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May 23, 2024 Clouds | 69°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 4: Powers and duties of commission

Section 4. The commission may investigate upon objection made in accordance with the provisions of this chapter the legality, validity, completeness and accuracy of all nomination papers and actions required by law to give candidates access to a state ballot or to place an initiative or referendum on a state ballot.

The commission shall have jurisdiction over and render a decision on any matter referred to it, pertaining to the statutory and constitutional qualifications of any nominee for state, national or county office; the certificates of nomination or nomination papers filed in any presidential or state primary, state election, or special state primary or election, the withdrawal of nomination for any state, county, or federal office after the time to do so has expired or any ineffective withdrawal; the filing of nomination papers under a false name, or fictitious nominees; and the fraudulent or forged signing of statewide initiative or referendum petitions, or any other objection relating to the signatures on such petitions. The commission shall have no jurisdiction with respect to public policy questions, nor city or town candidates and ballot questions.

The commission may summon witnesses, administer oaths, and require the production of books, records and papers at a hearing before it upon any matter within its jurisdiction.

Witnesses shall be summoned in the same manner, be paid the same fees, and be subject to the same penalties as witnesses in civil cases before the courts. Any member may sign a summons or administer an oath. In the event that said commission fails to render its decision within the time required in this chapter on any matter so referred, the state secretary shall, notwithstanding such failure, proceed forthwith to cause to be printed the ballots for such primaries or elections. Petitions for judicial review of decisions of the commission, under the provisions of chapter thirty A, shall be filed in the court within five days after receipt of the notice of the final decision of said commission. The commission shall establish rules of procedure in conformance with the provisions of chapter thirty A governing the conduct of hearings and investigations which shall be made available in printed form to each party prior to appearance or testimony before the commission.