Tag Archives: Ask eHop

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…

Ask eHop – What’s a Consent Agenda? What does “No Action” mean?

The Consent Agenda is a tool to allow housekeeping items or articles that require “No Action” to be approved with a single vote at the start of Town Meeting. The concept is to allow for more time for the thoughtful debate of other articles. Articles with a “No Action” designation do not pass. The Town Moderator thanks you for your consideration of this tool to make Town Meeting an efficient event!

If a Town Meeting voter opposes the inclusion of any proposed consent agenda Articles that Article/Motion will be removed from the list and the remaining Motions will be put before Town Meeting for a vote.

Articles on the Consent Agenda 2016:

  • #3 FY 2016 Budget Transfers – No Action
  • #5 Property Tax Exemption Increase (MGL Chapter 59 Section 5 – these exemptions are aimed at helping low-income residents, veterans, the blind, firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty. Town Meeting votes annually on these exemptions.)  Hopkinton Tax Relief Committee
  • #25 School Bus Parking Lot (Construct gravel parking lot for buses at the proposed new elementary school – results in estimated annual positive impact of $111K ) $320,000 – No Action
  • #27 Artificial Turf Field with Lights – Design & Feasibility $100,000 – No Action
  • #29 Transfer Funds for New Capital Projects – No Action
  • #45 Gift of land – Hilltop Road – No Action
  • #52 Trustees of the School Trust Fund in the Town of Hopkinton – to appoint Jeanne Bernardin (7 Kimball Road) as a Trustee

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…

Ask eHop: Unenrolled voters in the primary?

Ask eHop: How can unenrolled voters participate in the primary election? 

Massachusetts has open primaries, meaning registered independent, or unenrolled, voters can decide whether to vote in the Republican, Democratic or Green-Rainbow primary. Read more in the Hopkinton Crier. 22% of Hopkinton voters are Democrats, 20% are Republican, and 57% are unenrolled.

Hopkinton Voters Percent by Political Party
% Hopkinton Voters by Political Party (2012)