campaign and political finance; selection; term; powers and duties; judicial review of decisions; procedure for violations; penalties; disclosure of fund transfers
Section 3. The state chairman of each of the two leading political parties, the state secretary, and a dean of a law school located in the commonwealth, to be appointed by the governor as provided hereinafter, shall serve as a commission for the purposes of selecting the director of campaign and political finance. The term of the dean of a law school shall be six years but shall expire if he should cease to act as dean; a successor shall be appointed within thirty days after the occurrence of a vacancy in said office. The state secretary shall act as chairman of said commission. Meetings of the commission may be called by the state secretary or by any two other members.
Selection of the director, who shall be a resident of the commonwealth, shall be by unanimous vote of the members of the commission. The commission shall select a successor director no later than thirty days prior to the expiration date of the term of the director and no later than sixty days after the occurrence of a vacancy in said office; provided, however, in the event that a vacancy shall exist in the office of director for ten days beginning with the date of the primary election at which a candidate for any statewide office is nominated and ending one hundred and twenty days after the election, the chairman of the commission shall appoint a director pro tem, who shall serve until a successor director is appointed in accordance with the provisions hereof. An incumbent director may be selected for a succeeding term or terms.
The director shall serve for a term of six years and, unless removed, until his successor has been selected and has assumed the office. He may not be removed from office except upon an affirmative vote of all of the members of the commission then serving. Removal of the director shall be at the discretion of the commission, and shall not be reviewable.
The director shall devote full time to his duties during normal business hours. Subject to appropriation, he shall receive a salary to be determined from time to time by a majority of the members present and voting at a duly-called meeting of the commission, a quorum being present. He shall not, during the term he serves as director, engage in any political activities of any nature, nor shall he hold any other public office; provided, however, that he shall be free to advise and consult with legislative committees, the members of the general court and other persons affected by the laws under his jurisdiction, and to advocate and sponsor legislation.
The director shall appoint such employees as the work of the office may require. The director shall establish the salaries, duties, and personnel regulations of all employees as he deems necessary to perform the duties of the office, provided however, the salaries of such employees shall not exceed the sum annually appropriated by the general court. The provisions of sections nine A and forty-five of chapter 30 and of chapter 31 shall not apply to the employees of the office.
The director shall make available to investigative, accounting and law enforcement agencies of the commonwealth all information necessary or advisable to fulfill their duties, with respect to this chapter. He shall, from time to time as he deems necessary or advisable, issue rules and regulations in conformity with the provisions of this chapter and chapter thirty A, and shall also issue interpretative bulletins and respond with reasonable promptness to requests for information, interpretations and advice presented by candidates, state committees, political committees and members of the public.
All acts, decisions and rulings of the director shall be subject to judicial review under the provisions of chapter thirty A upon the application of any interested person.
The director shall inspect all statements and reports of candidates, or nonelected political committees supporting such candidates, filed with him, within thirty days of the reporting dates required by this chapter, and all other statements and reports within sixty days of the reporting dates required by this chapter. If upon examination of the records it appears that any candidate or political committee has failed to file a statement or report as required by law, or if it appears to the director that any such statement or report filed with him does not conform to law, or upon written complaint by five registered voters that a statement or report does not conform to law, or that any candidate or political committee has failed to file a statement or report required by law, the director shall, in writing, notify the delinquent person. Such complaint shall state in detail the grounds of objection, shall be sworn to by one of the subscribers, and shall be filed with the director within ten days after the required date for filing a statement or report, or within ten days after the actual filing of a statement or report, or an amended statement or report. Upon failure to file a statement or report within ten days after receiving notice under this section or if any statement filed after receiving such notice discloses any violation of any provisions of this chapter, the director shall notify the attorney general thereof and shall furnish him with copies of all papers relating thereto, and the attorney general, within two months thereafter, shall examine every such case, and if satisfied that there is cause, he shall in the name of the commonwealth institute appropriate civil proceedings or refer the case to the proper district attorney for such action as may be appropriate in the criminal courts. The name of a candidate who is required to file campaign finance reports with the director, and who fails to file any statement or report after the initiation of civil proceedings under this section to compel the filing, shall not be printed on any municipal preliminary, state primary or general or special election ballot unless the statement or report is timely filed pursuant to chapter 53 or any charter or special law establishing the filing deadline. The director shall notify the state secretary or, for municipal candidates, the registrars of the city or town, of the names of those candidates against whom civil proceedings for failure to timely file have been initiated and shall do so within 72 hours of the filing deadline for nomination papers for the candidate. Any candidate who is disqualified from appearing on any municipal preliminary, state primary or general or special election ballot as set forth above shall be ineligible to be nominated or elected as a write-in or sticker candidate unless the candidate shall have filed the statements or reports which are the subject of the civil litigation by the date of the municipal preliminary, state primary or general or special election in which the candidate is seeking nomination or election. If civil proceedings are initiated against a state or county candidate for failure to timely file the campaign finance report or statement and the candidate files the report or statement before the primary, the director shall notify the state secretary not later than 24 hours after the date of the primary. If civil proceedings are initiated against a municipal candidate who is required to file with the director and the candidate files the campaign finance report or statement prior to the preliminary or, if no preliminary is held, prior to the date the preliminary for the office sought would have been held, the director shall notify the registrars not later than 24 hours after the date of the preliminary or the date the preliminary would have been held.
The director shall have the power and authority to investigate the legality, validity, completeness and accuracy of all reports and actions required to be filed and taken by candidates, treasurers, political committees, and any other person pursuant to this chapter and any other laws of the commonwealth pertaining to campaign contributions and expenditures. He may require, by summons, the attendance and testimony under oath of witnesses and the production before him of books and papers relating to any matter being investigated by him. Such summons shall be served in the same manner as summonses for witnesses in criminal cases issued on behalf of the commonwealth and all provisions of law relative to summonses issued in such cases shall apply to summonses issued under this section so far as applicable. Any justice of the supreme judicial court or of the superior court may upon application by the director compel the attendance of witnesses summoned as aforesaid and the giving of testimony under oath before said director in furtherance of any investigation in the same manner and to the same extent as before said courts.
The director shall establish rules of procedure governing the conduct of his hearings and investigations which shall be made available in printed form to each witness prior to his testimony. Witnesses shall have the right to be represented by counsel and shall before testifying be sworn. Witnesses shall testify only at private hearings and the same provisions with reference to secrecy which govern proceedings of a grand jury shall govern all proceedings before the director. Violations of such provisions with regard to secrecy shall be punished by a fine of up to one thousand dollars and imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. Upon conviction for any such violation said director shall be removed and the office of director deemed vacant.
The director shall inform any person or committee under investigation by said director by registered mail, return receipt requested, by personal delivery, by leaving a copy of the notice at the person’s last and usual place of residence or by delivering a copy of the notice to an attorney who has appeared on behalf of the alleged violator, of his intention to present to the attorney general evidence of any alleged violation of this chapter. Within ten days of receipt of said notice said alleged violator may request a hearing before the director for the purpose of presenting evidence to the contrary. Said director shall not present evidence of any such alleged violation to the attorney general until after said hearing. Evidence of any such violation of this chapter which has come to the director’s attention shall be presented by the director to the attorney general not later than 120 days before or 3 years after the relevant election or, if the evidence does not relate to an identifiable election, not later than 3 years after the violation.
The director shall assess a civil penalty for any report, statement or affidavit required to be filed with him, or with any city or town clerk upon written notice to him from such clerk, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter which is filed later than the prescribed date. Said civil penalty shall be in the amount of $25 per day; provided, however, that the maximum penalty the director may assess shall be no greater than $5,000 for any one report, statement or affidavit which is filed later than the prescribed date. The director may waive all or part of any civil penalty for good cause; provided, however, that such finding and the reasons therefor are in writing. In the case of failure to file by a candidate or a candidate’s committee, the civil penalty shall be assessed against the candidate; and in all other instances, the civil penalty shall be assessed against the treasurer of the political committee or other person or persons required to file such report, statement or affidavit.
The director shall not disclose publicly any correspondence or communication to a candidate, political committee, or ballot question committee which contains a deadline for response until the deadline has passed or until the director has received a response, whichever is earlier. Notwithstanding the forgoing notices of future filing requirements and notices of failure to file, a required report shall be a public record when issued.
The director shall adopt regulations regarding electioneering communication expenditures and independent expenditures that involve the disclosure of any transfers of money or anything of value from 1 individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity to another individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity to make an electioneering communication expenditure or independent expenditure to ensure that the origin of the funds used to make the expenditure is disclosed in the manner and on the schedule for reports of the expenditures provided for in this chapter.

Section 4: Repealed, 1986, 631, Sec. 3

Section 5: Political committees; statement of organization; officers; duties; expenditures; incorporation; penalties
Section 5. Each political committee shall organize by filing with the director or, if organized for the purpose of a city or town election only, with the city or town clerk, a statement of organization.
The statement of organization shall include: (1) the full name of the political committee, which, if organized on behalf of a candidate, shall include the name of the candidate in said name; which, if not organized on behalf of a candidate, shall include the full words represented by any abbreviations, initials or acronyms in said name; and which, if a political action committee, shall include the words ”Political Action Committee” in said name; (2) the address of the political committee; (3) a statement of the purpose for which the political committee is organized which shall include, except for political party committees and candidate’s committees, a list of specific issues in which the committee takes an interest, and a list of specific interests, including but not limited to business, charitable, educational, or other interests represented by the committee, or by a significant proportion of its officers, members or donors; (4) the name and residential address of the chairman and the treasurer; (5) the name, residential address, and position of other principal officers, including officers and members of the finance committee, if any, and; (6) the name and address, if known, and party affiliation of each candidate the political committee is supporting; provided, however, that if a candidate is nominated without reference to a political party, the name of his political party shall not be required.
The statement of a political committee organized on behalf of a candidate shall also include the written consent of said candidate. No candidate shall give his consent to more than one such committee.
Whenever a statement of organization of a political committee is filed on behalf of a candidate who became a candidate after the deadline for filing nomination papers, the director shall at the time of the filing notify the candidate or his representative of the requirements of clause (a) of section five of chapter two hundred and sixty-eight B and he shall also forward the name and address of such candidate to the state ethics commission within three days after the filing of a political committee with his office.
Any change in information previously submitted in a statement of organization shall be reported to the director, or if organized for the purpose of a city or town election only, to the city or town clerk, within ten days following the change.
Each political committee shall have a treasurer who shall qualify for his office by filing a written acceptance thereof with the director, or if organized for the purpose of a city or town election only, with the city or town clerk. Said treasurer shall remain subject to all the duties and liabilities imposed by this chapter until his written resignation of the office is received or his successor’s written acceptance is filed as aforesaid. No person acting under the authority of, or on behalf of, any political committee shall receive any money or anything of value, or expend or disburse the same, or incur expenses while it has no treasurer qualified as aforesaid, or while the name and address of any of its officers or members, as originally or subsequently chosen, is not filed in accordance with the provisions of this section or chapter fifty-two, as the case may be.
Each treasurer of a political committee shall keep and preserve detailed accounts, vouchers and receipts as prescribed for a candidate by the provisions of section two. Each treasurer of a political committee shall keep said records for a period of six years following the date of the relevant election. A candidate may not be the treasurer of the political committee which has been organized on his behalf.
The secretary of each ward, city and town committee shall file with the director a list of the officers of the committee, together with the addresses of such officers, within ten days after its organization under the provisions of chapter fifty-two, and within ten days of any change of said officers.
No expenditure shall be made for, or on behalf of, a political committee without the authorization of the chairman or treasurer, or their designated agents. No person who is authorized to make such expenditures shall sign a committee check payable to himself or herself.
All funds of a political committee shall be kept separate from any personal funds of officers, members or associates of such committee.
A state committee referred to in section one of chapter fifty-two may incorporate pursuant to the provisions of chapter one hundred and eighty; provided, however, that such incorporation shall not relieve any person, including the chairperson or treasurer, from any responsibility imposed by this chapter or other election law or from any civil or criminal penalty imposed thereby. Prior to filing the articles of incorporation with the state secretary, the articles shall be submitted to the director, who shall examine the same within sixty days. The director may require such amendment thereof or additional information as he considers necessary. If he finds the articles comply with law he shall so certify and endorse his approval thereto. Any amendment to the articles of organization shall be approved in like manner.
The state secretary, a city or town clerk, or a member of a board of registrars of voters or election commission in any city or town shall not serve as the chairman, treasurer, or other principal officer of any political committee, but any such public officer may serve as the chairman or principal officer, other than treasurer, of the political committee organized on his own behalf. This paragraph shall not apply to city or town clerks who do not administer elections.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

Section 5: Political committees; statement of organization; officers; duties; expenditures; incorporation; penalties
Section 5. Each political committee shall organize by filing with the director or, if organized for the purpose of a city or town election only, with the city or town clerk, a statement of organization.
The statement of organization shall include: (1) the full name of the political committee, which, if organized on behalf of a candidate, shall include the name of the candidate in said name; which, if not organized on behalf of a candidate, shall include the full words represented by any abbreviations, initials or acronyms in said name; and which, if a political action committee, shall include the words ”Political Action Committee” in said name; (2) the address of the political committee; (3) a statement of the purpose for which the political committee is organized which shall include, except for political party committees and candidate’s committees, a list of specific issues in which the committee takes an interest, and a list of specific interests, including but not limited to business, charitable, educational, or other interests represented by the committee, or by a significant proportion of its officers, members or donors; (4) the name and residential address of the chairman and the treasurer; (5) the name, residential address, and position of other principal officers, including officers and members of the finance committee, if any, and; (6) the name and address, if known, and party affiliation of each candidate the political committee is supporting; provided, however, that if a candidate is nominated without reference to a political party, the name of his political party shall not be required.
The statement of a political committee organized on behalf of a candidate shall also include the written consent of said candidate. No candidate shall give his consent to more than one such committee.
Whenever a statement of organization of a political committee is filed on behalf of a candidate who became a candidate after the deadline for filing nomination papers, the director shall at the time of the filing notify the candidate or his representative of the requirements of clause (a) of section five of chapter two hundred and sixty-eight B and he shall also forward the name and address of such candidate to the state ethics commission within three days after the filing of a political committee with his office.
Any change in information previously submitted in a statement of organization shall be reported to the director, or if organized for the purpose of a city or town election only, to the city or town clerk, within ten days following the change.
Each political committee shall have a treasurer who shall qualify for his office by filing a written acceptance thereof with the director, or if organized for the purpose of a city or town election only, with the city or town clerk. Said treasurer shall remain subject to all the duties and liabilities imposed by this chapter until his written resignation of the office is received or his successor’s written acceptance is filed as aforesaid. No person acting under the authority of, or on behalf of, any political committee shall receive any money or anything of value, or expend or disburse the same, or incur expenses while it has no treasurer qualified as aforesaid, or while the name and address of any of its officers or members, as originally or subsequently chosen, is not filed in accordance with the provisions of this section or chapter fifty-two, as the case may be.
Each treasurer of a political committee shall keep and preserve detailed accounts, vouchers and receipts as prescribed for a candidate by the provisions of section two. Each treasurer of a political committee shall keep said records for a period of six years following the date of the relevant election. A candidate may not be the treasurer of the political committee which has been organized on his behalf.
The secretary of each ward, city and town committee shall file with the director a list of the officers of the committee, together with the addresses of such officers, within ten days after its organization under the provisions of chapter fifty-two, and within ten days of any change of said officers.
No expenditure shall be made for, or on behalf of, a political committee without the authorization of the chairman or treasurer, or their designated agents. No person who is authorized to make such expenditures shall sign a committee check payable to himself or herself.
All funds of a political committee shall be kept separate from any personal funds of officers, members or associates of such committee.
A state committee referred to in section one of chapter fifty-two may incorporate pursuant to the provisions of chapter one hundred and eighty; provided, however, that such incorporation shall not relieve any person, including the chairperson or treasurer, from any responsibility imposed by this chapter or other election law or from any civil or criminal penalty imposed thereby. Prior to filing the articles of incorporation with the state secretary, the articles shall be submitted to the director, who shall examine the same within sixty days. The director may require such amendment thereof or additional information as he considers necessary. If he finds the articles comply with law he shall so certify and endorse his approval thereto. Any amendment to the articles of organization shall be approved in like manner.
The state secretary, a city or town clerk, or a member of a board of registrars of voters or election commission in any city or town shall not serve as the chairman, treasurer, or other principal officer of any political committee, but any such public officer may serve as the chairman or principal officer, other than treasurer, of the political committee organized on his own behalf. This paragraph shall not apply to city or town clerks who do not administer elections.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

Section 5B: Names or phrases identifying political committees in organizational statements
Section 5B. (a) Every political committee, other than a political party committee or a candidate’s committee, shall name and identify itself in its organizational statement pursuant to section five by using a name or phrase that:
(i) clearly identifies the economic or other special interest, if identifiable, of a majority of its contributors; and
(ii) if a majority of its contributors share a common employer, that identifies the employer.
(b) If the economic or other special interest or common employer are not identifiable under subsection (a), every such political committee shall name and identify itself in its organizational statement using a name or phrase:
(i) that clearly identifies the economic or other special interest, if identifiable, of a majority of its organizers; and
(ii) if a majority of its organizers share a common employer, that identifies the employer; and
(iii) if the committee is organized, financed, controlled or maintained by an individual, that identifies said individual.
(c) No political committee shall use any name other than the name included in its organizational statement.

Section 5C: Online training program for treasurers of political committees
Section 5C. The office of campaign and political finance shall prepare and update from time to time an online training program to provide information on the requirements of this chapter applicable to treasurers of political committees that file reports with the office. A treasurer of a political committee that files reports with the office shall, within 30 days after filing an acceptance of the position with the office in accordance with section 5 and every 2 years after filing the acceptance, complete the online training program.
The office shall establish procedures for implementing and ensuring compliance with this section.

Section 6: Restrictions on expenditures; penalties
Section 6. A political committee organized or operating on behalf of a candidate for the office of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state secretary, treasurer and receiver general or state auditor may receive, pay and expend money or other things of value for reasonable and necessary expenses directly related to the campaign of the candidate but shall not make any expenditure that is primarily for the candidate’s or any other person’s personal use. Any other political committee duly organized on behalf of a candidate may receive, pay and expend money or other things of value for the enhancement of the political future of the candidate or the principle for which the committee was organized; provided, however, that the expenditure shall not be primarily for the candidate’s or any other person’s personal use. The director shall establish reasonable rules and regulations concerning the expenditures.
Any political committee duly organized on behalf of a candidate may contribute to other political committees and may contribute to the campaign fund of a candidate; provided, however, that the aggregate of all contributions made by a committee organized on behalf of a candidate to another nonelected political committee organized on behalf of a candidate shall not exceed $100 in any 1 calendar year.
Notwithstanding the second paragraph, a political committee organized on behalf of a candidate for statewide office that receives public financing under chapter 55C may not contribute to another political committee or the campaign fund of a candidate in the calendar year in which the political committee receives public financing; provided, however, that a committee that receives public financing may expend funds to a political party committee for goods or services provided by the political party committee to the political committee organized on behalf of a candidate.
Except as otherwise provided in section six A or six B, a political committee not organized on behalf of an individual candidate may contribute to another political committee not organized on behalf of an individual candidate; provided, however, that the aggregate of all such contributions for the benefit of the political committees of any one political party shall not exceed in any one calendar year the sum of five thousand dollars; and provided, further, that the aggregate of all such contributions for the benefit of any one such political committee other than a political party committee shall not exceed in any one calendar year the sum of five hundred dollars. A political committee not organized on behalf of an individual candidate, other than a political party committee, may contribute to the campaign fund of a candidate; provided, however, that the aggregate of all such contributions for the benefit of any one candidate and such candidate’s committee shall not exceed the sum of five hundred dollars in any one calendar year. The political committee of a political party may contribute to the campaign fund of a candidate; provided, however, that the aggregate of all contributions of money for the benefit of any one candidate and the non-elected political committee organized on such candidate’s behalf shall not exceed in any one calendar year the sum of three thousand dollars in the case of the state committee and the sum of one thousand dollars in the case of each town or ward committee. For the purposes of the limitations established by this section, all campaign contributions made by political committees established, financed, maintained or controlled by any person, including any parent committee of a subsidiary committee or any person other than a natural person, shall be considered to have been made by a single political committee. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit contributions to political committees which are otherwise prohibited by this chapter.
Such committee may place such funds in a savings account or money market to earn interest thereon but may not invest its funds or other things of value in any other manner.
For the purposes of this section the term ”personal use” shall not include expenses relating to the provision of constituent or legislative services or to the opening or maintaining of a legislative district office, provided that (a) said expenses are not otherwise paid, provided or reimbursed by the commonwealth or any other governmental body.
For purposes of this section the term ”personal use” shall include the payment of fines, penalties, restitution or damages incurred for a violation of chapters 268A and 268B, but shall not include payments made in relation to allegations of violations of such chapters.
Violation of any provision of this section or section six A or six B shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.

Section 6A: Contributions from political action committees; limitations
Section 6A. A candidate and such candidate’s committee shall not accept any contribution from a political action committee if such contribution would result in such candidate and such committee together receiving from all political action committees aggregate contributions in any calendar year in excess of the following amounts:
(a) a candidate for governor, including contributions jointly to such candidate for governor and a candidate for lieutenant governor in a state election?one hundred and fifty thousand dollars;
(b) a candidate for lieutenant governor?thirty-one thousand, two hundred and fifty dollars;
(c) a candidate for attorney general?sixty-two thousand, five hundred dollars;
(d) a candidate for state secretary, state treasurer, and state auditor?thirty-seven thousand, five hundred dollars;
(e) a candidate for state senator, county commissioner, governor’s councillor, district attorney, clerk of courts, register of probate, registrar of deeds or any other county officer?eighteen thousand, seven hundred and fifty dollars;
(f) a candidate for state representative?seven thousand, five hundred dollars.

Section 6B: Ballot question committee; contributions
Section 6B. A ballot question committee may receive, pay and expend money or other things of value solely for the purpose of favoring or opposing the adoption or rejection of a specific question or questions submitted to the voters. A ballot question committee shall not contribute to any other political committee, except that it may contribute to another ballot question committee if such contribution is consistent with the purpose for which it was organized. A ballot question committee shall not make any expenditure that is primarily for the personal use of any candidate or other person, nor shall it make any expenditure inconsistent with the purpose for which it was organized. A ballot question committee shall not receive, pay or expend money or other things of value for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of a candidate or for the purpose of aiding or promoting or antagonizing the interest of any political party.

Section 7: Receipts, disbursements and contributions regulated; limitations; penalties
Section 7. No person or combination of persons, including a corporation formed under the provisions of chapter one hundred and eighty, shall in connection with any nomination or election receive money or its equivalent, expend or disburse or promise to expend or disburse the same, except as authorized by this chapter. A political committee or a person acting under the authority or on behalf of such a committee may receive money or its equivalent, or expend or disburse or promise to expend or disburse the same for the purpose of aiding or promoting the success or defeat of a candidate at a primary or election or a political party or principle in public election or favoring or opposing the adoption or rejection of a question submitted to the voters, and for other purposes expressly authorized by this chapter subject, however, to the provisions thereof. A candidate may make expenditures without limitation for the purposes of his own campaign and may make campaign contributions without limitation for the benefit of the non-elected political committee organized on his behalf.
No candidate or candidate’s committee shall receive a transfer of funds or assets from any federal political committee. No candidate or candidate’s committee shall make an expenditure of, or transfer, funds or assets that were transferred on or after November 25, 1998 from a federal political committee. A candidate’s committee may, however, coordinate arrangements, with a federal committee that refunds contributions pursuant to federal law, for a solicitation of the same contributors by the candidate’s committee. The candidate’s committee shall pay the full cost of any such solicitation.
Notwithstanding the provisions of any law to the contrary, a candidate shall not loan, per election, more than the following amounts to his candidate’s committee:

Notwithstanding the provisions of this section and section seven A, an individual of less than eighteen years of age shall not make campaign contributions in an amount in excess of twenty-five dollars in the aggregate during any one calendar year.
Violation of any provision of this section or section seven A shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.

