How to Run for State Committees - 2008

Election and Organization

State committees of political parties are organized under Massachusetts General Law chapter 52, section 1, to:

promote the aims of each party;

work in cooperation with the national committee and with ward and town committees; and

organize and work for the nomination and election of party candidates.

Election Procedures

Membership

The state committee of each party includes one man and one woman from each of the 40 state senatorial districts in Massachusetts. They are elected at the presidential primary election for a four year term. Additional members may be appointed by the state committee to hold office for two years from the date of such appointment. Terms for additional members may not exceed those of members elected at the presidential primary.

Candidate Requirements

Candidates for the party state committees must be registered voters in the senatorial district from which they plan to run. Each candidate must be an enrolled member of the party throughout the 90 days before the filing deadline for nomination papers with the Secretary of the Commonwealth, or a newly registered voter enrolled in that party. Additionally, candidates cannot have been enrolled in another political party during the one year period before the filing deadline. Candidates must prove party affiliation by filing a certificate of party enrollment, signed by at least three members of the local board of registrars or election commission, with the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The enrollment certificate is printed on the nomination papers. At least one such certificate must be completed and filed no later than the last day for filing nomination papers with the Secretary of the Commonwealth. At least one of the certified papers must also contain a written acceptance of nomination signed by the candidate.

Instructions to Candidates

Nomination papers will be available on Tuesday, August 7, 2007, from the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Elections Division, Room 1705, One Ashburton Place, Boston, Massachusetts 02108. Many local clerk’s offices may also have nomination papers available. Read the instructions on the nomination papers carefully before circulating and check that the name of the district is correct. Be sure to fill in the name of the city or town where signers of each paper are registered voters.

The law allows a candidate to make exact copies of blank nomination papers in order to gather additional signatures. However, nomination papers cannot be altered in any way. Additional markings on nomination papers may disqualify any signatures contained thereon.

Nomination papers have a designated space where a candidate may make a statement, in not more than eight words, to list the “public offices” currently or previously held by the candidate. Please be aware that not every governmental employee holds a public office; holders of public office must have entrusted to them in some degree the exercise of power and authority of government. The duties must be not merely clerical, but must involve the exercise of some significant discretion or judgment. In addition, the position must not be merely advisory and must be established by law. A political party position is not a “public office.”

Candidates must use the word “former” to describe a public office held if they are not incumbents. A candidate who was elected by the voters as a state committeeman or woman at the 2004 presidential primary may include in the eight word statement the phrase “Candidate for Re-election.” (However, appointed incumbent candidates may not use this phrase.) If the candidate is a veteran, as defined in chapter 31, section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the word “veteran” may be used.

Signatures of Voters

State committee candidates must obtain at least 50 certified signatures on their nomination papers. Signers must be registered voters in the district and be enrolled in the candidate’s party or not enrolled in any party. Signatures on nomination papers must be certified by at least three registrars of voters or election commissioners.

Filing Nomination Papers

Please refer to the schedule on the back page for actual filing deadlines. If possible, file nomination papers earlier than the deadline. This allows for identification of any errors in the papers and collection of additional signatures, if needed.

Nomination papers must be submitted to the local board of registrars or election commission for the certification of names no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 9, 2007.

Nomination papers must be picked up from the local election officials and filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 20, 2007.

Organization Procedures

Each man and woman elected at the presidential primary holds office for four years from the 30th day after the election. Elected members must meet within ten days after they take office to choose a temporary chairperson and secretary. They then must permanently organize by choosing a chairperson, secretary, treasurer, and whichever other offices they decide upon.

Vacancies

Vacancies in the membership may be filled by the membership of the state committee. Vacancies caused by a tie at the presidential primary election must be filled by a convention of the ward and town committees’ delegates from that district who must choose one of the candidates receiving the tie vote. Additional members may be appointed by the state committee at any time during the four year period.

Notice

The secretary of the state committee must send to the Secretary of the Commonwealth and to every city and town committee a list of:

the members and officers of the state committee, within ten days after its permanent organization;

any appointed members, within ten days after their appointment; and

any officers or members appointed to fill a vacancy, within ten days after their appointment.

This information must be sent to:

Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Elections Division
One Ashburton Place, Room 1705
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
617-727-2828

Massachusetts Election Calendar State Committees

2008 Presidential Primary

Calendar of Events

Deadline Dates

Nomination papers available for presidential candidates.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

5:00 p.m. last day and hour to submit presidential candidates’ nomination papers to local registrars of voters and election commissioners for certification of signatures.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

5:00 p.m. last day and hour for registrars to complete certification of signatures for presidential candidates.

Monday, December 3, 2007

5:00 p.m. last day and hour for presidential candidates to apply for review of non-certified signatures.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

5:00 p.m. last day and hour for registrars to complete review of non-certified signatures.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

5:00 p.m. last day and hour to file presidential candidates’ nomination papers with the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Elections Division.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

5:00 p.m. last day and hour to file objections to presidential candidates’ nomination papers with the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Elections Division.

Friday, December 7, 2007

5:00 p.m. last day and hour for presidential candidates to file affidavits of withdrawal with the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Elections Division.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Last day to register voters and for voters to change party enrollment for presidential primary. Registration sessions held from 9:00 a.m.to 8:00 p.m. (except in towns having less than 1,500 voters registration sessions must be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

For further information, please contact:

Secretary of the Commonwealth
Elections Division
One Ashburton Place, Room 1705
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
617-727-2828
800-462-VOTE