Town Meetings and Elections

2023 Important Dates

Annual Town Meeting
Monday April 3, 2023

Annual Town Election
Tuesday May 16, 2023

Seats up for election:

Housing Authority

1 seat

5 year term

Library Trustee

1 seat

3 year term


1 seat

1 year term

Planning Board

2 seats

3 year terms

School Committee

1 seat

3 year terms

Select Board

2 seats 

3 year terms

To run for election, nomination papers are available as of January 2, 2023 and due back to the Town Clerk's office no later than March 28, 2023 with at least 29 signatures of registered voters.

For more information on running for office, click here

Know These 5 Things Before Voting:

1. Are you a registered voter?

The deadline to register to be eligible to vote in the State Election is Saturday, October 29 at 5:00 PM. The Town Clerk's Office will be open on this date from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM for in person voter registration or register to vote online at This is also the last day to make changes to your party affiliation. 

2. Is your voter status "active"?

Voters must return their signed street list census form annually to the Town Clerk’s office to maintain an active voter status. Inactive voters are still eligible to vote but will be required to complete additional forms and show an ID at the polls to vote. To avoid having to complete additional paperwork at the polls, voters who appear as inactive can change their status to active by stopping by the Town Clerks Office.

3. Can I vote Early in person or by Mail?

Yes! You can vote early either in person or by mail. See the Early Voting schedule above! You can also vote by mail by applying to the Office of the Town Clerk no later than 5 pm on Monday, November 1 at 5:00 pm. Applications can be found on the Town’s website or the Secretary of States website.

4. Where do I vote on ELECTION DAY?

The Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea has 1 polling location. All voters vote at: Memorial Elementary School Gymnasium, 43 Lincoln Street

5. What will I be voting on?

Voters are encouraged to educate themselves on the many races and questions that will appear on their ballot PRIOR to arriving at the polls. By visiting the website: You will have the option to view your ballot and check your registration status. Educated voters will reduce the amount of time necessary in the voting booths and reduce lines and crowding on Election Day. Sample ballots will also be available to view at the Office of the Town Clerk, 10 Central Street, MBTS as well as on the Town Clerk’s page. 


Office: 978-526-2040 | Email:

Volunteer at future elections:
Election Recruitment Application 

How to Run for Office

Annual Town Meeting takes place on the first Monday in April at 7:00 PM. One must be a registered voter in the Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea to vote at Town Meeting. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to Town Meeting for a timely check in. 

State and local elections take place at Manchester Essex Regional High School, 36 Lincoln Street. You must be a registered voter in the Town of Manchester-by-the- Sea to vote.  The annual local election takes place on the third Tuesday in May. Polls are open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. 

Why must we vote in person at Town Meeting? 

Recently we’ve received a number of questions from residents about voting, in particular whether it is possible to vote by absentee ballot or by proxy. Under state law, neither is permitted.

 Town meetings are governed by Chapter 39 of the Massachusetts General Laws. The statute requires that voters be present at the meeting to hear the debate and exercise their right to vote. Historically, in colonial times attendance at town meeting was mandatory, and those who were absent or arrived late could be fined.

 As a practical matter, absentee ballots at town meeting could not be effective as they are for elections. In an election, the candidates and any referendum questions are known well in advance of the date. At a town meeting, on the other hand, no one can predict with certainty what motions or amendments may be proposed on town meeting floor. It would be impossible to anticipate the questions to be decided in preparing an absentee ballot.

 While we understand the frustration of residents whose travel plans or other circumstances may prevent their attending Town Meetings, the Town has no choice but to follow the requirements of state law. In 2003, almost 850 voters attended the meeting to consider construction of the Middle High School. With electronic voting, everyone will be able to express her or his choice privately, and we’ll know the result immediately – without having to count paper ballots as we did 15 years ago!

Alan Wilson, Town Moderator