Section 7A: Campaign contributions to candidates from individuals; limitation; contributions from legislative and executive agents; contributions from gaming licensee
[ Paragraph (1) of subsection (a) effective until July 22, 2016. For text effective July 22, 2016, see below.]
Section 7A. (a)(1) An individual may make campaign contributions to candidates or candidate’s committees; provided, however, that the aggregate of all such contributions for the benefit of any one candidate and that candidate’s committee shall not exceed the sum of $1,000 in any calendar year.
[ Paragraph (1) of subsection (a) as amended by 2016, 156 effective July 22, 2016. For text effective until July 22, 2016, see above.]
(a)(1) An individual may make campaign contributions to candidates or candidates’ committees. The aggregate of all such contributions for the benefit of any 1 candidate and that candidate’s committee shall not exceed the sum of $1,000 in a calendar year; provided, however, that the aggregate of contributions by an individual for the benefit of any 1 candidate and the candidate’s committee seeking election to the office of state senator or state representative in a state election who previously, in the same calendar year, sought election to the office of state senator or state representative in a special election, shall not exceed the sum of $1,000 during the period beginning on the first day of January and ending on the day of the special election and an additional $1,000 during the period that begins on the day after the special election and ends on the last day of December following the special election.
(2) An individual may in addition make campaign contributions for the benefit of elected political committees or non-elected political committees organized on behalf of a political party; provided, however, that the aggregate of such campaign contributions for the benefit of the political committees of any one political party shall not exceed in any one calendar year the sum of five thousand dollars.
(3) An individual may in addition make campaign contributions to any political committee not specified in paragraph (1), (2) or (4); provided, however, that the aggregate of such campaign contributions to any one such political committee shall not exceed in any one calendar year the sum of five hundred dollars.
(4) An individual may in addition make contributions without limitation to ballot question committees.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the aggregate of all contributions by a legislative or executive agent for the benefit of any one candidate and such candidate’s committee shall not exceed the sum of two hundred dollars in any one calendar year. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the aggregate of all contributions by a legislative or executive agent to any other political committee, other than a ballot question committee, shall not exceed the sum of two hundred dollars in any one calendar year.
(c) The aggregate of all contributions by a person who holds a license issued by the Massachusetts gaming commission, who was required to apply for that license under section 14 of chapter 23K, for the benefit of any 1 candidate and such candidate’s committee shall not exceed $200 in a calendar year. The aggregate of all contributions by a person who holds a license issued by the Massachusetts gaming commission, who was required to apply for that license under said section 14 of said chapter 23K, for the benefit of any other political committee, other than a ballot question committee, shall not exceed $200 in a calendar year.

Section 8: Political contributions by corporations; penalties
Section 8. No corporation carrying on the business of a bank, trust, surety indemnity, safe deposit, insurance, railroad, street railway, telegraph, telephone, gas, electric light, heat, power, canal, aqueduct, or water company, no company having the right to take land by eminent domain or to exercise franchises in public ways, granted by the commonwealth or by any county, city or town, no trustee or trustees owning or holding the majority of the stock of such a corporation, no business or professional corporation, partnership, limited liability company partnership under the laws of or doing business in the commonwealth and no officer or agent acting in behalf of any corporation mentioned in this section, shall directly or indirectly give, pay, expend or contribute, or promise to give, pay, expend or contribute, any money or other valuable thing for the purpose of aiding, promoting or preventing the nomination or election of any person to public office, or aiding or promoting or antagonizing the interest of any political party.
No person or persons, no political committee, and no person acting under the authority of a political committee, or in its behalf, other than a political committee organized on behalf of a ballot question campaign shall solicit or receive from such corporation or such holders of stock any gift, payment, expenditure, contribution or promise to give, pay, expend or contribute for any such purpose.
Any such corporation violating this chapter shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty thousand dollars and any officer, director or agent of the corporation violating any provision thereof or authorizing such violation of any provision thereof, or any person who violates or in any way knowingly aids or abets the violation thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Section 8A: Media organization offering time and space to qualified candidates at no cost or reduced price; limitations
Section 8A. (1) As used in this section the following words shall have the following meanings:?
”Media organization”, any corporation, partnership or trust which owns or controls a television station, including without limitation cable television, a radio station or any other such electronic broadcast media outlet or a newspaper, periodical or any other such print outlet.
”Qualified candidate”, any candidate who qualifies to have his name appear on the ballot at an election, whether primary, general, or special election.
(2) A media organization may make time or space available to a qualified candidate at no cost or at reduced cost for the purpose of presentation of the candidate’s own political advertising; provided, however, that:?
(a) time of the same duration and the same market value or the same amount of space and the same market value is made available to all other qualified candidates for the same office for the same election; and
(b) the media corporation makes disclosure of its conduct under this section in conformance with rules and regulations promulgated by the director of the office of campaign and political finance.
(3) A media organization acting in conformance with this section shall not be deemed to be in violation of section eight and shall not be deemed to be making a contribution within the meaning of this chapter.

Section 9: Contributions and expenditures over $50 or $100; use of credit or debit card by committee; penalties
Section 9. No individual, candidate or political committee, or person acting on behalf of the individual, candidate or political committee, shall accept a contribution of money from any 1 person or political committee if the aggregate amount contributed in a calendar year exceeds $50 in cash or $100 by money order or bank check, except by a written instrument or by direct deposit pursuant to section 9A. For the purposes of the preceding sentence the term ”written instrument” shall mean a check on which the contributor is directly liable or which is written on a personal, escrow, trust, partnership, business or other account which represents or contains the contributor’s funds. The term ”written instrument” shall also mean for contributions by credit or debit card, a paper record signed by the cardholder or, in the case of such contribution made over the Internet, an electronic record created and transmitted by the cardholder. The term ”written instrument” shall not mean a certified check, cashier’s check, treasurer’s check, registered check, money order, traveler’s check or other similar negotiable instrument. The director shall establish reasonable rules and regulations concerning the making of contributions by a written instrument. No individual, candidate, political committee, or person acting on behalf of said individual, candidate, or political committee, shall make an expenditure for an amount exceeding $50 except by check or by credit card in accordance with the following paragraph.
A political committee may maintain and use a credit or debit card obtained in accordance with applicable banking laws and in the ordinary course of business to make expenditures for the purpose for which the committee was organized pursuant to section 6; provided, however, that no contribution of money shall be accepted by any individual, candidate or political committee or person acting on behalf of the individual, candidate or political committee other than in accordance with the first paragraph of this section. The director shall establish reasonable rules and regulations concerning the use of credit and debit cards and shall provide instruction on the disclosure of expenditures by credit and debit card to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.
Any individual or candidate, or any person acting on behalf of said individual or candidate, or on behalf of a political committee, who violates any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

Section 9A: Contributions by electronic means; acceptance by political action committees; authorization cards
Section 9A. A political action committee may accept contributions of money from individual contributors by direct deposit of funds into the committee’s bank account by wire transfer or other electronic means; provided, however, that said contributor provides the political action committee with a true copy of the signed authorization card provided by the contributor to the contributor’s employer, or the contributor’s bank or other financial institution. Said authorization card shall include (1) the name and residential address of the contributor, (2) the occupation and employer or employers of any contributor whose authorization card authorizes a contribution of two hundred dollars or more or periodic contributions which in the aggregate exceed or may exceed two hundred dollars or more within any one calendar year, and (3) the amount and payment period, if any, of each contribution. In addition, the authorization card shall include a statement that the contributor’s authorization may be revoked by the contributor at any time by written notice from the contributor to the contributor’s employer, or the contributor’s bank or other financial institution.

Section 9B: Joint contributions to be attributed equally to each contributor when unspecified; rules and regulations for joint contributions
Section 9B. (a) Any joint contribution received by a candidate or political committee that does not indicate the amount to be attributed to each contributor may be attributed equally to each contributor; provided, however, that the attribution does not cause a contributor to make a contribution exceeding the limits in section 7A.
(b) The director shall establish reasonable rules and regulations concerning the making of joint contributions and corresponding contributor notification and recordkeeping requirements for candidates and political committees.

Section 10: Name and address of donor; disclosure; penalties
Section 10. No person shall, directly or indirectly, make a campaign contribution in any name except his own nor in any manner for the purpose of disguising the true origin of the contribution nor unless he makes his name and residential address known to the person receiving such contribution at the time such contribution is made; nor shall any trust, foundation or association other than a political committee make a campaign contribution unless at the time such contribution is made there is also made known to the person receiving such contribution, the names and addresses of its principal officers. No candidate or political committee or person acting under its authority or in its behalf shall knowingly receive a campaign contribution, or knowingly enter or cause the same to be entered in the accounts or records of such candidate or committee, unless the provisions of this section have been complied with.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.

Section 10A: Treatment of contributions to candidates through intermediaries or conduits
Section 10A. (a) Contributions made by a person to or on behalf of a particular candidate, including contributions made through an intermediary or conduit, shall be treated as contributions from such person to such candidate.
(b) Contributions made to a candidate, such candidate’s agent, such candidate’s committee or such candidate’s committee’s agent, through an intermediary or conduit shall also be treated as contributions from the intermediary or conduit to the candidate, if the intermediary or conduit is:
(1) a political action committee, or an officer, employee or other agent of such political committee;
(2) a legislative or executive agent registered pursuant to section forty-one of chapter three, or a lobbying group or organization registered pursuant to section forty-four of chapter three, or an officer, employee, or agent of such legislative or executive agent or lobbying group or organization acting in its behalf; or
(3) any person charged with the responsibility of delivering individual contributions from a group of officers or employees or a combination thereof of a corporation who have pooled such contributions.
(c) For purposes of this section, the following words shall, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, have the following meanings:?
(1) ”Contributions made through an intermediary or conduit”, shall mean:
(i) contributions delivered, whether in person or by mail, to a particular candidate or such candidate’s authorized committee or agent; and
(ii) contributions to a particular candidate, such candidate’s authorized committee, such candidate’s agent, or such candidate’s committee’s agent, in a manner that identifies in writing the person who arranged the making of the contributions.
(2) ”Acting in its behalf”, shall include using the name or resources of a person described in paragraph (b).
(d) Nothing in this section shall prohibit:
(1) a bona fide joint fund-raising effort conducted solely for the purpose of sponsorship of a fund-raising reception, dinner, or other event, in accordance with the rules prescribed by the director by 2 or more state or local committees of a political party acting on their own behalf; or
(2) a fund-raising effort for the benefit of a candidate that is conducted by another candidate acting in his individual capacity.
(e) In all cases where contributions are made by a person either to or on behalf of a particular candidate through an intermediary or conduit as described in paragraph (b), the intermediary or conduit shall report in writing the original source and the intended recipient of such contribution along with other information required by this chapter to the director and to the intended recipient. A candidate or political committee that fails to receive such notice in writing, or equivalent actual notice of a violation of this section, shall not be civilly or criminally liable for any such violation, except to the extent of returning the excess of any contribution made in violation of this section.
(f) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to permit a contribution which would otherwise violate the provisions of section ten.
(g) The limitations of this section regarding contributions made through an intermediary or conduit shall not apply when each contribution is one hundred dollars or less; provided, however, that said one hundred dollar amount shall be indexed biennially for inflation by the director, who, not later than December thirty-first of each odd numbered year, shall calculate and publish such indexed amount, using the federal consumer price index for the Boston statistical area.

Section 11: Solicitations from candidates prohibited; exception; penalties
Section 11. No person, no political committee and no person acting under the authority of a political committee or in its behalf, shall demand, solicit, ask or invite from a candidate for nomination or election to public office, or a person occupying an elective public office, any payment or gift of money or other valuable thing, or promise of payment or gift of money or other valuable thing for advertising, gratuities, donations, tickets, programs, or any other purpose whatsoever; and no such candidate for nomination or election, and no one occupying an elective public office, shall make any such payment or gift, or promise to make any such payment or gift, to any person, political committee, or any person acting under the authority of a political committee, if such person or political committee has demanded, solicited, asked, or invited from him any such payment, gift or promise of payment or gift; but this section shall not apply to the soliciting or making in good faith of gifts for charitable or religious purposes.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.

Section 12: Soliciting of money for nomination papers prohibited; penalties
Section 12. No political committee, and no person acting under its authority or in its behalf, shall demand or solicit from any candidate for nomination to elective office, or from any one acting in his behalf, a payment of money or a promise of payment of money, as a prerequisite to his obtaining from such committee or its agent the nomination papers required by sections ninety-five to one hundred and one, inclusive, of chapter fifty-three.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.

Section 13: Solicitation or receipt of political campaign contributions by appointive public officers or employees prohibited; exception; penalties
Section 13. No person employed for compensation, other than an elected officer, by the commonwealth or any county, city or town shall directly or indirectly solicit or receive any gift, payment, contribution, assessment, subscription or promise of money or other thing of value for the political campaign purposes of any candidate for public office or of any political committee, or for any political purpose whatever, but this section shall not prevent such persons from being members of political organizations or committees. A person so employed may not serve as the treasurer of a political committee. The soliciting or receiving of any gift, payment, contribution, assessment, subscription or promise of money or other thing of value by a non-elected political committee organized to promote the candidacy for public office of a person so employed for compensation by the commonwealth or any county, city or town, shall not be deemed to be a direct or indirect solicitation or receipt of such contribution by such person; provided, however, that no such gift, payment, contribution, assessment, subscription or promise of money or other thing of value may be solicited or received on behalf of such a person from any person or combination of persons if such person so employed knows or has reason to know that the person or combination of persons has an interest in any particular matter in which the person so employed participates or has participated in the course of such employment or which is the subject of his official responsibility.
Any appointed officer or employee convicted of violating any provision of this section may be removed by the appointing authority without a hearing.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.

Section 14: Soliciting contributions in public buildings prohibited; penalties
Section 14. No person shall in any building or part thereof occupied for state, county or municipal purposes demand, solicit or receive any payment or gift of money or other thing of value for the purposes set forth in section thirteen.
Any appointed officer or employee convicted of violating any provision of this section may be removed by the appointing authority without a hearing.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.

Section 15: Political contributions by public officers or employees restricted; penalties
Section 15. No officer, clerk or other person in the service of the commonwealth or of any county, city or town shall, directly or indirectly, give or deliver to an officer, clerk or person in said service, or to any councillor, member of the general court, alderman, councilman or commissioner, any money or other valuable thing on account of, or to be applied to, the promotion of any political object whatever.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any officer, clerk or other person in the public service of the commonwealth, or of any county, city, or town from making a contribution to a candidate or to an elected or nonelected political committee.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars.

Section 16: Requiring political contributions or services of persons in public service prohibited; penalty
Section 16. No person in the public service shall, for that reason, be under obligation to contribute to any political fund, or to render any political service, and shall not be removed or otherwise prejudiced for refusing to do so.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars.

Section 16A: Obligation to make political contribution or render political service; penalty
Section 16A. No person doing business with the commonwealth shall, for that reason, be under obligation to contribute to any political fund, or to render any political service, and shall not be otherwise prejudiced for refusing to do so.
Violations of any provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars.

Section 16B: Obligation to make political contributions or render political service by persons employed for compensation; penalties
Section 16B. No person employed for compensation shall be under any obligation to contribute to any candidate or political committee, or to render any political service on account of, or as a consequence of, his employment, and such person shall not be removed or otherwise prejudiced for refusing to do so. This section shall not apply to a person employed by a candidate or political committee or other organization organized for the purpose of rendering political service. A violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months or both such fine and imprisonment. Each such violation shall constitute a separate offense.

Section 17: Public service status of officers or employees protected relative to political contributions; penalty
Section 17. No officer or employee of the commonwealth or of any county, city or town shall discharge, promote, or degrade an officer or employee, or change his official rank or compensation, or promise or threaten so to do, for giving, withholding or neglecting to make a contribution of money or other valuable thing for a political purpose.
Violation of any pr
ovision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars.

Section 18: Reports of contributions and expenditures; persons required to file; contents; reporting periods; time limits; penalties
Section 18. Each candidate and each treasurer of a political committee shall, except as provided in this section and section 24, file with the director reports of contributions received and expenditures made. A candidate and a committee organized on behalf of candidates seeking public office at a municipal election shall file such reports with the director, if the candidate is seeking the office of mayor in a municipality or if the committee is required to file such reports with the director pursuant to section 19. All other candidates seeking public office at a city or town election shall file reports with the city or town clerk. A committee organized under section 5 to favor or oppose a question submitted to the voters shall file its reports with the director if the question appears on ballots at a state election, or with the city or town clerk if the question appears on ballots at a city or town election or for use in a city or town at a state election. Reports of contributions received and expenditures made shall be filed using forms prescribed by the director.
Such reports shall be filed as follows:
(a) by each candidate for nomination or election to the state senate or house of representatives, and by the non-elected political committee organized on behalf of such candidate, on or before: (1) the eighth day preceding a primary, the eighth day preceding a biennial state election, and, as a final report, the twentieth day of January in the following year complete as to the thirty-first day of December of the prior year; (2) the eighth day preceding a special primary, including a convention or a caucus, the eighth day preceding a special election, the thirtieth day following a special election, and, as a final report, the twentieth day of January in the following year complete as to the thirty-first day of December of the prior year.
(b) by each candidate for nomination or election to city or town office, and by the non-elected political committee organized on behalf of such candidate, except a candidate required to designate a depository by section nineteen or a candidate seeking election as a member of a representative town meeting or of a town or city ward committee, and any non-elected political committee organized on behalf of such candidate, on or before: (1) the eighth day preceding a city or town preliminary or primary, including a caucus, the eighth day preceding a city or town election, and if a city election, as a final report, the twentieth day of January in the following year complete as to the thirty-first day of December of the prior year, and if a town election, as a final report, the thirtieth day following said election; (2) the eighth day preceding a special primary, including a caucus, the eighth day preceding a special election, and, as a final report, the thirtieth day following a special election.
(c) by each candidate and each non-elected political committee required to designate a depository by section nineteen on or before: (1) the third business day following the designation of such depository, and (2) as a final report, the twentieth day of January of the year following the election, complete as to the thirty-first day of December of the prior year.
The reporting period of the initial report shall commence on the day following the preceding election for the office sought by the candidate, or on the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, if any, whichever period is shorter, and shall end as of the day such depository is designated.
The reporting period of the second report shall commence on the day following the designation of the depository and shall end as of the thirty-first day of December of the year of the election.
(d) by the treasurer of each state committee referred to in section one of chapter fifty-two and required to designate a depository by section nineteen, on or before: (1) the third business day following the designation of such depository, and (2) as a final report, the twentieth day of January of the year following the election complete as to the thirty-first day of December of the prior year.
The reporting period of the initial report shall commence on the day following the preceding biennial state election, or on the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, if any, whichever period is shorter, and shall end as of the day such depository is designated.
The reporting period of the second report shall commence on the day following the designation of the depository and shall end as of the thirty-first day of December of the year of the election.
(e) by all other non-elected and elected political committees which are not required to file reports as aforesaid other than political action committees and people’s committees as defined in section 1 and independent expenditure PACs organized pursuant to section 18A, on or before: (1) the same days and in accordance with the same schedule as set forth in clause (a), if the political committee is aiding or promoting the success or defeat of one or more candidates in a state primary, special or general election; (2) the same days and in accordance with the same schedule as set forth in clause (b), if the political committee is aiding or promoting the success or defeat of one or more candidates, or is favoring or opposing a question submitted to the voters, in a city or town preliminary, primary general or special election or for use on ballots in a city or town at a state election.
(f) by each political committee organized under the provisions of section five to favor or oppose a question submitted to the voters, if the question appears on the ballot at the state election on: (1) the day of the organization; and (2) the sixtieth day prior to the election complete as of the preceding fifth day; on or before (3) the fifth and twentieth day of each month complete as of the preceding first and fifteenth day of the month, until the election, and, thereafter; (4) the twentieth day of November following such election complete as of the fifteenth day of the month; and (5) the twentieth day of January of each year complete as of the thirty-first day of December of the prior year until all declared liabilities of such committee have been discharged.
The reporting period of the initial report shall commence on the day following the preceding biennial state election, or on the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, if any, whichever period is shorter, and shall end as of the day of organization.
The reporting period of the second report shall commence on the day following said day of organization and shall end as of the sixtieth day prior to the election.
The reporting period of all subsequent reports shall commence on the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report filed and shall end as of the first or fifteenth day of each month, as the case may be.
[ There is no clause (g).]
(h) by all candidates and all political committees, except those candidates seeking election as members of a representative town meeting, or of a city ward or town committee, and non-elected political committees organized on behalf of such candidates, on or before the twentieth day of January in each year in which they are not otherwise required to file a report on or before the twentieth day of January; provided, however, that candidates for the state senate or house of representatives, the nonelected political committees organized on behalf of such candidates, and political action committees, that file with the director, shall also file mid-year reports on or before the twentieth day of July in each year in each odd-numbered year.
For candidates, and non-elected political committees organized on behalf of such candidates for whom said report would be an initial report, the reporting period shall commence on the day following the preceding election for the office sought by such candidate and shall end as of the thirty-first day of December of the year prior to the last day for filing; and for all other political committees for which said report would be an initial report, the reporting period shall commence on the day following the preceding state, city or town election, as the case may be, and in accordance with the provisions of this section governing said initial report of such committees, and shall end as of the thirty-first day of December of the year prior to the last day for filing said report. For all candidates and all political committees, if said report is not an initial report, the reporting period of such reports required to be filed on or before the twentieth day of July in each odd-numbered year shall commence on the first day of January of that year, or on the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, if any, whichever period is shorter, and shall end as of the thirtieth day of June of said year. The reporting period for the report required to be filed on or before January 20 in each odd-numbered year shall commence on the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report filed and shall end as of December 31 of the prior year.
The reports required to be filed in accordance with the provisions of clauses (a) and (b), except for the report to be filed in accordance with said provisions on or before the twentieth day of January of the year following the election, shall not be required of a candidate, or of the non-elected political committee organized on behalf of said candidate, if the candidate is not a candidate as defined in clause (2) of the definition of candidate of section one.
Notwithstanding the provisions of clauses (a), (b), (c) and (d), for those contributions received subsequent to the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, which was identified in said clauses as a final report, by a candidate or political committee, and intended for application to the preceding election of said candidate or of said reporting political committee, an additional report, which shall be the final report for such candidates and committees shall be required. This report shall be filed on or before the twentieth day of January following the last day for filing said final report of clauses (a), (b), (c) and (d), and shall be complete as of the thirty-first day of December of the prior year. The reporting period of said report shall commence on the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report, or final report required to be filed by said clauses.
Except as otherwise provided, each candidate and the non-elected political committee organized on behalf of said candidate, shall, upon the filing of the initial report, include all contributions received and expenditures made since the day of the preceding election for the office sought by the candidate, or since the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, if any, whichever reporting period is shorter, and all other political committees shall, upon the filing of their initial report, include all contributions received and expenditures made since: (1) the day of the preceding biennial state election, or the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, if any, whichever period is shorter, if the political committee is either aiding or promoting the success or defeat of one or more candidates, or is favoring or opposing the adoption or rejection of a question submitted to the voters, at a state primary or election, or (2) the day of the preceding city or town election, or the end of the reporting period of the last report filed, if any, whichever period is shorter, if the political committee is either aiding or promoting the success or defeat of one or more candidates, or is favoring or opposing the adoption or rejection of a question submitted to the voters, at a city or town preliminary, primary or election.
Except as otherwise provided, the end of the reporting period of each report required to be filed under the provisions of this section shall be as of the tenth day preceding the last day for filing. The beginning of the reporting period for each report subsequent to the initial report shall be the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report filed.
The reports required to be filed by this section shall be cumulative during the calendar year to which they relate.
Where there has been no change in an item included in a previous report, only the amount of the item need be carried forward.
Whether or not a contribution has been received or an expenditure has been made during any reporting period as described in this section, a candidate or political committee shall file the required report for said reporting period.
Each report required to be filed under the provisions of this section by a candidate or political committee shall disclose:
(1) the amount of money on hand at the beginning of the reporting period;
(2) the full name and residential address, listed alphabetically, of each person who has made a contribution, except for those contributions identified in clauses (4), (5) and (6) and which shall be reported therein, in an amount or value in excess of fifty dollars in the reporting period, and such information for each contribution of less than or equal to the sum of fifty dollars, if the aggregate of all contributions received from such contributor within said reporting period is in excess of fifty dollars, as the case may be, and the amount or value and date of the contribution and the total of all contributions listed;
(3) the total amount or value of contributions made in the reporting period, and not otherwise reported under clause (2);
(4) the name and address, listed alphabetically, of each candidate or political committee from which was received any money or anything of value in a reporting period, together with the amount or value thereof and the date received;
(5) the name and address of the principal officers of any trust, foundation and association from which was received a contribution, as provided in section ten;
(6) the amount or value and date of each loan to or from any person, in the reporting period, together with the name and residential address of the lender and endorser, if any, listed alphabetically;
(7) the total sum of all contributions received, in the reporting period, which is the sum of clauses (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6);
[ Clause (8) of the tenth paragraph of paragraph (h) of the second paragraph effective until October 12, 2016. For text effective October 12, 2016, see below.]
(8) the full name and address, listed alphabetically, of each person to whom an expenditure is made, in the reporting period, except for those identified in clause (10) and which shall be reported therein, in an amount or value in excess of fifty dollars, the amount and value, date and purpose of each such expenditure and the total of all such expenditures listed, and in the case of a political committee supporting more than one candidate, the name and address, the elective office held, if any, and office sought by each candidate on whose behalf such expenditure was made;
[ Clause (8) of the tenth paragraph of paragraph (h) of the second paragraph as amended by 2016, 152, Sec. 1 effective October 12, 2016. For text effective until October 12, 2016, see above.]
(8) the full name and address, listed alphabetically, of each person to whom an expenditure is made, in the reporting period, except for those identified in clause (10), and shall report therein, for each amount or value in excess of $50, the amount and value, date and purpose of each expenditure and the total of all expenditures listed, and in the case of a political party committee organized in accordance with chapter 52 or a political committee supporting more than 1 candidate, the name and address, the elective office held, if any, and office sought by each candidate on whose behalf the expenditure was made;
(9) the total amount or value of expenditures made in the reporting period, and not otherwise reported under clause (8);
(10) in the case of a candidate or political committee, the name and address, listed alphabetically, of each candidate or political committee to which was transferred any money or anything of value, in the reporting period, together with the amount or value thereof and the date of such transfer;
(11) the total sum of expenditures made, in the reporting period, which is the sum of clauses (8), (9) and (10);
(12) the amount and date of each then existing liability remaining unfulfilled and in force when the report is made, the name and address of the person to whom the liability exists, and a clear statement of the purpose for which it was incurred;
(13) a listing of all banks or other financial institutions used;
(14) in the event of a dissolution of a political committee, a statement of such dissolution detailing the intended or actual disposition of any residual funds; and
(15) in the event of a dissolution of a political action committee, a statement that the political action committee has not received contributions pursuant to section nine A or, if it has received such contributions, a statement that the political action committee has given sixty days written notice of its intended dissolution to any contributor and said contributor’s bank or other financial institution currently making contributions pursuant to said section nine A.
In addition, each report required to be filed under the provisions of this section shall also include the name, residential address, and amount contributed in that reporting period, of each person whose contributions in the aggregate exceed more than fifty dollars in the calendar year, for those contributions where said information does not otherwise appear on the report.
In addition, each report required to be filed under the provisions of this section shall also include the occupation and name of employer or employers for each person whose contribution or contributions in the aggregate equals or exceeds the sum of two hundred dollars within any one calendar year; provided, however, that no candidate or political committee shall be required to include such occupation and employer if, upon compliance with the requirements of section two concerning the inclusion of such occupation and employer, said candidate or political committee has not been able to obtain such information.
Each year-end campaign finance report filed by a candidate or non-elected political committee required to designate a depository by section 19 and who also maintains or who has maintained a savings account or money market account, shall disclose, for each reporting period, all activity in any such account. Nothing in this section shall authorize a transfer made from any such savings or money market accounts to an account other than the depository account established by a candidate or committee in accordance with said section 19.
Every political committee organized on behalf of a candidate that files with the director, and every ballot question committee that files with the director, which receives and deposits a contribution in the amount of $500 or more after the eighteenth day, but more than 72 hours, before the date of a special, preliminary, primary or general election, shall file a report to disclose the information required by this section, within 72 hours of depositing such contribution.
In addition, the report required to be filed on or before the twentieth day of January shall contain a statement detailing the intended or actual disposition of any residual funds. Such residual funds shall not be converted to the personal use of the candidate or any other person except as provided in this paragraph.
Such residual funds shall be donated to:
(i) the General Fund;
(ii) an entity which is subject to chapter sixty-seven or section eight of chapter twelve; provided, however, that the candidate, treasurer or any official of the political committee shall not be related by consanguinity or affinity to any trustee, officer, principal or beneficiary of said entity either at the time of the gift or within ten years from the date of such gift; provided, further, that no entity may employ as a trustee, officer, principal or beneficiary any person related by consanguinity or affinity to the candidate, treasurer or any official of the political committee either at the time of the gift or within ten years from the date of such gift;
(iii) a scholarship fund; provided, however, that the candidate, treasurer or any official of the political committee shall not participate in the selection of the beneficiary of any scholarship awarded from such fund; and, provided further, the beneficiary of any scholarship awarded from such fund shall not be related by consanguinity or affinity to the candidate, treasurer or any official of the political committee; or
(iv) the general fund of any city or town in the commonwealth.
The director may petition the supreme judicial court for the dissolution of a political committee, if (i) such political committee fails to comply for two consecutive years with provisions of this section requiring the filing of reports of contributions received and expenditures made; (ii) the candidate on whose behalf such political committee has been organized has died; or (iii) such political committee was organized for the purpose of favoring or opposing the adoption or rejection of a question submitted to the voters and there has been a final determination made as to the adoption or rejection of such question.
By such petition, the director may request the court to authorize the administration of any funds held by such political committee in accordance with the provisions of this section regarding residual funds. The court, after notice by mail or otherwise as it may order, may dissolve such political committee. The director may include more than one political committee in a single application.
Any person nominated by the governor for a position that requires confirmation by the executive council shall, within 6 months of the date of confirmation, dissolve any political committee organized on behalf of such person and disperse all funds remaining in such committee’s account in accordance with this section.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or both.
The provisions of this section requiring candidates to file reports shall not apply to candidates who during any reporting period have not received contributions, incurred any liabilities, nor made expenditures on their own behalf independent from the political committee organized on their behalf. Said candidates shall sign an affidavit under the pains and penalties of perjury that they have not received any contributions, incurred any liabilities, nor made any expenditures on their own behalf during that reporting period. Said affidavit shall be made on the report filed by the candidate’s political committee for that reporting period.
Candidates who have no political committee organized on their behalf and who have not received any campaign contributions, incurred any liabilities, nor expended money on their behalf during any reporting period need only sign an affidavit on a form provided by the director stating that they have not received a campaign contribution, incurred any liabilities, nor made any expenditure on their own behalf. Said statement shall be signed under the pains and penalties of perjury.
The provisions of this section requiring city, town and ward committees established under the provisions of chapter fifty-two to file reports shall not apply to any city, town or ward committee which has not received contributions or made expenditures in excess of one hundred dollars during any reporting period, nor incurred liabilities or acquired or disposed of assets in excess of one hundred dollars during any reporting period.

