Nomination Papers For Town-Wide, Town Meeting Election Now Available

Photo: Nomination papers.

Belmont Town Clerk Ellen Cushman announced Friday, Jan. 3 that nomination papers for elected town-wide 0ffices are available for those who wish to run. All candidates must be registered voters of Belmont.

In addition to those races, 12 representative Town Meeting Members are elected for three-year terms from each of the town’s eight voting precincts. This year, there are also some partial-term openings for Town Meeting; vacancies are created by Members moving or resigning.

Stop by the Town Clerk’s office to pick up nomination papers; have your neighbors and friends, who are voters, sign your nomination papers and submit the signed forms to the Town Clerk by the deadline, Feb. 12, at 5 p.m.

The Town Clerk’s web pages contain quite a bit of information to help make a decision to seek office at www.belmont-ma.gov  select Town Clerk, then select Running for Elected Office and Campaigning or feel free to call us at 617-993-2600, or email at townclerk@belmont-ma.gov

Running for election is simple:

  • To be nominated for Town-wide office – signatures of at least 50 registered voters of the Town are required on the nomination papers. The Town Clerk must certify these signatures so we always suggest obtaining about 20% more just to be safe.
  • To be nominated for Town Meeting – signatures of at least 25 registered voters of your precinct are required on the nomination papers. The Town Clerk must certify these signatures so we always suggest obtaining about 20% more just to be safe.  Some current Town Meeting Members will be asking the voters for re-election but all twelve seats are available in each precinct.

Running for re-election to Town Meeting: current Town Meeting Members whose term of office expires in 2019 have already been sent a letter asking if the person wants to seek re-election. Deadline for return of those letters to the Town Clerk is January 22nd at 4 PM.

Here’s the list of offices that will be filled by the April 2 annual Town Election as of January 3, 2019:

Town -wide Offices Number of Seats Term of Office
Moderator Vote for One 1 year
Board of Selectmen Vote for One 3 years
Board of Assessors Vote for One 3 years
Board of Cemetery Commissioners Vote for One 3 years
Board of Health Vote for One 3 years
Members of the Housing Authority Vote for One 5 years
Trustees of the Public Library Vote for Two 3 years
Members of the School Committee Vote for Two 3 years
Member of the School Committee Vote for One 1 year
Town Meeting Members for

Each of the Eight Precincts

Vote for Twelve 3 years
Partial-Term Town Meeting  Members:

For Precinct 1

Vote for One 2 years
For Precinct 1 Vote for One 1 year
For Precinct 5 Vote for One 2 years
For Precinct 7 Vote for One 1 year

Two New Belmont Police Officers Sworn In

Photo: (from left) Town Clerk Ellen Cushman, Belmont Police Officers Brian Conneely, Evan Nichols, Belmont Chief Richard McLaughlin.

New Belmont Police Officers Brian Conneely and Evan Nichols were sworn in by Belmont Town Clerk Ellen O’Brien Cushman at a ceremony held in the Board of Selectmen’s room at Town Hall on Friday Dec. 21.

On Thursday Dec. 20, Belmont Police Chief Richard McLaughlin along with command staff attended the graduation ceremony for the Conneely and Nichols graduated from the Randolph Regional Police Academy 8th R.O.C. on Dec. 20 after a 21-week intensive academy program hosted by the Randolph Police Academy.

The new officers are pictured with McLaughlin and Cushman.

 

Early Voting Has Begun In Belmont; Final Day Friday, Nov. 2 [VIDEO]

Photo: Early voting has begun.

Thanks to the 2016 changes to the Massachusetts General Laws, any registered voter of Massachusetts may choose to cast a ballot for the State Election (candidates and four questions) before Election Day on Nov. 6. The law permits registered voters to cast ballots during the designated period of Early Voting, for 2018  between Oct. 22 and Friday, Nov. 2.  

“We are excited to offer this opportunity to all registered voters of Belmont, an expanded, accessible schedule of hours at one central location, Belmont Town Hall, for this “no excuse” vote-ahead option,” said Belmont Town Clerk Ellen Cushman.

Early voting is available to every registered voter. Unlike absentee voting that is available in every election for only those voters who will be absent from Belmont, or have a physical disability preventing the voter from going to the polls or with a religious belief preventing the voter from going to the polls on Election Day.

No advance application is necessary to Vote Early in person; you can decide the date and time to cast your ballot at Town Hall during designated Early Voting hours. Once the voter has cast an Early Voting Ballot, that voter may not vote at the polls on Election Day or receive an Absentee Ballot. 

