The regular general town election shall be held on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November in each odd-numbered year.
All elections for town offices shall be non-partisan and election ballots shall be printed without any party mark, emblem or other designation whatsoever.
The number of signatures of voters required to place the name of a candidate on the official ballot to be used at an election shall be as follows: for councillor-at-large, school committee member, or Stetson Fund trustee, 50 signatures, not more than 25 of which shall be from any 1 district; for the office of district councillor, 50 signatures from the district from which the nomination is sought.
The territory of the town shall be divided into 4 districts so established as to consist of as nearly an equal number of inhabitants as it is possible to achieve based on compact and contiguous territory, bounded insofar as possible by the center line of known streets or ways or by other well-defined limits. Each such district shall be composed of voting precincts established in accordance with the General Laws. The town council shall, from time to time, but at least once in each 10 years, review such districts.
Except as expressly provided in this charter and authorized by general law, all town elections shall be governed by the laws of the commonwealth relating to the right to vote, the registration of voters, the nomination of candidates, the conduct of general and special elections, the submission of charters, charter amendments and other propositions to the voters, the counting of votes, the recounting of votes and the determination of results.
The town council or the school committee shall hold a public hearing and act with respect to every petition which is addressed to it, which is signed by 150 voters, or more, and which seeks the passage of a measure. The hearing shall be held by the town council or the school committee, or, in either case, by a committee or subcommittee thereof and the action by the town council or the school committee shall be taken not later than 3 months after the petition is filed with the clerk of the council or the administrative assistant to the superintendent, as may be appropriate. Hearings on 2 or more petitions filed under this section may be held at the same time and place. The clerk of the council or the administrative assistant to the superintendent shall mail notice of the hearing to the 10 persons whose names appear first on the petition at least 48 hours before the hearing. Notice, by publication of all such hearings, shall be at public expense.
Commencement - Initiative procedures shall be started by the filing of an initiative petition with the clerk of the council or the administrative assistant to the superintendent, as the case may be. The petition shall be addressed to the town council or to the school committee, shall contain a request for the passage of a particular measure, which shall be set forth in full in the petition, and shall be signed by at least 250 registered voters as of the date of the most recent town election. Signatures to an initiative petition need not all be on 1 paper, but all such papers pertaining to any 1 measure shall be fastened together and shall be filed as a single instrument, with the endorsement thereon of the name and residence address of the person designated as filing the same. With each signature on the petition, there shall also appear the street and number of the residence of each signer. [Approved 11-5-2013 Town Election]
The clerk of the council or the administrative assistant to the superintendent, as the case may be, shall forthwith deliver a copy of the petition to the board of registrars. Within 10 days following the filing of the petition, the board of registrars shall ascertain by what number of voters the petition has been signed and what percentage that number is of the total number of voters as of the date of the most recent town election. The board of registrars shall attach its certificate to the petition, which shall certify the signatures and addresses of those voters to the clerk of the council or the administrative assistant to the superintendent according to how the petition is addressed. A copy of its certificate shall also be mailed to the person designated upon such petition as having filed the same.
Referral to Town Attorney - If the board of registrars determines that a petition has been signed by a sufficient number of voters, the clerk of the council or the administrative assistant to the superintendent, as the case may be, shall forthwith following receipt of such certificate deliver a copy of the petition to the town attorney. Within 15 days following the date a copy of the petition is delivered to him, the town attorney shall, in writing, advise the town council or the school committee, as may be appropriate, whether the measure, as proposed, may lawfully be proposed by the initiative process and whether, in its present form, it may be lawfully adopted by the town council or by the school committee. If the opinion of the town attorney is that the measure is not in proper form, he shall state his reasons in full in his reply. A copy of the opinion of the town attorney shall also be mailed to the person designated on the petition as having filed the same.
Action on Citizen Initiative Petitions - Within 30 days following the date a citizen initiative petition has been returned to the clerk of the council or to the administrative assistant to the superintendent by the town attorney as being lawful, and after publication in accordance with section 2-9(c), the town council or the school committee shall act with respect to each initiative petition by passing it without change, by passing a measure which is stated to be in lieu of an initiative measure, or by rejecting it. The passage of a measure which is in lieu of the initiative measure shall be deemed to be a rejection of the initiative measure. If, at the expiration of such 30 days, the town council or the school committee has not voted on such petition, no other business of said council or committee shall be in order or lawfully acted upon until a vote to approve of the measure, to disapprove of the measure, or to adopt some other measure in lieu thereof, has been taken.
Supplementary Petitions - Within 45 days following the date an initiative petition has been rejected, a supplemental initiative petition may be filed with the clerk of the council or the administrative assistant to the superintendent. The clerk of the council or the administrative assistant to the superintendent, as the case may be, shall forthwith deliver a copy of the supplemental initiative petition to the board of registrars. The supplemental initiative petition shall be signed by a number of additional voters which is equal to 5 per cent of the total number of voters as of the date of the most recent town election, which may include the signatures of voters who signed the original petition if they sign the supplemental petition, or other additional voters. If the number of signatures to such supplemental petition is found to be sufficient by the board of registrars, the town council shall call a special election to be held on a date fixed by it not less than 35 nor more than 45 days following the date of the certificate of the board of registrars that a sufficient number of voters has signed the supplemental initiative petition and shall submit the proposed measure, without alteration, to the voters for determination; provided, however, that if any other town election is to be held within 120 days following the date of said certificate, the town council may omit the calling of such special election and cause such question to appear on the election ballot at such approaching election for determination by the voters.
Publication - The full text of any initiative measure which is submitted to the voters shall be published in a local newspaper not less than 7 nor more than 14 days preceding the date of the election at which such question is to be voted upon. Additional copies of the full text shall be available for distribution to the public in the office of the board of registrars.
