Make Town Meeting more welcoming and inclusive

April 25, 2024

Please vote “YES” on Article 28: Remote Participation Home Rule Petition. 

Voting at Concord Town Meeting has a significant impact on 1) town spending, 2) real estate taxes, and 3) many town policies directly governing you and your family. However, less than 10% of registered voters participate.

Many of our friends and neighbors would like to participate and have their voices heard but can’t as modern life and personal circumstances often make in-person attendance difficult at best and impossible for many. Fewer than 1,000 voters (often a few hundred or less than 3% of our registered voters) make consequential decisions without the participation of over 12,500 registered voters.

Low attendance is in part driven because remote voting is not currently allowed by Massachusetts law. Wayland and additional towns in Massachusetts have voted to petition the state to allow remote voting in their towns.

The Massachusetts legislative process allowing remote participation could take 2-5 years and require multiple petitions. If someday Concord wants to use modern technology during Annual Town Meeting, now is the time to act.

Article 28 seeks permission from the state to allow remote electronic participation during Annual and Special Town Meetings. Permission would allow hybrid meetings which would preserve deliberation before voting.

Approval by the state wouldn’t require that we change to remote participation. Rather, it would empower Concord registered voters with the right and freedom to decide if we want to increase participation via a hybrid (in-person/remote) Town Meeting.

Details for Article 28 and a draft of the proposed home rule petition can be viewed in your Town Warrant mailed to your residence or by viewing the 2024 Town Warrant at our town website.

Please consider attending Town Meeting this year in support of this proposed home rule petition. Thank you for your consideration. 

Scott H. Gillis

Alford Circle

Co-sponsor, Article 28