Category Archives: Elections

House Bill 589 — VIVA Election Reform

Here, read this. We’ll take it section by section later:

HOUSE BILL 589

RATIFIED BILL

AN ACT to restore confidence in government by establishing the voter information verification act to promote the electoral process through education and increased registration of voters and by requiring voters to provide photo identification before voting to protect the right of each registered voter to cast a secure vote with reasonable security measures that confirm voter identity as accurately as possible without restriction, and to further reform the election laws.

 

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

PART 1. SHORT TITLE

SECTION 1.1.  Parts 1 through 6 of this act shall be known and cited as the Voter Information Verification Act.

PART 2. PHOTO IDENTIFICATION

SECTION 2.1.  Article 14A of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

§ 163?166.13.  Photo identification requirement for voting in person.

(a)        Every qualified voter voting in person in accordance with this Article, G.S. 163?227.2, or G.S. 163?182.1A shall present photo identification bearing any reasonable resemblance to that voter to a local election official at the voting place before voting, except as follows:

(1)        For a registered voter voting curbside, that voter shall present identification under G.S. 163?166.9.

(2)        For a registered voter who has a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed and has filed a declaration in accordance with G.S. 163?82.7A at least 25 days before the election in which that voter is voting in person, that voter shall not be required to provide photo identification.

(3)        For a registered voter who is a victim of a natural disaster occurring within 60 days before election day that resulted in a disaster declaration by the President of the United States or the Governor of this State who declares the lack of photo identification due to the natural disaster on a form provided by the State Board, that voter shall not be required to provide photo identification in any county subject to such declaration. The form shall be available from the State Board of Elections, from each county board of elections in a county subject to the disaster declaration, and at each polling place and one?stop early voting site in that county. The voter shall submit the completed form at the time of voting.

(b)        Any voter who complies with subsection (a) of this section shall be permitted to vote.

(c)        Any voter who does not comply with subsection (a) of this section shall be permitted to vote a provisional official ballot which shall be counted in accordance with G.S. 163?182.1A.

(d)        The local election official to whom the photo identification is presented shall determine if the photo identification bears any reasonable resemblance to the voter presenting the photo identification. If it is determined that the photo identification does not bear any reasonable resemblance to the voter, the local election official shall comply with G.S. 163?166.14.

(e)        As used in this section, “photo identification” means any one of the following that contains a photograph of the registered voter. In addition, the photo identification shall have a printed expiration date and shall be unexpired, provided that any voter having attained the age of 70 years at the time of presentation at the voting place shall be permitted to present an expired form of any of the following that was unexpired on the voter’s 70th birthday. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, in the case of identification under subdivisions (4) through (6) of this subsection, if it does not contain a printed expiration date, it shall be acceptable if it has a printed issuance date that is not more than eight years before it is presented for voting:

(1)        A North Carolina drivers license issued under Article 2 of Chapter 20 of the General Statutes, including a learner’s permit or a provisional license.

(2)        A special identification card for nonoperators issued under G.S. 20?37.7.

(3)        A United States passport.

(4)        A United States military identification card, except there is no requirement that it have a printed expiration or issuance date.

(5)        A Veterans Identification Card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for use at Veterans Administration medical facilities facilities, except there is no requirement that it have a printed expiration or issuance date.

(6)        A tribal enrollment card issued by a federally recognized tribe.

(7)        A tribal enrollment card issued by a tribe recognized by this State under Chapter 71A of the General Statutes, provided that card meets all of the following criteria:

a.         Is issued in accordance with a process approved by the State Board of Elections that requires an application and proof of identity equivalent to the requirements for issuance of a special identification card by the Division of Motor Vehicles under G.S. 20?7 and G.S. 20?37.7.

b.         Is signed by an elected official of the tribe.

(8)        A drivers license or nonoperators identification card issued by another state, the District of Columbia, or a territory or commonwealth of the United States, but only if the voter’s voter registration was within 90 days of the election.

SECTION 2.2.  Article 14A of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

§ 163?166.14.  Evaluation of determination of nonreasonable resemblance of photo identification.

(a)        Any local election official that determines the photo identification presented by a voter in accordance with G.S. 163?166.13 does not bear any reasonable resemblance to that voter shall notify the judges of election of the determination.

(b)        When notified under subsection (a) of this section, the judges of election present shall review the photo identification presented and the voter to determine if the photo identification bears any reasonable resemblance to that voter. The judges of election present may consider information presented by the voter in addition to the photo identification and shall construe all evidence presented in a light most favorable to the voter.

(c)        A voter subject to subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be permitted to vote unless the judges of election present unanimously agree that the photo identification presented does not bear any reasonable resemblance to that voter. The failure of the judges of election present to unanimously agree that photo identification presented by a voter does not bear any reasonable resemblance to that voter shall be dispositive of any challenges that may otherwise be made under G.S. 163?85(c)(10).

(d)        A voter subject to subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be permitted to vote a provisional ballot in accordance with G.S. 163?88.1 if the judges of election present unanimously agree that the photo identification presented does not bear any reasonable resemblance to that voter.