Only Belmont residents who are registered to vote by the Oct. 17 deadline are eligible to vote in this year’s State Election.  To register to vote, find out whether and where you are already registered, where to vote, visit the Secretary of State’s website.

To find out more about Absentee and Early Voting, visit the Belmont Town Clerk’s pages on the Town website.

Early Voting for Belmont Voters will be available ONLY at Town Hall, 455 Concord Ave., during the following schedule of dates and hours, no advance notice is required: 

  • Monday, Oct. 22; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 23; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 24;  8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 25;  8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 26; 8 a.m. to Noon
  • Saturday, Oct. 27; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 28; No Early Voting Hours
  • Monday, Oct. 29; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 30;  8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 31; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 1; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 2; 8 a.m. to Noon

“Pick the most convenient date and time for you and give Early Voting a try.  It’s always advisable to have your ID with you when you go to vote either on Election Day or for Early Voting,” said Cushman.

Written, signed Absentee Applications and Early Voting Applications that request us to mail you a ballot are also available, online at the Town Clerk’s webpage or at the Town Clerk’s office at Town Hall.  If you have questions or need additional information, email the Town Clerk’s office at townclerk@belmont-ma.gov or phone 617-993-2600   

Final Day To Register To Vote In State Election On Wednesday, Oct 17

Photo: The last day to register is Oct. 17.

It’s down to the wire for those residents who want to register to vote in the coming State Election on Tuesday, Nov. 6 – which will include the debt exclusion for the new 7-12 Belmont High School – as the final day is Wednesday, Oct. 17.

The Belmont Town Clerk’s Office will accomindate those residents who work by staying open until 8 p.m. on Wednesday to handle the procastinators. 

Residents can also submit their online voter registration form to the Massachusetts Secretary of State for the State Election by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday.

What To Know About Next Week’s State Primary Election

Photo: Belmont residents voting at Precinct 2 in Town Hall.

Voting in the Massachusetts State Primary will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 4 

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

WHO CAN VOTE AND FOR WHICH PARTY

Your enrollment as a voter will determine which party ballot you can choose to vote in.

A voter enrolled in one of the three Massachusetts political parties, can only vote the ballot for that specific party, represented by these letters:

  • D – Democratic Party
  • R – Republican Party
  • L – Libertarian Party

A registered Democrat cannot vote a Republican or Libertarian ballot; a registered Republican cannot vote a Democratic or Libertarian ballot; a registered Libertarian cannot vote a Democratic or Republican ballot.

Only voters who are not affiliated with a political party, called Unenrolled (U – commonly known as No Party or “Independent”) can ask for any party ballot on Primary Day.

THE ISSUE WITH YOUR CENSUS

Voters who have not returned a town census this year are classified as “inactive” voters, a status that requires the voter to present identification at the polling station in order to return to the active voting rolls.

Voters should consider carrying an ID when going to vote to make the process simpler on election day.

BELMONT VOTING LOCATIONS

  • Precinct 1: Belmont Memorial Library, Assembly Room, 336 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct 2: Belmont Town Hall, Selectmen’s Room, 455 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct 3: Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • Precinct 4 Daniel Butler School Gym, 90 White St.
  • Precinct 5 Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • Precinct 6 Belmont Fire Headquarters, 299 Trapelo Rd.
  • Precinct 7 Burbank School Gym, 266 School St.
  • Precinct 8 Winn Brook School Gym, 97 Waterhouse Rd., Enter From Cross Street

If you would like further clarification or have any other questions related to the upcoming election, please check the Town Clerk’s webpages then select Departments, Town Clerk and click on any of the Election links on the left side of the page or call the Belmont Town Clerk’s Office at 617-993-2600 or email to townclerk@belmont-ma.gov

Primary Election Deadline For Voter Registration, Party Changes Is Aug. 15 at 8 PM

Photo: State Party Primary Sept. 4.

The Belmont Town Clerk reminds residents who have not registered to vote that Wednesday, Aug. 15 is the deadline to register to vote if they want to participate in the Massachusetts Primary on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Aug. 15 is also the deadline for registered voters who wish to change their party enrollment either to another party or to “unenrolled,” which is commonly referred to as “independent” or “unaffiliated.” Voters registered in one of the three Massachusetts parties, Democratic, Republican, or Libertarian may only vote that party’s ballot. To be eligible for a different party’s ballot, the voter must switch to another party or to “unenrolled” status by 8 p.m. on Aug. 15.   Unenrolled voters or voters enrolled in political designations can ask for any party ballot on Primary Day, but someone registered in a party can only vote on that party’s ballot. A registered Democrat cannot vote a Republican or Libertarian ballot; a registered Republican cannot vote a Democratic or Libertarian ballot; a registered Libertarian cannot vote a Democratic or Republican ballot.

