Elections: Running for Elected Office & Campaigning
We encourage all candidates for all elected offices, for both Town-Wide and for Town Meeting, to investigate the responsibilities of the post by reading the following information, also available at the Town Clerk's office:
- Town General Bylaws
- Belmont Town Meeting Acts of 1926
- Campaigning for Elected Office in Belmont - Hints from the Town Clerk's Office
- Minutes of elected Boards
On Election Day, certain electioneering activities are prohibited within 150 feet of the entrance to a polling place per M.G.L. Ch. 54, Section 65. Here are the maps showing that radius for each of the precincts in Town.
Running for Elected Office
If you're thinking of running for elected office in Belmont, please take a look at this guide for Belmont's elected government and how to to run for elected office in Belmont.
The deadline to submit nomination papers for the Annual Town Election on April 4, 2017 (Town Meeting and Town-wide offices) for certification is Tuesday February 14, 2017 at 5 pm. Those who have not returned nomination papers and wish to run for Town-wide office or Town Meeting Member can still run a write in campaign. For information regarding this method, click here.
To be considered a candidate for Town-Wide Office, you must be at least 18 years old and a registered voter of the Town of Belmont.
Signatures of at least 50 registered voters of the Town are required on the nomination papers.
Representative Town Meeting: Representatives from Each of the Eight Voting Precincts
The elected term for Town Meeting Member is three (3) years, though should a resignation occur, there may be openings for one (1), or two (2) year periods.
Incumbent Town Meeting Members
Incumbent Town Meeting Members who intend to run for re-election must notify the Town Clerk by signing and returning the Intention Letter that by January 24, 2017. Missing the return deadline means having to collect signatures on nomination papers.
New Candidates for Town Meeting Member
To be considered a new candidate for Town Meeting Member, you must be at least 18 years old and a registered voter of the Town of Belmont. If you are currently serving as a Town Meeting Member who was elected at caucus, not by Town ballot, you will need to submit nomination papers as a new candidate.
Signatures of at least 25 registered voters of your precinct are required on the nomination papers. The Town Clerk must certify these signatures so we always suggest obtaining about 20% more just to be safe.
Annual Town Meeting takes place in the spring, and typically lasts for six evenings, (customarily Monday and Wednesday) starting in the first week in May.
Town Meeting makes all of the decisions about the Town’s budgets and local Bylaws. Belmont’s government is a Representative Town Meeting, which means that only Town Meeting Members can vote at Town Meeting, unlike the Open Town Meeting form of government. That’s why it’s very important that all the Town Meeting seats are filled to have full representation of each Belmont neighborhood.
Getting Your Name on the Ballot
Running for election is simple. Nomination papers are available in the Town Clerk’s office in December; have your neighbors and friends who are registered voters sign your papers and submit the signed forms to the Town Clerk by the deadline.
To Be Nominated for Town-wide Office
Signatures of at least 50 registered voters of the Town are required on the nomination papers. The Town Clerk must certify these signatures so we always suggest obtaining about 20% more just to be safe.
To Be Nominated for Town Meeting
Signatures of at least 25 registered voters of your precinct are required on the nomination papers. The Town Clerk must certify these signatures so we always suggest obtaining about 20% more just to be safe. Some current Town Meeting Members will be seeking re-election but all twelve seats are available in each precinct.
Withdrawing Your Name From the Ballot
If you have taken out nomination papers and the signatures have been certified, but you change your mind, you may remove your name from the ballot by notifying the Town Clerk in writing by the deadline.
Find Out More
The Town’s web pages contain quite a bit of information to help make a decision to seek office; you can find information regarding Town Meeting Information here or feel free to call us at 617-993-2600, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can watch a Town Meeting or a meeting of many of the elected boards, commissions and committees on Belmont Media Center, attend any of the public meetings or view meeting agendas and minutes on the Town’s website here.
If you didn't file nomination papers in time, there's always the opportunity to run a write-in or sticker campaign. The guidelines from the Secretary of State's office can be found here, noting that Belmont uses optical scanner technology as our voting machines.
If running any kind of write-in campaign, it's very important to tell your supporters to fill in the oval next to the "write-in" line under the correct office to make sure the optical scanner reads the vote first. At the end of the voting hours, the election workers review every ballot to attribute the write-ins and stickers voted without the ovals but it's best to have the ballot recognized by the voting machine as well.
Campaign Finance Filings and Requirements:
All candidates for Town-wide elected office, as well as all those currently serving, must file campaign finance forms with the Town Clerk's office eight (8) days before a local election, thirty (30) days after a local election and a year end report due January 20th.
Just Getting Started with Campaign Finance? Click here to find out more.
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- Election: April 4, 2017 Local Election - Offices & Candidates
- Elections: Am I Registered & Where do I Vote?
- Elections: Early Voting & Absentee Voting
- Elections: Election Results
- Elections: Information for Residents & Media
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- Elections: Running for Elected Office & Campaigning
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