(e)        At any time a voter presents photo identification to a local election official other than on election day, the county board of elections shall have available to the local election official judges of election for the review required under subsection (b) of this section, appointed with the same qualifications as is in Article 5 of this Chapter, except that the individuals (i) may reside anywhere in the county or (ii) be an employee of the county or the State. Neither the local election official nor the judges of election may be a county board member. The county board is not required to have the same judges of election available throughout the time period a voter may present photo identification other than on election day but shall have at least two judges, who are not of the same political party affiliation, available at all times during that period.

(f)         Any local or State employee appointed to serve as a judge of election may hold that office in addition to the number permitted by G.S. 128?1.1.

(g)        The county board of elections shall cause to be made a record of all voters subject to subsection (c) of this section. The record shall include all of the following:

(1)        The name and address of the voter.

(2)        The name of the local election official under subsection (a) of this section.

(3)        The names and a record of how each judge of election voted under subsection (b) of this section.

(4)        The date of the determinations under subsections (a) and (b) of this section.

(5)        A brief description of the photo identification presented by the voter.

(h)        For purposes of this section, the term “judges of election” shall have the following meanings:

(1)        On election day, the chief judge and judges of election as appointed under Article 5 of this Chapter.

(2)        Any time other than on election day, the individuals appointed under subsection (e) of this section.

(i)         The State Board shall adopt rules for the administration of this section.

SECTION 2.3.  Article 7A of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

§ 163?82.7A.  Declaration of religious objection to photograph.

(a)        At the time of approval of the application to register to vote, a voter with a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed may execute a declaration before an election official to that effect to be incorporated as part of the official record of voter registration.

(b)        At any time after the voter has registered to vote that the voter has determined the voter has a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed, that voter may execute a declaration before an election official to be incorporated as part of the official record of that voter’s voter registration.

(c)        At any time after a voter has executed a declaration before an election official under this section and that voter no longer has a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed, that voter may request the cancellation of the declaration in writing to the county board.

(d)        All declarations under subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall include a statement by the voter that the voter has a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed and a requirement for the signature of the voter, which includes a notice that a false or fraudulent declaration is a Class I felony pursuant to G.S. 163?275(13).

(e)        The State Board shall adopt rules to establish a standard form for the administration of this section.

SECTION 2.5.  G.S. 163?166.7(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       Checking Registration. – A person seeking to vote shall enter the voting enclosure through the appropriate entrance. A precinct official assigned to check registration shall at once ask the voter to state current name and residence address. The voter shall answer by stating current name and residence address. address and presenting photo identification in accordance with G.S. 163?166.13. In a primary election, that voter shall also be asked to state, and shall state, the political party with which the voter is affiliated or, if unaffiliated, the authorizing party in which the voter wishes to vote. After examination, that official shall state whether that voter is duly registered to vote in that precinct and shall direct that voter to the voting equipment or to the official assigned to distribute official ballots. If a precinct official states that the person is duly registered, the person shall sign the pollbook, other voting record, or voter authorization document in accordance with subsection (c) of this section before voting.”

SECTION 2.6.  G.S. 163?166.9 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?166.9.  Curbside voting.

(a)        In any election or referendum, if any qualified voter is able to travel to the voting place, but because of age or physical disability and physical barriers encountered at the voting place is unable to enter the voting enclosure to vote in person without physical assistance, that voter shall be allowed to vote either in the vehicle conveying that voter or in the immediate proximity of the voting place.

(b)        Any qualified voter voting under this section shall comply with G.S. 163?166.13(a) by one of the following means:

(1)        Presenting photo identification in accordance with G.S. 163?166.13.

(2)        Presenting a copy of a document listed in G.S. 163?166.12(a)(2).

(c)        The State Board of Elections shall promulgate adopt rules for the administration of this section.”

SECTION 2.7.  G.S. 163?227.2(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b)      Not earlier than the third Thursday before an election, in which absentee ballots are authorized, in which a voter seeks to vote and not later than 1:00 P.M. on the last Saturday before that election, the voter shall appear in person only at the office of the county board of elections, except as provided in subsection (g) of this section. A county board of elections shall conduct one?stop voting on the last Saturday before the election until 1:00 P.M. and may conduct it until 5:00 P.M. on that Saturday. That voter shall enter the voting enclosure at the board office through the appropriate entrance and shall at once state his or her name and place of residence to an authorized member or employee of the board. board and present photo identification in accordance with G.S. 163?166.13. In a primary election, the voter shall also state the political party with which the voter affiliates and in whose primary the voter desires to vote, or if the voter is an unaffiliated voter permitted to vote in the primary of a particular party under G.S. 163?119, the voter shall state the name of the authorizing political party in whose primary he wishes to vote. The board member or employee to whom the voter gives this information shall announce the name and residence of the voter in a distinct tone of voice. After examining the registration records, an employee of the board shall state whether the person seeking to vote is duly registered. If the voter is found to be registered that voter may request that the authorized member or employee of the board furnish the voter with an application form as specified in G.S. 163?227. The voter shall complete the application in the presence of the authorized member or employee of the board, and shall deliver the application to that person.”

