Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Any person who is qualified to vote in the town of East Longmeadow may be a candidate for an elective town office therein and shall be entitled to have his name as such candidate printed on the official ballot to be used at a preliminary election; provided, that he files nomination papers provided by the town clerk containing no less than fifty signatures certified as voters of the town.
SECTION 2. The preliminary election shall be held on the twenty-eighth day preceding every regular or special town election.
SECTION 3. No primary or caucus for the nomination of town officers shall be held. No ballot used at any preliminary, regular or special election in said town shall have printed thereon any party or political designation or mark, and there shall not be appended to the name of any candidate any such political designation or mark.
SECTION 4. Nomination papers shall be filed with the town clerk not later than five o'clock in the afternoon of the twenty-eighth day preceding the preliminary election. Every nomination paper shall be submitted to the registrars of voters for certification of the names thereon on or before five o'clock in the afternoon of the fourteenth day preceding the day on which it shall be filed with the clerk.
SECTION 5. The election officers shall, immediately upon the closing of the polls at the preliminary election, count the ballots and ascertain the number of votes cast in the several voting places for each candidate, and forthwith make return thereof upon blanks to be furnished, as in regular elections, to the town clerk who shall canvass said returns and shall forthwith determine the result thereof.
SECTION 6. The two persons receiving at a preliminary election the highest number of votes for nomination for an office shall 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.
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 be the sole candidates for that office whose name may be printed on the official ballot.
If the preliminary election results in a tie vote among candidates for the 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 names of candidates to a number exceeding twice the number to be elected.
SECTION 7. If at the expiration of the time for filing nomination papers of candidates to be voted for at any preliminary election not more than twice as many such papers have been filed with the town clerk for an office as there are persons to be elected to such office, the candidates whose nomination papers have thus been filed shall be deemed to have been nominated to said office, and their names shall be voted on for such office at the succeeding regular or special election, as the case may be, and the town clerk shall not print said names upon the ballot to be used at said preliminary election and no other nomination to said office shall be made. If in consequence it shall appear that no names are to be printed upon the official ballot to be used at any preliminary election in the town, no preliminary election shall be held.
SECTION 8. Except as otherwise provided in this act, the laws of the commonwealth governing town elections, special elections of town officers and special elections in towns shall, so far as applicable, govern such elections in the town of East Longmeadow.
SECTION 9. The state secretary shall cause to be submitted to the voters of the town of East Longmeadow at the state election to be held in the year nineteen hundred and eighty-six in the form of the following question which shall be printed on the official ballot used for the election of state officers:- "Shall an act passed by the General Court in the year nineteen hundred and eighty-six, entitled 'An Act providing for nonpartisan preliminary elections in the town of East Longmeadow', be accepted " If a majority of the voters voting thereon vote in the affirmative in answer to said question, this act shall thereupon take full effect, but not otherwise.