Duties of the Board of Registrars
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 51 §15 require that there shall be in every city or town, other than one having a board of election commissioners or an election commission, a Board of Registrars of Voters.
Registrars and Assistant Registrars must meet the following qualifications:
Must be a registered voter in the city or town where appointed unless regularly employed by the registrars: M.G.L. c 51 § 25;
Must hold no other office in the city or town where he/she is a registrar either by election or by direct appointment by the mayor, selectmen, or city/town manager or hold an office by election or appointment under the government of the United States or of the Commonwealth, except for towns with less than 2000 residents; M.G.L. c 51 § 25; and
Must subscribe an oath to faithfully perform the duties of registrar. M.G.L. c. 51 § 23.
The Board of Registrars of Voters are responsible for:
- Maintaining accurate lists of registered voters in the town
- Conducting elections
- Accepting nomination papers
- Certifying initiative or referendum petitions.
- Voter registration
- Processing absentee voter applications
- Processing address and party changes
- Maintaining and testing of voting equipment
- Preparing and publishing listing of residents
- Tallying Election results
- Hearing complaints of illegal or incorrect registration
- Conducting Election Recounts
The Board also conducts an annual census and has other duties and responsibilities as may be assigned to them under Chapter 51 of the Massachusetts General Laws.
The Board of Registrars of Voters consists of three (3) persons appointed for three (3) year terms by the Select Board, with one (1) member appointed each year as prescribed in Chapter 51, Section 15, of the Massachusetts General Laws. The fourth member of the Board is the elected Town Clerk. As nearly possible, the members of the board shall represent the two leading political parties. The Town Clerk need not be enrolled in a political party.