SECTION 2.8.  Article 15A of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

§ 163?182.1A.  Counting of provisional official ballots cast due to failure to provide photo identification when voting in person.

(a)        Unless disqualified for some other reason provided by law, the county board of elections shall find that a voter’s provisional official ballot cast as a result of failing to present photo identification when voting in person in accordance with G.S. 163?166.13 is valid and direct that the provisional ballot be opened and counted in accordance with this Chapter if the voter complies with this section.

(b)        A voter who casts a provisional official ballot wholly or partly as a result of failing to present photo identification when voting in person in accordance with G.S. 163?166.13 may comply with this section by appearing in person at the county board of elections and doing one of the following:

(1)        Presenting photo identification as defined in G.S. 163?166.13(e) that bears any reasonable resemblance to the voter. The local election official to whom the photo identification is presented shall determine if the photo identification bears any reasonable resemblance to that voter. If not, that local election official shall comply with G.S. 163?166.14.

(2)        Presenting any of the documents listed in G.S. 163?166.12(a)(2) and declaring that the voter has a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed. That voter shall also be offered an opportunity to execute a declaration under G.S. 163?82.7A for future elections.

(c)        All identification under subsection (b) of this section shall be presented to the county board of elections not later than 12:00 noon the day prior to the time set for the convening of the election canvass pursuant to G.S. 163?182.5.

(d)        If the county board of elections determines that a voter has also cast a provisional official ballot for a cause other than the voter’s failure to provide photo identification in accordance with G.S. 163?166.13, the county board shall do all of the following:

(1)        Note on the envelope containing the provisional official ballot that the voter has complied with the proof of identification requirement.

(2)        Proceed to determine any other reasons for which the provisional official ballot was cast provisionally before ruling on the validity of the voter’s provisional official ballot.

SECTION 2.9.  G.S. 163?87 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?87.  Challenges allowed on day of primary or election.

On the day of a primary or election, at the time a registered voter offers to vote, any other registered voter of the precinct may exercise the right of challenge, and when he the voter does so may enter the voting enclosure to make the challenge, but he the voter shall retire therefrom as soon as the challenge is heard.

On the day of a primary or election, any other registered voter of the precinct may challenge a person for one or more of the following reasons:

(1)        One or more of the reasons listed in G.S. 163?85(c).

(2)        That the person has already voted in that primary or election.

(3)        Repealed by Session Laws 2009?541, s. 16.1(b), effective August 28, 2009.

(4)        If the challenge is made with respect to voting in a partisan primary, that the person is a registered voter of another political party.

(5)        Except as provided in G.S. 163?166.13(d) and G.S. 163?166.14, the voter does not present photo identification in accordance with G.S. 163?166.13.

The chief judge, judge, or assistant appointed under G.S. 163?41 or 163?42 may enter challenges under this section against voters in the precinct for which appointed regardless of the place of residence of the chief judge, judge, or assistant.

If a person is challenged under this subsection, and the challenge is sustained under G.S. 163?85(c)(3), the voter may still transfer his that voter’s registration under G.S. 163?82.15(e) if eligible under that section, and the registration shall not be cancelled under G.S. 163?90.2(a) if the transfer is made. A person who has transferred his that voter’s registration under G.S. 163?82.15(e) may be challenged at the precinct to which the registration is being transferred.”

 

PART 3. IMPLEMENTATION

SECTION 3.1.  G.S. 20?37.7(d) reads as rewritten:

“(d)      Expiration and Fee. – A special identification card issued to a person for the first time under this section expires when a drivers license issued on the same day to that person would expire. A special identification card renewed under this section expires when a drivers license renewed by the card holder on the same day would expire.

The fee for a special identification card is the same as the fee set in G.S. 20?14 for a duplicate license. The fee does not apply to a special identification card issued to a resident of this State as follows:

(1)        whoThe applicant is legally blind,blind.

(2)        The applicant is at least 70 years old,old.

(3)        The applicant is homeless, has been issued a drivers license but the drivers license is cancelled under G.S. 20?15, in accordance with G.S. 20?9(e) and (g), as a result of a physical or mental disability or disease.

(4)        The applicant is homeless. To obtain a special identification card without paying a fee, a homeless person must present a letter to the Division from the director of a facility that provides care or shelter to homeless persons verifying that the person is homeless.

(5)        The applicant is registered to vote in this State and does not have photo identification acceptable under G.S. 163?166.13. To obtain a special identification card without paying a fee, a registered voter shall sign a declaration stating the registered voter is registered and does not have other photo identification acceptable under G.S. 163?166.13. The Division shall verify that voter registration prior to issuing the special identification card. Any declaration shall prominently include the penalty under G.S. 163?275(13) for falsely making the declaration.

(6)        The applicant is appearing before the Division for the purpose of registering to vote in accordance with G.S. 163?82.19 and does not have other photo identification acceptable under G.S. 163?166.13. To obtain a special identification card without paying a fee, that applicant shall sign a declaration stating that applicant is registering to vote and does not have other photo identification acceptable under G.S. 163?166.13. Any declaration shall prominently include the penalty under G.S. 163?275(13) for falsely making the declaration.

