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Division into

wards and precincts.

P. S. c. 28, 14.


and also in such other boards of officers as are hereinafter specified.

SECT. 3. It shall be the duty of the city council, and it is hereby empowered during the year eighteen hundred and sev1875, c. 243, § 1. enty-five, and each tenth year thereafter in which a census shall be taken by authority of the commonwealth, to cause a new division of the city to be made into twenty-four wards, in such manner as to include an equal number of voters in each ward, as nearly as conveniently may be, consistently with well-defined limits to each ward, and until such division is made the boundary lines of the wards shall remain as estab1878, c. 243, § 1. lished. In the year eighteen hundred and eighty-six, as soon as practicable after the division of the city into new wards, as now provided by law, and every fifth year thereafter, the said wards shall be divided by the board of assessors of taxes into voting precincts on the basis of the registration of See 1886, c. 78. voters in the preceding year, each precinct consisting of compact and contiguous territory within said ward, and containing, as nearly as may be, five hundred registered voters. precincts shall be designated by numbers or by letters of the alphabet.

Annual meeting for the election

of city officers. 1854, c. 448, § 4. P. 8. c. 7, § 67.


SECT. 4. The annual meeting of citizens, for the election of municipal officers hereinafter mentioned, shall be held on the Tuesday next following the second Monday of December, and the citizens of said city qualified to vote in city affairs shall, for the purpose of such election, then meet together within the wards in which they respectively reside, at the 1878, c. 243, § 4. several polling places within said ward, at such hour and place as the board of aldermen may by their warrant direct and appoint; and the person receiving the highest number of votes for any office shall be deemed and declared to be elected to such office; and, whenever two or more persons are to be elected to the same office, the several persons, to the number required to be chosen, having the highest number of votes, shall be declared elected.

Commencement of municipal


1854, c. 448, § 6.

Election officers.

[SECT. 5, relating to certificates of election to be furnished by the ward officers, is annulled by St. 1878, c. 243.]

SECT. 6. The municipal officers to be chosen at the annual election shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices on the first Monday of January.

SECT. 7. In each voting precinct there shall be the 1984, c. 299, § 7. following election officers, that is to say: The mayor, at some time between the first and the twentieth day of September in each year, shall, with the approval of the board of aldermen, appoint for each voting precinct one warden, one deputy warden, one clerk, one deputy clerk, two inspectors, and two deputy inspectors, qualified voters in the ward of which each precinct forms a part, men of good repute and standing, who shall equally represent each of the two political parties which cast the largest

number of votes in the commonwealth at the annual election next preceding their appointment. The warden and one inspector shall be of a different political party from the clerk and other inspector, and each deputy shall be of the same political party as his principal. Each of said officers Term of office. shall be sworn to the faithful performance of his duties, and 1881, c. 299, § 7. shall hold office for one year from the first day of November in the year in which he is appointed, and until a successor is appointed, and qualified, or he is removed. Any one of said Removal. officers may be removed at any time by the mayor for such 1885, c.266, §§ 1, cause as he shall deem sufficient, and shall assign in his order for removal.

Such election officers shall receive such reasonable compensation for each day's actual service as the city council may, from time to time, determine.


Compensation. 1884, c. 299, § 8.

Candidates not


No person shall be eligible to the position of election eligible as elecofficer in any precinct where he is a candidate to be voted tion officers. for, and whenever any person appointed as aforesaid becomes such candidate he may, upon petition therefor, be removed by the mayor for such cause as he shall deem sufficient, and shall assign in his order for removal, not less than three days before any election.

to be sworn.

SECT. 8. The said wardens, clerks, and inspectors shall Election officers respectively make oath faithfully and impartially to discharge 1854, c. 448, § 8. their several duties, which oath may be administered by the 1876, c. 246, § 4. clerk to the warden, and by the latter to the clerk and inspectors, or to any or all of said officers by the city clerk, or by his assistant, or by any justice of the peace; and a certificate thereof shall be entered in the record to be kept by the precinct clerk.

1884, c. 299, § 7.

