Lowell City Charter:On the third Tuesday preceding every election at which any office mentioned in this act is to be filled, except as otherwise provided herein, there shall be held a preliminary election for the purpose of nominating candidates therefor. No special election for mayor or any other officer shall be held until after the expiration of forty (40) days from the calling of a preliminary election therefor, except as otherwise provided herein.
Does moving Preliminary violate Charter? The Lowell City Charter clearly states that there is to be 40 days between the preliminary and General Election. If the preliminary is moved for what appears to be the sake of 1 hour, is the city violating the Charter?
Yom Kippur begins at Sundown on September 22nd – Sundown is approx. 6:55 pm that day Polls open at 7 AM that day.
Ted Panos on WCAP is announcing the City is moving the preliminary and yet there is nothing on the city website, no announcement in today’s SUN and nothing on the Election page of the city website.
Who decided that the Preliminary election gets moved and doesn’t the Council have a say in the matter? Was the Election Commission involved?
How will this be effected: Monday, September 28, 2015 Last day and hour for filing withdrawals of or objections to
nominations made at the preliminary and for filing written acceptances by write-in or sticker candidates who won in
the preliminary election with the Election Commission.
Do we really need to move the Preliminary?
The state Elections Division is advising the communities to check with their Jewish leadership.
A state law was recently amended by the Legislature that if a preliminary election “falls on a religious holiday and impairs the rights of voters as determined by the state secretary, the city or town shall change the date of the election so as to protect the rights of voters,” according to a summary.
However so far Sec. of State Bill Galvin has NOT made that mandatory because there is 11 hours and 50 minutes to vote before Sundown and the polls are only open for 1 hour after that.
Is that really a hardship?
According to this article on MASS LIVE The “State is advising communities to reschedule preliminary elections but NOT making it mandatory.
Springfield MA is asking the Council to vote on it, Holyoke is keeping it on Sept. 22nd but according to this article:
city officials in Springfield and Holyoke said they believe having an election that date is still feasible. Election representatives in both communities said they conferred with Jewish leaders and there was general agreement that there will be sufficient hours to vote that date before sundown.
In addition, those who would have a difficulty with that date can request an absentee ballot to vote, officials said.