Form of Question - The ballots used when voting on a measure proposed by the voters under this section shall contain a question in substantially the following form:
Time of Taking Effect - If a majority of the votes cast on the question is in the affirmative, the measure shall be deemed to be effective forthwith, unless a later date is specified in such measure; provided, however, that no such measure shall be deemed to be adopted if fewer than 20 per cent of the total number of voters of the town, as of the date of the most recent town election, participated at such election.
Petition, Effect on Final Vote - If, within 20 days following the date on which the town council or the school committee has voted finally to approve of any measure, a petition signed by a number of voters equal to 5 per cent of the total number of voters as of the date of the most recent town election and addressed to the town council or to the school committee, as the case may be, against the measure, or any part thereof, is filed with the administrative assistant to the superintendent or clerk of the council, the effective date of such measure shall be temporarily suspended. The school committee or the town council shall forthwith reconsider its vote on such measure, or part thereof, and, if such measure is not rescinded, the town council shall provide for the submission of the question for a determination by the voters either at a special election which it may call at its convenience, or within such time as may be requested by the school committee, or at the next regular town election. Pending such submission and determination, the effect of such measure shall continue to be suspended.
Certain Initiative Provisions to Apply - The petition described in this section shall be termed a referendum petition and insofar as applicable, section 7-7(a), (b), (e) and (f) shall apply to such referendum petitions, except that the words "measure or part thereof protested against" shall be deemed to replace the word "measure" in said sections wherever it may occur and the word "referendum" shall be deemed to replace the word "initiative" wherever it may occur in said sections.
None of the following shall be subject to the initiative or the referendum procedures: (1) proceedings relating to the internal organization or operation of the town council or of the school committee; (2) an emergency measure adopted in conformity with the charter; (3) the town budget or the school committee budget as a whole; (4) revenue loan orders; (5) any appropriation for the payment of the town's debt or debt service; (6) an appropriation of funds to implement a collective bargaining agreement; (7) proceedings relating to the election, appointment, removal, discharge, employment, promotion, transfer, demotion or other personnel action of municipal employees; (8) any proceedings repealing or rescinding a measure or part thereof which is already undergoing challenge by referendum procedures; and (9) any proceedings providing for the submission or referral of any measure to the voters at an election.
The town council may, on its own motion and shall, at the request of the school committee if a measure originates with that body and pertains to affairs under its jurisdiction, submit to the voters at any regular town election for adoption or rejection any measure in the same manner and with the same force and effect as is hereby provided for submission by petitions of voters.
If 2 or more measures passed at the same election contain conflicting provisions, only the 1 receiving the greatest number of affirmative votes shall take effect.
Any holder of elective office may be recalled therefrom by the registered voters of the town of Randolph as provided in this charter.
Any 500 registered voters of the town of Randolph may file with the town clerk an affidavit containing the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for recall. The registrars of voters shall, within 5 days, certify thereon the number of signatures which are names of registered voters of the town. The town clerk shall, upon certification by the board of registrars, deliver to the first 10 persons named on the affidavit copies of petition blanks demanding such recall, copies of which shall be kept available. The blanks shall be issued by the town clerk with the clerk's signature and official seal attached thereto. They shall be dated, addressed to the town council and contain the names of the 10 persons to whom they are issued, the name of the person whose recall is sought, the grounds of recall as stated in the affidavit and the demand for the election of a successor to said office. A copy of the petition shall be entered in a record book to be kept in the office of the town clerk. The recall petition shall be returned and filed with the town clerk within 21 days after the certification of the affidavit and shall have been signed by at least 20 percent of the registered voters of the town who shall add to their signatures the street and number, if any, of their residences. The town clerk shall, within 24 hours of receipt, submit the petition to the registrars of voters in the town and the registrars shall, within 14 days, certify thereon the number of signatures which are names of registered voters of the town.
For the recall of a district councillor, the above procedures shall apply, except that: all signatures shall be obtained from the affected district; 150 signatures shall be required on the initial affidavit; the recall petition shall be signed by at least 20 per cent of the registered voters of the district; and an election held for the recall of a district councillor shall be held only in the affected district.
If the petition shall be found and certified by the registrars of voters to be sufficient, the registrars shall submit the same with their certificate to the town council without delay and said council shall, within 7 days, give written notice of the receipt of the certificate to the officer sought to be recalled and shall, if the officer does not resign within 5 days thereafter, order an election to be held on a date fixed by them not less than 64 nor more than 90 days after the date of the registrar's certificate that a sufficient petition has been filed; provided, however, that if any other town election is to occur within 100 days after the date of certification, the town council shall postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of such other election.
If a vacancy occurs in said office after a recall election has been ordered, the election shall nevertheless proceed as provided in this section.
An officer sought to be removed may be a candidate to succeed himself and, unless the officer requests otherwise in writing, the town clerk shall place his name on the ballot without nomination. The nomination of other candidates, the publication of the warrant for the removal election and the conduct of the same, shall all be in accordance with the general laws relating to elections, unless otherwise provided in the charter.
The incumbent shall continue to perform the duties of his office until the recall election. If the recall fails or the incumbent is re-elected, he shall continue in office for the remainder of the unexpired term, subject to recall as before, except as provided in subsection (g). If not re-elected in the recall election, the officer shall be deemed removed upon the qualification of his successor who shall hold office during the unexpired term. If the successor fails to qualify within 5 days after receiving notification of his election, the incumbent shall thereupon be deemed removed and the office vacant.
Ballots used in a recall election shall submit the following proposition in the order indicated:
No recall affidavit shall be filed against an officer within 6 months after he takes office, nor in the case of an officer subject to a recall election, until at least 6 months after the election at which his recall was submitted to the voters.