Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. The Quaboag Regional School District, consisting of the member towns of Warren and West Brookfield, may, by amendment to its regional school agreement, provide that the members of its regional district school committee may be elected from the District at an annual district wide election called by said District. Said amendment may provide for residency requirements relating to the composition of the regional district school committee. Said amendment may also provide for the duties to be performed by the secretary and other officials of said District and by the clerks, registrars of voters and other officials of said member towns with respect to the annual district wide election, which duties may be the same as, or similar to, the duties performed for town elections. Said amendment may further provide for the annual district wide election to be combined with and held at the same time and place as the annual town elections in all of the member towns whenever such annual town elections shall be held on the same date as the annual district wide election.
SECTION 2. The amendment to its regional school district agreement proposed by the regional school district committee by the votes passed on March third and twenty-first, nineteen hundred and eighty-eight containing provisions authorized by section one are hereby validated, ratified, and confirmed.
SECTION 3. The proceedings taken by the regional district school committee of said District on March third and twenty-first, nineteen hundred and eighty-eight and in the towns of Warren and West Brookfield on May eleventh, nineteen hundred and eighty-eight at which said amendments were voted, are hereby validated, ratified, and confirmed in all respects, as though this act had been in full force and effect at the time of said proceedings.
SECTION 4. The provisions of this section shall apply to the annual district elections of the Quaboag Regional School District to be held in each year in two sessions, one such session to be held in the town of Warren and the other in the town of West Brookfield and such sessions collectively shall constitute the annual district election. Said sessions shall be held on the same day as the annual town election of such town as provided for in the amendments to the regional school district agreement described in sections two and three.
(a) The day, location, and number of polling places and the hours during which the polls shall be open at the session held in each member town shall be the same as for the annual town election in such town, but the names of the candidates for election to the regional district school committee shall be contained on a separate ballot. The candidates for election to the regional district school committee shall be listed on the ballots and elected by categories as follows: (1) member or members from Warren and; (2) member or members from West Brookfield.
(b) Candidates for election to membership on the regional district school committee shall be nominated by filing with the secretary of the regional district school committee nomination papers which have been signed by at least forty registered voters of one or more of the member towns. Such papers shall be filed not less than forty-five nor more than ninety days before the first session of the annual district election. The district secretary shall annually post in at least one public place in each member town and publish in a newspaper of general circulation in the district a notice stating the dates between which nomination papers may be filed and the number of vacancies to be filled, said posting and publishing to be at least one week prior to the first date on which nomination papers may be filed. Forthwith upon receipt of nomination papers, the district secretary shall verify that such papers have been signed by the required number of registered voters, using voting lists furnished to said secretary by the registrars of voters of each member town. If the district secretary shall determine that such papers have been signed by the required number of registered voters, the candidate shall then be deemed duly nominated. In lieu of filing nomination papers, an elected member of the regional district school committee may, within the period prescribed above, file with the district secretary a written declaration of intent to be a candidate for reelection and shall thereupon be deemed duly nominated.
(c) Annual district elections held under this section shall be called by a warrant which shall be addressed to the registered voters of the member towns and signed by a majority of the members of the regional district school committee and which shall set forth the dates of each session of the election, the polling place or places in each town, the hours which the polls will be opened and closed in each town, and the number of members resident in each member town who are to be elected. Notice of the election shall be given by posting a copy of the warrant attested by the district secretary in at least one public place in each member town and by publishing a copy thereof at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the district seven days before the first session of the election. A certificate of the district secretary shall be conclusive evidence of the posting and publication of the warrant. Upon completion of the voting at the first session, the ballots cast for election to the regional district school committee shall not be counted, but shall forthwith be packaged and sealed, impounded and held in a safe place in the custody of the town clerk where they shall not be inspected or made available for inspection by anyone until the polls have closed at the second session. Upon completion of the voting at the second session of the election, the ballots cast at each session shall be counted and the town clerks of the respective member towns shall certify the results of the election to the regional district school committee. The regional district school committee shall tabulate such results at a meeting of the regional district school committee; and the chairman of the regional district school committee shall thereupon announce the names of the persons elected to membership on the regional district school committee. Thereafter, the certifications of the town clerks and the tabulations of the regional district school committee shall be kept by the district secretary with the records of the regional school district. Promptly after their election, members of the regional district school committee shall be sworn to the faithful discharge of their duties by the town clerk of the town in which they reside, and in each case, a record of such oath shall be made and delivered to the district secretary by the town clerk. Except as provided in the regional school district agreement, the annual district election shall be conducted in each member town in the same manner as town meetings for the election of town officers. The expenses of that part of the election shall be borne by such member town.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect upon its passage.