Section 18A: Reports of independent expenditures
Section 18A. (a) Every individual, group, association, corporation, labor union, political committee or other entity that makes independent expenditures in an aggregate amount exceeding $250 during any calendar year for the express purpose of promoting the election or defeat of a candidate shall file with the director, except as provided in subsection (b), within 7 business days after the goods or services for which the independent expenditure was made are utilized to advocate for the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, on a form prescribed by the director, a report stating: (i) the name and address of the individual, group, association, corporation, labor union, political committee or other entity making the expenditure; (ii) the name of the candidate whose election or defeat the expenditure promoted; (iii) the name and address of any person to whom the expenditure was made; (iv) the total amount or value; and (v) the purpose and the date of the expenditure.
(b) In addition to any reports required by subsection (a), any individual, group, association, corporation, labor union, political committee or other entity that makes an independent expenditure in an aggregate amount exceeding $250 after the tenth day, but more than 24 hours before the date of any election, shall file a preliminary report within 24 hours after the goods or services for which the independent expenditure was made are utilized that discloses: (i) the name and address of the individual, group, association, corporation, labor union, political committee or other entity making the expenditure; (ii) the name of the candidate whose election or defeat the expenditure promoted; (iii) the name and address of any person to whom the expenditure was made; and (iv) the purpose and the date of the expenditure.
(c) The reports required by this section shall be filed with the director as provided in section 18C if expenditures are made to promote the election or defeat of any candidate who files with the director. Reports required by this section shall be filed with the city or town clerk if the expenditures are made to promote the election or defeat of any candidate seeking public office at a city or town election who does not file with the director.
(d) For purposes of this section, an ”independent expenditure PAC” shall be a political committee or other entity that receives contributions to make independent expenditures. An independent expenditure PAC shall organize in accordance with section 5 and file reports in accordance with the schedules in subsections (a) and (b) to disclose expenditures. The reports shall, in addition to disclosing expenditures, disclose contributions received and all campaign finance information required to be disclosed by other political action committees as listed in section 18. The reporting period for the first report filed by an independent expenditure PAC shall commence on the day the independent expenditure PAC was organized and shall be complete through the date of the expenditures disclosed in the report. The reporting period for the next report shall commence on the date following the last date included in the previous report and shall be complete through the date of the expenditures disclosed. An independent expenditure PAC shall also file a year-end report by January 20 of each year the independent expenditure PAC remains in existence and shall file a final report on dissolution. The reporting period for the year-end report shall be cumulative for the calendar year, commencing on January 1 and ending on December 31 of each calendar year. The director shall adopt regulations regarding independent expenditure PACs.
(e) A violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 1 year.

Section 18B: Candidate or elected official sponsoring fund raising event on behalf of non-resident candidate; reports of contributions; penalty
Section 18B. Each candidate or elected official who sponsors a fund raising event in the commonwealth on behalf of a non-resident candidate shall file with the director reports of contributions received by the non-resident candidate as a result of said fund raising event on forms to be prescribed by the director except as noted herein in accordance with this section on or before the thirtieth day following said fund raising event.
(A) Each report required to be filed under the provisions of this section shall include:
(1) the name and address, listed alphabetically, of each person or corporation or other entity which has made a contribution to the non-resident candidate in connection with said fund raising event in an amount or value in excess of fifty dollars and the amount and value and date of such contribution;
(2) the name and address, listed alphabetically, of each candidate or political committee from which was received by the non-resident candidate or said candidate’s political committee any transfer of money or anything of value in connection with said fund raising event in an amount or value in excess of fifty dollars, together with the amount or value and date of any such transfer;
(3) the name and address of the principal officers of any trust, foundation, corporation, association or other entity from which was received a contribution by the non-resident candidate or said candidates political committee in connection with said fund raising event in an amount or value in excess of fifty dollars, together with the amount or value and date of any such transfer;
(4) the amount or value and date of each loan to or from any person or entity, in connection with said fund raising event in an amount or value in excess of fifty dollars, together with the name and residential address of the lender and endorser, if any, listed alphabetically, and the amount and value of and date of each loan;
(5) the total amount of all contributions reported pursuant to clauses (1) to (4), inclusive, of paragraph (A) as well as the total amount of all contributions less than or equal to fifty dollars from any individual, political committee, trust, partnership, association or other organization other than a political committee received by the non-resident candidate in connection with said fund raising event; and
(6) in addition to the information required by clause (1), the occupation and employer or employers of each person who has made a contribution to the non-resident candidate in connection with said fund raising event in an amount or value of two hundred dollars or more pursuant to section two.
(B) A candidate or elected official sponsoring a fund raising event for a non-resident candidate may file a copy of any report required to be filed by the non-resident candidate in accordance with the laws of the state where said non-resident candidate seeks nomination or election instead of the report prescribed by the director, provided said report:
(1) contains the information required by this section;
(2) is attested by the candidate or elected official sponsoring said fund raising event under the penalties of perjury as a true and accurate copy of the report filed by the non-resident candidate; and
(3) is filed on or before the thirtieth day following said fund raising event.
(C) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any fund raising event unless said fund raising event raises in the aggregate more than one thousand dollars.
(D) For the purposes of this section the following words shall have the following meanings:?
”Non-resident candidate”, any person seeking nomination or election to state or federal office in any state other than the commonwealth, who is a candidate in accordance with the laws of the state where said person is seeking nomination or election or would be a candidate under section one of this chapter except for the fact that said person is seeking public office in a state other than the commonwealth or any person who currently holds an elective office in any state other than the commonwealth.
”Fund raising event”, any event the purpose of which is to raise funds through the device of tickets, advertisements, or otherwise, for a non-resident candidate including a testimonial, held on behalf of said non-resident candidate for the election campaign or political committee of a non-resident candidate as defined by this section and that is sponsored in whole or in part by a candidate as defined in section one.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

Section 18C: Electronic reporting system for campaign finance reports and financial activity statements
Section 18C. (a) The director shall develop an electronic reporting system for the submission, retrieval, storage and public disclosure of campaign finance reports and financial activity statements required to be filed with the director.
(b) The following individuals and political committees shall be required to file electronically by modem or via computer terminals provided or approved by the director:
(i) a candidate that files with the director and the committee organized on behalf of the candidate;
(ii) a ballot question committee that files with the director;
(iii) each state committee referred to in section 1 of chapter 52;
(iv) each local party committee referred to in sections 2 and 3 of said chapter 52 that raises or spends more than $5,000 in an election cycle;
(v) a political committee, other than a candidate’s committee or a ballot question committee, if the political committee aids or promotes the success or defeat of 1 or more candidates that file with the director;
(vi) reports of late contributions received by a political committee organized on behalf of a candidate that files with the director, including a committee required to designate a depository on behalf of a candidate and every ballot question committee that files with the director, which receives and deposits a contribution of $500 or more after the eighteenth day but more than 72 hours before the date of a special, preliminary, primary or general election within 72 hours of depositing the contribution;
(vii) reports of late contributions received by a state committee referred to in section 1 of chapter 52 required to designate a depository under section 19 which receives a contribution of $500 or more after the eighteenth day but more than 24 hours before the date of a special, preliminary, primary or general election, within 72 hours of depositing the contribution;
(viii) for a political committee required to file campaign finance reports electronically with the director, any reports filed pursuant to section 18D made to disclose expenditures by vendors of the committee to subvendors;
(ix) an individual, group, association, corporation, labor union, political committee or other entity that is required to file a report of independent expenditures with the director in accordance with section 18A; and
(x) an individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity that makes an electioneering communication expenditure in an aggregate amount exceeding $250 during any calendar year in accordance with section 18F.

Section 18D: Expenditures paid by or to vendors on behalf of political committee or on behalf of individual or group required to file report of ballot question expenditures
Section 18D. (a) For the purposes of this section the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:?
”Expenditure”, any payment made or liability incurred by a vendor on behalf of a political committee or on behalf of an individual or group required to file a report of ballot question expenditures under section 22.
”Person”, a natural person, corporation, association, partnership or other legal entity.
”Subvendor”, a person providing goods or services to a vendor or who contracts with a vendor to provide goods or services to a committee or to an individual or group required to file a report of ballot question expenditures pursuant to section 22.
”Vendor”, any person including, but not limited to, a consultant who provides goods or services to a political committee or to an individual or group required to file a report of ballot question expenditures pursuant to section 22 and either receives or is promised $5,000 or more in the aggregate during a calendar year by the committee, individual or group for such goods or services or contracts with another on behalf of the committee, individual or group for such goods or services valued at $5,000 or more in the aggregate to be provided to the committee, individual or group.
(b) A vendor that makes an expenditure on behalf of a political committee or on behalf of an individual or group required to file a report of ballot question expenditures under section 22 shall within 5 days of making the expenditure provide the political committee, individual or group with a detailed account of the expenditure including, but not limited to, the date of the expenditure, the person who received payment, the full name and address of the subvendor, the purpose of the expenditure and the amount of the expenditure.
(c) A political committee or an individual or group required to file a report of ballot question expenditures under section 22 that makes a payment or incurs a liability to a vendor shall file reports with the director or, if the expenditure concerns a local candidate who does not file with the director or a local ballot question, with the clerk, disclosing the full name and address listed alphabetically of each subvendor receiving payments of more than $500 in the aggregate during a calendar year from the vendor and of each subvendor to whom a liability of more than $500 was incurred. The contents of the report shall include the information required by section 18 and shall be disclosed on a form prescribed by the director. For committees required to designate a depository account under section 19, the reports shall be filed on or before the fifth day of each month covering the preceding month; provided, however, that for other committees, individuals or groups, the report must be filed in accordance with the schedule established by sections 18 and 22.
(d) Vendors shall keep detailed accounts of all expenditures made on behalf of political committees or on behalf of individuals or groups required to file a report of ballot question expenditures under section 22.

Section 18E: Legal defense, inauguration or recount funds
Section 18E. (a) Legal defense funds may be created by a candidate, a state party committee or the candidate’s political committee to defend against a criminal matter or to pay costs associated with a civil matter that is not primarily personal in nature. Inauguration funds may be created by a candidate or the candidate’s political committee to pay for the costs associated with an inaugural event. Recount funds may be created by a candidate or candidate’s political committee to pay for the legal and other costs associated with a recount. Legal defense, inauguration, or recount funds shall be created separately from the candidate’s campaign account or committee, and shall be subject to the following conditions: (1) assets of a political committee may not be used by the fund; (2) any donations received by the fund shall not be deposited into the candidate’s campaign account or a committee account; and (3) donations to such fund shall not be used to benefit a political committee.
(b) Donations to a legal defense, recount, or inauguration fund, if not contributions, shall be disclosed to the director or, if made by a candidate or committee that does not file with the director, the city or town clerk, on or before the fifth day of the month following the month in which the donations are received, complete as of the last day of the preceding month, on forms to be prescribed by the director. The report shall disclose the name and address and employer of all persons donating more than $50 during the reporting period, listed alphabetically, the amount of each such donation, and the total amount of donations received in the reporting period not otherwise reported.
(c) For purposes of this section, the term ”donations” shall include donations in money or in-kind, and loans provided to legal defense, recount, or inauguration fund.

Section 18F: Electioneering communication expenditures
Section 18F. Every individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity not defined as a political committee who makes an electioneering communication expenditure in an aggregate amount exceeding $250 during a calendar year shall electronically file with the director, within 7 days after making the expenditure, a report stating the name and address of the individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity making the electioneering communication, the name of any candidate clearly identified in the communication, the total amount or value of the communication, the name and address of the vendor to whom the payments were made and the purpose and date of the expenditure. In addition, any individual, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity not defined as a political committee who makes electioneering communication expenditures in an aggregate amount exceeding $250 during a calendar year who receives funds to make electioneering communications shall include in the electronic filing the date the funds were received, the name and address of the provider of funds in excess of $250, if any, and the value of the funds received. Reports required under this section shall be filed with the director as provided in section 18C if electioneering communications refer to any candidate who files with the director. Reports required under this section shall be filed with the city or town clerk if the electioneering communications refer to any candidate seeking public office in a city or town election who does not otherwise file with the director.
Any person, group, association, corporation, labor union or other entity that makes or contracts to make electioneering communications aggregating $1,000 or more within 7 days before the date of an election shall file a report containing the information required under this section within 48 hours after making the expenditure.
A violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 1 year.

Section 18G: Independent expenditure or electioneering communication; disclosure statement regarding identity of financially responsible individual or entity; form; disclosure of top contributors; penalty for violation
[ Text of section effective until August 9, 2016. For text effective August 9, 2016, see below.]
Section 18G. An independent expenditure or electioneering communication which is transmitted through paid radio, television or internet advertising shall include a statement disclosing the identity of the individual, corporation, group or association paying for the advertisement. If the independent expenditure or electioneering communication is a radio or television advertisement, the advertisement shall include a statement by the individual paying for the advertisement in which the person acknowledges that he paid for the message and his city or town of residence. If the radio or television advertisement is paid for by a corporation, group, association or a labor union, the following statement shall be made by the chief executive officer of the corporation, the chairman or principal officer of the group or association or the chief executive or business manager of a labor union: “I am _________________ (name) the ______________________ (office held) of _____________________ (name of corporation, group, association or labor union) and ______________ (name of corporation, group, association or labor union) approves and paid for this message.” Such statements in television advertisements shall be conveyed by an unobscured, full-screen view of the person making the statement. If an independent expenditure or electioneering communication is transmitted through internet advertising, the statement shall appear in a clearly readable manner with a reasonable degree of color contrast between the background and the printed statement.
An independent expenditure or electioneering communication that is transmitted through paid television, internet advertising or print advertising appearing larger than 15 square inches shall include a written statement at the bottom of the advertisement that contains the words “Top Contributors” and a written statement that lists the 5 persons or entities or, if fewer than 5 persons or entities, all such persons or entities, that made the largest contributions to that entity; provided, however, that only contributions in excess of $5,000 reportable under this chapter during the 12-month period before the date of the advertisement or communication shall be listed. If no such contribution is received by the entity making an independent expenditure or electioneering communication, the advertisement or communication may exclude the statement. The advertisement or communication shall also include a written statement, as specified by the director, at the bottom of the advertisement that directs viewers to the official web address of the office of campaign and political finance. This paragraph shall also apply to advertisements purchased to influence or affect the vote on any question submitted to the voters.
Whoever violates this section shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 1 year or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
Chapter 55: Section 18G. Independent expenditure or electioneering communication; disclosure statement regarding identity of financially responsible individual or entity; form; disclosure of top contributors; penalty for violation
[ Text of as amended by 2016, 207 effective August 9, 2016. For text effective until August 9, 2016, see above.]
Section 18G. An independent expenditure or electioneering communication made by an individual, corporation, group, association, labor union or other entity which is transmitted through paid radio, television or internet advertising shall include a statement disclosing the identity of the individual, corporation, group, association, labor union or other entity paying for the advertisement. If the independent expenditure or electioneering communication is a radio or television advertisement, the advertisement shall include a statement by the individual paying for the advertisement in which the person acknowledges paying for the message and identifies that person’s city or town of residence. If the radio or television advertisement is paid for by a corporation, group, association or a labor union, the following statement shall be made by the chief executive officer of the corporation, the chairman or principal officer of the group or association or the chief executive or business manager of a labor union: “I am _________________ (name) the ______________________ (office held) of _____________________ (name of corporation, group, association or labor union) and ______________ (name of corporation, group, association or labor union) approves and paid for this message.” The statements in television advertisements shall be conveyed by an unobscured, full-screen view of the person making the statement. If an independent expenditure or electioneering communication is transmitted through internet advertising, the statement shall appear in a clearly readable manner with a reasonable degree of color contrast between the background and the printed statement.
An independent expenditure or electioneering communication made by an individual, corporation, group, association, labor union or other entity which is transmitted through paid television, internet advertising or print advertising appearing larger than 15 square inches or direct mail or billboard shall include a written statement at the bottom of the advertisement or mailing that contains the words “Top Contributors” and a written statement that lists the 5 persons or entities or if fewer than 5 persons or entities, all persons or entities that made the largest contributions to that entity, regardless of the purpose for which the funds were given; provided, however, that only contributions in excess of $5,000 reportable pursuant to this chapter during the 12-month period before the date of the advertisement or communication shall be listed. If no such contribution is received by the entity making an independent expenditure or electioneering communication, the advertisement or communication may exclude the statement. The advertisement or communication shall also include a written statement, as specified by the director, at the bottom of the advertisement or communication that directs viewers to the official web address of the office of campaign and political finance. This paragraph shall also apply to advertisements or communications purchased to influence or affect the vote on a question submitted to the voters.
Whoever violates this section shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 1 year or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

Section 19: Campaign funds; designation of depository
Section 19. (a) Candidates for nomination or election to the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, state secretary, attorney general, state treasurer and receiver general, state auditor, governor’s council, district attorney, clerk of court, register of probate, registrar of deeds, county commissioner, county treasurer and sheriff, mayor or city council or alderman in a city with a total population, as determined by the most recent decennial federal census, of 65,000 or more persons and the treasurer of each state committee referred to in section 1 of chapter 52, the treasurer of the nonelected political committee authorized by any of the aforesaid candidates and the treasurers of people’s committees and political action committees that file with the director other than independent expenditure PACs shall immediately, upon the organization of the political committee or upon becoming a candidate in accordance with clauses (1) and (2) of the definition of candidate in section 1, designate a financial institution as a depository for the campaign funds of the candidate or political committee. The financial institution shall be: (i) a national bank, federal savings bank, federal savings and loan association or federal credit union; provided, however, that the bank, association or credit union may transact business and has its main office or a branch office in the commonwealth; or (ii) a trust company, credit union, co-operative bank or savings bank; provided, however, that the company, credit union or bank is organized and exists under the laws of the commonwealth or any other state or otherwise may transact business in the commonwealth and has its main office or a branch office in the commonwealth. A candidate and the treasurer of a political committee shall file with the director, on or before the third business day following the designation of the depository, a certificate of appointment containing the name of the financial institution so designated and the name of the candidate or political committee and shall authorize the financial institution to submit the reports required by subsection (d). The certificate of appointment reflecting the financial institution’s agreement to comply with this section shall also be signed by an authorized employee of the financial institution.
(b) A candidate and the treasurer of a political committee required to designate a depository shall deposit contributions in the form received within 7 days of receipt. Any candidate or treasurer required to designate a depository shall file with the director, by the fifth and twentieth days of each month, the following information: (i) a list of all contributions of more than $50 deposited as of the first and fifteenth days of the month and since the last statement, including an alphabetical list of names and addresses of each person making a contribution; (ii) for a person who has made a contribution in an amount of or with a value of $200 or more in any calendar year, the occupation and employer of the contributor and the information for each contribution of less than $200 if the aggregate of all contributions received from the contributor within any calendar year is $200 or more; and (iii) a summary of all contributions of $50 or less deposited that are not itemized on the report.
[ First paragraph of subsection (c) effective until October 12, 2016. For text effective October 12, 2016, see below.]
(c) Except as otherwise provided in this section, all payments for campaign purposes made by or for the benefit of a candidate or by the treasurer of a political committee which are in excess of $100 shall be made only from funds on deposit in the depository through checks drawn on the depository and indicating that the checks are drawn on the campaign account of the candidate or the political committee involved. All checks drawn on the campaign account shall be payable either to the order of a named payee, not the candidate or treasurer, or, if the check is for not more than $100, may be payable to the candidate or treasurer. The memo line of the check shall be used by the political committee issuing the check to indicate the specific purpose of the expenditure.
[ First paragraph of subsection (c) as amended by 2016, 152, Sec. 2 effective October 12, 2016. For text effective until October 12, 2016, see above.]
(c) Except as otherwise provided in this section, all payments for campaign purposes made by or for the benefit of a candidate or by the treasurer of a political committee which are in excess of $100 shall be made only from funds on deposit in the depository through checks drawn on the depository and indicating that the checks are drawn on the campaign account of the candidate or the political committee involved. All checks drawn on the campaign account shall be payable either to the order of a named payee, not the candidate or treasurer, or, if the check is for not more than $100, may be payable to the candidate or treasurer. The memo line of the check shall be used by the political committee issuing the check to indicate the specific purpose of the expenditure. A political action committee or political party committee making an expenditure to support or oppose a candidate shall identify the candidate on the check.
A candidate or treasurer of a political committee required to designate a depository may make expenditures by wire transfer or other electronic means for broadcast, cablecast or other media services and for payroll services made in connection with employee deductions and withholdings. Expenditures may also be made by credit or debit card; provided, however, that a candidate or treasurer making an expenditure shall ensure that the date, amount and specific purpose of the expenditure is disclosed in accordance with regulations to be issued by the director.
(d) The cashier or treasurer of the bank selected by any candidate or political committee as provided in this section shall file with the director by the fifth day and twentieth day of each month the following information: (i) a statement of the balance as of the preceding first day or fifteenth day of the month; (ii) a summary of all credits to the account since the last statement; and (iii) a list of all the debits to the account since the last statement. The bank shall also report, to the extent such information is available, the names and addresses of the payees, the amount of each check and the purposes for which the money was paid as indicated on the check.
(e) The accounts shall remain in existence until the election and so long thereafter as a candidate or political committee has unpaid obligations still outstanding. Candidates and treasurers required to file reports under this section shall continue to file year-end campaign finance reports in accordance with section 18 every year the committee remains in existence.
(f) A committee required to designate a depository on behalf of a candidate that files with the director in accordance with this section and which receives and deposits a contribution of $500 or more after the eighteenth day but more than 72 hours before the date of a special, preliminary, primary or general election shall file a report to disclose the information required by this section within 72 hours of depositing the contribution. In addition, a state committee referred to in section 1 of chapter 52 required to designate a depository pursuant to this section and which receives a contribution of $500 or more after the eighteenth day but more than 24 hours before the date of a special, preliminary, primary or general election shall file a report to disclose the information required by this section within 72 hours of depositing the contribution.
[ Subsection (g) inserted following subsection (f) by 2016, 152, Sec. 3 effective October 12, 2016.]
(g) A political action committee or state committee of a political party organized pursuant to chapter 52 shall, within 7 days of its depository bank disclosing an expenditure made by the committee to support or oppose a candidate, review the bank’s report and if the report does not identify the candidate supported or opposed, append to the bank’s report a disclosure containing the name of the candidate and whether the expenditure supported or opposed the candidate.
A candidate or a political committee that fails to file any report required by this section shall be assessed and shall pay to the state treasurer a penalty not greater than $25 for each day the candidate or political committee has not filed the report.
A violation of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 6 months or by a fine of not more than $500.