The Town Clerk’s office at Town Hall will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 15 for voters who wish to change their party registration status or for persons wishing to register for the first time.

Persons who are United States Citizens, residents of Massachusetts, and who will be at least 18 years old on or before Sept. 4 are eligible to register to vote. Those meeting these qualifications who have a Massachusetts Driver’s License can submit their registration online at www.RegisterToVoteMA.com. Those registering by mail should have their form hand-canceled by the Post Office to ensure it is postmarked on or before the deadline.   Newly registered voters will receive confirmation letters from the Town Clerk.

You may verify your voter registration and/or your voting location at:https://www.sec.state.ma.us/VoterRegistrationSearch/MyVoterRegStatus.aspx .

For more information, feel free to contact the Belmont Town Clerk’s Office at: townclerk@belmont-ma.gov or 617-993-2600.

 

Town Election ’18: Donner, Burgess-Cox Heading To School Board As Few Voters Venture Out To The Polls

Photo: Asst. Town Clerk Meg Piccione reading the results of the Belmont Town Election on April 3.

In a town election that saw one of the lowest turnouts in the past decade, a teacher topped the ballot in the race to run the Belmont’s schools. 

In the only competitive town-wide race, newcomer Tara Donner outpaced incumbent Susan Burgess-Cox, 1,767 to 1,517, to fill the two three year seats on the school committee as fellow newbie Jill Souza Norton just missing out finishing third with 1,349 votes. School Committee Chair Lisa Fiore ran unopposed for a one-year term on the committee.

Read all the unofficial results of the town-wide and Town Meeting races here.

A last-minute write-in candidacy by well-known resident Tomi Olsen was swept aside by the vote for current School Committee member Tom Caputo who ran as the only official candidate for the Board of Selectman, garnering 2,106 votes, or 94 percent of those who cast ballots.

Over on the Town Meeting side of the ballot, some interesting results were noted including two longtime ballot toppers who just barely held onto their seats; both Lydia Ogilby (Precinct 1) and Donald Mercier (Precinct 8) both came in 12th with Mercier taking the last slot by a mere nine votes over Mark Smith.

In the race of town-wide candidates battling it out on the Town Meeting ballot, Burgess-Cox topped Caputo, 214 to 203, to “win” Precinct 2’s top spot while Precinct 1’s Peter Dizikes garnered the most votes of all the precincts with 324. In the closest race, Linda Levin-Scherz defeated Elizabeth Khan by three votes, 125-122, to take the one-year seat in Precinct 2. 

Stopping by a crowded Town Clerk’s Office to pick up the unofficial results, first-time candidate Dovie Yoana King learned she tied for second receiving 164 votes. The newly-elected Precinct 7 member said she was “very excited” to become heading to Town Meeting in a month as her presence will add much-needed diversity in Belmont’s legislative body. With her son by her side, King said she hopes to give a voice to survivors of domestic violence but also represent all people in the precinct which she noted is populated by the most varied groups in Belmont.

A cold, wet miserable afternoon and the lack of competitive races appeared to have kept residents from the polls as participation was an anemic 16.5 percent as 2,816 residents voted at Belmont’s eight precincts. This election’s number is well below the 28 percent seen last year and 22 percent in 2016. The 2015 town election which included a $3.5 million override on the ballot brought out 51 percent.

Belmont isn’t a stranger to unenthusiastic participation on election day; in 2009, only 1,438 voters or 5.89 percent of total registered voters came out. 

Belmont Votes: 2018 Town Election

Photo:

The annual Belmont Town Election takes place on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

And below is information that will make the process of casting your ballot all that much easier.

Whose running for town wide and Town Meeting 

Click here for the Belmont League of Women Voters Guide for candidates and their campaign message.

Polling Places

For voting purposes, Belmont is divided into eight voting precincts, located as follows:

  • Precinct 1 – Belmont Memorial Library, Assembly Room, 336 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct 2 – Belmont Town Hall, Selectmen’s Room, 455 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct 3 – Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • Precinct 4 – Daniel Butler School, Gymnasium, 90 White St.
  • Precinct 5 – Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • Precinct 6 – Belmont Fire Headquarters, 299 Trapelo Rd.
  • Precinct 7 – Burbank School, Gymnasium, 266 School St.
  • Precinct 8 – Winn Brook School, Gymnasium, 97 Waterhouse Rd. (Enter from Cross Street)

Please adhere to the posted parking restrictions and use caution to ensure the safety of pedestrians around the voting precincts.

