The General Laws of the Commonwealth (Title VII, Chapter 39: Municipal Government) determine the schedule for the steps leading up to town meeting. For instance, the last day to nominate someone for selectman is 51 days before each town election. The dates for various deadlines are provided in the accompanying table, but check with individual towns for deadline times on those days. Different town offices close at varying hours. Questions about these deadlines should be addressed to the town clerk.
The Town of Oak Bluffs has an extra set of deadlines because it has a water district. The following are the necessary deadlines to meet before the water district meeting. The last day: 1) to obtain nomination papers for the water district from the board of registrars is March 8; 2) to submit nomination papers for the water district to the board of registrars for certification is March 10; 3) to file nomination papers for the water district with the town clerk is March 24; and 4) the date and time of the water district meeting is April 11 at 6:30 pm.
|Deadlines: Last day to ...||Aquinnah||Chilmark||West Tisbury||Tisbury||Oak Bluffs||Edgartown|
|Get an article on the warrant||March 31||January 4 (with appropriation); January 11(no appropriation)||February 7; final language by February 21||January 24 (annual); March 10 (special)||February 17||January 3|
|Obtain nomination papers from the Board of Registrars||April 5||March 6||February 21||January 6 to March 21||February 21||February 21|
|Submit nomination papers to the Board of Registrars for certification||April 5||March 8||February 23||March 21||February 23||February 23|
|File nomination papers with the town clerk||April 5||March 22||March 9||Internal||March 9||March 9|
|Object or withdraw (48 hours after filing deadline)||April 7||March 24||March 11||March 23||March 11||March 11|
|Register to vote for annual town meeting and annual town election||April 19||April 4; 2-4 pm / 7-8 pm||March 22||April 4||March 22; 8 pm||March 22|
|Post or publish the warrant for annual town meeting and annual town election||May 2||April 14||April 4||April 13-14 (post April 18)||April 4||April 4|
|Date of annual town meeting||May 9; 7 pm||April 24; 7:30 pm||April 11; 7 pm||April 25; 7 pm||April 11; 7 pm||April 11; 7 pm|
|Location of meeting||Old Town Hall||Chilmark Community Center||West Tisbury School||Tisbury School Gym||MVRHS Performing Arts Center||Old Whaling Church|
|Date of annual town election||May 10; noon - 7 pm||April 26; noon - 8 pm||April 13||May 9; noon - 8 pm||April 13; 10 am - 7 pm||April 13; 10 am - 7 pm|
|Location of election||Town Hall/Town Offices||Chilmark Community Center||Public Safety Building||Fire Station, 215 Spring St.||Town Library meeting room||Town Hall|