Nominations and Elections
Section 7-1. City Elections; General and Preliminary.
The regular City election shall be held on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November of each odd- numbered year.
On the fourth Tuesday preceding every regular City election, there shall be held a preliminary election for the purpose
of nominating candidates.
Section 7-2. Preliminary Elections.
(a) Signature Requirements - The number of signatures of voters required to place the name of a candidate on the official ballot to be used at a preliminary election shall be as follows: For an office which is to be filled by vote of the whole City, not less than one hundred and fifty signatures, not less than fifty from each of the three districts. For an office which is elected by the voters in a district, not less than fifty signatures from said district.
(b) Ballot Position - The order in which names of candidates appear on the ballot for each office shall be determined by a drawing by lot conducted by the City Clerk in the presence of such candidates or their representatives as may choose to attend such drawings.
(c) Determination of Candidates for Election – The two persons receiving at a preliminary election the highest number of votes for nomination for an office shall be the sole candidates for that office whose names may be printed on the official ballot to be used at the regular election at which such office is to be filled, and no acceptance of a nomination at a preliminary election shall be necessary to its validity. If two or more persons are to be elected to the same office at such regular election, the several persons in number equal to twice the number so to be elected receiving at such preliminary election the highest number of votes for nomination for that office shall be the sole candidates for that office whose names may be printed on the official ballot. If the preliminary election results in a tie vote among candidates for nomination receiving the lowest number of votes, which but for said tie vote would entitle a person receiving the same to have his name printed upon the official ballot for the election, all candidates participating in said tie vote shall have their names printed upon the official ballot, although in consequence, there be printed thereon candidates to a number exceeding twice the number to be elected.
(d) Nominations of Candidates; Conditions Making Preliminary Election Unnecessary - If, at the expiration of the time for filing petitions of
candidates to be voted for at any preliminary election, not more than twice as many such petitions have been filed with the
City Clerk for an office as are to be elected to such office, the candidates whose petitions have thus been filed shall be deemed
to have been nominated to said office and their names shall be voted on for such office at the succeeding regular election, and
the City Clerk shall not print said names upon the ballot to be used at said preliminary election and no other nomination
to said office shall be made.
If, in consequence, it shall appear that no names are to be printed upon the official ballot to be used at any preliminary election
in any district or districts of the City, no preliminary election shall be held in any such district or districts.
Section 7-3. Regular Election.
(a) Information to Voters - If the candidate in a regular City election is an incumbent of the office to which he seeks election, against his name shall appear the phrase "candidate for re-election".
(b) Ballot Position - The order in which names of candidates appear on the ballot for each office in a regular City election
shall be determined by a drawing by lot conducted by the City Clerk in the presence of such candidates or
their representatives as may choose to attend.
Section 7-4. Precincts and Districts.
The territory of Methuen shall be divided into twelve precincts, so established as to consist of as nearly equal a number of inhabitants as it is possible in compact and contiguous territory; bounded insofar as possible by the center line of known streets or ways or by other well defined limits. The twelve precincts shall be separated into three districts. The Central District shall include Precincts 1, 2, 6 and 10; the East District shall include Precincts 3, 7, 9 and 12; and the West District shall include Precincts 4, 5, 8 and 11. (Increase in precincts from 9 to 12 approved by the Legislature June 10th, 1986 - Chapter 88 of the Acts and Resolves of 1986; see Resolution #1473). Section 7-5. Application of State Laws.
Except as expressly provided in the Charter and authorized by statute, all City 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 preliminary and regular elections, the submission of Charter amendments and other propositions, the counting of votes
and the declaration of results.