SECTION 1. Section 28 of chapter 53 of the General Laws is hereby amended to read as follows:
State primaries shall be held on the first Saturday and Sunday after the first Monday in September preceding biennial state elections, and on the fourth Saturday and Sunday preceding special state elections, except that primaries before special elections for senator or representative in congress shall be held on the sixth Saturday and Sunday preceding said elections. If a religious holiday falls on or immediately before the first Saturday and Sunday after the first Monday in September in an even-numbered year, the state primary shall be held on a date set by the Secretary of the Commonwealth within 7 days of the first Saturday after the first Monday in September. The Secretary of the Commonwealth 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 Secretary of the Commonwealth; and (iv) any other means necessary to ensure proper notification. Presidential primaries shall be held on the first Saturday and Sunday 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.
SECTION 2. Subsection (c) of section 25B of chapter 54 of the General Laws is hereby amended to read as follows:
(c) The voting period for early voting shall run from the eleventh business day preceding the general election, and from the sixth business day preceding the primary election, as defined in section 28 of chapter 53, until the close of business on the business day preceding the business day before the elections; provided, however, that if the eleventh business day before the general election or the sixth business day before the primary election falls on a legal holiday, the early voting period shall begin on the first business day prior to the legal holiday.
SECTION 3. The Secretary of the Commonwealth shall promulgate regulations necessary to implement this section.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2019.
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