Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Chapter 452 of the acts of 1948 is hereby amended by striking out section 15, as most recently amended by chapter 190 of the acts of 1952, and inserting in place thereof the following three sections:-
Section 15. If at any time a vacancy occurs in the office of city councillor-at-large for any cause, the city clerk shall forthwith notify the city council thereof; and within fifteen days after such notification, the remaining city councillors shall choose, as city councillor-at-large for the unexpired term, whichever of the defeated candidates for the office of city councillor-at-large at the regular municipal election at which city councillors-at-large were elected for the term in which the vacancy occurs, who are eligible and willing to serve, received the highest number of votes at such election, or, if there is no such defeated candidate eligible and willing to serve, a registered voter of the city duly qualified to vote for a candidate for the office of city councillor-at-large. If the remaining city councillors fail to choose as hereinbefore provided within fifteen days after the notification of the city council by the city clerk, the choice shall be made by the mayor, or, if there is no mayor, by the president of the city council.
Section 15A. If a vacancy occurs in the office of district city councillor more than one hundred and eighty days prior to a regular municipal election, the city clerk shall forthwith notify the city council thereof; and at the first city council meeting after the notice has been read, the city council shall forthwith adopt an order calling a special preliminary election for the purpose of nominating a district city councillor for the unexpired term, which election shall be held on a Tuesday, not less than sixty-two nor more than seventy-six days after the adoption of such order, as the city council shall in such order fix. The two candidates for district city councillor receiving the greatest number of votes at the special preliminary election shall be deemed nominated and their names shall be placed on the ballot for the special municipal election, which election shall be held twenty-eight days following the special preliminary election.
Section 15B. A call for a special preliminary election as provided in section fifteen A shall be in effect upon vote of the city council and no such vote shall be presented to the mayor for his approval notwithstanding the provisions of section seventeen D. All such special elections as provided in section fifteen A shall be governed by the provisions of this act except: (a) the subscription required by section fifty-five shall be done within ten days of the call, (b) no nomination petition shall be issued by the election commission before the seventh day following the call, (c) the nomination petition shall be signed, in the case of a district city councillor in a special preliminary election by the same number of signatures as provided in section fifty-six for a district city councillor candidate in a regular preliminary election, (d) all nomination petitions shall be filed with the election commission before five o'clock in the afternoon on the fifteenth day following the adoption of the order calling a special preliminary election, (e) no candidate for district city councillor shall withdraw his name from nomination after the last day to file objections to nomination petitions, (f) the election commission shall complete the certification required by section fifty-seven within two weeks of the last day for the filing of nomination petitions, (g) a nomination petition which has been filed and is in apparent conformity with the law shall be valid unless written objection thereto is made by a registered voter of the city. Such objection shall be filed with the election commission within three days excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays following the certification of signatures, (h) no candidate shall be substituted as provided for in section fifty-seven B, and (i) notwithstanding the provisions of any General Law to the contrary, a petition for recount may be filed with the election commission before five o'clock in the afternoon on the third day following the certification of a special preliminary election for nominating a district city councillor.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage.