Representative Town Meetings function largely the same as an Open Town Meeting, except that not all registered voters can participate or vote. The townspeople instead elect town meeting members by precinct to represent them and to vote on the issues for them, much like a U.S. Representative votes on behalf of his or her constituents in Congress.
Massachusetts towns having at least 6,000 residents may adopt a Representative Town Meeting system. This may be done through acceptance of an act of the legislature, by petitioning the General Court to enact a special legislation which applies solely to the individual town, or by using the Home Rule Charter process. Under the Special Act or charter change processes, even communities of less than 6,000 may adopt a representative town meeting if the residents vote to accept the Special Act or approve a charter-change process. Framingham, the largest town in the state by population, has 216 representatives in Town Meeting, twelve from each precinct.