SECTION 1. Chapter 53 of the general laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 11 the following new section:-
Section 11A. A person seeking to be a candidate to hold a state, county or municipal office shall be required, by the deadline for filing nomination papers, to submit an affidavit affirming that they satisfy the residency requirement pursuant to the State Constitution, general laws, special laws, city charter, town charter and municipal laws. Any person seeking to challenge a candidate’s residency shall do so in writing with the city or town clerk for municipal elections or the Secretary of State for state and county elections; provided that said challenge must take place no less than 10 days prior to the date when a candidate can withdraw their candidacy. The person seeking to challenge may include documentation to support the lack of residency claim. Upon receipt of the challenge, the city clerk, town clerk or the Secretary of State shall require the candidate provide proof of residency and issue a written decision within 5 days after the initial challenge; and if the challenge is upheld, the candidate’s nomination shall be withdrawn. The Secretary of State shall establish rules and regulations on what is required for proof of residency, the form of the affidavit, process of initiating challenges and process of review and implementation of this section.
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