Helen Berg collecting signatures last weekend
After a brief conversation with the Town Clerk this afternoon Select Board wanna be candidate Helen Berg was satisfied with most of the names disqualified from her nomination papers, but she remained adamant about only two of them which she will attempt to appeal to a higher authority.
Berg had handed in her papers on the final day less than an hour before deadline with 64 names. The Town Clerk's office disqualified 16 of those names for a variety of reasons leaving her just two shy of the 50 needed.
There is no option available to appeal the Town Clerk's decision to the Board of Registrars or any other local authority other than bringing a lawsuit before a Hampshire Superior Court judge.
Last year Vince O'Connor and Mary Wentworth tried to have signatures thrown out from School Committee candidate Phoebe Hazzard because multiple signatures appeared to have been signed by the same person.
The Board of Registrars does get involved with a properly filed challenge/appeal over nomination signatures but does not get involved if it was the Town Clerk who threw them out.
Berg came in a distant third two years ago for Select Board and threatened a lawsuit because the Town Clerk did not put the names on the ballot alphabetically (where her name would have been first).
Turns out the town had been granted special state legislation in 1975 to allow names to appear by drawing from a hat, letting luck be the deciding factor. That applies only to town wide contests.
The 20 Charter Commission candidates still fall under normal state guidelines, so their names will appear alphabetically on the March 29 ballot.