Section 20: Repealed, 1979, 335, Sec. 2

Section 21: Repealed, 1979, 335, Sec. 3

Section 22: Persons or corporations making contributions; filing of reports with director; penalties
Section 22. Any person or the treasurer of a corporation, association, organization or other group of persons, other than a political committee organized under section 5, which has given, paid, expended or contributed, or promised to give, pay, expend or contribute, any money or other thing of value in order to influence or affect the vote on any question submitted to the voters shall file reports setting forth the amount or value of every gift, payment, expenditure or contribution or promise to give, pay, expend or contribute, together with the date, purpose and full name and address of the person to whom it was made.
Any person who makes an expenditure of $250 or more other than a contribution to a ballot question committee or incurs a liability of $250 or more to influence or affect the vote on any question submitted to the voters shall file reports setting forth the amount or value of the expenditure or liability, together with the date, purpose and full name of the person to whom the expenditure was made or the liability incurred.
If the question appears on ballots at a state election, such report shall be filed with the director as follows: (1) the sixtieth day prior to the election; (2) on or before the fifth and twentieth day of each month complete as of the preceding first and fifteenth day of the month, until the election; (3) the twentieth day of November following such election, complete as of the fifteenth day of the month; and (4) the twentieth day of January of each year, complete as of the thirty-first day of December of the prior year, until all declared liabilities of such person or corporation, association, organization or other group of persons have been discharged.
If the question appears on ballots at a city or town election or appears on ballots for use in a city or town at a state election, such report shall be filed with the city or town clerk as follows: (1) the eighth day preceding a preliminary or primary, including a caucus, the eighth day preceding a city or town election and, if a city election, as a final report, the twentieth day of January in the following year, complete as of the thirty-first day of December of the prior year and, if a town election, as a final report, the thirtieth day following such election; (2) the eighth day preceding a special primary, including a caucus, the eighth day preceding a special election and, as a final report, the thirtieth day following a special election; and (3) the twentieth day of January of each year, complete as of the thirty-first day of December of the prior year, until all declared liabilities of such person or corporation, association, organization or other group of persons have been discharged.
Except as otherwise provided, the end of the reporting period of each report required to be filed under the provisions of this section shall be as of the tenth day preceding the last day for filing. The beginning of the reporting period for each report subsequent to the initial report shall be the day following the end of the reporting period of the last report filed. A person, corporation, association, organization or group required to file a report under this section is also subject to subvendor disclosure requirements under section 18D.
Any person or corporation, association, organization or other group of persons, other than a political committee organized under said section 5, violating any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $50,000 and any officer, director or agent of any such person or corporation, association, organization or other group of persons violating any provision hereof or authorizing any such violation or any person who violates or in any way knowingly aids or abets the violation of any provision hereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Section 22A: Expenditures for political purpose; report; punishment for violation; examination of accounts
Section 22A. The treasurer of any city, town, or other governmental unit which has given, paid, expended or contributed, or promised to give, pay, expend or contribute any money or any valuable thing in order to influence or affect the vote on any question submitted to the voters of the commonwealth shall file reports with the director setting forth the amount or value of every gift, payment, expenditure of contribution or promise to give, pay, expend or contribute, together with the date, purpose, and full name and address of the person to whom it was made.
The treasurer of any city, town, or other governmental unit which has given, paid, expended or contributed, or promised to give, pay, expend or contribute any money or any valuable thing in order to influence or affect the vote on any other question submitted to the voters of any city or town or any part of any city or town, shall file reports with the clerk of such city or town setting forth the amount or value of every gift, payment, expenditure of contribution or promise to give, pay, expend or contribute, together with the date, purpose, and full name and address of the person to whom it was made.
Such reports shall be filed as follows:?
(1) the sixtieth day prior to the election; on or before (2) the fifth and twentieth day of each month complete as of the preceding first and fifteenth day of the month, until the election, and thereafter; (3) the fifth day of each month until all declared liabilities have been discharged.
Any officer of a governmental unit violating any provision thereof or authorizing such violation, or any person who violates or in any way knowingly aids or abets the violation of any provision thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
The director of campaign and political finance, or in the case of a city or town, the clerk of such city or town, shall examine the accounts submitted by cities and towns for political expenditures, and may order restitution of public funds which have been adjudicated to have been spent contrary to law by public officials. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as authorizing the expenditures of public monies for political purposes.

Section 23: Persons acting for political committees; accounts and vouchers to treasurers
Section 23. Whoever, acting under the authority or in behalf of a political committee, receives any money or its equivalent, or promise of the same, or expends or incurs any liability to pay the same, shall, on demand, and in any event within three business days after such receipt, expenditure, promise or liability, give to the treasurer a detailed account of the same, with all vouchers required by this chapter, which shall be a part of the accounts and files of such treasurer.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.

Section 24: Place for filing statements or reports; signing
Section 24. If the statement or report required to be filed by a candidate, treasurer or other person relates to a nomination or election to a city or town office, other than a municipal office for which a candidate is required to file with the director in accordance with section 18C or section 19, or to a question appearing upon the official ballot used at a city or town election, the statement or report shall be filed with the clerk of the city or town involved; if the statement or report required to be filed by a candidate, treasurer or other person relates to a nomination or election for the office of regional district school committee member elected district-wide, the statement or report shall be filed with the clerk of the city or town where the candidate is a registered voter; if the statement or report required to be filed by a candidate, treasurer or other person relates to a nomination or election for district office as provided in sections one hundred and thirteen to one hundred and nineteen, inclusive, of chapter forty-one, the statement or report shall be filed with the clerk of the district; all other such statements or reports shall be filed with the director. All such statements or reports shall be signed under the penalties of perjury.

Section 25: Preservation of statements and reports by director; public inspection and reproduction
Section 25. The director shall retain all statements and reports filed with his office under the provisions of this chapter by candidates and their committees until December thirty-first of the sixth year following the relevant election, provided that the ending balance on such candidates most recent statements, shows no residual funds and no remaining deficit. In the case of a candidate or authorized campaign committee which reports an ending balance of other than zero, the director shall retain all statements and reports and shall require additional annual reports to be filed henceforth on the twentieth day of January until such time that the candidate or authorized campaign committee reports an ending balance of zero.
In the case of all other political committees, the director shall retain all required statements and reports until December thirty-first of the sixth year following the relevant election.
The director shall make all statements and reports required to be filed with him by this chapter available for convenient public inspection and reproduction by a copying machine at a commercially reasonable fee as soon as such statements and reports are filed with him.

Section 26: Preservation of statements and reports by city or town clerk; public inspection and reproduction; posting of campaign finance reports required by Sec. 18 on website
Section 26. The city or town clerk shall retain all statements and reports required to be filed with such clerk until December 31st of the sixth year following the relevant election. In the case of committees other than those authorized by a candidate, the city or town clerk shall retain all required statements and reports filed with such clerk until December 31st of the sixth year following the date that the statement or report was filed. Such statements and reports shall be available for convenient public inspection and copying at the office of the city or town clerk during normal business hours as soon as such statements and reports are filed with him. Within 30 days after the filing deadline, all campaign finance reports required to be filed with the city or town clerk under section 18 shall be made available for viewing on the internet website of the municipality if such municipality has such a website, if the report discloses that a candidate or committee filing a report has received contributions or made expenditures in excess of $1,000 during a reporting period or incurred liabilities or acquired or disposed of assets in excess of $1,000 during a reporting period.

Section 27: Furnishing forms for statements and reports, and summary of chapter
Section 27. The director shall make available to city and town clerks a summary of this chapter and forms approved by the director and the attorney general suitable for the submission of the statements and reports required by this chapter. The city and town clerk shall transmit forms to a candidate for nomination or election to a city or town office who is known to the city or town clerk and to a political committee required to file with the city or town clerk.
The director shall make available to all candidates and political committees required to file with the director forms for filing and a summary of this chapter.

Section 28: Inspection of statements and reports; delinquencies; notice; filing
Section 28. The clerk of cities and towns shall inspect all statements and reports of candidates, or nonelected political committees supporting such candidates, filed with them, within thirty days of the reporting dates required by this chapter, and all other statements and reports within sixty days of the reporting dates required by this chapter. If upon examination of the records it appears that any candidate or political committee has failed to file a statement or report as required by law, or if it appears to the clerk that any such statement or report filed with him does not conform to law, or upon written complaint by five registered voters that a statement or report does not conform to law, or that any candidate or political committee has failed to file a statement or report required by law, the city or town clerk, as the case may be, shall, in writing, notify the delinquent person. Such complaint shall state in detail the grounds of objection, shall be sworn to by one of the subscribers, and shall be filed with the proper city or town clerk within ten days after the required date for filing a statement or report within ten days after the actual filing of a statement or report, or an amended statement or report.

Section 29: Failure to file statement, report or affidavit; notice to and duties of director and attorney general
Section 29. Upon failure to file a statement, report or affidavit within 10 days after receiving notice under section 28, the city or town clerk, as the case may be, shall notify the director thereof and shall furnish him with copies of all papers related thereto and the director, if satisfied there is cause, shall assess a penalty and may refer the person or committee to the attorney general pursuant to section 3. If any statement filed with the city or town clerk, as the case may be, discloses any violation of this chapter, such city or town clerk shall notify the director thereof and shall furnish him with copies of all papers relating thereto. The director shall examine every such case referred to him by such clerk and may refer such cases to the attorney general in accordance with section 3. If satisfied that there is cause, the attorney general shall, in the name of the commonwealth, institute appropriate criminal or civil proceedings or refer the case to the proper district attorney for such actions as may be appropriate. Any city or town clerk shall at any time upon the request of the attorney general or the director forward any evidence or information received by such clerk to the attorney general or director for whatever action the attorney general or director deems appropriate pursuant to law.

Section 30: Courts’ authority to compel filing of statements
Section 30. The supreme judicial or superior court may compel any person failing to file a statement as above required, or filing a statement not conforming to the foregoing requirements in respect to its truth, sufficiently in detail, or otherwise, to file a sufficient statement, upon the application of the attorney general or district attorney or petition of any candidate voted for, or of any five persons qualified to vote at the election on account of which the expenditures, or any part thereof, were made or are alleged to have been made. Such petition shall be filed within sixty days after such election, if the statement was filed within the thirty days required, but a petition may be filed within thirty days of any payment not included in the statement so filed. Proceedings under this section shall be advanced for speedy trial upon the request of either party. No petition brought under this chapter shall be discontinued without the consent of the attorney general.

Section 31: Immunity of witnesses
Section 31. No person compelled to testify in any proceedings under section thirty shall be liable to criminal prosecution for any matters or causes in respect of which he shall be examined or to which his testimony shall relate, except to prosecution for perjury committed in such testimony.

Section 32: Corrupt practices by candidate defined
Section 32. A candidate shall be deemed to have committed a corrupt practice who commits any of the following offences:
Making or permitting any person or non-elected political committee authorized by him to make a false return in any statement filed under sections eighteen, nineteen and twenty-four by him or on his behalf.
Making a false return in any statement filed under sections eighteen and twenty-four by a candidate for nomination or election.
Any candidate fraudulently and wilfully obstructing and delaying a voter, interfering with, hindering or preventing an election officer from performing his duties, forging an endorsement upon, altering, destroying or defacing a ballot, tampering with or injuring or attempting to injure any voting machine or ballot box to be used or being used in a primary or election, or preventing or attempting to prevent the correct operation of such machine or box.

Section 33: Election petitions for corrupt practices; procedure
Section 33. (a) If the attorney general or five or more voters have reasonable cause to believe that a corrupt practice, as defined in section thirty-two, has been committed by any successful candidate, other than a candidate for the United States Congress, or for the general court, for whom such voters had the right to vote, with reference to his election, or by any other person in his interest or behalf with reference thereto, the attorney general or such voters may apply to a justice of the superior court, sitting in equity within and for Suffolk county, for leave to bring an election petition against such candidate praying that the election of such candidate be declared void. Such application shall be subscribed and sworn to by the petitioners and it shall be heard ex parte by the justice of the superior court upon such evidence as he may require; and if the petitioners shall establish to his satisfaction that there is reasonable cause to believe that a corrupt practice has been committed with reference to the election of the candidate in question, which materially affected the results of the election, and that upon the evidence obtainable there is reasonable cause to believe that such violations may be proved, he shall make an order granting leave to the petitioners to bring an election petition against such candidate.
(b) After the entry of such order, and within two months after the election to which it relates, the election petition may be filed in the superior court within and for Suffolk county.
Notice of the petition shall be by writ of subpoena according to the usual course of proceedings in equity and shall be returnable fourteen days after the date on which the petition is filed.
A subpoena issued upon an election petition shall be served not less than seven days before the return day.
A defense to an election petition shall be by answer, filed within seven days after the return day, and no replication need be filed.
Election petitions shall be entered on the equity docket.
(c) Election petitions and all motions and other applications, whether interlocutory or final, and all hearings on the merits or upon the making, entering or modifying of decrees therein shall be heard and determined by three justices of the superior court who shall, immediately following the filing of an election petition, be assigned by the administrative justice of said court for the hearing and determination of all matters arising under election petitions prior to the next state election. No reference to a master shall be had upon any matter arising under an election petition, except in matters of fact relating to financial statements and the examination of accounts and vouchers. All proceedings under election petitions shall have precedence over any case of a different nature pending in any court, and the justices of the superior court may from time to time make such rules regulating the practice and proceedings in matters of such election petitions, not inconsistent with this chapter, as they deem expedient. In the absence of any such rules, the practice and procedure in election petitions shall be governed by such laws or rules of court, not inconsistent with this chapter, as may from time to time be in force relating to the practice and proceedings in matters of equity.
(d) Upon an election petition the decision of the three justices of the superior court assigned as aforesaid, or of a majority of them, shall be final and conclusive upon all matters in controversy, whether interlocutory or final, and whether in matters of fact or matters of law. But the said justices, or a majority of them, may, after a finding of facts, either of their own motion or at the request of either party, report the case to the supreme judicial court for determination by the full court; and thereupon like proceedings shall be had as upon a report after a finding of facts by a justice of the superior court in equity proceedings.
(e) If upon an election petition one or more violations of section thirty-two are proved, it shall be a defense to the petition if the defendant establishes to the satisfaction of a majority of the justices hearing the same, with reference to all said violations, the following:
As to every such violation, either that
(1) Such violation was not committed by the candidate, but was committed contrary to the orders and without the sanction or connivance of the candidate;
(2) The participation, if any, of the candidate in such violation, arose from inadvertence or from accidental miscalculation, or from some other reasonable cause of a like nature, and in any case did not arise from any want of good faith;
(3) The candidate took all reasonable means for preventing the commission of violations of this chapter with reference to the election in question;
(4) The violation in question was of a trivial, unimportant and limited character;
(5) The violation in question did not materially affect the results of the election.
(f) The court may by an order make the final disposition of an election petition conditional upon the filing of a statement required by this chapter in a modified form, or within an extended time, and upon compliance with such other terms as the court may deem best calculated to carry into effect the objects hereof, and in such case the court shall require, within a time certain, further proof as to the compliance with the conditions of such order, whereupon a final decree shall be entered.
(g) If upon the hearing of an election petition a majority of the justices hearing the same shall find that in relation to the election of the candidate in question a corrupt practice, as defined in section thirty-two, was committed by the defendant, a decree shall be entered subject to the limitations and conditions hereinbefore prescribed, declaring void the election of the defendant to the office in question, and ousting and excluding him from such office and declaring the office vacant.
(h) No person called to testify upon an election petition shall be excused from testifying or producing any papers on the ground that his testimony may tend to criminate him or subject him to a penalty; but he shall not be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture except forfeiture of election to office, for or on account of any action, matter or thing concerning which he may so testify, except for perjury committed in such testimony.
(i) No decree entered upon an election petition shall be a bar to or affect in any way any criminal prosecution of any candidate or other person, or any inquest in accordance with sections thirty-five to forty-one, inclusive.
(j) A certified copy of any final decree entered upon an election petition, as provided by this chapter, shall forthwith be transmitted by the clerk to the director; and any vacancy in any office created by any such decree shall be filled in the manner provided by law in case of the death of the incumbent, but in no case shall the candidate so excluded from the office be eligible therefor.
(k) If upon the hearing of an election petition it shall appear to a majority of the justices hearing the same that with reference to the election in question there is a reasonable presumption that any violation of this chapter was committed, they shall cause notice of the facts to be given by the clerk of said court to the district attorney for the county where the violation appears to have been committed, with a list of the witnesses to establish the violation, and any other information which they may consider proper; and thereupon the district attorney shall cause complaint therefor to be made before a court or magistrate having jurisdiction thereof, or shall present the evidence thereof to the grand jury. If it shall appear that a successful candidate for district attorney has been guilty of any such violation, a majority of said justices shall order the notice of the facts to be given to the attorney general, who shall designate a district attorney to make such complaint or presentment. A majority of said justices may issue process for the apprehension of any person so appearing to have committed a violation of this chapter, and may bind over, as in criminal prosecutions, such witnesses as they deem necessary to appear and testify at the court having jurisdiction of the crime.

Section 34: Application of preceding sections
Section 34. Sections one to thirty-three, inclusive, shall apply to all public elections and to elections by the general court and by city councils and by either branch thereof, and, so far as applicable, to the nomination by primaries, caucuses, conventions and nomination papers of candidates to be voted for at such elections. The term ”political committee” as defined in section one shall not apply to the proprietors and publishers of publications issued at regular intervals, in respect to the ordinary conduct of their business, nor shall they, in respect thereto, be subject to sections two to six, inclusive, of this chapter.

Section 35: Inquests upon complaint for violations
Section 35. Upon a complaint subscribed and sworn to by any person before a district court, alleging that reasonable grounds exist for believing that any law relating to the qualification or registration of voters, or to voting lists or ballots, or to primaries, caucuses, conventions and elections, or to any matters pertaining thereto, has been violated, such court may at once hold an inquest to inquire into such alleged violation of law.

Section 36: Conduct of inquests
Section 36. The court may exclude all persons whose presence is not necessary at such inquest; and may also direct the witnesses to be kept so separated that they cannot converse with each other until they have been examined. The attorney general, the district attorney, or some person designated by either, shall attend the inquest and examine the witnesses.

Section 37: Witnesses; attendance; process; fees
Section 37. Such court or attorney may issue subpoenas for witnesses, who shall be allowed the same fees, whose attendance may be enforced in the same manner, and who shall be subject to the same penalties, as if served with a subpoena in behalf of the commonwealth in a criminal prosecution before such court.

Section 38: Stenographer
Section 38. Such court may employ a stenographer and may have the proceedings reduced to writing; and, if he finds that the law has been violated, shall report to the superior court all the material facts and the names of any persons guilty of any such violation.

Section 39: Witnesses; binding over to superior court
Section 39. The court may bind over, as in criminal prosecutions, such witnesses as are necessary, or as said attorney may designate, to appear and testify in the superior court.

Section 40: Apprehension of offenders
Section 40. If a person charged by the report with the commission of an offence is not in custody, the court shall forthwith issue a process for his apprehension; but such process may issue before the filing of said report, if otherwise lawful.

Section 41: Witnesses; compulsory testimony; immunity
Section 41. No person shall be excused from testifying or producing any papers in any inquest proceedings under sections thirty-five to forty, inclusive, on the ground that his testimony may tend to criminate him or subject him to a penalty or forfeiture, but he shall not be prosecuted or be subjected to a penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any action, matter or thing concerning which he may be required so to testify, except for perjury committed in such testimony.

Section 42: Forwarding certified copy of record of final judgment or conviction to city or town clerk; disqualification of defendant as voter
Section 42. The director in proceedings based upon an election petition, as provided in section thirty-three, and the clerk of the court wherein a person is convicted of a violation of any provision of law relating to corrupt practices in elections, shall, within ten days after final judgment on such election petition or conviction, forward to the clerk of the city or town where the defendant resides a certified copy of the record of the final judgment or conviction, and the name of such person shall forthwith be stricken from the roll of registered voters of the city or town for a period of three years.

Chapter 55A: THE MASSACHUSETTS CLEAN ELECTIONS LAW
• [Repealed, 2003, 26, Sec. 43(C).]

Chapter 55B: THE STATE BALLOT LAW COMMISSION

Section 1: Establishment and membership of commission
Section 1. There shall be a state ballot law commission consisting of five persons to be appointed by the governor, one of whom shall be a retired justice of the supreme judicial court, appeals court, superior court or district courts of the commonwealth who shall be chairman. The chairman shall serve for a term of one year from February first of the year in which he was appointed and may be reappointed for further terms. The other members of said commission shall serve for terms of two years from February first of the year in which they were appointed and may be reappointed for further terms.
No more than three members of the commission shall be members of the same political party.
Vacancies occurring during the term of any member shall be filled for the unexpired term by the governor within sixty days of the occurrence of said vacancy. The governor may remove any member of the commission.
The state secretary shall serve as the secretary of the commission.

Section 2: Members holding or nominated for public office
Section 2. No member of said commission shall hold any public office except that of justice of the peace, notary public, or be a candidate for public office, or member or employee of any political committee. If any member of the commission shall be nominated as a candidate for public office and shall not in writing decline said nomination within three days, he shall be deemed to have vacated his office as a member of said commission.

Section 3: Compensation; record of proceedings; clerical assistance
Section 3. The members of the commission shall each be paid such compensation for their services not exceeding five thousand dollars annually, as the governor may determine, and shall be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties. The chairman of the commission shall cause the proceedings thereof to be recorded by a competent stenographer, which may include tape recording, and for such purpose and other necessary expenditures of the commission for clerical assistance may expend such sums as may be appropriated therefor.

Section 4: Powers and duties of commission
Section 4. The commission may investigate upon objection made in accordance with the provisions of this chapter the legality, validity, completeness and accuracy of all nomination papers and actions required by law to give candidates access to a state ballot or to place an initiative or referendum on a state ballot.
The commission shall have jurisdiction over and render a decision on any matter referred to it, pertaining to the statutory and constitutional qualifications of any nominee for state, national or county office; the certificates of nomination or nomination papers filed in any presidential or state primary, state election, or special state primary or election, the withdrawal of nomination for any state, county, or federal office after the time to do so has expired or any ineffective withdrawal; the filing of nomination papers under a false name, or fictitious nominees; and the fraudulent or forged signing of statewide initiative or referendum petitions, or any other objection relating to the signatures on such petitions. The commission shall have no jurisdiction with respect to public policy questions, nor city or town candidates and ballot questions.
The commission may summon witnesses, administer oaths, and require the production of books, records and papers at a hearing before it upon any matter within its jurisdiction.
Witnesses shall be summoned in the same manner, be paid the same fees, and be subject to the same penalties as witnesses in civil cases before the courts. Any member may sign a summons or administer an oath. In the event that said commission fails to render its decision within the time required in this chapter on any matter so referred, the state secretary shall, notwithstanding such failure, proceed forthwith to cause to be printed the ballots for such primaries or elections. Petitions for judicial review of decisions of the commission, under the provisions of chapter thirty A, shall be filed in the court within five days after receipt of the notice of the final decision of said commission. The commission shall establish rules of procedure in conformance with the provisions of chapter thirty A governing the conduct of hearings and investigations which shall be made available in printed form to each party prior to appearance or testimony before the commission.

