Elections: How to run for Elected Office & Town Meeting Member

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:

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. Maps showing that radius for each of the precincts in Town can be found here.

The Board of Selectmen have adopted a new policy for the November 6, 2018 election regarding electioneering activities, which can be viewed here.


Running for Elected Office: Getting Your Name on the Ballot

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.

To have your name appear on the ballot, you must file nomination papers. Nomination papers are available in the Town Clerk’s office beginning 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.

Town-wide Offices

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. The Town Clerk must certify these signatures so we always suggest obtaining about 20% more just to be safe.

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 70 days before the Annual Town Election (General Bylaws §30-110 A(1)). 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.

Town Meeting

Annual Town Meeting takes place in the spring, and typically lasts for six evenings (typically Monday and Wednesday). Town Meeting is held on the fifth Monday of April, if any, or the first Monday in May (General Bylaws §30-105).

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.

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.


Deadline to Return Nomination Papers

Nomination papers for Annual Town Election (Town Meeting and Town-wide offices) are available beginning in December at the Town Clerk's Office. The deadline to return nomination papers to the Town Clerk's office is 49 days before the Annual Town Election (General Bylaws §30-110 A(1)), (M.G.L. Ch. 53 §7 & M.G.L. Ch. 53 §10)

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.


Running for Elected Office as a Write-In Candidate

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.


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 townclerk@belmont-ma.gov

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.