Ask eHop: Why does Hopkinton have partisan town elections?

Ask eHop: Why does Hopkinton have partisan town elections?

graphic-caucus

eHop contacted the Town Clerk who told us that caucuses in our area date back to the 1700’s. She also told us that most towns in Massachusetts have non-partisan local elections and that there are less than 20 localities who continue to have Caucus Nominees.   A Special Act of the Legislature is required to discontinue the practice, as well as a vote at a local Town Meeting. The town of Sturbridge did this recently in 2012.  eHop also contacted the Secretary of State’s office who told us that according to the 2014 “Election Statistical Book” there are only 16 towns where the local election is preceded by partisan caucuses. Massachusetts has a total of 351 cities and towns. So less than 5% of municipalities have caucus nominees. Read more Massachusetts election stats…

As a side note, the federal Hatch Act applies to state and local employees who are principally employed in connection with programs financed in whole or in part by loans or grants made by the United States or a federal agency. In some instances, the Hatch Act may prohibit such employees from becoming candidates for public office in a partisan election. This has occasionally prevented Hopkinton residents who are employed by the federal or state government from running for local office in Hopkinton. Read more about the Hatch Act…