SECTION 3.2.  G.S. 130A?93.1 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

(c)       Upon verification of voter registration, the State Registrar shall not charge any fee under subsection (a) of this section to a registered voter who signs a declaration stating the registered voter is registered to vote in this State and does not have a certified copy of that registered voter’s birth certificate or marriage license necessary to obtain photo identification acceptable under G.S. 163?166.13. Any declaration shall prominently include the penalty under G.S. 163?275(13) for falsely or fraudulently making the declaration.

SECTION 3.3.  G.S. 161?10(a)(8) reads as rewritten:

“(8)      Certified Copies of Birth and Death Certificates and Marriage Licenses. – For furnishing a certified copy of a death or birth certificate or marriage license ten dollars ($10.00). Provided however, a Register of Deedsregister of deeds, in accordance with G.S. 130A?93, may issue without charge a certified Birth Certificatebirth certificate to any person over the age of 62 years. Provided, however, upon verification of voter registration, a register of deeds, in accordance with G.S. 130A?93, shall issue without charge a certified copy of a birth certificate or a certified copy of a marriage license to any registered voter who declares the registered voter is registered to vote in this State and does not have a certified copy of that registered voter’s birth certificate or marriage license necessary to obtain photo identification acceptable under G.S. 163?166.13. Any declaration shall prominently include the penalty under G.S. 163?275(13) for falsely or fraudulently making the declaration.

SECTION 3.4.  G.S. 163?275(13) reads as rewritten:

“(13)    For any person falsely to make or present any certificate or other paper to qualify any person fraudulently as a voter, or to attempt thereby to secure to any person the privilege of voting;voting, including declarations made under this Chapter, G.S. 20?37.7(d)(5), 20?37.7(d)(6), 130A?93.1(c), and 161?10(a)(8);

 

PART 4. ABSENTEE VOTING

SECTION 4.1.  G.S. 163?229(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b)      Application on Container?Return Envelope. – In time for use not later than 60 days before a statewide general election in an even?numbered year, and not later than 50 days before a statewide primary, other general election or county bond election, the county board of elections shall print a sufficient number of envelopes in which persons casting absentee ballots may transmit their marked ballots to the county board of elections. However, in the case of municipal elections, sufficient container?return envelopes shall be made available no later than 30 days before an election. Each container?return envelope shall have printed on it an application which shall be designed and prescribed by the State Board of Elections, providing for all of the following:

(1)        theThe voter’s certification of eligibility to vote the enclosed ballot and of having voted the enclosed ballot in accordance with this Article,Article.

(2)        aA space for identification of the envelope with the voter,voter and the voter’s signature.

(3)        and aA space for the identification of the two persons witnessing the casting of the absentee ballot in accordance with G.S. 163?231, those persons’ signatures, and those persons’ addresses.

(4)        A space for the name and address of any person who, as permitted under G.S. 163?226.3(a), assisted the voter if the voter is unable to complete and sign the certification and that individual’s signature.

(5)        A space for approval by the county board of elections.

(6)        The envelope shallA space to allow reporting of a change of name as provided by G.S. 163?82.16.

(7)        A prominent display of the unlawful acts under G.S. 163?226.3 and G.S. 163?275, except if there is not room on the envelope, the State Board of Elections may provide for that disclosure to be made on a separate piece of paper to be included along with the container?return envelope.

The container?return envelope shall be printed in accordance with the instructions of the State Board of Elections.”

SECTION 4.2.  G.S. 163?230.1 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?230.1.  Simultaneous issuance of absentee ballots with application.

(a)        A qualified voter who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot under G.S. 163?226(a)desires to vote by absentee ballot, or that voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian, shall complete a request form for in writing an application for absentee ballots,an absentee application and absentee ballots so that the county board of elections receives the that completed request form not later than 5:00 P.M. on the Tuesday before the election. That completed written request form shall be signed by the voter, the voter’s near relative, or the voter’s verifiable legal guardian.in compliance with G.S. 163?230.2. The county board of elections shall enter in the register of absentee requests, applications, and ballots issued the information required in G.S. 163?228 as soon as each item of that information becomes available. Upon receiving the application,completed request form, the county board of elections shall cause to be mailed to that voter in a single package:package that includes all of the following:

(1)        The official ballots the that voter is entitled to vote;vote.

(2)        A container?return envelope for the ballots, printed in accordance with G.S. 163?229; andG.S. 163?229.

(3)        Repealed by Session Laws 1999?455, s. 10.

(4)        An instruction sheet.

The ballots, envelope, and instructions shall be mailed to the voter by the county board’s chairman, member, officer, or employee as determined by the board and entered in the register as provided by this Article.