Are You Registered to Vote in Belmont and Eligible to Vote April 3? 

If you are wondering if you are a registered voter and your voting precinct, go to the Town Clerk’s web page or phone the Town Clerk’s office at 617-993-2600.

Arrive early, consider traffic and limited parking 

Belmont Police will designate some voter parking at each of the polling locations however with a  busy election, parking close to the polling places is often a challenge.

Plan ahead: consider walking, carpooling with a friend or voting “off peak” during the middle of the day. Only voters who arrive at the precinct and are in line for the Voter Check-In before the close of polls at 8 p.m. can be permitted to vote; those who arrive too late will miss out.

Election Day campaigning

The Town Clerk and the Board of Registrars of Voters remind all residents that campaign signs, stickers, buttons or materials may NOT be displayed within 150 feet of each polling place. This prohibition, per Massachusetts General Laws, Ch. 54, §65, even extends to a candidate whose name is on the ballot, when the candidate is not actively voting.  The Town Clerk’s website posts a map displaying the 150-foot radius under Campaigning: Running for Elected Office and Town Meeting.

Election Results – How Do I Find Out the Results?

Election results for each precinct are announced by the Warden of each precinct after the close of the polls. The unofficial town-wide results will be announced at Town Hall and posted on the home page of the Town website as soon as they are available Tuesday evening or phone the  Town Clerk’s office at 617-993-2600 on Wednesday morning. Campaign representatives are welcome to wait at Town Hall for the printed results.

Absentee Voting Available Until Monday, April 2

Photo: Vote at Town Hall until April 2

Residents who wish to take advantage of absentee voting in the annual town-wide election can do so at the Belmont Town Clerk’s office until noon, April 2, the day before the election. 

To vote absentee, all ballot requests must be made in writing and received before noon on April 2. Absentee ballot applications can be used for one election or for an entire calendar year. A new application must be filed for each subsequent calendar year.

Please note that fax and email requests are not acceptable; only original signatures are acceptable.

Click here for more information regarding Absentee and UOCAVA (Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act) Voting.

You Still Have Time To Get On The Town Election Ballot; Deadline is Feb. 13

Photo: Nomination papers

Nomination papers for the Annual Town Election on April 3, (Town Meeting Member and Town-wide offices) are available now at the Town Clerk’s Office, and are due back to the Town Clerk for certification by Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 5 p.m. Fifty certified signatures of registered Belmont voters are required for Town-wide office, 25 certified signatures of Belmont registered voters dwelling in the appropriate precinct are required for Town Meeting. It is always wise to obtain and provide at least 20 percent more signatures than the requirement to meet the certification minimums.

Click here for ballot info.

Getting Your Name on the Ballot

Running for election is simple. Pick up nomination papers in the Town Clerk’s office and have your neighbors and friends who are registered voters sign your papers and submit the signed forms to the Town Clerk by the deadline.

Town-wide Offices

To be considered a candidate for town-wide office, you must be at least 18 years old and a registered voter in Belmont.

There are many Town-wide elected offices that will appear on the annual Town Election ballot.

Signatures of at least 50 registered voters of the Town are required on the nomination papers.

Representative Town Meeting: Representatives from Each of the Eight Voting Precincts

In addition to the 12 Representative Town Meeting Members that are elected for three-year terms from each of our eight voting precincts, there may also be openings for one (1), or two (2) year terms.

There are partial terms in the following precincts:

  • One 2-year term in Precinct 1
  • One 1-year term in Precinct 2
  • Two 2-year terms in Precinct 5

Incumbent Town Meeting Members

Incumbent Town Meeting Members who intend to run for re-election have missed the deadline of Jan. 23 to return the Intention Letter. Missing the return date means having to collect signatures on nomination papers.

New Candidates for Town Meeting Member

To be considered a new candidate for Town Meeting Member, you must be at least 18 years old and a registered voter of the Town of Belmont. If you are currently serving as a Town Meeting Member who was elected at the caucus, not by Town ballot, you will need to submit nomination papers as a new candidate.

Signatures of at least 25 registered voters of your precinct are required on the nomination papers. The Town Clerk must certify these signatures so we always suggest obtaining about 20 percent more just to be safe.

Withdrawing Your Name From the Ballot

If you have taken out nomination papers and the signatures have been certified, but you change your mind, you may remove your name from the ballot by notifying the Town Clerk in writing by Feb. 13.