SECTION 1. Chapter 53 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out Section 28 and inserting in place thereof the following Section:
Section 28: Primary election dates and locations
(a)State primaries shall be held on the second Tuesday in June in even-numbered years 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.
(b)If a religious holiday falls on or immediately before the second Tuesday in June 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 June.
(2)Publication. The state secretary shall publish the date of the state primary not later than February 1 of each even-numbered year by: (i) providing notice of the date 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.
(a)Presidential primaries shall be held on the first Tuesday in March in any year in which presidential electors are to be elected.
(b)The state secretary shall not place on the presidential primary ballot the name of any candidate who has not, at least sixty days in advance of the primary date, made public and readily available the candidate’s federal income tax returns, as defined in section 6103(b)(1) of the United States internal revenue code, for the immediately previous four years. The state secretary may promulgate regulations to implement this subparagraph.
(c)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.
(4)Except in Boston, primaries shall be held wholly or partly by wards, precincts or towns, as the city or town executive body may designate.
(5)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 executive body, 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.
(6)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.
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