Section 44F. The two persons receiving at a preliminary election the highest number of votes for nomination for an office shall, except as provided by section forty-four G, be the sole candidates for that office whose names may be printed on the official ballot to be used at the regular or special election at which such office is to be filled, and no acceptance of a nomination at a preliminary election shall be necessary to its validity; provided, however, that a person nominated at a preliminary election may withdraw his name from nomination by a request signed and duly acknowledged by him and filed with the city or town clerk within six days succeeding five o’clock in the afternoon of the day of holding such preliminary election. Such nominee shall be replaced by the candidate with the next highest number of votes in said preliminary, unless otherwise provided by the charter or by-laws of the city or town.
If two or more persons are to be elected to the same office at such regular or special election the several persons in number equal to twice the number so to be elected receiving at such preliminary election the highest number of votes for nomination for that office shall, except as provided by section forty-four G, be the sole candidates for that office whose names may be printed on the official ballot.
If the preliminary election results in a tie vote among candidates for nomination receiving the lowest number of votes, which, but for said tie vote, would entitle a person receiving the same to have his name printed upon the official ballot for the election, all candidates participating in said tie vote shall have their names printed upon the official ballot, although in consequence there be printed thereon candidates to a number exceeding twice the number to be elected.