On the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November, biennially, a regular municipal election shall be held and the registered voters of the City or wards, as the case may be, shall ballot for the Mayor, Councilors, School Committee, Wardens and Ward Clerks as may be necessary to fill the offices provided for by this Charter whose terms would normally expire.
The Wardens and Ward Clerks shall be and remain residents of the Ward for which they qualify and hold their offices for two years and until others have been chosen and qualified in their stead. The Warden and the Ward Clerk shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their duties by a person qualified under the statutes of the State to administer oaths, and a certificate of such oath shall be entered by the City Clerk on the records of said ward.
The nomination of all candidates for elective offices provided for by this Charter shall be by petition. The petition of a candidate for Mayor shall be signed by no fewer than 125 qualified voters of the City. The petition of a candidate for Councilor-at-Large shall be signed by no fewer than 50 qualified voters of the City. The petition of a candidate for a Ward Council seat shall be signed by no fewer than 25 qualified voters of the respective wards. The petition of a candidate for School Committee shall be signed by no fewer than 25 qualified voters of the City. The petition of a candidate for Warden and Ward Clerk shall be signed by no fewer than 20 qualified voters of the respective wards. The petition of a candidate for the Charter Revision Commission shall be signed by no fewer than 25 qualified voters of the respective wards.
Employees of the City of Biddeford or Biddeford School Department are not eligible to seek or accept nomination, appointment or election to any elected political office in the City of Biddeford.
The signatures to nomination petitions need not all be affixed to one nomination petition, but to each separate petition there shall be attached an affidavit of the circulator thereof stating the number of signers of each petition, and that each signature appended thereto was made in his or her presence and is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be. With each signature shall be stated the place of residence of the signer, giving the street and number of the street or their description sufficient to identify the same. The form of the nomination petition shall be determined by the City Clerk and shall declare the office in which the candidate is petitioning for prior to receiving signatures.
The nomination petitions for any one candidate must be assembled and united into one petition and filed with the City Clerk during normal business hours not later than 45 days before the date of election. No nomination shall be valid unless the candidate shall file with the City Clerk in writing at the time of filing of said nomination petitions his or her consent accepting nomination, agreeing not to withdraw, and if elected, to hold office. Nomination, petitions and consent, once filed, may not be withdrawn. Any challenge to a nomination petition must be submitted to the City Clerk in writing, setting forth the specific reasons for the objection, no later than five business days from its date of filing or it is barred. No person shall be nominated, nor shall any person consent to being nominated, at the same election for any other elective office provided for by this Charter, and no person shall simultaneously hold more than one elective office provided for by this Charter.
All official ballots for use in all municipal elections shall be prepared by the City Clerk and furnished by the City. Ballots for use in elections under this Charter shall contain the names of the various candidates with their residence, and the office for which they are candidates. The candidates for each office shall be grouped under the title of each office, plainly and distinctly marked. There shall be as many blank spaces under the name of each office as there are vacancies to be filled. These spaces may be used by a voter to write in the name of any person for whom the voter desires to vote. No stickers shall be used. Such ballots shall also contain such measures as may be submitted to the voters of the City by the Maine Legislature or by the City Council and shall be without party mark or designation.
In preparing all ballots for election under this Charter, the City Clerk shall conduct a random lottery drawing, in a public forum within 14 days after closing of nominations. The City Clerk shall then arrange the names of all qualified candidates for each office based on the outcome of that drawing.
The City Clerk shall cause ballots to be prepared from the arrangement of the first group of ballots as provided above and to be posted in public places in each ward and/or voting precinct, and advertised in a local newspaper at least once no later than 10 days prior to a municipal election. Sample ballots shall be printed on colored paper and marked "Sample Ballot" and shall contain the names of the certified candidates with the residence of each, instructions to voters, and such measures as may be submitted to the voters by the Legislature or by the City Council. Such sample ballots shall also be without party mark or designation.
A write-in candidate shall mean a person whose name does not appear on the ballot under the office designation to which the voter may wish to elect the candidate and who has filed a declaration of write-in candidacy. To be elected as a write-in candidate, a person must file a declaration of write-in candidacy in the City Clerk’s Office on a form provided by the City Clerk, on or before close of business on the 5th day prior to the election.
Editor’s Note: This referendum vote also approved the renumbering of former Sec. 8 as Sec. 9.
The laws of the State of Maine relating to the qualifications of electors, registration, the manner of voting, the duties of election officials, counting of ballots, and all other particulars in respect to preparation for conducting and managing elections, so far as they may be applicable, shall govern all municipal elections in the City of Biddeford, except as otherwise provided in this Charter.