Town Meeting & Election Warrants, Minutes and Results
Click here to find Manchester-by-the-Sea election information.
Can’t make it to the polls during a Primary or an Election? Request an absentee ballot!
PLEASE CONTACT THE TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE WITH ANY QUESTIONS!
Office: 978-526-2040 Email: TownClerk@manchester.ma.us
Have you ever considered volunteering as a poll worker? It’s a great day to see your friends and neighbors!
Election Information and Results
- 2016: 03-01-16 Presidential Primary Election Results
- 2016: 05-17-16 Annual Town Election Results
- 2016: 09-08-16 Primary Election Results
- 2016: 11-08-16 State Election Results
- 2017: 05-16-17 Annual Town Election Results
- 2018: 05-15-2018 Annual Town Election Results
- 2018: 09-04-2018 State Primary Results
- 2018: 11-06-2018 State Election Results
- 2018: 11-06-2018 Town Special Election Results
- 2019 Annual Town Election Results
- 2020 Campaign Finance Candidate Guide
- 2020 Local Election Calendar and Candidate Preliminary Overview
- June 30, 2020 Annual Town Election Results
Town Meeting Minutes
- 2016 Annual Town Meeting Minutes
- 2017 Annual Town Meeting Minutes
- 2017 Special Town Meeting Minutes (October 16, 2017)
- 2018 Annual Town Meeting Minutes
- 2018 Special Town Meeting Minutes
- 2019 Annual Town Meeting Minutes
- 2019 Special Town Meeting Warrant
- 2019 Special Town Meeting Results
- 2020 Annual Town Meeting Warrant
- 2020 Annual Town Meeting Executed Declaration of Recess and Continuance 3-17-20
- Letter to Residents About Town Meeting 3-31-20
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