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Massachusetts Term Limits Initiative, Question 4 (1994)

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The Massachusetts Term Limits Initiative, also known as Question 4, was on the November 8, 1994 ballot in Massachusetts as an initiated state statute. It was approved.

The initiative set term limits on certain candidates by restricting which candidate names could be printed on ballots for specified state and federal public offices.

Election results

Question 4 (Term Limits)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,047,927 46.9%
No984,57144.1%

Official results via: The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth

Text of measure

The language on the ballot was:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

This proposed law would prevent the name of a person from being printed on a state primary or general election ballot as a candidate for one of a number of specified state and federal public offices, if the person had already served a certain number of consecutive terms in that office within a fixed period preceding the end of the then-current term of office. If such a person were still elected by write-in vote to one of the state offices (except the office of Governor), the person would serve without a salary, and in some of the state offices, without payment for certain expenses.

Under the proposed law, the name of a person could not be printed on a primary or general election ballot as a candidate for the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Auditor, or State Attorney General, if the person had served two consecutive terms (eight years) in that office in the eleven years prior to the end of the then-current term of office. The name of a person could not be printed on a primary or general election ballot as a candidate for the office of Governor's Councillor, State Representative, State Senator, or United States Representative from Massachusetts, if the person had served four consecutive terms (eight years) in that office in the nine years prior to the end of the then-current term of office. The name of a person could not be printed on a primary or general election ballot as a candidate for the office of U.S. Senator from Massachusetts if the person had served two consecutive terms (twelve years) in that office in the seventeen years prior to the end of the then-current term of office. The proposed law would not prevent any voter from casting a write-in vote for any person as a candidate for any office.

If a person made ineligible by the proposed law to have his or her name printed on the ballot as a candidate for the office of Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Auditor, State Attorney General, Governor's Councillor, State Representative or State Senator were still elected to that office by write-in vote, the person would serve without a salary. If such a person were elected to the office of Lieutenant Governor, Governor's Councillor, State Representative or State Senator, the person would also serve without payment for certain expenses.

The current terms of the persons serving as Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Governor's Councillor, State Representative, State Senator, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts or U.S. Senator from Massachusetts would not be counted for purposes of the proposed law. The terms of the persons elected in 1990 to the office of Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Auditor, or State Attorney General would be counted.

Any person who served more than half of a term in an office would be treated as having served a full term in that office. Any person who resigned from an office would be treated as having served a full term.

The proposed law states that if any of its provisions were found invalid, the remaining provisions would remain in effect.[1]

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