Election Commission FAQ Page
Who are the members of the Board of Election Commissioners?
Board of Election Commissioners:
Ethridge A. King, Jr.
Polyxane S. Cobb
Peter Sheinfeld (Chair)
Larry W. Ward
What is the function of the Board of Election Commissioners?
The Board of Election Commissioners was established by the Acts of 1921, Chapter 239, to conduct voter registration, supervise all elections, assume responsibility for the annual City census, and certify voter signatures on nomination papers, petitions, and ballot questions. Every ten years, after the conclusion of the Federal Census, the Board also re-precincts based on population changes. The role of the Commission was expanded in 1987 to include administration of Chapter 55 of the Massachusetts General Laws governing campaign and political finance reporting. In 1991 the Commission was assigned the administration and enforcement Chapters 2.117 and 2.118 of the Cambridge Municipal Code, known as the "Ethics Ordinance." The Board establishes policy for the Commission, giving instruction and guidance to the office staff that implement those policies and administer day-to-day operations of the office.
How are the Commissioners selected?
In accordance with State law, the four members of the Board must be chosen, two each from the two leading political parties. A Commissioner serves a four-year term and may be reappointed. The terms are staggered, with one member's term expiring each year. A Democratic Commissioner's term expires every even-numbered year. A Republican Commissioner's term expires every odd-numbered year. Each year the City Committee of the party whose Commissioner's term is expiring nominates three members of the party who reside in the City for the position. Those names are submitted to the City Manager, who appoints one of the nominees by April 1.
Are Commission meetings open to the public?
Yes, all meetings are open to the public.