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Stoughton Could Be Facing Shortage of Town Meeting Representative Candidates

Precincts 3, 7 and 8 fall short of the minimum number of candidates for Town Meeting Representative. The deadline to submit nomination papers is Tuesday, February 21.

With the deadline to submit nomination papers to run for Town Meeting representative approaching, three of Stoughton’s eight precincts are still short of the minimum number of candidates.

Each precinct is designed to have 21 representatives, with 168 representatives in all.

As of Wednesday afternoon, precinct 3 is short two candidates; precinct 7 is short eight candidates; and precinct 8 is short six candidates.

Precinct 4, which had the most number of people running last year, again has the most candidates, with 30 residents having drawn papers.

The other precincts hover around the 21 mark, setting up a scenario where there are enough candidates, but won’t be much (or any) competition to win a seat.

Precinct 2 has a surplus of two; precinct 5 has a surplus of one; and precinct 6 has a surplus of two. Precinct 1 has had exactly 21 people pull papers so far.

The deadline to return nomination papers is 4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21 (at the Town’s Clerk’s Office on the first floor of the Town Hall). Each potential candidate needs 15 signatures from registered voters in his or her precinct.

Nomination papers are available at the Town Clerk’s Office.

Because of redistricting, all 168 Town Meeting representative seats are up for election this year, even those seats that were up for election just a year ago.

Normally a Town Meeting representative is elected to a three-year term, and only seven of the 21 seats are up at a time. But, with every seat up for election, the seven highest vote-getters in each precinct will be elected to three-year terms; the next seven will be elected to two-year terms; and the final seven will be elected to one-year terms.

A total of 166 residents throughout the town have pulled nomination papers, as of Wednesday afternoon. A little more than one-quarter of these potential candidates are not incumbents.

Of the 166 who have pulled papers, only 51.2 percent (85 people) have returned them, according to records at the Town Clerk’s office.

The annual town election is Tuesday, April 10. Town Meeting starts Monday, May 7.

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