Section 103P. The provisions of this section shall apply to any regular annual or biennial city or town election, notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary. The mayor and aldermen in cities or selectmen in towns may fix the day of holding preliminary elections or primaries in their cities and towns. Where the filing of nomination papers and certification of names thereon in cities and towns that have preliminary elections is based upon the day of the election, they may fix the time for filing nomination papers and for certification of the names thereon. Where nominations for election at a city or town election are made by nomination papers, or by caucuses or conventions, they may fix the last day for filing certificates of nomination and nomination papers. In any city or town where petitions to place questions on the official ballot are filed, they may also fix the last day for filing such petitions. All such petitions shall be submitted to the registrars of voters for certification of the names thereon on or before the fourteenth day preceding the day so fixed for filing.
In any city or town election wherein the voting list of the current year is not available for the purpose of certifying names, the voting list of the preceding year, as amended or revised from time to time, may be used therefor.
Any action taken by the mayor and aldermen or selectmen fixing any day as authorized by this section shall be taken not later than the sixtieth day prior to the day so fixed, and such day so fixed shall be prior to the day otherwise provided by general or special law, and if not so fixed general or special laws shall otherwise apply thereto.
Notice of such action shall be published in one or more local newspapers, if any, or posted in at least five public places within the city or town.
[ Paragraph added by 2015, 46, Sec. 66 effective July 1, 2015. See 2015, 46, Sec. 216.]
Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, if the day fixed by a city or town for holding a preliminary or primary election falls on a religious holiday and impairs the rights of voters as determined by the state secretary, the city or town shall change the date of the election so as to protect the rights of voters.