Section 5: Objections; federal, state, and county offices
Section 5. Objections to certificates of nomination and nomination papers for candidates at a presidential primary, state primary, or state election shall be filed with the state secretary within seventy-two hours succeeding five o’clock post meridian of the last day fixed for filing nomination papers.
Candidates challenging the registrars’ failure to certify names on their nomination papers shall do so in accordance with the provisions of section six.
Objections relating to the original signers of an initiative or referendum petition shall be filed with the state secretary within five days after the original petition has been filed with the state secretary.
Objections that signatures appearing on an initiative or referendum petition have been forged or placed thereon by fraud and that in consequence thereof the petition has not been signed by a sufficient number of qualified voters actually supporting such petition, as required by the constitution, or any other objection relating to signatures on such petitions, may be filed with the state secretary not later than five o’clock post meridian on the thirtieth day succeeding the last day for filing such initiative petition. Objections that the supplemental signatures necessary to place an initiative petition on the ballot after rejection by the legislature, have been forged or placed thereon by fraud and that in consequence thereof the petition has not been signed by a sufficient number of qualified voters actually supporting such petition, or any other objection relating to signatures on such petitions, as required by the constitution shall be filed not later than five o’clock post meridian on the seventh day succeeding the last day for filing such additional signatures.
Objections to nominations at state primaries shall be filed with the state secretary within six days succeeding five o’clock in the afternoon of the day of holding such primaries.
Objections to nomination papers of candidates to be voted for at primaries or general elections may be made by any registered voter of the district in which a candidate seeks nomination. Such objection shall not be valid unless it contains the voting address of the person filing the objections, as shown upon the current annual register of voters.
Objections to signatures appearing on an initiative or referendum question may be made by any registered voter of the commonwealth.
Such objections shall contain in detail each ground for protest with respect to said nomination papers, initiative and referendum petitions or primary nominations. Each objection, or objections by any person to any candidate or initiative referendum petition shall be accompanied by a nonreturnable filing fee of twenty-five dollars. If the commission declines jurisdiction of such objection the filing fee shall be returned.
Anyone filing an objection under this section shall not later than the day after which it is filed, mail by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of such objection as filed with the commission to the candidate against whose nomination papers, initiative and referendum petition or primary nomination, such objection is made. Failure to do so shall invalidate any objection filed with the commission.
No objection shall be considered by the commission unless such objection is accompanied by a certificate of voter registration issued by the board of registrars of voters, or the clerk of the same, where the person filing the objection resides, stating that he is a registered voter in the district of the candidate being challenged.
The certificate of registration shall be substantially as follows:
The Commonwealth of MassachusettsCertificate of Voter Registration
I hereby certify that ___ is a registered voter at ___(street and number), ___(ward & precinct) in this city or town.
Clerk of Board of Registrars of Voters
or
Election Commissioners of
(City-Town)
All objections filed under this section shall be forwarded to the commission by the state secretary.

Section 6: Signatures; review; correction
Section 6. This section applies only to candidates for president who file nomination papers to be placed on the ballot at presidential primaries, and to all candidates at regular state primaries and biennial state elections. Any candidate who has filed nomination papers with the local registrars and who has an insufficient number of certified signatures for nomination to the office sought, or, any candidate who has enough signatures certified for nomination but only has ten per cent or less certified signatures in excess of the number needed for nomination may request a review of the signatures he filed by making written application to the registrars. Said application shall list the signatures not previously certified by the registrars on which the candidate is requesting a review. Local registrars, upon receipt of any such written request shall review the signatures appealed by the candidate and correct any errors or mistakes in certification. Review and corrections shall be completed no later than twenty-four hours before the final hour for filing said papers with the state secretary. Candidates may request only one review. Said application shall be submitted to the registrars no later than forty-eight hours after the last day for the registrars to certify nomination papers.
Local registrars shall be responsible for defending their actions with respect to original certification, reviews and corrections. A candidate who has a deficient number of signatures or who still has ten per cent or less signatures in excess of the number needed for nomination, after completion of the review process, and who has filed his papers with the state secretary by five o’clock post meridian of the last day for filing such nomination papers may appeal from the decision of the local registrar to the superior court of the county in which the candidate is a resident; provided, however, that if such superior court is not holding a civil session the superior court of Suffolk county. Such appeal shall be in the form of a civil action and shall be filed within seventy-two hours of the last day and time for filing nomination papers with the state secretary.
The commission shall not have jurisdiction over any appeal brought under this section.

Section 7: Objections; city and town offices
Section 7. Objections to certificates of nomination, nomination papers, or withdrawals for city offices, or to petitions for local ballot questions shall be filed with the city clerk within two working days of the last day fixed for filing such nomination papers, withdrawals, or petitions, or of the day on which certification of the names on a petition must be completed, whichever is later, except where city charters provide otherwise. Objections to certificates of nomination, nomination papers or withdrawals for town offices, or to petitions for local ballot questions, shall be filed with the town clerk within two working days of the last day fixed for filing such nomination papers, withdrawals, or petitions, or of the day on which certification of the names on a petition must be completed, whichever is later, except where town charters provide otherwise.
Objections filed with the city or town clerk shall forthwith be transmitted by him to the board authorized to hear such objections as provided under this section.
Objections in cities, except in the city of Boston, shall be considered by the board of registrars of voters and the city solicitor. Objections in towns shall be considered by the board of registrars of voters. Boards in cities and towns may, at hearings on such objections, summon witnesses, administer oaths and require the production of books, records and papers. Such witnesses shall be summoned in the same manner, be paid the same fees, and be subject to the same penalties for default, as witnesses in civil cases before the courts. A summons may be signed, and an oath may be administered by any member of such board.
When such objection has been filed, notice thereof shall be sent forthwith by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, by the city or town clerk to the candidates affected thereby, addressed to their residences as given in the certificate of nomination or nomination papers, and to any party committee interested in the nomination to which such objection has been made; or in the case of local ballot questions to the first five names appearing on the petition or any other persons designated as sponsors of the petition. If more candidates bearing the same designation are nominated for an office, otherwise than by nomination papers, than are to be elected thereto, such boards shall determine the candidates, if any, entitled to such designation. Such boards shall render a decision on any matter referred to them, pertaining to certificates of nomination or nomination papers or to petitions for local ballot questions for any regular or special city or town primaries or any regular or special city or town election, or to withdrawals of nomination therefor, not later than four days after the last day fixed for filing objections to such certificates, papers, petitions, or withdrawals, as the case may be, under this chapter. But such decision need not be rendered until fourteen days after the last day fixed for filing objections to a petition, if the timing of such decision will not thereby prevent the question from qualifying for the ballot not later than thirty days before any previously scheduled election at which the question could appear. In the event that any such board fails to render within the aforesaid period its decision on any matter so referred, the city or town clerk shall, notwithstanding such failure, proceed forthwith to cause to be printed the ballots for such primaries or elections.

Section 8: Notice of objections
Section 8. The commission with respect to objections to certificates of nominations or nomination papers except those for a special primary or election shall by five o’clock post meridian of the Wednesday following the last day for filing such objections notify all parties involved that objection has been made to their certificates of nomination or nomination papers.
The commission with respect to objections to signatures or initiative or referendum petitions shall by five o’clock post meridian of the Wednesday following the last day for such objections notify all parties involved that objection has been made to their initiative or referendum petition.
The commission with respect to objections to supplemental signatures necessary to place an initiative petition on the ballot after rejection by the legislature shall by five o’clock post meridian of the Friday following the last day for filing such objections notify all parties involved that objection has been made to their additional signatures.
The commission with respect to objections to nominations at state primaries, except special primaries shall by five o’clock post meridian of the Tuesday following the last day for filing such objections notify all candidates affected thereby that objection has been made to their nomination.
Notification shall be by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. All notifications shall contain in detail the objections made, as well as the date, time, and the location of said hearing. Notifications shall be addressed to the residences as given in the certificates of nomination, nomination papers, and to the initial ten signers of a petition as the case may be. In addition, such notification shall also contain the rules or procedure that will be used in conducting said hearings.

Section 9: Hearings on objections
Section 9. Hearings on objections to certificates of nomination or nomination papers, except for special primaries and elections, shall not be held prior to the second Monday following the Friday for filing such objections.
Hearings on objections to signatures on initiative or referendum petitions shall not be held prior to the second Monday following the last day for filing such objections.
Hearings on objections to supplemental signature filings for initiative petitions shall not be held prior to the first Wednesday following the last day for filing such objections.
Hearings on objections to nominations at regular state primaries shall not be held prior to the Monday following the last day for filing such objections.

Section 10: Decisions
Section 10. The commission shall render a decision on any matter referred to it, pertaining to certificates of nomination or nomination papers for any presidential or biennial state primaries or any biennial state election or to withdrawals of nomination therefore, not later than five o’clock post meridian on the twenty-first day after the last day fixed for filing objections to such certificates or papers or for filing such withdrawals, as the case may be, under the provisions of this chapter. The commission shall render a decision on any matter referred to it pertaining to nominations made at biennial state primaries, not later than five o’clock post meridian on the fourteenth day after the last day fixed for filing objections to such nominations.
The commission shall render a decision on any matter referred to it, pertaining to objections that signatures appearing on an initiative or referendum petition have been forged or placed thereon by fraud and that in consequence thereof the petition has not been signed by a sufficient number of qualified voters actually supporting such petition, as required by the constitution, no later than the twenty-first day after the last day fixed for filing objections to such signatures. The commission shall render a decision on any objection filed with respect to the supplemental filing of signatures for initiative petition to be placed on the ballot after the rejection by the legislature of such petition no later than five o’clock post meridian in the afternoon on the fourteenth day after the last day fixed for filing objections to such signatures.
The commission shall render a decision on any matter referred to it pertaining to certificates of nomination or nomination papers for any special state primary or special state election not later than five o’clock post meridian in the afternoon on the fourth day after the last day fixed for filing objections to such certificates or papers.

Section 11: Vacating nominations; nonexisting persons; false names
Section 11. If objection is filed under section five or section seven by a person duly nominated for any state, city or town office alleging that an apparent nomination for the same office is a fictitious or nonexisting person or that the name under which a person has been apparently nominated for such office is not his true name, the commission or the proper board named in section six shall summon the apparent nominee to appear before it and submit to examination. If no person appears in response to such summons or if a person representing himself to be the nominee appears and after a hearing the commission or board is satisfied that the allegations contained in such objection are true, the commission or board shall sustain the objection and vacate the nomination.

Section 12: Records of decisions; transcripts of hearings
Section 12. The commission shall be required to keep records of all decisions and an official transcript of all proceedings of the hearings. These documents shall be stored in the office of the state secretary. The commission shall upon written request provide any person appealing a decision by the commission a copy of the transcript from hearings pertaining to his case, in accordance with rules and regulations established in conformance with chapter thirty A. All records and transcripts of the commission shall be open to the public.

Chapter 55C: LIMITED PUBLIC FINANCING OF CAMPAIGNS FOR STATEWIDE ELECTIVE OFFICE

Section 1: Definitions
Section 1. Unless a contrary intention clearly appears, the words and phrases used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:
”Director”, the director of campaign and political finance as established by chapter 55.
”Candidate”, any candidate as defined by chapter 55.
”Statewide elective office”, the office of governor, lieutenant-governor, attorney general, secretary, treasurer and receiver general and auditor.
”Contribution”, any contribution as defined by chapter 55.
”Qualifying contribution”, any contribution made by an individual and deposited in a candidate’s depository account as required by section nineteen of chapter 55 during the calendar year in which elections are held for statewide elective office or the next preceding calendar year except as follows: (a) no contribution shall be considered a qualifying contribution unless the name and address of the individual making the contribution can be determined from statements required to be filed with the director; (b) no contribution shall be considered a qualifying contribution to the extent that it exceeds $250 or would exceed $250 when added to any such contribution previously made by the same individual during the calendar year in which elections are held for statewide elective office or the next preceding calendar year.
The same contribution may be a qualifying contribution for both the primary election and the state election in a year in which elections are held for statewide elective office but no contribution shall remain a qualified contribution after the end of any such year.

Section 1A: Filing statement
Section 1A. (a) On or before the last day for filing that candidate’s nomination papers with the state secretary pursuant to chapter 53, every candidate for statewide elective office shall file with the director a statement, in a form prescribed by the director, that the candidate does or does not agree:
(1) in the case of primary candidates, to abide by the following limits on expenditures for the following elective offices in the campaign for the state primary:
Governor $1,500,000
Lieutenant Governor 625,000
Attorney General 625,000
Secretary 375,000
Treasurer and Receiver General 375,000
Auditor 375,000; and
(2) in the case of all candidates for statewide elective office, to abide by the following limits on expenditures for the following elective offices in the campaign for the state election:
Governor and Lieutenant Governor $1,500,000
Attorney General 625,000
Secretary 375,000
Treasurer and Receiver General 375,000
Auditor 375,000
The name of a candidate who fails to file any statement within the time required by this subsection shall not appear on the state primary ballot nor on the state election ballot, and the director shall inform the state secretary of any such failure.
(b) On or before the last day for filing withdrawals of nominations for the state primary, every primary candidate for statewide office who has not agreed to abide by the expenditure limit under subsection (a), and who is opposed in that primary by 1 or more candidates who have agreed to this limit, shall file with the director a statement, in a form prescribed by the director, of the maximum amount of expenditures to be made in his campaign for that primary. The name of a candidate who fails to file a statement required by this subsection within the time so required shall not appear on the state primary ballot, and the director shall inform the state secretary of any such failure. The state primary campaign expenditure limit agreed to under subsection (a) by any candidate shall be increased to the highest amount stated under this subsection by any opposing candidate who has not agreed to this limit.
(c) On or before the last day for filing withdrawals of nominations made at the state primary, every candidate for statewide office in the state election who has not agreed to abide by the expenditure limit under subsection (a), and who is opposed in that election by 1 or more candidates who have agreed to this limit, shall file with the director a statement, in a form prescribed by the director, of the maximum amount of expenditures to be made in his campaign for that primary. The name of a candidate who fails to file a statement required by this subsection within the time so required shall not appear on the state election ballot, and the director shall inform the state secretary of any such failure. The state election campaign expenditure limit agreed to under subsection (a) by any candidate shall be increased to the highest amount stated under this subsection by any opposing candidate who has not agreed to this limit.
(d) Any candidate appointed to fill a vacancy in a nomination for statewide elective office shall file the statement required by subsection (a) not later than the last day for filing the certificate of nomination to fill such vacancy. The time for opposing candidates to file the statements required by subsection (b) or (c), as the case may be, shall be extended accordingly.
(e) Any candidate who files a statement with the director under this section and who makes expenditures in excess of the limit established by this section, or in excess of the amount stated by said candidate pursuant to subsection (b) or (c), shall be punished by a fine of not more than the total of 2 times the amount of the expenditures in excess of said limit or said amount, as the case may be, in addition to the penalties provided by section 12.

Section 2: Qualifying candidates
Section 2. On or before the ninth Tuesday before the primary election in any year in which elections are held for statewide elective office the state secretary shall determine and certify to the director and the state treasurer the names and addresses of all candidates for statewide elective office who qualify for the primary ballot and are opposed, by one or more candidates who have qualified for the same ballot in the primary election. For purposes of this chapter any candidate for statewide elective office for whom certificates of nomination and nomination papers have been filed in apparent conformity with law shall be considered qualified for the ballot notwithstanding any objections thereto that may be filed and notwithstanding any vacancy that may occur following the filing of such certificates of nominations and nomination papers other than a vacancy caused by withdrawal of a candidate within the time allowed by law. On or before the fifth Tuesday before the state election in any such year the state secretary shall determine and certify to the director and to the state treasurer the names and addresses of all candidates for statewide elective office who qualify for the state election ballot and are opposed by one or more candidates who have qualified for the state election ballot. For purposes of this chapter any candidate for statewide elective office for whom certificates of nomination and nomination papers have been filed in apparent conformity with law shall be considered qualified for the ballot, as provided with respect to candidates for the primary election, and any, such candidates nominated at the primary election shall be considered qualified for the ballot notwithstanding any objections thereto that may be filed and notwithstanding any vacancy that may occur other than a vacancy caused by withdrawal of a candidate within the time allowed by law. The state secretary shall promptly determine and certify to the director and state treasurer the name and address of any candidate that no longer qualifies for the primary or state election ballot or no longer has opposition because of death or withdrawal or ineligibility for office or because objections to certificates of nomination and nomination papers have been sustained or because of a recount or for any other like reason.

Section 3: Limited public financing eligibility
Section 3. The director shall determine and certify to the state treasurer those candidates for statewide elective office that are eligible for limited public financing as provided in sections 4 and 6 and shall determine and certify to the state treasurer the amounts due to each eligible candidate as provided in sections 5 and 7.
The director shall prescribe and make available forms on which statements of qualifying contributions shall be filed by candidates, which statements shall contain the name and address of each individual making a contribution, the amount of the contribution and date of deposit, the cumulative total of all contributions made by that individual during the calendar year in which elections are held for statewide elective office and the next preceding calendar year and shall contain such other information and shall be organized in such a manner as the director may reasonably require to expedite the determinations required to be made by the director by this chapter. The director shall notify candidates of any amounts determined by the director to be due from candidates under section nine and shall direct that such amounts be paid to the state election campaign fund. On or before January 30 of any year next following a year in which elections are held for statewide elective office the director shall prepare and submit a report relating to the matters entrusted to him under this chapter to the clerk of the senate and to the commission established by section 3 of chapter 55 and shall make copies of such report available to any person upon payment of the reasonable cost of copying or reproduction.

Section 4: Minimum financing available; primary election
Section 4. Any candidate for statewide elective office certified by the state secretary under section 2 as qualifying for the ballot and having opposition in primary election shall be eligible to receive limited public financing of his primary election campaign, to the extent provided by section 5, on determination and certification by the director that the candidate (a) has filed a request for public financing with the director together with the bond required by section 8; (b) has filed with the director a statement under subsection (a) of section 1A agreeing to abide by the expenditure limits provided thereby; and (c) has received qualifying contributions as defined by section 1 in at least the following minimum amounts for the following statewide elective offices:
Governor $75,000
Lieutenant Governor 15,000
Attorney General 37,500
Secretary 15,000
Treasurer and Receiver General 15,000
Auditor 15,000
Only amounts appearing in statements of qualifying contributions filed with the director, in such form as he shall prescribe, shall be considered in determining whether any such minimum amount has been met. Determination and certification of the eligibility of candidates shall be made by the director on the eighth Tuesday before the primary and shall be based solely upon information contained in such statements as have been filed by candidates. Candidates for governor seeking public financing shall file the statement on or before the Friday that is 11 days preceding said eighth Tuesday and other candidates seeking public financing shall file said statements on or before the Friday next preceding said eighth Tuesday.

Section 5: Maximum financing available; primary election
Section 5. Any candidate eligible to receive limited public financing of his primary election campaign shall, on determination and certification by the director, be entitled to an amount equal to $1 for each one dollar of qualifying contributions as defined by section 1, subject to the following limitations: (a) no candidate shall be entitled to receive any amount in excess of the balance then remaining in the primary candidate account established for that candidate under section 42 of chapter 10; (b) nor shall any candidate be entitled to receive any amount in excess of the following maximum amounts for the following statewide elective offices:
Governor $750,000
Lieutenant Governor 312,500
Attorney General 312,500
Secretary 187,500
Treasurer and Receiver General 187,500
Auditor 187,500
Only amounts appearing in statements of qualifying contributions filed with the director, in such form as he shall prescribe, shall be considered in determining amounts to which candidates are entitled. Determinations and certifications of the amounts to which eligible candidates are entitled shall be made by the director on or before the eighth, sixth, fourth and second Tuesday before the primary election and shall be based solely upon information contained in such statements as have been filed prior to such dates.

Section 6: Minimum financing available; state election
Section 6. Any candidate for statewide elective office certified by the state secretary under section two as qualifying for the ballot and having opposition in the state election shall be eligible to receive limited public financing of his state election campaign, to the extent provided by section 7, on determination and certification by the director that the candidate (a) has filed a request for public financing with the director together with the bond required by section 8; (b) has filed with the director a statement under subsection (a) of section 1A agreeing to abide by the expenditure limits provided thereby; and (c) has received qualifying contributions as defined by section 1 in at least the following minimum amounts for the following statewide elective offices:
Governor and Lieutenant Governor $125,000
Attorney General 62,500
Secretary 25,000
Treasurer and Receiver General 25,000
Auditor 25,000
Only amounts appearing in statements of qualifying contributions filed with the director, in such form as he shall prescribe, shall be considered in determining whether any such minimum amount has been met. Determination and certification of the eligibility of candidates shall be made by the director on the fourth Tuesday before the state election and shall be based solely upon information contained in such statements as have been filed by candidates. Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor seeking public financing shall file the statement on or before the Friday that is 11 days preceding said fourth Tuesday and other candidates seeking public financing shall file said statements on or before the Friday next preceding said fourth Tuesday.
The fact that a qualifying contribution has previously been considered in determining eligibility for, or the extent of, public financing of a candidate’s primary election campaign shall not prevent consideration of the same contribution in determining eligibility for public financing of such candidate’s state election campaign.

Section 7: Maximum financing available; state election
Section 7. Any candidate eligible to receive limited public financing of his state election campaign shall, on determination and certification by the director, be entitled to an amount equal to $1 for each one dollar of qualifying contributions as defined by section one subject to section nine and subject to the following limitations: (a) no candidate shall be entitled to receive any amount in excess of the balance then remaining in the state election candidate account established for that candidate under section 43 of chapter 10; (b) nor shall any candidate be entitled to receive any amount in excess of the following maximum amounts for the following statewide elective offices:
Governor and Lieutenant Governor $750,000
Attorney General 312,500
Secretary 187,500
Treasurer and Receiver General 187,500
Auditor 187,500
Only amounts appearing in statements of qualifying contributions filed with the director, in such form as he shall prescribe, stall be considered in determining amounts to which candidates are entitled. Determinations and certifications of the amounts to which eligible candidates are entitled shall be made by the director on or before the fourth and second Tuesday before the state election and shall be based solely upon information contained in such statements as have been filed prior to such dates.
The fact that a qualifying contribution has previously been considered in determining eligibility for, or the extent of, public financing of a candidate’s primary election campaign shall not prevent consideration of the same contribution in determining the extent of public financing of such candidate’s state election campaign.

Section 8: Bond for faithful compliance
Section 8. No candidate shall be eligible to receive public financing under this chapter unless and until the candidate deposits with the director a bond for the faithful compliance by such candidate and any political committee organized on his behalf with the provisions of this chapter. Such bond shall be in a form approved by the director, shall be signed by such candidate and the chairman and treasurer of any such committee, shall run to the commonwealth, shall be in force during the year in which elections for statewide elective office are held and for the following calendar year. The bond deposited for the purpose of receiving public financing for the primary election campaign must be for the amount which the comptroller has credited to the account established on behalf of that candidate for the primary election campaign. The bond deposited for the purpose of receiving public financing for the state election campaign must be for the amount which the comptroller has credited to the account established on behalf of that candidate for the state election campaign, but in the case of a candidate for governor, the bond on behalf of said candidate shall be in the amount which the comptroller has credited to the account established on behalf of that governor and lieutenant governor team.
On determination by the director that a candidate has failed to make the payments to the state treasurer required by section 9 the director may request the attorney general to bring an action in the name of the state treasurer upon the bond of such candidate and his political committee and may recover for the benefit of the state election campaign fund, up to the sum of such bond, any such payments so required. Any such action shall be in addition to remedies otherwise available by law and no action on any such bond shall preclude the director from bringing such other civil or criminal proceedings as may otherwise be provided by law.

Section 9: Statement of surplus balance
Section 9. Within 2 weeks following any primary or state election for statewide elective office any candidate who has received public financing under this chapter shall file a statement with the director showing the balance remaining in the candidate’s depository account as of the primary or state election less any reserve necessary to cover debts incurred to defray campaign expenditures incurred during such primary or state election. Except as provided in this section, any candidate having a surplus balance following any such primary or state election shall thereupon pay to the state treasurer for deposit to the State Election Campaign Fund an amount determined by multiplying such surplus balance by a fraction the numerator of which is the total amount of public financing received on account of such primary or state election campaign and the denominator of which is the sum of such public financing received and all contributions received by such candidate. No candidate having a surplus balance following the primary election shall be required to make any payment on account of such surplus if such candidate is certified by the state secretary under section 2 as qualifying for the ballot and having opposition in the state election and is certified by the director of campaign and political finance as eligible for public financing for the state election within 3 weeks following such primary election. In determining and certifying the amount to which any such candidate is entitled under section 7, the director shall reduce the amount that would otherwise be determined under that section by an amount equal to the amount that such candidate would be required to pay to the state treasurer under this section but for this sentence.
If the director determines that any portion of the payments made to an eligible candidate under this chapter was in excess of the aggregate amount of the payments to which the candidate was entitled he shall so notify the candidate and he shall thereupon pay to the state treasurer an amount equal to the excess amount.
If the director determines that any portion of the payments made to a candidate under this chapter for use in his primary election campaign or his state election campaign was used for any purpose other than to defray campaign expenditures in that campaign, or to repay loans the proceeds of which were used to defray campaign expenditures in that campaign, the director shall so notify the candidate and he shall thereupon pay an amount equal to the full amount so used to the state treasurer without regard to the source of the funds so used.
Any candidate who fails to pay an amount determined by the director to be due within 10 days of notice thereof shall be subject to a penalty of $50 per day for every day that such amount remains unpaid.

