Observers for any party or the Division agent may challenge the eligibility of any voter. All challenges should be directed to the Division agent. 456 CMR 14.12(2).

3.17.1 Challenges by the Division

The Division agent challenges any voter whose name does not appear on the eligibility list but who appears at the polls to vote. Town of Whitman, 16 MLC 1248 (1989). The agent may not make challenges for the parties.

3.17.2 Challenges by the Parties

Observers seeking to challenge the eligibility of a voter must do so as the person's name is announced and the voter receives their ballot. No challenge will be accepted after the ballot is cast, or once the polls are closed. See, City of Springfield, 24 MLC 109 (1998). The reason for the challenge should be stated when the challenge is made and marked on the challenge ballot envelope by the Division agent. A party who fails to make challenges at the proper time cannot remedy its oversight by raising the challenge as an objection to the election.

3.17.3 Challenge Ballot Procedure

When a voter is challenged, the Division agent will note on the challenge ballot envelope the job title, work location, and reason for the challenge. The name of the challenged voter will be noted on the Division's official copy of the eligibility list. The agent will inform the voter that: 1) one of more of the parties to the election has challenged his/her eligibility; 2) his/her ballot will be placed in an envelope having a perforated stub; 3) if counting the challenged ballots is necessary to determine the outcome of the election, the information on the stub will be used to determine eligibility; 4) if the voter is eligible, the stub will be torn off, and the ballot will be mingled with those of other voters in order to maintain the secrecy of the voter's choice; and 5) if it is found that the voter is not eligible, the ballot will be destroyed unopened. The Division agent then gives the voter a ballot and a challenge envelope and explains that the voter should go to the voting booth, mark his/her ballot, fold the ballot, insert it in the long part of the envelope, seal the envelope, and drop it in the ballot box.