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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE VIII ELECTIONS
  • CHAPTER 55B THE STATE BALLOT LAW COMMISSION
  • Section 5 Objections; federal, state, and county offices

Section 5. Objections to certificates of nomination and nomination papers for candidates at a presidential primary, state primary, or state election shall be filed with the state secretary within seventy-two hours succeeding five o’clock post meridian of the last day fixed for filing nomination papers.

Candidates challenging the registrars’ failure to certify names on their nomination papers shall do so in accordance with the provisions of section six.

Objections relating to the original signers of an initiative or referendum petition shall be filed with the state secretary within five days after the original petition has been filed with the state secretary.

Objections that signatures appearing on an initiative or referendum petition have been forged or placed thereon by fraud and that in consequence thereof the petition has not been signed by a sufficient number of qualified voters actually supporting such petition, as required by the constitution, or any other objection relating to signatures on such petitions, may be filed with the state secretary not later than five o’clock post meridian on the thirtieth day succeeding the last day for filing such initiative petition. Objections that the supplemental signatures necessary to place an initiative petition on the ballot after rejection by the legislature, have been forged or placed thereon by fraud and that in consequence thereof the petition has not been signed by a sufficient number of qualified voters actually supporting such petition, or any other objection relating to signatures on such petitions, as required by the constitution shall be filed not later than five o’clock post meridian on the seventh day succeeding the last day for filing such additional signatures.

Objections to nominations at state primaries shall be filed with the state secretary within six days succeeding five o’clock in the afternoon of the day of holding such primaries.

Objections to nomination papers of candidates to be voted for at primaries or general elections may be made by any registered voter of the district in which a candidate seeks nomination. Such objection shall not be valid unless it contains the voting address of the person filing the objections, as shown upon the current annual register of voters.

Objections to signatures appearing on an initiative or referendum question may be made by any registered voter of the commonwealth.

Such objections shall contain in detail each ground for protest with respect to said nomination papers, initiative and referendum petitions or primary nominations. Each objection, or objections by any person to any candidate or initiative referendum petition shall be accompanied by a nonreturnable filing fee of twenty-five dollars. If the commission declines jurisdiction of such objection the filing fee shall be returned.

Anyone filing an objection under this section shall not later than the day after which it is filed, mail by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of such objection as filed with the commission to the candidate against whose nomination papers, initiative and referendum petition or primary nomination, such objection is made. Failure to do so shall invalidate any objection filed with the commission.

No objection shall be considered by the commission unless such objection is accompanied by a certificate of voter registration issued by the board of registrars of voters, or the clerk of the same, where the person filing the objection resides, stating that he is a registered voter in the district of the candidate being challenged.

The certificate of registration shall be substantially as follows:

The Commonwealth of MassachusettsCertificate of Voter Registration

I hereby certify that ___ is a registered voter at ___(street and number), ___(ward & precinct) in this city or town.

Clerk of Board of Registrars of Voters
or
Election Commissioners of

(City-Town)

All objections filed under this section shall be forwarded to the commission by the state secretary.