Section 10: Declining public financing
Section 10. No candidate shall be required to accept public financing nor shall any candidate otherwise eligible for public financing be denied such financing solely because an opposing candidate declines to accept such financing.

Section 11: Director authority
Section 11. The director shall promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.
The director shall have the same power and authority to investigate the legality, validity, completeness and accuracy of all reports and actions required to be filed and taken by candidates pursuant to this chapter as is provided by section 3 of chapter 55 pertaining to campaign contributions and expenditures.

Section 12: Punishment for violations
Section 12. Violation by any person of any provision of this chapter shall, in addition to any civil liabilities established by this chapter, be punished by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or by a fine of not more than on $1,000, or both.

Chapter 56: VIOLATIONS OF ELECTION LAWS

Section 1: False listings by registrars, listing board members, police officers or interpreters
Section 1. A registrar, assistant registrar, member of a listing board, police officer or interpreter, who knowingly enters on any list of persons, or causes or allows to be entered thereon, or reports the name of any person as a resident of a building, who is not a resident thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 2: Misconduct of registrars or assistants
Section 2. A registrar or assistant registrar who refuses or wilfully neglects to require, under section forty-four of chapter fifty-one, an applicant for registration to submit an affidavit in compliance with said section, or who knowingly prevents or seeks to prevent the registration of any legal voter, or who knowingly registers the name of any person not qualified to vote, or who is guilty of any fraud or corrupt conduct in the execution of the duties of his office, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 3: Neglect of duty; registrars or assistants, listing board members, or police officers
Section 3. A registrar, assistant registrar or a member of a listing board or a police officer in a city or town having a listing board upon whom a duty is imposed by any law relating to the listing or registration of voters, who refuses or wilfully fails to perform such duty, or who wilfully performs it contrary to law, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months.

Section 4: Refusal or neglect to give information to registrars or other authorized persons
Section 4. Whoever, being an inmate of a building and a resident seventeen years of age or upward, refuses or neglects to give the information required by section four of chapter fifty-one when asked by a registrar, assistant registrar, or anyone so authorized under section fourteen A of said chapter fifty-one to perform such duties, or whoever being an owner or an occupant of a building, or a clerk, superintendent, manager, administrator, or other person having in charge the affairs of a hotel, lodging house, public lodging house, multi-dwelling unit, nursing home, or rest home, as referred to in section ten A of said chapter fifty-one refuses or neglects to give the full and true information within his or her knowledge relating to all persons residing in such building, home, or unit, when asked by such registrar or other authorized person, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year. Whoever, being a licensed innholder, keeper of a lodging house, or public lodging house, keeper or owner of a multi-dwelling unit, or administrator of a nursing home or rest home, fails in any respect to make the reports required by said section ten A of said chapter fifty-one in the detail and manner and within the time therein provided shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten nor more than fifty dollars.

Section 5: Giving false information
Section 5. Whoever knowingly gives to a registrar, assistant registrar, member of a listing board or police officer, for the purpose of making a list of residents seventeen years of age or older or a report under the laws relating to the listing and registration of voters, the name of any person as a resident of a building, who is not a resident thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than five years, or both.

Section 6: False affidavits and oaths
Section 6. Whoever knowingly or wilfully makes a false affidavit, takes a false oath or signs a false certificate relative to the qualifications of any person for listing or registration shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 7: Aiding or abetting false affidavits or oaths
Section 7. Whoever aids or abets a person in knowingly or wilfully making a false affidavit, taking a false oath or signing a false certificate relative to the qualifications of any person for listing or registration shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 8: Illegal registration
Section 8. Whoever causes or attempts to cause his name to be registered, knowing that he is not a qualified voter in the place of such registration or attempted registration; whoever registers or attempts to register under a name other than his own; whoever represents or attempts to represent himself as some other person to an election commissioner, registrar or assistant registrar; whoever gives a false answer to an election commissioner, registrar, or assistant registrar respecting any matter relating to his registration or his right to vote; whoever otherwise illegally registers or attempts to register; or whoever aids or abets any other person in doing any of the acts above mentioned, shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than five years, or both.

Section 9: Misconduct at registration
Section 9. Whoever refuses to obey the lawful orders or directions of an election commissioner, a registrar or assistant registrar, or interrupts or disturbs the proceedings at any registration shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.

Section 10: Defacing or removing notices or voting lists
Section 10. Whoever wilfully defaces or removes a notice relating to the registration of voters, or a voting list, posted according to law, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months.

Section 11: Wilful alteration, mutilation, or destruction of nomination papers, etc.; subscribing to false statements
Section 11. Whoever falsely makes or wilfully alters, defaces, mutilates, destroys or suppresses a certificate of nomination or nomination paper, or letter of withdrawal of a name from such paper, or an initiative petition or a petition for the submission of a question to the voters, or unlawfully signs any such certificate, paper, letter or petition, or files any such certificate, paper, letter or petition, knowing the same to be falsely made or altered, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 11A: False or willful alteration of district designation on nomination papers
Section 11A. Whoever falsely or willfully alters the designation of the district on a nomination paper after the names of voters signed thereto have been certified shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 12: Misconduct of officers; failure to perform duties
Section 12. An officer of a primary, caucus or convention who knowingly makes any false count of ballots or votes, or makes a false statement or declaration of the result of a ballot or vote, or knowingly refuses to receive any ballot offered by a person qualified to vote at such primary, caucus or convention, or wilfully alters, defaces or destroys any ballot cast, or voting list used thereat, before the requirements of law have been complied with, or refuses or wilfully fails to receive any written request made as thereby required, or refuses or wilfully fails to perform any duty or obligation imposed thereby shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months.

Section 13: Challenged ballots; failure to make proper entry
Section 13. A presiding officer at a caucus, primary or state or city election, or at an election in a town or district at which official ballots are used, who, when the right of a person offering to vote is challenged for any legal cause, wilfully or negligently fails to require the name and residence of such person to be written upon the ballot offered by him, and to add thereto the name of the person challenging and the assigned cause, before such ballot is received, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months.

Section 14: Protected information; penalties
Section 14. A primary, election or other officer whose duty it is to recount the ballots cast at a primary or election, who makes any statement or gives any information in regard to a ballot cast by a voter challenged at such primary or election, except as required by law, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months. A primary or election officer who makes any statement or gives any information in regard to a Confidential Registration certificate, as defined in section fifty-one A of chapter fifty-one, except as required by law, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 15: Reading or showing names selected on ballots during election
Section 15. A presiding officer who, at a town election at which official ballots are not used, before the polls are closed and without the consent of a voter, reads or examines or permits to be read or examined, the names written or printed on the ballot of such voter, in order to ascertain the persons voted for by him, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.

Section 16: Improper disposition of ballots and lists
Section 16. A primary or election officer, or a director of the count or assistant appointed under section six of chapter fifty-four A, who wilfully violates any provision relating to the enclosing in envelopes or containers, sealing, endorsing and delivering or transmitting of ballots and voting lists, before or after the votes have been counted and recorded, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 17: Unlawful examination of ballots after election
Section 17. A city or town clerk or an election commissioner who examines or permits to be examined, except as required by law, ballots cast at an election, which are received and retained by him under section one hundred and nine of chapter fifty-four, shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars.

Section 18: Failure to make and transmit election records
Section 18. A city or town clerk or an election commissioner who fails to make a record of votes cast at an election and to make and transmit copies of any such record, as required by chapter fifty-four, shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars; but if a copy of the records is deposited in the post office within the time fixed for transmission or delivery, postpaid and properly addressed, it shall be a bar to any complaint for delinquency.

Section 19: False certificates of election results
Section 19. A city or town clerk, precinct clerk, election commissioner, mayor, alderman, selectman or other officer, who wilfully signs or issues a certificate not in accordance with the result of an election as appearing by the records and copies of records of votes cast, or by a recount of votes, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 20: Repealed, 1965, 530, Sec. 2

Section 21: Misconduct relating to absent voting
Section 21. Any city or town officer trusted with the execution of the laws relative to absent voting, who wilfully violates any provision thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.

Section 22: Public officers, election officers, etc.; failure to perform duties
Section 22. A public officer, primary, caucus or election officer, director of the count or assistant appointed under section six of chapter fifty-four A, or officer or member of a political committee or convention, upon whom a duty is imposed by law, who refuses or wilfully fails to perform such duty, or who wilfully performs it contrary to law, shall be punished by a fine of not less than five nor more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Section 23: Notices or warrants; defacement or removal
Section 23. Whoever wilfully defaces or removes a notice or warrant for a primary, caucus or election posted according to law, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months.

Section 24: Lists of candidates; instructions for voters; supplies; defacement or destruction
Section 24. Whoever, before a primary or election, wilfully defaces or destroys any list of candidates posted according to law, or, during a primary, caucus or election, wilfully defaces, tears down, removes or destroys any card of instruction or specimen ballot posted for the instruction of voters, or during a primary, caucus or election, wilfully removes or destroys any of the supplies or conveniences furnished to enable a voter to prepare his ballot, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.

Section 25: Distinguishing marks; false statements or oaths
Section 25. Whoever, at a primary, caucus or election, places any distinguishing mark upon his ballot, or makes a false statement as to his ability to mark his ballot, or allows the marking of his ballot to be seen by any person for any purpose not authorized by law, or gives a false answer to or makes a false oath before a presiding officer, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.

Section 26: Illegal voting or attempt to vote
Section 26. Whoever, knowing that he is not a qualified voter in any place, wilfully votes or attempts to vote therein; whoever votes or attempts to vote more than once on his own name, his name having been registered more than once; whoever votes or attempts to vote in more than one voting precinct or town, his name having been registered in more than one voting precinct or town; whoever votes or attempts to vote in any name other than his own, or knowingly casts or attempts to cast more than one ballot at one time of balloting; or whoever votes or attempts to vote otherwise illegally, shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than five years, or both.

Section 27: Absent voting laws; violations
Section 27. Whoever, not being entitled to vote under the laws relative to absent voting, votes or attempts to vote thereunder or whoever being entitled to vote under said laws knowingly votes or attempts to vote in violation thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars and by imprisonment for not more than five years.

Section 27A: Unlawful distribution of absent voter ballots
Section 27A. Whoever, at any election at which absent voting is permitted, knowingly and wilfully delivers an absent voter ballot to a voter or other person in any other manner than as provided for in section ninety-one A and ninety-one B of chapter fifty-four shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars.

Section 28: Illegal voting; aiding or abetting
Section 28. Whoever, at a primary, caucus or election, aids or abets a person who is not entitled to vote, in voting or attempting to vote, or in voting or attempting to vote under a name other than his own, or in casting or attempting to cast more than one ballot, shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than five years, or both.

Section 29: Unlawful interference with voter
Section 29. Whoever wilfully and without lawful authority hinders, delays or interferes with, or aids in hindering, delaying or interfering with, a voter while on his way to a primary, caucus or election, while within the guard rail, while marking his ballot or while voting or attempting to vote, or endeavors to induce a voter, before depositing his ballot, to disclose how he marks or has marked it, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 30: Obstruction of voting
Section 30. Whoever wilfully obstructs the voting at a primary, caucus or election shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.

Section 31: Illegal challenges
Section 31. Any person challenging a qualified voter for purposes of intimidation, or of ascertaining how he voted, or for any other illegal purpose, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.

Section 32: Bribery of voter
Section 32. No person shall, directly or indirectly, pay, give or promise to a voter, any gift or reward to influence his vote or to induce him to withhold his vote.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 33: Employers; influencing votes of employees; penalties
Section 33. No person shall, by threatening to discharge a person from his employment, or threatening to reduce his wages, or otherwise threatening to adversely affect the terms and conditions of his employment, or promising to give him employment at higher wages, or otherwise promising to favorably affect the terms and conditions of his employment, attempt to influence a voter to give or to withhold his vote or political contribution. No person shall, because of the giving or withholding of a vote or a political contribution, discharge a person from his employment, reduce his wages or otherwise adversely affect the terms and conditions of his employment or give him employment at higher wages or otherwise favorably affect the terms and conditions of his employment.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than six months or both.

Section 34: Promising public appointments
Section 34. No person shall, to aid or promote his nomination or election to a public office, directly or indirectly promise to appoint or to secure or assist in securing the appointment, nomination or election of another person to a public position or employment or to a position of honor, trust or emolument, except that he may announce or define what is his choice or purpose in relation to an election in which he may be called to take part, if elected.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.

Section 35: Promising public appointments for political action
Section 35. No person holding a public office or in nomination for, or seeking a nomination for, or appointment to, an office, shall corruptly use or promise to use, directly or indirectly, any official authority or influence to confer upon any person, or to aid a person to obtain, an office or public employment, or a nomination, confirmation, promotion or increase of salary, upon the consideration or condition that the vote, political influence or action of any person shall be given or used in behalf of a candidate, officer or party, or upon any other corrupt condition or consideration.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars.

Section 36: Public officers and employees; influencing political action
Section 36. No person in the service of the commonwealth or of any county, city or town shall use his official authority or influence to coerce the political action of any person or body, or to interfere with any election.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars.

Section 37: Public officers and employees; initiative and referendum; promotion or opposition for hire
Section 37. No member of the general court or paid officer or employee of the commonwealth shall promote or oppose, for a valuable consideration other than reimbursement for expenses actually incurred, the acceptance by the voters of any political subdivision of the commonwealth of any law conditioned to take effect therein upon such acceptance, or of any law or proposed law or constitutional amendment submitted under Article XLVIII of the amendments to the constitution, or an expression of opinion by the voters on any question of public policy.
Any person taking or giving employment in violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Section 38: Editorial support; payment for or receipt of payment
Section 38. No person shall pay the owner, editor, publisher, or agent of a newspaper or other periodical to induce him editorially to advocate or oppose any candidate for public office or political principle, or any question submitted to the voters; and no such owner, editor, publisher, or agent shall accept such payment. This section shall not apply to the outright purchase of such newspaper or periodical.

Section 39: Publishing political advertisements; statement; names; signatures
Section 39. No person shall publish or cause to be published in a newspaper or other periodical any paid advertisement designed or tending to aid, injure, or defeat any candidate for public office or any question submitted to the voters, unless the name of the chairman or secretary or the names of two officers of the political or other organization inserting the same, or the name of one or more persons eighteen years of age or older who are responsible therefor, with the residence and the street and number thereof, of each such person eighteen years of age or older appears therein in the nature of a signature; provided, that each such person eighteen years of age or older has signed his name in the presence of a witness to the following statement authorizing the insertion of such advertisement. The statement shall be retained by the newspaper or periodical for not less than one year, shall be available to any person upon request, and shall be in substantially the following form:
I hereby authorize the affixing of my name to the attached political advertisement on behalf of or in opposition to , candidate for in the election to be held in the current year, or on behalf of or in opposition to a question being submitted to the voters in the election in the current year.
Witness:
Signature:

Address:
Address:
Date:
Such matter inserted in reading columns shall be preceded or followed by the word ”Advertisement” in a separate line, in type not smaller than that of the body type of the newspaper or other periodical. This section shall not authorize expenditures otherwise prohibited by this chapter.
Any corporation violating any provision of this section or section thirty-eight, relative to payments to newspapers and periodicals, and to political advertising, shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, and any officer, director or agent of a corporation violating any such provision, who authorized such violation, or any person who violates, or in any way knowingly aids or abets the violation of, any such provision, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than one year.
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Section 40: Using names of political parties; restrictions
Section 40. No organization consisting of two or more persons, other than a political committee duly elected in accordance with law or a corporation organized prior to January first, nineteen hundred and twenty-three, under the laws of this commonwealth and having as a part of its name the name of a political party, as defined by law, shall, in order to promote the success or defeat of a political party or principle or of a candidate in a public election, in any circular, advertisement or publication use in its organization name the name of such a political party, except with the written consent of the duly elected state committee representing such political party.
Any member of an organization subject to this section who participates in a violation of any provision of said section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

Section 41: Repealed, 2006, 171

Section 41A: Unauthorized use of endorsements
Section 41A. No person shall, in order to promote his success or the success of another as a candidate for nomination or election to any public office, or in connection with any question submitted to the voters, include or cause to be included in any political advertisement, circular, poster or publication, the name of any person as an endorser or supporter except with the express consent of such person. Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.

Section 42: False statements relating to candidates or questions submitted to voters
Section 42. No person shall make or publish, or cause to be made or published, any false statement in relation to any candidate for nomination or election to public office, which is designed or tends to aid or to injure or defeat such candidate.
No person shall publish or cause to be published in any letter, circular, advertisement, poster or in any other writing any false statement in relation to any question submitted to the voters, which statement is designed to affect the vote on said question.
Whoever knowingly violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months.

Section 43: Interference with distribution of printed matter
Section 43. No person shall prevent, hinder or interfere with the lawful distribution of any circular, poster, card, handbill, placard, picture or other printed matter intended to influence the action of a voter, and no person shall, wilfully and with intent to injure the person in whose behalf such printed matter was distributed, remove such matter from any residential premises to which it was delivered.
Violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.
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Section 43A: Use of word ”veteran” by candidates
Section 43A. No person, except a veteran, as defined by section one of chapter thirty-one, who is a candidate for nomination or election to any public office shall use the word ”veteran” as applied to himself, in any circular, poster, card, handbill, placard, picture or other printed matter unless the word ”veteran” is accompanied by other words indicating the country for which he served. Any violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.

Section 44: Lists of candidates without party designations; distribution
Section 44. No individual, except as otherwise provided by law, and no non-elected political committee, shall distribute by mail, or otherwise or directly or indirectly cause to be distributed by mail or otherwise, a list or slate containing names of candidates for state office of more than one political party to be nominated at state primaries or to be elected at a biennial state election, unless against the name of each candidate on such list or slate appears his political party designation.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.

Section 44A: Lists of candidates; distribution; signatures of responsible voters
Section 44A. No person shall distribute by mail or otherwise, or directly or indirectly cause to be distributed by mail or otherwise, a list or slate containing names of candidates for state office to be nominated at state primaries or to be elected at a biennial state election, unless the name of some voter who is responsible therefor, with his residence and the street and number thereof, if any, appears therein in the nature of a signature. Violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.

Section 45: Naturalization fees; payment or promise of payment
Section 45. No political committee and no person required to file a statement shall make any payment or promise of payment of money to or in behalf of any person for naturalization fees or for services as counsel or otherwise in assisting any one to obtain naturalization.
Violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.

Section 46: Disorderly conduct at polling places
Section 46. Whoever, at a primary, caucus or election, behaves in a disorderly manner, and, after notice from the presiding officer or director of the count, persists in such behavior and refuses to withdraw from the polling place, or from the central counting place, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one month.

Section 47: Disobeying election, caucus or primary officers
Section 47. Whoever wilfully disobeys any lawful command of an election, caucus or primary officer shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one month.

Section 48: Interfering with election officials
Section 48. Whoever interferes, or aids or abets any person in interfering, with an election commissioner, city or town clerk, election officer, or director of the count or assistant appointed under section six of chapter fifty-four A, in the performance of his duties shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 49: Obstructing transmission of ballots or returns
Section 49. Whoever wilfully obstructs or interferes with the transmission of ballots or returns to or from a polling place or a central counting place shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 50: Alteration or removal of ballots
Section 50. Whoever alters a ballot cast at a primary or caucus or, not being authorized thereto, deposits a ballot in a ballot box, container or envelope used at a primary or caucus, or removes a ballot from such ballot box, container or envelope, shall be punished by imprisonment in jail for not more than two and one half years.

Section 51: Tampering with voting machines
Section 51. Any person who shall tamper with or injure or attempt to tamper with or to injure any voting machine to be used or being used in an election, or who shall prevent or attempt to prevent the correct operation of such machine, or any unauthorized person who shall make or have in his possession a key to a voting machine to be used or being used in an election, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than two and one half years or in the state prison for not less than two and one half nor more than five years, or both.

Section 52: Forgery, destruction or defacement of ballots
Section 52. Whoever wilfully forges or falsely makes the official endorsement on any ballot, or wilfully destroys or defaces a ballot, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 53: Distinguishing marks on ballots
Section 53. Whoever places a mark against a name on a ballot not cast by himself, or places a distinguishing mark on a ballot not cast by himself, except as authorized by law, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two and one half years.

Section 54: Removing ballots from within guard rail
Section 54. Whoever removes a ballot from the space enclosed by the guard rail before the close of the polls shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 55: Fraudulent alteration or removal of ballots
Section 55. Whoever, with intent to defraud, alters a ballot cast at a primary, caucus or election; or, with such intent, deposits a ballot in the ballot box used at a primary, caucus or election, or in an envelope or container provided by law for the preservation of ballots cast at a primary, caucus or election; or, with such intent, removes a ballot from any such ballot box or envelope or container; shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two and one half years.

Section 56: Challenged ballots; giving information about vote
Section 56. Whoever gives any information derived from a recount of votes, relative to a ballot cast by a challenged voter at an election, caucus or primary, except as required by law, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year.

Section 57: Arrest without warrant
Section 57. Police officers and constables shall arrest without a warrant any person detected in the act of violating any provision of chapters fifty to fifty-six, inclusive.

Section 58: Prosecutions; trial and judgments; motions for other dispositions
Section 58. A prosecution for the violation of any provision of chapters fifty to fifty-six, inclusive, shall not, unless the purposes of justice require such disposition, be placed on file or disposed of except by trial and judgment according to the regular course of criminal proceedings. It shall be disposed of otherwise only upon written motion stating specifically the reasons therefor and verified by affidavit if facts are relied on. If the court or magistrate certifies in writing that he is satisfied that the cause relied on exists and that the interests of public justice require the allowance of the motion, the motion shall be allowed and the certificate of the court or magistrate shall be filed in the case. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to permit the suspension of the execution of the sentence of a person convicted of a violation of any provision of section twenty-six or twenty-eight of chapter fifty-six.

Section 59: Supreme judicial court; superior court departments; jurisdiction
Section 59. The supreme judicial court and the superior court department of the trial court shall have jurisdiction of civil actions to enforce the provisions of chapters fifty to fifty-six, inclusive, and may award relief formerly available in equity or by mandamus. The supreme judicial court shall also have jurisdiction of any civil action relative to the division of the commonwealth into congressional, councillor, senatorial, and representative districts in chapter fifty-seven, but every such action shall be filed within thirty days after the act establishing such districts has the force of a law.

Section 60: Conduct contrary to election laws; remedies
Section 60. Whenever the state secretary determines, after consulting with the local official involved, that a pattern of conduct, or a standard, practice, or procedure of a city or town clerk, board of registrars of voters, or any other municipal or district officer or board upon whom a duty is imposed is contrary to chapters fifty to fifty-four, inclusive, or any other general or special law concerning administration of elections, he may order such local official to comply with law. The attorney general may enforce the order by civil action. The state secretary may adopt procedural regulations governing administrative proceedings under this section. The remedy provided by this section shall not in any way limit the availability of judicial remedies to any person, official, commission or board.

