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Session Law

2006

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Chapter 299 AN ACT FURTHER REGULATING ELECTION PRACTICES.

Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is forthwith to further regulate election practices for elections in the current year, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 11 of chapter 54 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 7 and in line 8, the words “of the city” and inserting in place thereof, in each instance, the following words:- in the commonwealth, except as otherwise provided in section 11B.

SECTION 2. Section 11B of said chapter 54, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 29, the words “of the city” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- in the commonwealth, except as otherwise provided in this section.

SECTION 3. Said section 11B of said chapter 54, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the second paragraph the following paragraph:-

Not more than 2 such election officers may be appointed who: (1) are 16 or 17 years of age; (2) are residents of the commonwealth; (3) are United States citizens when appointed; (4) are able to speak, read and write the English language; (5) have provided a letter from a parent or guardian giving permission for them to serve as election officers; (6) have provided a letter from their school principal giving permission for them to be absent from school to serve as election officers if the election or a training will take place when school is in session or, if home schooled, have provided a copy of the document indicating approval to be home schooled; and (7) agree to attend required training sessions. If an election officer under this paragraph attends a school that encourages or requires community service, serving as an election officer may be considered a community service activity. In no case shall a person 16 or 17 years of age serve as an election officer on the day of an election for more than the number of hours permitted for such a person to work pursuant to section 66 of chapter 149.

SECTION 4. Section 12 of said chapter 54, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 5 and 6 and in line 39, the words “of the town” and inserting in place thereof, in each instance, the following words:- in the commonwealth, except as otherwise provided in this section.

SECTION 5. Said section 12 of said chapter 54, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the third paragraph the following paragraph:-
Not more than 2 such election officers may be appointed who: (1) are 16 or 17 years of age; (2) are residents of the commonwealth; (3) are United States citizens when appointed; (4) are able to speak, read and write the English language; (5) have provided a letter from a parent or guardian giving permission for them to serve as election officers; (6) have provided a letter from their school principal giving permission for them to be absent from school to serve as election officers if the election or a training will take place when school is in session or, if home schooled, have provided a copy of the document indicating approval to be home schooled; and (7) agree to attend required training sessions. If an election officer under this paragraph attends a school that encourages or requires community service, serving as an election officer may be considered a community service activity. In no case shall a person 16 or 17 years of age serve as an election officer on the day of an election for more than the number of hours permitted for such a person to work pursuant to section 66 of chapter 149.

SECTION 6. Section 13 of said chapter 54, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the first sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- Such election officers shall be enrolled voters so appointed as equally to represent the 2 leading political parties, except that, without disturbing the equal representation of such parties, not more than 1/3 of the election officers not representing either of them may be appointed.

SECTION 7. Said chapter 54 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 48 the following section:-

Section 48A. The state secretary shall provide a voters’ bill of rights, which shall summarize appropriate election laws of the United States and the commonwealth as the state secretary determines, in a form suitable for posting for every polling place for every election. The state secretary shall also include the voters’ bill of rights in appropriate publications of the state secretary and on the electronic website of the state secretary, and shall transmit copies of the voters’ bill of rights to state and municipal offices where citizens register to vote, including but not limited to the offices of city and town registrars of voters, offices of city and town clerks, and offices of the registry of motor vehicles.
The state secretary shall prepare the voters’ bill of rights after consulting the joint committee on election laws of the general court, and the state secretary shall revise it to reflect changes in the election laws of the United States and the commonwealth.

SECTION 8. Section 5 of chapter 55 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the eleventh paragraph the following paragraph:-

The state secretary, a city or town clerk, or a member of a board of registrars of voters or election commission in any city or town shall not serve as the chairman, treasurer, or other principal officer of any political committee, but any such public officer may serve as the chairman or principal officer, other than treasurer, of the political committee organized on his own behalf. This paragraph shall not apply to city or town clerks who do not administer elections.

Approved September 19, 2006.

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