SECT. 9. In case of any vacancy occurring before the Vacancies. first day of November, in any year, or in case either of said 1854, c. 448, § 9. officers shall decline to act, and shall give notice thereof to the city clerk on or before said first day of November, the mayor, with the approval of the board of aldermen, shall appoint some person qualified as aforesaid to fill said office; and in making such appointment he shall preserve in the precinct offices the just and equal representation of the two leading political parties. Every person so appointed shall be sworn to the faithful discharge of his duties. Every nomination made by the mayor under this section and section seven shall be acted on by the board of aldermen not less than one week, 1885, c. 266, § 1. nor more than ten days, after it shall have been made.

Deputy election

SECT. 10. In case of a vacancy in the office of warden, er clerk, or inspector of a precinct on the day of any election, 1854, c. 448, § 10. the person appointed as deputy of said warden, clerk, or 1884, c. 299, § 7. inspector, shall act in his place, and shall have the same powers, and be subject to the same duties and liabilities, as the officer for whom he acts. No deputy precinct officer shall have power to act in any official capacity, or while the

Election officers pro tempore.

polls are open, or during the counting of votes be admitted to the space reserved for the precinct officers, except while filling a vacancy as aforesaid; and he shall receive no compensation except for attendance at the opening of the polls, or for services while acting for the officer whose place he fills.

In case the warden and deputy-warden, or the clerk and 1884, c. 299, § 7. deputy-clerk, or one of the inspectors and his deputy, are absent at the time designated for the opening of the polls on the day of any election, a suitable person shall be elected by the voters of said precinct by nomination and hand vote, with full power to act for the time being in place of the absent officer, and before entering upon the performance of his duties he shall be sworn by the warden or clerk, or, in the absence of both of said officers, by a justice of the peace, to the faithful performance thereof.1

Powers of warden.

SECT. 11. The warden shall preside at all meetings of his 1854, c. 448, § 11. precinct, and shall have the powers of moderators of town 1876, c. 246, § 7. meetings. In case of his absence, the clerk, and in case of 1878, c. 243, § 2. the absence of both warden and clerk, one of the inspectors, according to seniority in age, shall preside until a new warden has been chosen.

Duty of clerk. 1854, c. 448, § 12.

SECT. 12. It shall be the duty of the clerk to make and 1876, c. 246, § 8. keep a fair and true record of all meetings, and at the close 1878, c. 243, § 2. of the municipal year to deliver such record, together with 1884, c. 299, § 23. all other documents and papers held by him in his said capacity, to the city clerk, by whom such of them as need be shall be transmitted to the next precinct clerk.

Duties of warden and inspectors.

SECT. 13. It shall be the duty of the warden and inspectors of each precinct to receive, sort, and count, and of the 1854, c. 448, § 13. warden to declare all votes at any election within such pre1876, c. 246, § 9. cinct; and the clerk may assist in assorting and counting the

1878, c. 243, § 2.

Duties of precinct officers at


SECT. 14. It shall be the duty of all said precinct officers all elections. to attend and perform their respective duties at the times 1854, c. 448, § 14. and places appointed for elections of any officers, whether 1876, c. 246, § 10. of the United States, state, district, county, city, or ward, or for the determination of any question submitted to the qualified voters by lawful authority; and to make and sign the regular returns of the same.

1884, c. 299, § 8.

Election of mayor.

SECT. 15. The qualified voters of said city shall, at the 1854, c. 448, § 15. annual meeting, be called upon to give in their votes for one able and discreet person, being an inhabitant of the city, to be mayor of said city for the term of one year. All the ballots so given in, in each precinct, being sorted, counted,

1 SUPERVISORS OF ELECTIONS. St. 1884, c. 289, § 9 also provides that the governor shall, upon the petition in writing of ten qualified voters of the city, presented to him at least fourteen days before any election of state, district, county or municipal officers, appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the council, for each voting precinct, two citizens, residents of the city, to act as supervisors at the said election. St. 1881, c. 291, is repealed by St. 1884, c. 299, § 44.

and declared, shall be recorded at large by the clerk in open precinct meeting; and in making such declaration and record the whole number of votes or ballots given in shall be distinctly stated, together with the name of every person voted for, and the number of votes given for each person respectively, and the title of the office for which he is proposed, together with the number of blank votes for each 1884, c. 299, § 19. office; such numbers to be expressed in words at length, and a transcript of such record, certified and authenticated by the warden, clerk, and the inspectors of elections, for each precinct, shall forthwith be transmitted or delivered by such precinct clerk to the clerk of the city. It shall be the duty of the city clerk forthwith to enter such returns, or a plain and intelligible abstract of them, as they are successively received, upon the journal of the proceedings of the board of aldermen, or some other book to be kept for that purpose.