Section 61 to 69: Repealed, 1946, 537, Sec. 11

Chapter 57: CONGRESSIONAL, COUNCILLOR AND SENATORIAL DISTRICTS, AND APPORTIONMENT OF REPRESENTATIVES

Section 1: Division of state into congressional districts
Section 1. For the purpose of electing representatives in the Congress of the United States and delegates and alternate delegates to the national conventions of political parties, until otherwise provided by law, the commonwealth is divided into the following 9 districts, each of which shall elect 1 representative:
First Congressional District ? Consisting of the cities and towns in Berkshire county; the towns of Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Monroe, Rowe and Shelburne, all in the county of Franklin; the cities of Chicopee, Holyoke, Springfield, West Springfield and Westfield, and the towns of Agawam, Blandford, Brimfield, Chester, East Longmeadow, Granville, Hampden, Holland, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Monson and Montgomery, precincts 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the town of Palmer and the towns of Russell, Southwick, Tolland, Wales and Wilbraham, all in the county of Hampden; the city of Easthampton and the towns of Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Granby, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, South Hadley, Southampton, Westhampton, Williamsburg and Worthington, all in the county of Hampshire; the towns of Brookfield, Charlton, Dudley, East Brookfield, Southbridge, Sturbridge and Warren, all in the county of Worcester.
Second Congressional District ? Consisting of the towns of Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Leverett, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Warwick, Wendell and Whately, all in the county of Franklin; sub-precinct 1A of the town of Palmer, in the county of Hampden; the city of Northampton and the towns of Amherst, Belchertown, Hadley, Hatfield, Pelham and Ware, all in the county of Hampshire; precinct 5 and sub-precinct 4A of the town of Bellingham, in the county of Norfolk; the cities of Leominster and Worcester and the towns of Athol, Auburn, Barre, Blackstone, Boylston, Douglas, Grafton, Hardwick, Holden, Hubbardston, Leicester, Mendon, Millbury, Millville, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Northbridge, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Petersham, Phillipston, Princeton, Royalston, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Spencer, Sterling, Sutton, Templeton, Upton, Uxbridge, Webster, West Boylston, West Brookfield, Westborough and precinct 1 of the town of Winchendon, all in the county of Worcester.
Third Congressional District ? Consisting of the cities of Haverhill, Lawrence and Methuen and precincts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 of the town of Andover, all in the county of Essex; the cities of Lowell and Marlborough and the towns of Acton, Ashby, Ayer, Boxborough, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Hudson, Littleton, Maynard, Pepperell, Shirley, Stow, precinct 1 of the town of Sudbury and the towns of Townsend, Tyngsborough and Westford, all in the county of Middlesex; the cities of Fitchburg and Gardner and the towns of Ashburnham, Berlin, Bolton, Clinton, Harvard, Lancaster, Lunenburg, Westminster and precincts 2 and 3 and sub-precinct 1A of the town of Winchendon, all in the county of Worcester.
Fourth Congressional District ? Consisting of the city of Attleboro, precinct C of ward 4, precinct C of ward 5, sub-precincts B1 of ward 5 and C1 of ward 6 and wards 7, 8 and 9 of the city of Fall River and the city of Taunton and the towns of Berkley, Dighton, Easton, Freetown, Mansfield, North Attleborough and Norton, precincts 3 and 4 and sub-precincts 1A and 2A of the town of Raynham and the towns of Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset and Swansea, all in the county of Bristol; the city of Newton and the town of Hopkinton, both in the county of Middlesex; precincts 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the town of Bellingham and the towns of Brookline, Dover, Foxborough, Franklin, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Needham, Norfolk, Plainville, Sharon, Wellesley and Wrentham, all in the county of Norfolk; the town of Lakeville in the county of Plymouth; the towns of Hopedale and Milford, both in the county of Worcester.
Fifth Congressional District ? Consisting of the cities of Malden, Medford and Melrose, precincts 2 and 3 of ward 4, wards 6, 7, 8 and 9, sub-precinct 2A of ward 3 and precincts 1 and 2 of ward 10 of the city of Cambridge, the cities of Waltham and Woburn and the towns of Arlington, Ashland, Belmont, Framingham, Holliston, Lexington, Lincoln, Natick, Sherborn and Stoneham, precincts 2, 3, 4 and 5 and sub-precinct 1A of the town of Sudbury and the towns of Watertown, Wayland, Weston and Winchester, all in the county of Middlesex; the city of Revere and the town of Winthrop, both in the county of Suffolk; and the town of Southborough in the county of Worcester.
Sixth Congressional District ? Consisting of the cities of Beverly, Gloucester, Lynn, Newburyport, Peabody and Salem and precincts 1 and 8 and sub-precincts 7A and 9A of the town of Andover and the towns of Amesbury, Boxford, Danvers, Essex, Georgetown, Groveland, Hamilton, Ipswich, Lynnfield, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Marblehead, Merrimac, Middleton, Nahant, Newbury, North Andover, Rockport, Rowley, Salisbury, Saugus, Swampscott, Topsfield, Wenham and West Newbury, all in the county of Essex; the towns of Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, North Reading, Reading, Tewksbury, Wakefield and Wilmington, all in the county of Middlesex.
Seventh Congressional District ? Consisting of wards 1, 2, 3, precinct 1 of ward 4, ward 5, precinct 3 of ward 10, and ward 11 of the city of Cambridge and the cities of Everett and Somerville, all in the county of Middlesex; wards 1 and 2, precincts 7 and 8 of ward 3, ward 4, precincts 1, 2, sub-precinct 2A, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of ward 5, precinct 10 of ward 7, wards 8, 9 and 10, precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of ward 11, ward 12, precincts 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 of ward 13, wards 14 and 15, precincts 1, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 11 of ward 16, wards 17 and 18, precincts 7, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of ward 19, precinct 3 of ward 20, and wards 21 and 22 of the city of Boston and the city of Chelsea, both in the county of Suffolk; and precincts 1, 5 and 10 of the town of Milton and the town of Randolph, both in the county of Norfolk.
Eighth Congressional District ? Consisting of precincts 1 and 2 of the town of Raynham, in the county of Bristol; the towns of Avon, Braintree, Canton, Cohasset, Dedham, Holbrook, precincts 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of the town of Milton, the towns of Norwood, Stoughton, Walpole, Westwood and Weymouth and the city of Quincy, all in the county of Norfolk; the towns of Abington, Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, Hingham, Hull, Scituate, West Bridgewater, and Whitman and the city of Brockton, all in the county of Plymouth; and precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of ward 3, precincts 3, 4, 5 and 11 of ward 5, ward 6, precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of ward 7, precincts 9 and 10 of ward 11, precincts 3, 7 and 10 of ward 13, precincts 2, 5, 7, 9, 10 and 12 of ward 16, and precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 of ward 19 and precincts 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 of ward 20 of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Ninth Congressional District ? Consisting of the cities and towns in the counties of Barnstable, Dukes County and Nantucket; the towns of Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven and Westport, wards 1, 2, 3, precincts A and B of ward 4, precincts A and B of ward 5 and ward 6 of the city of Fall River and the city of New Bedford, all in the county of Bristol; and the towns of Carver, Duxbury, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Kingston, Marion, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, Middleborough, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rochester, Rockland and Wareham, all in the county of Plymouth.

Section 2: Division of state into councillor districts
Section 2. For the purpose of choosing councillors until the next apportionment, the commonwealth shall be divided, conformably with the constitution, into the following 8 councillor districts:
First.?Consisting of the First Bristol and Plymouth; Second Bristol and Plymouth; Cape and Islands; Plymouth and Barnstable; and First Plymouth and Bristol senatorial districts.
Second.?Consisting of the Bristol and Norfolk; Second Middlesex and Norfolk; Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex; Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth; and Norfolk and Suffolk senatorial districts.
Third.?Consisting of the Third Middlesex; Fourth Middlesex; First Middlesex and Norfolk; Middlesex and Worcester; and Second Suffolk and Middlesex senatorial districts.
Fourth.?Consisting of the Norfolk and Plymouth; Second Plymouth and Bristol; Plymouth and Norfolk; First Suffolk; and Second Suffolk senatorial districts.
Fifth.?Consisting of the First Essex; Second Essex; First Essex and Middlesex; Second Essex and Middlesex; and First Middlesex senatorial districts.
Sixth.?Consisting of the Third Essex; Second Middlesex; Fifth Middlesex; Middlesex and Suffolk; and First Suffolk and Middlesex senatorial districts.
Seventh.?Consisting of the First Worcester; Second Worcester; Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex; Worcester and Middlesex; and Worcester and Norfolk senatorial districts.
Eighth.?Consisting of the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden; Hampden; First Hampden and Hampshire; Second Hampden and Hampshire; and Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester senatorial districts.

Section 3: Division of state into senatorial districts
Section 3. For the purposes of choosing senators, and of electing members of state committees of political parties as provided in section 1 of chapter 52, until the next apportionment, the commonwealth shall be divided, conformably with the constitution, into the following 40 senatorial districts:
Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden — Consisting of the cities and towns in the county of Berkshire; the towns of Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg and Worthington in the county of Hampshire; and the towns of Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Conway, Hawley, Heath, Monroe, Rowe and Shelburne in the county of Franklin; and the towns of Blandford and Chester in the county of Hampden.
Bristol and Norfolk — Consisting of the city of Attleboro, ward 3, precinct B, ward 4, precincts A and B, ward 5, precincts A and B, ward 6, precincts A and B, and the towns of Mansfield, Norton, Rehoboth and Seekonk in the county of Bristol; and the towns of Foxborough, Medfield, Sharon, precincts 1, 4 and 5, and Walpole in the county of Norfolk.
First Bristol and Plymouth — Consisting of the city of Fall River and the towns of Freetown, Somerset, Swansea and Westport in the county of Bristol; and the towns of Lakeville and Rochester in the county of Plymouth.
Second Bristol and Plymouth — Consisting of the city of New Bedford and the towns of Acushnet, Dartmouth and Fairhaven in the county of Bristol; and the town of Mattapoisett in the county of Plymouth.
Cape and Islands — Consisting of the towns of Barnstable, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet and Yarmouth in the county of Barnstable; the towns of Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Gosnold, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury and West Tisbury in the county of Dukes; and the town of Nantucket in the county of Nantucket.
First Essex — Consisting of the cities of Haverhill and Newburyport and the towns of Amesbury, Merrimac, Methuen, North Andover, precincts 1 to 4, inclusive, and Salisbury in the county of Essex.
Second Essex — Consisting of the cities of Beverly, Peabody and Salem and the towns of Danvers and Topsfield in the county of Essex.
Third Essex — Consisting of the city of Lynn and the towns of Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Saugus and Swampscott in the county of Essex.
First Essex and Middlesex — Consisting of the city of Gloucester and the towns of Boxford, Essex, Georgetown, Groveland, Hamilton, Ipswich, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Middleton, Newbury, North Andover, precincts 5 to 8, inclusive, Rockport, Rowley, Wenham and West Newbury in the county of Essex; and the towns of North Reading and Wilmington in the county of Middlesex.
Second Essex and Middlesex — Consisting of the city of Lawrence and the town of Andover in the county of Essex; and the towns of Dracut and Tewksbury in the county of Middlesex.
Hampden — Consisting of the cities of Chicopee, ward 2, precincts A and B, ward 3, precincts A and B, ward 4, precincts A and B, and Springfield, ward 1, ward 2 precincts A to F, inclusive, and H, ward 3, ward 4, precincts A to E, inclusive, G and H, ward 5, precincts A to C, inclusive, and E, ward 6, precincts A and C, and E to G, inclusive, ward 8, precincts B to H, inclusive, and the town of West Springfield in the county of Hampden.
First Hampden and Hampshire — Consisting of the cities of Chicopee, ward 1, precincts A and B, ward 5, precincts A and B, ward 6, precincts A and B, ward 8, precinct B and ward 9, precinct B and Springfield, ward 2, precinct G, ward 4, precinct F, ward 5, precincts D, F, G and H, ward 6, precincts B, D and H, ward 7 and ward 8, precinct A and the towns of East Longmeadow, Hampden, Longmeadow, Ludlow and Wilbraham in the county of Hampden; and the towns of Belchertown and Granby in the county of Hampshire.
Second Hampden and Hampshire — Consisting of the cities of Chicopee, ward 7, precincts A and B, ward 8, precinct A, ward 9, precinct A, Holyoke and Westfield and the towns of Agawam, Granville, Montgomery, Russell, Southwick and Tolland, in the county of Hampden; and the towns of Easthampton and Southampton in the county of Hampshire.
Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester — Consisting of the city of Northampton and the towns of Amherst, Hadley, Hatfield, Pelham and South Hadley in the county of Hampshire; the towns of Bernardston, Colrain, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Leverett, Leyden, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Warwick, Wendell and Whatley in the county of Franklin; and the town of Royalston in the county of Worcester.
First Middlesex — Consisting of the city of Lowell and the towns of Dunstable, Groton, Pepperell, Tyngsborough and Westford in the county of Middlesex.
Second Middlesex — Consisting of the cities of Cambridge, wards 9 to 11, inclusive, Medford and Somerville, and the town of Winchester, precincts 4 to 7, inclusive, in the county of Middlesex.
Third Middlesex — Consisting of the city of Waltham and the towns of Bedford, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Lexington, precincts 3, 8 and 9, Lincoln, Sudbury, precincts 1, 4 and 5, and Weston in the county of Middlesex.
Fourth Middlesex — Consisting of the city of Woburn and the towns of Arlington, Billerica, Burlington and Lexington, precincts 1 and 2 and 4 to 7, inclusive, in the county of Middlesex.
Fifth Middlesex — Consisting of the cities of Malden and Melrose, and the towns of Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield and Winchester, precincts 1 to 3, inclusive, and 8, in the county of Middlesex.
First Middlesex and Norfolk — Consisting of the city of Newton in the county of Middlesex; and the towns of Brookline and Wellesley, precincts A, C to E, inclusive, and H in the county of Norfolk.
Second Middlesex and Norfolk — Consisting of the towns of Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton and Natick, precincts 1 to 5, inclusive, and 8, in the county of Middlesex; and the towns of Franklin, precincts 5, 6, and 8, and Medway in the county of Norfolk.
Middlesex and Suffolk — Consisting of the cities of Cambridge, ward 1, ward 2, precinct 1, ward 3, ward 4, precinct 2 and ward 6 to 8, inclusive, and Everett, all in the county of Middlesex; and the city of Boston, ward 2, ward 3, precinct 5, ward 21, precincts 4, 6 and 7, ward 22, precincts 1, 2 and 5; and the city of Chelsea, all in the county of Suffolk.
Middlesex and Worcester — Consisting of the city of Marlborough and the towns of Acton, Ayer, Boxborough, Hudson, Littleton, Maynard, Shirley, Stow and Sudbury, precincts 2 and 3 all in the county of Middlesex; and the towns of Harvard, Northborough, precinct 3, Southborough and Westborough, all in the county of Worcester.
Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth — Consisting of the towns of Avon, Braintree, precincts 1, 1A, 2 and 2A, Canton, Milton, Randolph, Sharon, precincts 2 and 3, and Stoughton, all in the county of Norfolk; the town of Easton, precincts 3 to 6, inclusive, in the county of Bristol; and the towns of East Bridgewater, precinct 4, and West Bridgewater in the county of Plymouth.
Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex — Consisting of the towns of Franklin, precincts 1 to 4, inclusive, and precinct 7, Millis, Needham, precincts A to C, inclusive, I and J, Norfolk, Plainville, Wellesley, precincts B, F, and G and Wrentham, in the county of Norfolk; the city of Attleboro, ward 1, ward 2 and ward 3, precinct A, and the town of North Attleborough in the county of Bristol; and the towns of Natick, precincts 6, 7, 9 and 10, Sherborn and Wayland in the county of Middlesex.
Norfolk and Plymouth — Consisting of the city of Quincy and the towns of Braintree, precincts 3, 3A, 4, 4A, 5, 5A, 6 and 6A and Holbrook in the county of Norfolk; the towns of Abington and Rockland in the county of Plymouth.
Norfolk and Suffolk — Consisting of the city of Boston, ward 18, precincts 9, 10, 16 to 20, inclusive, and 23, ward 19, precincts 10 to 13, inclusive, and ward 20 in the county of Suffolk; and the towns of Dover, Dedham, Needham, precincts D to H, inclusive, Norwood and Westwood in the county of Norfolk.
Plymouth and Barnstable — Consisting of the towns of Kingston, Pembroke and Plymouth in the county of Plymouth; and the towns of Bourne, Falmouth and Sandwich in the county of Barnstable.
First Plymouth and Bristol — Consisting of the towns of Bridgewater, Carver, Marion, Middleborough and Wareham in the county of Plymouth; and the towns of Berkley, Dighton and Raynham, and the city of Taunton, all in the county of Bristol.
Second Plymouth and Bristol?Consisting of the city of Brockton and the towns of East Bridgewater, precincts 1 to 3, inclusive, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Plympton and Whitman, all in the county of Plymouth; and the town of Easton, precincts 1 and 2, in the county of Bristol.
Plymouth and Norfolk — Consisting of the towns of Duxbury, Hingham, Hull, Marshfield, Norwell and Scituate in the county of Plymouth; and the towns of Cohasset and Weymouth in the county of Norfolk.
First Suffolk — Consisting of the city of Boston, ward 1, precinct 15, ward 6, ward 7, ward 13, precincts 3 and 5 to 10, inclusive, ward 14, precincts 2, 4, 5 and 12 to 14, inclusive, ward 15, ward 16, ward 17, ward 18, precincts 1 to 6, inclusive, 13, 15 and 21 in the county of Suffolk.
Second Suffolk — Consisting of the city of Boston, ward 3, precinct 7, ward 4, precincts 1, 3 and 4, ward 8, ward 9, ward 10, ward 11, ward 12, ward 13, precincts 1, 2 and 4, ward 14, precincts 1, 3, 6 to 11, inclusive, ward 18, precincts 7, 8, 11, 12, 14 and 22 and ward 19, precincts 1 to 9, inclusive, in the county of Suffolk.
First Suffolk and Middlesex — Consisting of the cities of Boston, ward 1, precincts 1 to 14, inclusive, ward 3, precincts 1 to 4, inclusive, 6 and 8, and ward 5, precinct 1, 3 to 5, inclusive, and 11, Revere and the town of Winthrop, all in the county of Suffolk; and the city of Cambridge, ward 2, precincts 2 and 3, ward 4, precincts 1 and 3, and ward 5, all in the county of Middlesex.
Second Suffolk and Middlesex — Consisting of the city of Boston, ward 4, precincts 2 and 5 to 10, inclusive, ward 5, precincts 2 and 6 to 10, inclusive, ward 21, precincts 1 to 3, inclusive, 5 and 8 to 16, inclusive, ward 22, precincts 3 and 4 and 6 to 13, inclusive, in the county of Suffolk; and the towns of Belmont and Watertown in the county of Middlesex.
First Worcester — Consisting of the towns of Boylston, Clinton, precincts 3 and 4, Holden, Northborough, precincts 1, 2 and 4, Princeton and West Boylston, and the city of Worcester, wards 1 to 4, inclusive, ward 8, precincts 2 to 4, inclusive, and wards 9 and 10 in the county of Worcester.
Second Worcester — Consisting of the towns of Auburn, Grafton, Leicester, Millbury, Northbridge, precincts 2 and 4, Shrewsbury and Upton and the city of Worcester, wards 5 to 7, inclusive, and ward 8, precincts 1 and 5 in the county of Worcester.
Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex — Consisting of the towns of Ashburnham, Athol, Barre, Brookfield, Charlton, East Brookfield, Hardwick, Hubbardston, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Oakham, Paxton, Petersham, Phillipston, Rutland, Spencer, Sturbridge, Templeton, Warren, West Brookfield and Winchendon in the county of Worcester; the towns of Brimfield, Holland, Monson, Palmer and Wales in the county of Hampden; the town of Ware in the county of Hampshire; and the town of Ashby in the county of Middlesex.
Worcester and Middlesex — Consisting of the cities of Fitchburg, Gardner and Leominster and the towns of Berlin, Bolton, Clinton, precincts 1 and 2, Lancaster, Lunenburg, Sterling and Westminster in the county of Worcester; and the town of Townsend in the county of Middlesex.
Worcester and Norfolk — Consisting of the towns of Blackstone, Douglas, Dudley, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millville, Northbridge, precincts 1 and 3, Oxford, Southbridge, Sutton, Uxbridge and Webster in the county of Worcester; and the town of Bellingham in the county of Norfolk.