(a1)      Absence for Sickness or Physical Disability. – Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, if a voter expects to be unable to go to the voting place to vote in person on election day because of that voter’s sickness or other physical disability, that voter or that voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian may make written the request under subsection (a) of this section in person for absentee ballots to the board of elections of the county in which the voter is registered after 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election but not later than 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election. The county board of elections shall treat that completed request form in the same manner as a request under subsection (a) of this section but may personally deliver the application and ballots to the voter or that voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian.enter in the register of absentee requests, applications, and ballots issued the information required in G.S. 163?228 as soon as each item of that information becomes available. The county board of elections shall personally deliver to the requester in a single package:

(1)        The official ballots the voter is entitled to vote;

(2)        A container?return envelope for the ballots, printed in accordance with G.S. 163?229; and

(3)        An instruction sheet.

(a2)      Delivery of Absentee Ballots and Container?Return Envelope to Applicant. – When the county board of elections receives a completed request form for applications and absentee ballots, the board shall promptly issue and transmit them to the voter in accordance with the following instructions:

(1)        On the top margin of each ballot the applicant is entitled to vote, the chair, a member, officer, or employee of the board of elections shall write or type the words “Absentee Ballot No. ____” or an abbreviation approved by the State Board of Elections and insert in the blank space the number assigned the applicant’s application in the register of absentee requests, applications, and ballots issued. That person shall not write, type, or print any other matter upon the ballots transmitted to the absentee voter. Alternatively, the board of elections may cause to be barcoded on the ballot the voter’s application number, if that barcoding system is approved by the State Board of Elections.

(2)        The chair, member, officer, or employee of the board of elections shall fold and place the ballots (identified in accordance with the preceding instruction) in a container?return envelope and write or type in the appropriate blanks thereon, in accordance with the terms of G.S. 163?229(b), the absentee voter’s name, the absentee voter’s application number, and the designation of the precinct in which the voter is registered. If the ballot is barcoded under this section, the envelope may be barcoded rather than having the actual number appear. The person placing the ballots in the envelopes shall leave the container?return envelope holding the ballots unsealed.

(3)        The chair, member, officer, or employee of the board of elections shall then place the unsealed container?return envelope holding the ballots together with printed instructions for voting and returning the ballots, in an envelope addressed to the voter at the post office address stated in the request, seal the envelope, and mail it at the expense of the county board of elections: Provided, that in case of a request received after 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election under the provisions of subsection (a1) of this section, in lieu of transmitting the ballots to the voter in person or by mail, the chair, member, officer, or employee of the board of elections may deliver the sealed envelope containing the instruction sheet and the container?return envelope holding the ballots to a near relative or verifiable legal guardian of the voter.

The county board of elections may receive completed written requestsrequest forms for applications at any time prior to the election but shall not mail applications and ballots to the voter or issue applications and ballots in person earlier than 60 days prior to the statewide general election in an even?numbered year, or earlier than 50 days prior to any other election, except as provided in G.S. 163?227.2. No election official shall issue applications for absentee ballots except in compliance with this Article.

(b)        The application shall be completed and signed by the voter personally, the ballots marked, the ballots sealed in the container?return envelope, and the certificate completed as provided in G.S. 163?231.

(c)        At its next official meeting after return of the completed container?return envelope with the voter’s ballots, the county board of elections shall determine whether the container?return envelope has been properly executed. If the board determines that the container?return envelope has been properly executed, it shall approve the application and deposit the container?return envelope with other container?return envelopes for the envelope to be opened and the ballots counted at the same time as all other container?return envelopes and absentee ballots.

(c1)      Required Meeting of County Board of Elections. – During the period commencing on the third Tuesday before an election, in which absentee ballots are authorized, the county board of elections shall hold one or more public meetings each Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. for the purpose of action on applications for absentee ballots. At these meetings, the county board of elections shall pass upon applications for absentee ballots.

If the county board of elections changes the time of holding its meetings or provides for additional meetings in accordance with the terms of this subsection, notice of the change in hour and notice of the schedule of additional meetings, if any, shall be published in a newspaper circulated in the county at least 30 days prior to the election.

At the time the county board of elections makes its decision on an application for absentee ballots, the board shall enter in the appropriate column in the register of absentee requests, applications, and ballots issued opposite the name of the applicant a notation of whether the applicant’s application was “Approved” or “Disapproved”.

The decision of the board on the validity of an application for absentee ballots shall be final subject only to such review as may be necessary in the event of an election contest. The county board of elections shall constitute the proper official body to pass upon the validity of all applications for absentee ballots received in the county; this function shall not be performed by the chairman or any other member of the board individually.

(d)        Repealed by Session Laws 1999?455, s. 10.

(e)        The State Board of Elections, by rule or by instruction to the county board of elections, shall establish procedures to provide appropriate safeguards in the implementation of this section.

(f)         For the purpose of this Article, “near relative” means spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother?in?law, father?in?law, daughter?in?law, son?in?law, stepparent, or stepchild.”

SECTION 4.3.  G.S. 163?230.2 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?230.2.  Method of requesting absentee ballots.