Examination of

for mayor.


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SECT. 16. The board of aldermen shall, as soon as conveniently may be, after six days next following the day of returns of votes such election, meet together and examine all the said returns, 1854, c. 448, § 16. and they shall cause the person who may have been elected 1884, c. 299, §§ 31, mayor to be notified, in writing, of his election; but if it shall appear by said returns that no person has been elected, or if the person elected shall refuse to accept the office, the board shall issue their warrants for a new election, and the same proceedings shall be had as are provided in the preceding section for the choice of a mayor, and repeated, from time to time, until a mayor shall be chosen.1

case of no choice



SECT. 17. Whenever, on examination by the board of Proceedings in aldermen of the returns of votes given for mayor at the of mayor before meetings of the precincts holden for the purpose of electing the beginning of that officer last preceding the first Monday of January in the municipal each year, no person shall appear to be chosen, the board 1854, c. 448, § 17. of aldermen, by whom such examination is made, shall make 1878, c. 243, §§ 1, a record of that fact, an attested copy of which record it shall be the duty of the city clerk to produce and read, on the first Monday of January, in the presence of the members returned to serve as aldermen and common councilmen ; and the oaths prescribed by law may be administered to the members-elect. The members of the board of aldermen shall thereupon proceed to elect a chairman, and the common council a president, in their respective chambers; and, being respectively organized, they shall proceed to business in the manner hereinafter provided, in case of the absence of the mayor; and the board of aldermen shall forthwith issue their warrants for meetings of the citizens of the respective wards, for the choice of mayor, at such time and place as they shall judge most convenient; and the same

1 See St., 1884, c. 299, §§ 29, 31, 32, for proceedings where a recount of ballots is demanded. Also Stat. 1883, c. 42.

Proceedings in case no mayor

is chosen or a full board of


proceedings shall be had, in all respects, as are hereinbefore directed, and shall be repeated, from time to time, until a mayor shall be duly chosen.

SECT. 18. Whenever it shall appear, by the regular returns of the elections of city officers, that a mayor has not been chosen, or that a full board of aldermen has not been aldermen is not elected, such of the board of aldermen, whether they con1854, c. 448, § 18. stitute a quorum or not, as may have been chosen, shall issue their warrant in the usual form for the election of a mayor, or such members of the board of aldermen as may be necessary; and the same proceedings shall be had and repeated, until the election of a mayor and aldermen shall be completed, and all vacancies shall be filled in the said board; and in case neither a mayor nor any alderman shall be elected at the usual time for electing the same, and after the powers of the former mayor and aldermen shall have ceased, it shall be the duty of the president of the common council to issue his warrant, in the same manner as the board of aldermen would have done if elected, and the same proceeding shall be had and repeated, until a mayor or one or more aldermen shall be elected.

Aldermanic districts.

Election of aldermen.

St. 1854, c. 448,

§ 19.

1884, c. 250, § 3.

SECT. 19. It shall be the duty of the city council, after 1884, c. 250, § 2. any new division of said city into wards, to cause a new division of the city to be made into twelve aldermanic districts in such manner as to include in such districts whole and contiguous wards (except so far as the same may be separated by natural water channels, connected by bridge or bridges), and an equal number of voters and inhabitants as nearly as convenience permits, and until such new division be made the districts shall remain as established by section one of chapter two hundred and fifty of the acts of the year eighteen hundred and eighty-four. The qualified voters of each of said aldermanic districts shall, at the annual municipal election, be called upon to give in their votes for one able and discreet person, being a legal voter and an inhabitant of the district, to be a member of the board of aldermen for the ensuing year; and all such votes so given being sorted, counted, and declared by the warden and inspectors, shall be recorded at large by the clerk, in open precinct meeting; and, in making such declaration and record, the whole number of votes or ballots given in shall be particularly stated, together with the name of every person voted for, and the number of votes given for each person; and a transcript of such record, certified by the warden and clerk and a majority of the inspectors of elections of each precinct, shall forthwith be transmitted to the city clerk; whereupon the same proceedings shall be had, to ascertain and determine the persons chosen as aldermen, as are hereinbefore directed in regard to the choice of mayor, and for a new election in case of the whole number required not being

1878, c. 243, §§1,


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