becoming a Candidate For Nomination


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Nomination papers are used to collect signatures of those registered voters who wish for your name to appear on the ballot.  

These papers are only available from the City Clerk's Office. You may schedule an appointment to pick up nomination papers, or have them mailed to you at the address in your registered voter file.

  1. Click HERE to fill out the required survey to request Nomination Papers.
  2. If you selected to pick your papers up in person please schedule an appointment on the confirmation page of the survey, or click here. If you selected to have them mailed they will be sent to you at the address in your registered voter file. Please be sure to complete the candidate profile prior to scheduling an appointment for pick-up 


Voter signatures on nomination papers are certified with the Registrar of Voters. After the certification process is complete the Registrar of Voters will contact the candidate to schedule a pick-up where they may also choose to drop off the certified papers with the City Clerk. 

Schedule a drop-off appointment with the Registrar of Voters
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Effective  April 2, 2021

Disclaimer:  this page was created by the City Clerk’s Office to summarize resources available to you as a candidate in Northampton's municipal election.  The information contained here may not be a complete list of all resources available.  It is up to the candidate to be sure that they are in compliance with Massachusetts General Laws concerning all aspects of their candidacy. 


For information about Northampton Elected positions, please check out this webpage.  The information summarizes elected positions, term of office, incumbents,  number of signatures required to be placed on the ballot, the next three regular elections years when the position will appear on the ballot, the salary paid for the position, and the number of candidates that will make a preliminary necessary.  


During your campaign you will want to be aware of the requirements pertaining to conflict of interest and campaign finance.  There are resources that can help you.  It’s best to seek advice in advance if you have questions about what you can and cannot do concerning fundraising and engaging in activities as a candidate. 

Are you a government employee?  Do you serve on a non-paid board, committee or commission?  Special circumstances will apply concerning your political activity both as a candidate and an agent of the governmental body.  Know your rights and responsibilities.  Get answers before you engage in fundraising or other political activities.  

Contact the Attorney General’s State Ethics Division for questions about conflict of interest.  They have a lawyer of the day that will answer your questions and offer guidance.  The phone number is (617) 371-9500. They are open M-F 9am-5pm.  If you are a public employee, a helpful resource can be found online on this webpage.


The Office of Campaign and Political Finance is your resource for establishing a committee and learning more about the rules of fundraising.  You can contact them at Main Line: (617) 979-8300; Toll-Free in MA: (800) 462-OCPF.  Please note that every candidate, whether they form a committee, collect campaign contributions or use their own personal funds, must report their spending at various intervals stated on the election calendar.    You will be notified via e-mail two to three weeks in advance of the deadline to report about your receipts and/or spending.


If you plan to accept any campaign contributions, you must first file a form CPF 101 Statement of Organization - Candidate's Committee with the City Clerk's Office.  


Excerpt from Northampton City Code - Chapter 151 Campaign Finance

§ 151-1 Limitations on campaign contributions.

No candidate for elected City office or candidate's committee shall accept campaign contributions from any individual if the aggregate of all such contributions by that individual for the benefit of that candidate or that candidate's committee exceeds in any calendar year a sum equal to 1/2 of the maximum aggregate individual contribution allowed per calendar year as specified in MGL c. 55, § 7A.

§ 151-2 Mayoral candidates.

Candidates for Mayor shall provide the City Clerk with a copy of their reports that have been filed with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

§ 151-3 Examination of reports; excess contributions.

The City Clerk shall, within 15 days, inspect all statements and reports of municipal candidates or candidates committees. If upon examination of the records it appears that any candidate or political committee has reported the receipt of contributions in excess of the limits defined in § 151-1, the City Clerk shall, in writing, notify that candidate. Candidates shall have 15 days to purge all excess contributions by returning them to the individual who made them or donating them to a local charity operating in the City of Northampton. Any person failing to purge excess contributions within such time shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $300.


The ordinance pertaining to political signs is as follows (City Code Chapter 350, Section 7.2):

C. Temporary freestanding ground signs advocating any candidacy or cause which is under consideration at a particular election or any other cause or issue (not to exceed one sign per candidate/cause per lot) shall be permitted, provided that such signs:

(1)  Shall not exceed a size of six square feet and shall not be any closer than 10 feet to any lot line.

(2)  Shall not be any higher (the top) than four feet from the ground.

(3)  May not be displayed on a building or structure unless said building or structure is the headquarters or chief office of the candidate or organization. (Said wall sign shall conform to the wall sign criteria for that zoning district within which it is located.)

(4)  May only be permitted to be placed on a building which is not the headquarters or chief office of the candidate or organization when the Building Commissioner determines that, because of the size of the lot's setback areas and the location of the building on the lot, such a sign cannot be adequately displayed on the ground itself.

(5) Shall not be displayed more than three months prior to the election date, if the sign is related to an election.

(6) Shall be taken down within three days following the election if the sign is related to an election or within 90 days of installation if the sign is not related to an election.