(a)        Valid Types of Written Requests. – A completed written request form for an absentee ballot as required by G.S. 163?230.1 is valid only if it is written entirely by the requester personally, or is on a form generated created by the county board of elections State Board and signed by the requester. voter requesting absentee ballots or that voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian. The county board of elections shall issue a request form only to the voter seeking to vote by absentee ballot or to a person authorized by G.S. 163?230.1 to make a request for the voter. If a requester, due to disability or illiteracy, is unable to complete a written request, that requester may receive assistance in writing that request from an individual of that requester’s choice.The State Board shall make the form available at its offices, online, and in each county board of elections office, and that form may be reproduced. A voter may make a request in person or by writing to the county board for the form to request an absentee ballot. The request form for an absentee ballot shall require at least the following information:

(1)        The name and address of the residence of the voter.

(2)        The name and address of the voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian if that individual is making the request.

(3)        The address of the voter to which the application and absentee ballots are to be mailed if different from the residence address of the voter.

(4)        One or more of the following in the order of preference:

a.         The number of the voter’s North Carolina drivers license issued under Article 2 of Chapter 20 of the General Statutes, including a learner’s permit or a provisional license.

b.         The number of the voter’s special identification card for nonoperators issued under G.S. 20?37.7.

c.         The last four digits of the applicant’s social security number.

(5)        The voter’s date of birth.

(6)        The signature of the voter or of the voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian if that individual is making the request.

(a1)      A completed request form for an absentee ballot shall be deemed a request to update the official record of voter registration for that voter and shall be confirmed in writing in accordance with G.S. 163?82.14(d).

(a2)      The completed request form for an absentee ballot shall be delivered to the county board of elections. If the voter does not include the information requested in subdivision (a)(4) of this section, a copy of a document listed in G.S. 163?166.12(a)(2) shall accompany the completed request form.

(a3)      Upon receiving a completed request form for an absentee ballot, the county board shall confirm that voter’s registration. If that voter is confirmed as a registered voter of the county, the absentee ballots and certification form shall be mailed to the voter, unless personally delivered in accordance with G.S. 163?230.1(a1). If the voter’s official record of voter registration conflicts with the completed request form for an absentee ballot or cannot be confirmed, the voter shall be so notified. If the county board cannot resolve the differences, no application or absentee ballots shall be issued.

(b)        Invalid Types of Written Requests. – A request is not valid if it does not comply with subsection (a) of this section. If a county board of elections receives a request for an absentee ballot that does not comply with subsection (a) of this section, the board shall not issue an application and ballot under G.S. 163?230.1.

(c)        Rules by State Board. – The State Board of Elections shall adopt rules for the enforcement of this section.”

SECTION 4.4.  G.S. 163?231 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?231.  Voting absentee ballots and transmitting them to the county board of elections.

(a)        Procedure for Voting Absentee Ballots. – In the presence of a persontwo persons who is are at least 18 years of age, and who isare not disqualified by G.S. 163?226.3(a)(4) or G.S. 163?237(b1), the voter shall:shall do all of the following:

(1)        Mark the voter’s ballots, or cause them to be marked by that person in the voter’s presence according to the voter’s instruction;instruction.

(2)        Fold each ballot separately, or cause each of them to be folded in the voter’s presence;presence.

(3)        Place the folded ballots in the container?return envelope and securely seal it, or have this done in the voter’s presence;presence.

(4)        Make the application printed on the container?return envelope according to the provisions of G.S. 163?229(b) and make the certificate printed on the container?return envelope according to the provisions of G.S. 163?229(b).

(5)        Require those two persons in whose presence the voter marked that voter’s ballots to sign the application and certificate as witnesses and to indicate those persons’ addresses.

Alternatively to the prior paragraph of this subsection, any requirement for two witnesses shall be satisfied if witnessed by one notary public, who shall comply with all the other requirements of that paragraph. The notary shall affix a valid notarial seal to the envelope, and include the word “Notary Public” below his or her signature.

The person persons in whose presence the ballot is marked shall at all times respect the secrecy of the ballot and the privacy of the absentee voter, unless the voter requests the person’s assistance and the that person is otherwise authorized by law to give assistance. The person in whose presence the ballot was marked shall sign the application and certificate as a witness and shall indicate that person’s address. When thus executed, the sealed container?return envelope, with the ballots enclosed, shall be transmitted in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section to the county board of elections which issued the ballots.

(a1)      Repealed by Session Laws 1987, c. 583, s. 1.

(b)        Transmitting Executed Absentee Ballots to County Board of Elections. – The sealed container?return envelope in which executed absentee ballots have been placed shall be transmitted to the county board of elections who issued them those ballots as follows:

(1)        All ballots issued under the provisions of Articles 20this Article and Article 21A of this Chapter shall be transmitted by mail or by commercial courier service, at the voter’s expense, or delivered in person, or by the voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian and received by the county board not later than 5:00 p.m. on the day before of the statewide primary or general election or county bond election. Ballots issued under the provisions of Article 21A of this Chapter may also be electronically transmitted.