Section 4: Division of state into representative districts
Section 4. For the purposes of choosing representatives in the general court until the next federal census and division of the commonwealth into representative districts, the commonwealth is divided, conformably with Article CI and Article CXVII of the Articles of Amendment of the Constitution, into the 160 following representative districts:?
Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket
First Barnstable.?Consisting of precinct 1 of the town of Barnstable, precincts 1 and 2 of the town of Brewster, the town of Dennis, and precincts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7, of the town of Yarmouth, all in the county of Barnstable.
Second Barnstable.?Consisting of precincts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 13, of the town of Barnstable, and precincts 5 and 6, of the town of Yarmouth, both in the county of Barnstable.
Third Barnstable.?Consisting of precincts 3, 4, 5 and 6, of the town of Bourne, precincts 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9, of the town of Falmouth, and the town of Mashpee, all in the county of Barnstable.
Fourth Barnstable.?Consisting of precinct 3 in the town of Brewster, the towns of Chatham, Eastham, Harwich, Orleans, Provincetown, Truro and Wellfleet, all in the county of Barnstable.
Fifth Barnstable.?Consisting of precincts 11 and 12, of the town of Barnstable, precincts 1, 2, and 7 of the town of Bourne, and the town of Sandwich, all in the county of Barnstable; and precinct 9 in the town of Plymouth, in the county of Plymouth.
Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket.?Consisting of precincts 1, 2, 5 and 6, of the town of Falmouth, in the county of Barnstable; and the towns of Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Gosnold, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury and West Tisbury, all in the county of Dukes County; and the town of Nantucket, in the county of Nantucket.
Berkshire
First Berkshire.?Consisting of the towns of Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Lanesborough, New Ashford, North Adams, and Williamstown, all in the county of Berkshire.
Second Berkshire.?Consisting of the towns of Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, precinct B of ward 1, of the city of Pittsfield, Savoy and Windsor all in the county of Berkshire; the towns of, Bernardston, Charlemont, Colrain, Greenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Monroe, Northfield, and Rowe, all in the county of Franklin.
Third Berkshire.?Consisting of precinct A of ward 1, all precincts of wards 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, of the city of Pittsfield, in the county of Berkshire.
Fourth Berkshire.?Consisting of the towns of Alford, Becket, Egremont, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Richmond, Sandisfield, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, Washington and West Stockbridge, all in the county of Berkshire; and the towns of Blandford, Russell, and Tolland, all in the county of Hampden.
Bristol
First Bristol.?Consisting of precincts 2, 3 and 6, of the town of Mansfield, and precincts 3, 4 and 5, of the town of Norton, both in the county of Bristol; and the town of Foxborough, in the county of Norfolk.
Second Bristol.?Consisting of all precincts in wards 1 and 2, precinct A of ward 3, and all precincts of wards 4, 5 and 6, of the city of Attleboro, in the county of Bristol.
Third Bristol.?Consisting of precinct 6 of the town of Easton, and all precincts of wards 1, 2, precinct A of ward 3, 5, 7 and 8, of the city of Taunton, both in the county of Bristol.
Fourth Bristol.?Consisting of precincts 1 and 2 of the town of Norton, the towns of Rehoboth and Seekonk, and precincts 4 and 5, of the town of Swansea, all in the county of Bristol.
Fifth Bristol.?Consisting of the towns of Dighton and Somerset, precincts 1, 2 and 3 of the town of Swansea, and all precincts of ward 6, of the city of Taunton, all in the county of Bristol.
Sixth Bristol.?Consisting of precincts B and C of ward 5, precinct C of ward 6, all precincts of wards 7, 8, and 9, of the city of Fall River, and precinct 1, of the town of Freetown, both in the county of Bristol.
Seventh Bristol.?Consisting of precincts B and C of ward 1, ward 2, ward 3, ward 4, and precinct A of ward 5, of the city of Fall River, in the county of Bristol.
Eighth Bristol.?Consisting of precinct A of ward 1, precincts A and B of ward 6 of the city of Fall River, precincts 2 and 3 of the town of Freetown, precincts D, E and F of ward 1 of the city of New Bedford, and the town of Westport, all in the county of Bristol.
Ninth Bristol.?Consisting of the town of Dartmouth, and precincts D, E and F of ward 3, of the city of New Bedford, both in the county of Bristol.
Tenth Bristol.?Consisting of the town of Fairhaven, and precinct A of ward 3, and precinct D and E of ward 4 in the city of New Bedford, in the county of Bristol; and the towns of Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester, all in the county of Plymouth.
Eleventh Bristol.?Consisting of the town of Acushnet, precincts A, B, and C, of ward 1 and all precincts of ward 2, and precincts B and C of ward 3, of the city of New Bedford, both in the county of Bristol.
Twelfth Bristol.?Consisting of the town of Berkley, precinct B of ward 3 and ward 4 of the city of Taunton, in the county of Bristol; the town of Lakeville, and precincts 2, 4 and 5, of the town of Middleborough, both in the county of Plymouth.
Thirteenth Bristol.?Consisting of precincts A, B, C and F of ward 4, and wards 5 and 6, of the city of New Bedford, in the county of Bristol.
Fourteenth Bristol.?Consisting of precinct B of ward 3, of the city of Attleboro, precincts 1 and 5, of the town of Mansfield, the town of North Attleborough, all in the county of Bristol.
Essex
First Essex.?Consisting of the towns of Amesbury and Salisbury, and the city of Newburyport, all in the county of Essex.
Second Essex.?Consisting of precincts 2 and 3 of the town of Boxford, the town of Georgetown, the town of Groveland, precinct 3 of ward 4 and precinct 3 of ward 7, of the city of Haverhill, and the towns of Merrimac, Newbury, and West Newbury, all in the county of Essex.
Third Essex.?Consisting of ward 1, precinct 3 of ward 2, ward 3, precincts 1 and 2 of ward 4, precincts 1 and 3 of ward 5, and ward 6, of the city of Haverhill, in the county of Essex.
Fourth Essex.?Consisting of the towns of Hamilton, Ipswich, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Rowley, Topsfield, and Wenham, all in the county of Essex.
Fifth Essex.?Consisting of the towns of Essex and Rockport, and the city of Gloucester, all in the county of Essex.
Sixth Essex.?Consisting of the city of Beverly, in the county of Essex.
Seventh Essex.?Consisting of the city of Salem, in the county of Essex.
Eighth Essex.?Consisting of precinct 4 of ward 3, and precinct 4 of ward 4, of the city of Lynn, and the towns of Marblehead and Swampscott, all in the county of Essex.
Ninth Essex.?Consisting of precincts 1 and 2 of ward 1, of the city of Lynn, and precincts 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, of the town of Saugus, both in the county of Essex; and precincts 1, 2, 3 and 7, of the town of Wakefield, in the county of Middlesex.
Tenth Essex.?Consisting of precincts 3 and 4 of ward 1, ward 2, precincts 1, 2 and 3 of ward 3, precincts 1 and 2 of ward 4, and precincts 2 and 3 of ward 5, of the city of Lynn, in the county of Essex.
Eleventh Essex.?Consisting of precinct 3 of ward 4, precincts 1 and 4 of ward 5, wards 6 and 7, of the city of Lynn, and the town of Nahant, both in the county of Essex.
Twelfth Essex.?Consisting of wards 1, 2, 3, 4 and precincts 1 and 3 of ward 5, of the city of Peabody, in the county of Essex.
Thirteenth Essex.?Consisting of the town of Danvers, precinct 2 of the town of Middleton and, precinct 2 of ward 5 and ward 6, of the city of Peabody, all in the county of Essex.
Fourteenth Essex.?Consisting of precinct 2 of ward 7 in the city of Haverhill, precincts 1 and 3 of ward A and precinct 1 of ward F, of the city of Lawrence, precincts 3, 7, and 10 of the town of Methuen, and precincts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the town of North Andover, all in the county of Essex.
Fifteenth Essex.?Consisting of precincts 1 and 2 of ward 2, precinct 2 of ward 5 and precinct 1 of ward 7 in the town of Haverhill and precincts 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 and 12 of the town of Methuen, both in the county of Essex.
Sixteenth Essex.?Consisting of precincts 2 and 4 of ward A, ward B, precinct 4 of ward C, precincts 2, 3 and 4 of ward E, and precincts 2, 3 and 4 of ward F, of the city of Lawrence, in the county of Essex.
Seventeenth Essex.?Consisting of precincts 2, 3 and 4, of the town of Andover, precincts 1, 2 and 3, of ward C, ward D, and precinct 1 of ward E, of the city of Lawrence, and precinct 2 in the town of Methuen, all in the county of Essex.
Eighteenth Essex.?Consisting of precincts 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, of the town of Andover, precinct 1, of the town of Boxford and precincts 6, 7 and 8, of the town of North Andover, all in the county of Essex; and precincts 3 and 3A of the town Tewksbury, in the county of Middlesex.
Franklin
First Franklin.?Consisting of the town of Chester, in the county of Hampden, and the towns of Ashfield, Buckland, Conway, Deerfield, Leverett, Montague, Shelburne, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Whately, in the county of Franklin; and the towns of Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Williamsburg and Worthington, all in the county of Hampshire.
Second Franklin.?Consisting of the towns of Erving, Gill, New Salem, Orange, Warwick, and Wendell, all in the county of Franklin; and precinct A of the town of Belchertown, in the county of Hampshire; and the towns of Athol, Petersham, Phillipston, Royalston, and Templeton all in the county of Worcester.
Hampden
First Hampden.?Consisting of the towns of Brimfield, Holland, Palmer and Wales, all in the county of Hampden; precincts B and C, of the town of Ware, in the county of Hampshire; and the towns of Sturbridge and Warren, both in the county of Worcester.
Second Hampden.?Consisting of precincts 2, 3 and 4, of the town of East Longmeadow, the towns of Hampden, Longmeadow and Monson, all in the county of Hampden.
Third Hampden.?Consisting of the city of Agawam, Granville, and Southwick, in the county of Hampden.
Fourth Hampden.?Consisting of the city of Westfield, in the county of Hampden.
Fifth Hampden.?Consisting of the city of Holyoke, in the county of Hampden.
Sixth Hampden.?Consisting of precinct A of ward 2, precinct A of ward 3, precinct A of ward 4 of the city of Chicopee, precinct E of ward 2 of the city of Springfield, and the town of West Springfield, all in the county of Hampden.
Seventh Hampden.?Consisting of precinct B of ward 6, of the city of Chicopee, the town of Ludlow, precincts E, F and G of ward 8, of the city of Springfield, all in the county of Hampden; and precincts B, C and D, of the town of Belchertown, in the county of Hampshire.
Eighth Hampden.?Consisting of ward 1, precinct B of ward 2, precinct B of ward 3, precinct B of ward 4, precinct B of ward 5, precinct A of ward 6, wards 7, 8 and 9, of the city of Chicopee, in the county of Hampden.
Ninth Hampden.?Consisting of precinct A of ward 5 of the city of Chicopee, and precincts A, B, C, D, F and G of ward 2, precincts C, D, G and H of ward 5, precincts F and H of ward 7, and precincts A, B, D and H of ward 8, of the city of Springfield, both in the county of Hampden.
Tenth Hampden.?Consisting of ward 1, precincts B, C, D, E, F, G and H of ward 3, and precincts A, B and F of ward 6, of the city of Springfield, in the county of Hampden.
Eleventh Hampden.?Consisting of precinct H of ward 2, precinct A of ward 3, ward 4, precincts A, B, E and F of ward 5, precinct E of ward 6, precinct A of ward 7, and precinct C of ward 8, of the city of Springfield, in the county of Hampden.
Twelfth Hampden.?Consisting of precinct 1 of the town of East Longmeadow, precincts C, D, G and H of ward 6, precincts B, C, D, E and G of ward 7, of the city of Springfield, and the town of Wilbraham, all in the county of Hampden.
Hampshire
First Hampshire.?Consisting of the town of Montgomery, in the county of Hampden; and the towns of Hatfield, Southampton and Westhampton, and the city of Northampton, all in the county of Hampshire.
Second Hampshire.?Consisting of the towns of Easthampton, precinct 2 of the town of Granby, Hadley and South Hadley, all in the county of Hampshire.
Third Hampshire.?Consisting of the towns of Amherst, precinct 1 of the town of Granby, and the town of Pelham, all in the county of Hampshire.
Middlesex
First Middlesex.?Consisting of precinct 1 of the town of Ayer, and the towns of Ashby, Dunstable, Groton, Pepperell and Townsend, all in the county of Middlesex.
Second Middlesex.?Consisting of precincts 5, 7, and 8 of the town of Chelmsford and the towns of Littleton and Westford, all in the county of Middlesex.
Third Middlesex.?Consisting of the towns of Hudson, Maynard and Stow, all in the county of Middlesex; and the town of Bolton, in the county of Worcester.
Fourth Middlesex.?Consisting of precinct 1 of ward 2, ward 3, ward 4, ward 5, ward 6, and precinct 2 of ward 7 of the city of Marlborough, in the county of Middlesex; and precincts 1 and 3 of the town of Northborough, and precincts 1 and 3 of the town of Westborough, both in the county of Worcester.
Fifth Middlesex.?Consisting of the town of Natick and Sherborn, both in the county of Middlesex; and precincts 2 and 3, of the town of Millis, in the county of Norfolk.
Sixth Middlesex.?Consisting of precincts 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 15, of the town of Framingham, in the county of Middlesex.
Seventh Middlesex.?Consisting of the town of Ashland, and precincts 8, 13, 14, 16, 17 and 18, of the town of Framingham, both in the county of Middlesex.
Eighth Middlesex.?Consisting of the towns of Holliston and Hopkinton, both in the county of Middlesex; the town of Southborough, and precinct 2, of the town of Westborough, both in the county of Worcester.
Ninth Middlesex.?Consisting of the town of Lincoln, wards 1, 2 and 3, precinct 1 of ward 4, precinct 2 of ward 5, precinct 1 of ward 6, and precinct 1 of ward 7, of the city of Waltham, both in the county of Middlesex.
Tenth Middlesex.?Consisting of precinct 1 and 4 of ward 1 of the city of Newton, precinct 2 of ward 4, precinct 1 of ward 5, precinct 2 of ward 6, precinct 2 of ward 7, and wards 8 and 9, of the city of Waltham, and precincts 10, 11 and 12, of the town of Watertown, all in the county of Middlesex.
Eleventh Middlesex.?Consisting of precincts 2 and 3 of ward 1, ward 2, ward 3, ward 4, and precinct 2 of ward 7, of the city of Newton, in the county of Middlesex.
Twelfth Middlesex.?Consisting of ward 5, ward 6, precincts 1, 3 and 4 of ward 7, and all precincts of ward 8, of the city of Newton, in the county of Middlesex.
Thirteenth Middlesex.?Consisting of precinct 3 in the town of Framingham, ward 1, precinct 2 of ward 2, and precinct 1 of ward 7 in the city of Marlborough, the town of Sudbury, precincts 1, 2 and 3 of the town of Wayland, all in the county of Middlesex.
Fourteenth Middlesex.?Consisting of precincts 1, 2 and 6, of the town of Acton, the town of Carlisle, precincts 1 and 9, of the town of Chelmsford, and the town of Concord, all in the county of Middlesex.
Fifteenth Middlesex.?Consisting of the town of Lexington, and wards 1 and 7, of the city of Woburn, both in the county of Middlesex.
Sixteenth Middlesex.?Consisting of precincts 2, 3 and 6, of the town of Chelmsford, and wards 5, 6 and 9, of the city of Lowell, both in the county of Middlesex.
Seventeenth Middlesex.?Consisting of precinct 4, of the town of Chelmsford, ward 1, precinct 3 of ward 2, precincts 2 and 3 of ward 4, and wards 10 and 11, of the city of Lowell, both in the county of Middlesex.
Eighteenth Middlesex.?Consisting of precincts 1 and 2 of ward 2, ward 3, precinct 1 of ward 4, and wards 7 and 8, of the city of Lowell, in the county of Middlesex.
Nineteenth Middlesex.?Consisting of precincts 1, 1A, 2, 2A, 4 and 4A, of the town of Tewksbury, and precincts 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6, of the town of Wilmington, both in the county of Middlesex.
Twentieth Middlesex.?Consisting of the town of Lynnfield, and precinct 1, of the town of Middleton, both in the county of Essex; and the town of North Reading, and precincts 1, 6, 7 and 8, of the town of Reading, both in the county of Middlesex.
Twenty-first Middlesex.?Consisting of the towns of Bedford and Burlington, and precinct 3, of the town of Wilmington, all in the county of Middlesex.
Twenty-second Middlesex.?Consisting of the town of Billerica, in the county of Middlesex.
Twenty-third Middlesex.?Consisting of precincts 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 of the town of Arlington, precinct 2 of ward 3, and precincts 1 and 2 of ward 6, of the city of Medford, both in the county of Middlesex.
Twenty-fourth Middlesex.?Consisting of precincts 2, 4, 8, 10 and 12, of the town of Arlington, the town of Belmont, and precincts 1, and 3 of ward 11, of the city of Cambridge, all in the county of Middlesex.
Twenty-fifth Middlesex.?Consisting of ward 4, precincts 2 and 3 of ward 6, wards 7 and 8, and precincts 1 and 2 of ward 10, of the city of Cambridge, in the county of Middlesex.
Twenty-sixth Middlesex.?Consisting of ward 1, precinct 1 of ward 2, ward 3, and precinct 1 of ward 6, of the city of Cambridge, and ward 1 and precinct 1 of ward 2, of the city of Somerville, both in the county of Middlesex.
Twenty-seventh Middlesex.?Consisting of precincts 2 and 3 of ward 2, and wards 3, 5 and 6, of the city of Somerville, in the county of Middlesex.
Twenty-eighth Middlesex.?Consisting of the city of Everett, in the county of Middlesex.
Twenty-ninth Middlesex.?Consisting of ward 9, precinct 3 of ward 10, and precinct 2 of ward 11 of the city of Cambridge, and precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, of the town of Watertown, both in the county of Middlesex.
Thirtieth Middlesex.?Consisting of precincts 2, 3, 4 and 5, of the town of Reading, and all precincts of wards 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, of the city of Woburn, both in the county of Middlesex.
Thirty-first Middlesex.?Consisting of the towns of Stoneham and Winchester, both in the county of Middlesex.
Thirty-second Middlesex.?Consisting of precinct 2 of ward 5 in the city of Malden, the city of Melrose, and precincts 4, 5 and 6, of the town of Wakefield, all in the county of Middlesex.
Thirty-third Middlesex.?Consisting of ward 2, precinct 1 of ward 3, ward 4, precinct 1 of ward 5, ward 6, precinct 2 of ward 7, and ward 8, of the city of Malden, in the county of Middlesex.
Thirty-fourth Middlesex.?Consisting of wards 4 and 5, precinct 1 of ward 7, and precinct 2 of ward 8, of the city of Medford, and wards 4 and 7, of the city of Somerville, both in the county of Middlesex.
Thirty-fifth Middlesex.?Consisting of ward 1, precinct 2 of ward 3, precinct 1 of ward 7, of the city of Malden, and ward 1 and 2, precinct 1 of ward 3, precinct 2 of ward 7, and precinct 1 of ward 8, of the city of Medford, both in the county of Middlesex.
Thirty-sixth Middlesex.?Consisting of the towns of Dracut and Tyngsborough, both in the county of Middlesex.
Thirty-seventh Middlesex.?Consisting of precincts 3, 4 and 5, of the town of Acton, precinct 2 of the town of Ayer, the towns of Boxborough and Shirley, all in the county of Middlesex; and the town of Harvard, and precinct A, C, and D, of the town of Lunenburg, both in the county of Worcester.
Norfolk
First Norfolk.?Consisting of precincts 4 and 5 of ward 3, precincts 1 and 3 of ward 4, precinct 2 of ward 5, and ward 6, of the city of Quincy, and precincts 5, 6, 11, and 12 of the town of Randolph, both in the county of Norfolk.
Second Norfolk.?Consisting of ward 1, precincts 1 and 2 of ward 3, precincts 2 and 4 of ward 4 and precincts 1, 3, 4, and 5 of ward 5, of the city of Quincy, in the county of Norfolk.
Third Norfolk.?Consisting of precincts 2, 3 and 4, of the town of Holbrook, ward 2, and precinct 5 of ward 4, of the city of Quincy, precincts 5, 6, 9, 12 and 16, of the town of Weymouth, all in the county of Norfolk.
Fourth Norfolk.?Consisting of precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17 and 18, of the town of Weymouth, in the county of Norfolk; and precinct 2 of the town of Hingham, in the county of Plymouth.
Fifth Norfolk.?Consisting of the town of Braintree, precinct 1, of the town of Holbrook, precinct 4, of the town of Randolph, all in the county of Norfolk.
Sixth Norfolk.?Consisting of the towns of Avon and Canton, and precincts 1, 5, 7 and 8, of the town of Stoughton, all in the county of Norfolk.
Seventh Norfolk.?Consisting of precincts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, of the town of Milton, and precincts 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10, of the town of Randolph, both in the county of Norfolk.
Eighth Norfolk.?Consisting of precinct 4, of the town of Mansfield, in the county of Bristol; and the town of Sharon, precincts 2, 3, 4 and 6, of the town of Stoughton, and precincts 3 and 4, of the town of Walpole, all in the county of Norfolk.
Ninth Norfolk.?Consisting of precincts 3 and 4, of the town of Medfield, precinct 1, of the town of Millis, the towns of Norfolk and Plainville, precinct 5, of the town of Walpole, and the town of Wrentham, all in the county of Norfolk.
Tenth Norfolk.?Consisting of the town of Franklin, and precincts 2, 3 and 4, of the town of Medway, both in the county of Norfolk.
Eleventh Norfolk.?Consisting of the town of Dedham, precinct 8, of the town of Walpole, and the town of Westwood, all in the county of Norfolk.
Twelfth Norfolk.?Consisting of the town of Norwood, precincts 1, 2, 6 and 7, of the town of Walpole, both in the county of Norfolk.
Thirteenth Norfolk.?Consisting of the town of Dover, precincts 1 and 2, of the town of Medfield, and the town of Needham, all in the county of Norfolk.
Fourteenth Norfolk.?Consisting of precinct 4, of the town of Wayland, and the town of Weston, both in the county of Middlesex; and the town of Wellesley, in the county of Norfolk.
Fifteenth Norfolk.?Consisting of precincts 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the town of Brookline, in the county of Norfolk.
Plymouth
First Plymouth.?Consisting of precincts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14 and 15, of the town of Plymouth, in the county of Plymouth.
Second Plymouth.?Consisting of the town of Carver, precincts 3 and 6, of the town of Middleborough, and the town of Wareham, all in the county of Plymouth.
Third Plymouth.?Consisting of the town of Cohasset, in the county of Norfolk; precincts 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the town of Hingham, the town of Hull, and precinct 3, of the town of Scituate, all in the county of Plymouth.
Fourth Plymouth.?Consisting of the town of Marshfield, and precincts 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6, of the town of Scituate, both in the county of Plymouth.
Fifth Plymouth.?Consisting of the towns of Hanover, Norwell and Rockland, all in the county of Plymouth.
Sixth Plymouth.?Consisting of precincts 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, of the town of Duxbury, and the towns of Hanson and Pembroke, all in the county of Plymouth.
Seventh Plymouth.?Consisting of the towns of Abington, precincts 2, 3 and 4 of the town of East Bridgewater and the town of Whitman, all in the county of Plymouth.
Eighth Plymouth.?Consisting of the town of Raynham, in the county of Bristol; and the town of Bridgewater, in the county of Plymouth.
Ninth Plymouth.?Consisting of ward 2, precincts A, B, C of ward 3, precincts A and D of ward 4, precinct A of ward 5, and precincts A and B of ward 7, of the city of Brockton, in the county of Plymouth.
Tenth Plymouth.?Consisting of precincts B and C of ward 4, precincts B, C and D of ward 5 and ward 6, of the city of Brockton, precinct 1 of the town of East Bridgewater, and the town of West Bridgewater, all in the county of Plymouth.
Eleventh Plymouth.?Consisting of precincts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, of the town of Easton, in the county of Bristol; and ward 1, precinct D of ward 3, and precincts C and D of ward 7, of the city of Brockton, all in the county of Plymouth.
Twelfth Plymouth.?Consisting of precinct 1, of the town of Duxbury, the towns of Halifax and Kingston, precinct 1 of the town of Middleborough, precincts 1, 11 and 13, of the town of Plymouth, and the town of Plympton, all in the county of Plymouth.
Suffolk
First Suffolk.?Consisting of precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of ward 1, of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Second Suffolk.?Consisting of ward 2, of the city of Boston, and ward 1, ward 2, precincts 1 and 3 of ward 3, and precincts 1 and 4 of ward 4, of the city of Chelsea, both in the county of Suffolk.
Third Suffolk.?Consisting of precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 of ward 3, precincts 1 and 3 of ward 4, and precinct 1 of ward 5, of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Fourth Suffolk.?Consisting of precinct 15 of ward 1, ward 6, precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of ward 7, and precinct 3 of ward 13, of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Fifth Suffolk.?Consisting of precinct 10 of ward 7, precincts 5, 6, and 7 of ward 8, precinct 6 of ward 12, precincts 1, 2, 4 and 5 of ward 13, precinct 1 of ward 14, precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9, of ward 15, and precincts 1 and 2 of ward 17, of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Sixth Suffolk.?Consisting of precincts 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of ward 14, precincts 6, 7, 8 and 9 of ward 17, precincts 7 and 8 of ward 18, and precinct 12 of ward 19, of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Seventh Suffolk.?Consisting of precincts 8, 9 and 10 of ward 4, sub-precinct 2A of ward 5, precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 of ward 12, precincts 4 and 5 of ward 9, and precinct 1 of ward 21 of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Eighth Suffolk.?Consisting of precincts 2 and 3 of ward 2, and ward 5, of the city of Cambridge, in the county of Middlesex; and precinct 5 of ward 3, and precinct 6 of ward 4, and precincts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11 of ward 5, of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Ninth Suffolk.?Consisting of precincts 2, 4, 5 and 7 of ward 4, precincts 2 and 10 of ward 5, precincts 1, 2, 3, and 4 of ward 8, and precincts 1, 2 and 3 of ward 9, of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Tenth Suffolk.?Consisting of precincts 14, 15 and 16, of the town of Brookline, in the county of Norfolk; and precincts 1, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 of ward 20, of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Eleventh Suffolk.?Consisting of ward 11, precincts 7 and 9 of ward 12, precinct 3 of ward 14, and precincts 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 13, of ward 19 of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Twelfth Suffolk.?Consisting of precincts 1 and 2 of the town of Milton, in the county of Norfolk; and precincts 8 and 11 of ward 16, precincts 4, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of ward 17, precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 21 of ward 18, of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Thirteenth Suffolk.?Consisting of precinct 3 of ward 3, of the city of Quincy, in the county of Norfolk; and precinct 9 of ward 7, precincts 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of ward 13, precinct 6 of ward 15, precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 12 of ward 16, and precincts 3 and 5 of ward 17, of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Fourteenth Suffolk.?Consisting of precincts 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22 and 23 of ward 18, precincts 3, 8 and 9 of ward 20, of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Fifteenth Suffolk.?Consisting of precinct 5, of the town of Brookline, in the county of Norfolk; and ward 10, precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 of ward 19, and precincts 2 and 4 of ward 20, of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Sixteenth Suffolk.?Consisting of precincts 3 and 10, of the town of Saugus, in the county of Essex; and precincts 2 and 4 of ward 3, precincts 2 and 3 of ward 4, of the city of Chelsea, and precinct 3 of ward 1, precinct 1 of ward 3, ward 4, precincts 1 and 2 of ward 5, and ward 6, of the city of Revere, both in the county of Suffolk.
Seventeenth Suffolk.?Consisting of precincts 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 15 of ward 21, and precincts 2, 3, 6, 9 and 10 in ward 22, of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Eighteenth Suffolk.?Consisting of precinct 1, of the town of Brookline, in the county of Norfolk; and precincts 2, 4, 13, 14 and 16 of ward 21, and precincts 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12 and 13 of ward 22, of the city of Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Nineteenth Suffolk.?Consisting of precincts 1 and 2 of ward 1, ward 2, precincts 2 and 3 of ward 3, and precinct 3 of ward 5, of the city of Revere, and the town of Winthrop, both in the county of Suffolk.
Worcester
First Worcester.?Consisting of the towns of Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, precinct 1 of the town of Sterling, and precinct 2 of the town of Westminster, all in the county of Worcester.
Second Worcester.?Consisting of the town of Ashburnham, the city of Gardner, and, the town of Winchendon, and precinct 1 of the town of Westminster, all in the county of Worcester.
Third Worcester.?Consisting of the city of Fitchburg, and precinct B, in the town of Lunenburg, both in the county of Worcester.
Fourth Worcester.?Consisting of the town of Leominster, in the county of Worcester.
Fifth Worcester.?Consisting of precinct A, of the town of Ware, in the county of Hampshire; and the towns of Barre, Brookfield, East Brookfield, Hardwick, Hubbardson, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Oakham, precincts 2, 3 and 4, in the town of Spencer, and the town of West Brookfield, all in the county of Worcester.
Sixth Worcester.?Consisting of precincts 1, 2 and 3 of the town of Charlton, the town of Dudley, the town of Southbridge, and precinct 1, of the town of Spencer, all in the county of Worcester.
Seventh Worcester.?Consisting of the town of Auburn, precinct 4 of the town of Charlton, the town of Millbury, and precincts 2 and 3, of the town of Oxford, all in the county of Worcester.
Eighth Worcester.?Consisting of the town of Bellingham, in the county of Norfolk; the towns of Blackstone, Millville, and Uxbridge, all in the county of Worcester.
Ninth Worcester.?Consisting of the towns of Grafton, Northbridge and Upton, all in the county of Worcester.
Tenth Worcester.?Consisting of precinct 1, of the town of Medway, in the county of Norfolk, and the towns of Hopedale, Mendon and Milford, all in the county of Worcester.
Eleventh Worcester.?Consisting of the town of Shrewsbury, and precincts 4 and 5, of the town of Westborough, both in the county of Worcester.
Twelfth Worcester.?Consisting of the towns of Berlin, Boylston, Clinton, Lancaster, precincts 2 and 4 of the town of Northborough, and precinct 2 of the town of Sterling, all in the county of Worcester.
Thirteenth Worcester.?Consisting of precincts 1, 2, 3 and 4 of ward 1, precinct 2 of ward 3, ward 9, and precinct 1 of ward 10, of the city of Worcester, in the county of Worcester.
Fourteenth Worcester.?Consisting of the town of West Boylston, and precinct 5 of ward 1, ward 2, and precincts 1, 3 and 5 of ward 3, of the city of Worcester, both in the county of Worcester.
Fifteenth Worcester.?Consisting of precincts 2, 3, 4, 5, of ward 10, precinct 4 of ward 3, ward 4, and precinct 3 of ward 5, of the city of Worcester, in the county of Worcester.
Sixteenth Worcester.?Consisting of precincts 1, 2, 4 and 5, of ward 5, ward 6, and precincts 1 and 5 of ward 8, of the city of Worcester, in the county of Worcester.
Seventeenth Worcester.?Consisting of the town of Leicester, and ward 7, and precincts 2, 3 and 4 of ward 8, of the city of Worcester, both in the county of Worcester.
Eighteenth Worcester.?Consisting of the towns of Douglas, precincts 1 and 4 of the town of Oxford, Sutton, and Webster, all in the county of Worcester.

Section 5: Repealed, 1973, 326, Sec. 2