Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
Chapter 55B of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 7, as appearing in the 1984 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 7. Objections to certificates of nomination papers, or local ballot questions for city offices shall be filed with the city clerk within two working days of the last day fixed for filing nomination papers, except where city charters provide otherwise. Objections to certificates of nomination, nomination papers, or local ballot questions for town offices shall be filed with the town clerk within two working days of the last day fixed for filing nomination papers, except where town charters provide otherwise.
Objections filed with the city or town clerk shall forthwith be transmitted by him to the board authorized to hear such objections as provided under this section.
Objections to nomination for city offices, except in the city of Boston, or local ballot questions shall be considered by the board of registrars and the city solicitors.
Objections to nominations for town offices, or local ballot questions shall be considered by the board of registrars. Boards in cities and towns may, at hearings on such objections and questions, summon witnesses, administer oaths and require the production of books, records and papers. Such witnesses shall be summoned in the same manner, be paid the same fees, and be subject to the same penalties for default, as witnesses in civil cases before the courts. A summons may be signed, and an oath may be administered by any member of such board.
When such objection has been filed, notice thereof shall be sent forthwith by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, by the city or town clerk to the candidates affected thereby, addressed to their residences as given in the certificate of nomination or nomination papers, and to any party committee interested in the nomination to which such objection has been made; or in the case of local ballot questions to the first five names appearing on the petition or any other persons designated as sponsors of the petition. If more candidates bearing the same designation are nominated for an office, otherwise than by nomination papers, than are to be elected thereto, such boards shall determine the candidates, if any, entitled to such designation. Such boards shall render a decision on any matter referred to them, pertaining to certificates of nomination or nomination papers or local ballot questions for any regular or special city or town primaries or any regular or special city or town election, or to withdrawals of nomination therefore, not later than four days after the last day fixed for filing objections to such certificates papers or questions, or for filing such withdrawals, as the case may be, under this chapter. In the event that any such board fails to render within the aforesaid period its decision on any matter so referred, the city or town clerk shall, notwithstanding such failure, proceed forthwith to cause to be printed the ballots of such primaries of elections.