(2)        If ballots are received later than that hour,the hour stated in subdivision (1) of this subsection, theythose ballots shall not be accepted unless one of the following applies:

a.(i)      federal Federal law so requires,requires.

b.(ii)     if The ballots issued under this Article 20 of this Chapter are postmarked and that postmark is dated on or beforeby the day of the statewide primary or general election or county bond election and are received by the county board of elections not later than three days after the election by 5:00 p.m., or 5:00 p.m.

c.(iii)     if The ballots issued under Article 21A of this Chapter are received by the county board of elections not later than the end of business on the business day before the canvass conducted by the county board of elections held pursuant to G.S. 163?182.5. Ballots issued under Article 20 of this Chapter not postmarked by the day of the election shall not be accepted by the county board of elections.

(c)        For purposes of this section, “Delivered in person” includes delivering the ballot to an election official at a one?stop voting site under G.S. 163?227.2 during any time that site is open for voting. The ballots shall be kept securely and delivered by election officials at that site to the county board of elections office for processing.

SECTION 4.5.  G.S. 163?226 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

(d)      The Term “Verifiable Legal Guardian.” – An individual appointed guardian under Chapter 35A of the General Statutes. For a corporation appointed as a guardian under that Chapter, the corporation may submit a list of 10 named individuals to the State Board of Elections who may act for that corporation under this Article.

SECTION 4.6.(a)  G.S. 163?226.3(a)(4) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       Any person who shall, in connection with absentee voting in any election held in this State, do any of the acts or things declared in this section to be unlawful, shall be guilty of a Class I felony. It shall be unlawful:

(4)        For any owner, manager, director, employee, or other person, other than the voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian, to (i) make a written request pursuant to G.S. 163?230.1 or (ii) sign an application or certificate as a witness, on behalf of a registered voter voter, who is a patient in any hospital, clinic, nursing home or rest home in this State or for any owner, manager, director, employee, or other person other than the voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian, to mark the voter’s absentee ballot or assist such a voter in marking an absentee ballot. This subdivision does not apply to members, employees, or volunteers of the county board of elections, if those members, employees, or volunteers are working as part of a multipartisan team trained and authorized by the county board of elections to assist voters with absentee ballots. Each county board of elections shall train and authorize such teams, pursuant to procedures which shall be adopted by the State Board of Elections. If neither the voter’s near relative nor a verifiable legal guardian is available to assist the voter, and a multipartisan team is not available to assist the voter within seven calendar days of a telephonic request to the county board of elections, the voter may obtain such assistance from any person other than (i) an owner, manager, director, employee of the hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home in which the voter is a patient or resident; (ii) an individual who holds any elective office under the United States, this State, or any political subdivision of this State; (iii) an individual who is a candidate for nomination or election to such office; or (iv) an individual who holds any office in a State, congressional district, county, or precinct political party or organization, or who is a campaign manager or treasurer for any candidate or political party; provided that a delegate to a convention shall not be considered a party office. None of the persons listed in (i) through (iv) of this subdivision may sign the application or certificate as a witness for the patient.

….”

SECTION 4.6.(b)  The State Board of Elections shall adopt rules prior to October 1, 2013, concerning the multipartisan teams authorized by G.S. 163?226.3(a)(4), as amended by subsection (a) of this section, to ensure that each county has, no later than the day absentee voting begins for each primary and election, trained teams to promptly assist patients and residents of any hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home in that county in casting absentee ballots as provided by law. Such rules shall be initially established as temporary rules in accordance with Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

SECTION 4.7.  G.S. 10B?30 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

(d)      A notary may not charge any fee for witnessing and affixing a notarial seal to an absentee ballot application or certificate under G.S. 163?231.

PART 5. REGISTRATION AND EDUCATION

SECTION 5.1.  G.S. 163?82.22 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?82.22.  Voter registration at public libraries.public libraries and public agencies.

(a)        Every library covered by G.S. 153A?272 shall make available to the public the application forms described in G.S. 163?82.3, and shall keep a sufficient supply of the forms so that they are always available. Every library covered by G.S. 153A?272 shall designate at least one employee to assist voter registration applicants in completing the form during all times that the library is open.

(b)        If approved by the State Board of Elections, the county board of elections, and the county board of commissioners, a county may offer voter registration in accordance with this section through the following additional public offices:

(1)        Senior centers or facilities operated by the county.

(2)        Parks and recreation services operated by the county.

SECTION 5.2.  The State Board of Elections shall disseminate information about photo identification requirements for voting, provide information on how to obtain photo identification appropriate for voting, and assist any registered voter without photo identification appropriate for voting with obtaining such photo identification. Information may be distributed through public service announcements, print, radio, television, online, and social media. The State Board shall work with public agencies, private partners, and nonprofits to identify voters without photo identification appropriate for voting and assist those voters in securing the photo identification appropriate for voting. All outreach efforts to notify voters of the photo identification requirements shall be accessible to the elderly and persons with disabilities. The State Board of Elections shall work with county boards of elections in those counties where there is no Division of Motor Vehicles drivers license office open five days a week to (i) widely communicate information about the availability and schedules of Division of Motor Vehicles mobile units and (ii) provide volunteers to assist voters with obtaining photo identification through mobile units.

