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 last year 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 last year 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, in some instances the federal Hatch Act may prohibit state or local employees whose salary is paid completely by federal loans or grants from becoming candidates for public office in a partisan election. This has occasionally prevented Hopkinton residents from running for local office. Read more about the Hatch Act…