SECTION 5.3.  Education and Publicity Requirements. – The public shall be educated about the photo identification to vote requirements of this act as follows:

(1)        As counties use their regular processes to notify voters of assignments and reassignments to districts for election to the United States House of Representatives, State Senate, State House of Representatives, or local office, by including information about the provisions of this act.

(2)        As counties send new voter registration cards to voters as a result of new registration, changes of address, or other reasons, by including information about the provisions of this act.

(3)        Counties that maintain a board of elections Web site shall include information about the provisions of this act.

(4)        Notices of elections published by county boards of elections under G.S. 163?22(8) for the 2014 primary and 2014 general election shall include a brief statement that photo identification will be required to vote in person beginning in 2016.

(5)        The State Board of Elections shall include on its Web site information about the provisions of this act.

(6)        Counties shall post at the polls and at early voting sites beginning with the 2014 primary elections information about the provisions of this act.

(7)        The State Board of Elections shall distribute information about the photo identification requirements to groups and organizations serving persons with disabilities or the elderly.

(8)        The State Board of Elections, the Division of Motor Vehicles, and county boards of elections in counties where there is no Division of Motor Vehicles drivers license office open five days a week shall include information about mobile unit schedules on existing Web sites, shall distribute information about these schedules to registered voters identified without photo identification, and shall publicize information about the mobile unit schedules through other available means.

(9)        The State Board of Elections and county boards of elections shall direct volunteers to assist registered voters in counties where there is no Division of Motor Vehicles drivers license office open five days a week.

SECTION 5.4.  The State Board of Elections shall include in all forms prepared by the Board a prominent statement that submitting fraudulently or falsely completed declarations is a Class I felony under Chapter 163 of the General Statutes.

SECTION 5.5.  By April 1, 2014, the State Board of Elections shall review and make recommendations to the Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee on the steps recommended by the Board to implement the use of electronic and digital information in all polling places statewide. The review shall address all of the following:

(1)        Obtaining digital photographs of registered voters and verifying identity of those voters.

(2)        Maintaining information stored electronically in a secure fashion.

(3)        Utilizing electronically stored information, including digital photographs and electronic signatures, to create electronic pollbooks.

(4)        Using electronic pollbooks to assist in identifying individuals attempting to vote more than once in an election.

(5)        A proposed plan for a pilot project to implement electronic pollbooks, including the taking of digital photographs at the polling place to supplement the electronic pollbooks.

(6)        Any other related matter identified by the State Board impacting the use of digital and electronic information in the voting place.

 

PART 6. EFFECTIVE DATE

SECTION 6.2.  Parts 1 through 6 of this act become effective as follows:

(1)        Parts 1 and 6 of this act are effective when this act becomes law.

(2)        Part 2 of this act becomes effective January 1, 2016, and applies to primaries and elections conducted on or after that date.

(3)        Part 3 of this act becomes effective January 1, 2014.

(4)        Part 4 of this act becomes effective January 1, 2014, and applies to primaries and elections held on or after that date, except that Section 4.6(b) is effective when it becomes law.

(5)        Part 5 of this act becomes effective October 1, 2013.

(6)        At any primary and election between May 1, 2014, and January 1, 2016, any registered voter may present that voter’s photo identification to the elections officials at the voting place but may not be required to do so. At each primary and election between May 1, 2014, and January 1, 2016, each voter presenting in person shall be notified that photo identification will be needed to vote beginning in 2016 and be asked if that voter has one of the forms of photo identification appropriate for voting. If that voter indicates he or she does not have one or more of the types of photo identification appropriate for voting, that voter shall be asked to sign an acknowledgment of the photo identification requirement and be given a list of types of photo identification appropriate for voting and information on how to obtain those types of photo identification. The list of names of those voters who signed an acknowledgment is a public record.

 

PART 7. STUDY FILLING OF VACANCIES IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

SECTION 7.1  The Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee shall study the method of filling vacancies in the General Assembly, and recommend to the General Assembly any legislation it deems advisable. It may make an interim report prior to the date that the General Assembly reconvenes the 2013 Regular Session in 2014, and shall make a final report before the convening of the 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

 

PART 8. FILLING OF VACANCIES IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE

SECTION 8.1.  G.S. 163?12 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?12.  Filling vacancy in United States Senate.

Whenever there shall be a vacancy in the office of United States Senator from this State, whether caused by death, resignation, or otherwise than by expiration of term, the Governor shall appoint to fill the vacancy until an election shall be held to fill the office. If the Senator was elected as the nominee of a political party, the person appointed by the Governor shall be a person affiliated with that same political party. The Governor shall issue his a writ for the election of a Senator to be held at the time of the first election for members of the General Assembly that is held more than 60 days after the vacancy occurs. The person elected shall hold the office for the remainder of the unexpired term. The election shall take effect from the date of the canvassing of the returns.”

 

PART 9. FILLING OF VACANCIES IN UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

SECTION 9.1.  The Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee shall study the method of filling vacancies in the United States House of Representatives by special election, and recommend to the General Assembly any legislation it deems advisable. It may make an interim report prior to the date that the General Assembly reconvenes the 2013 Regular Session in 2014, and shall make a final report before the convening of the 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

 

PART 10. SPECIAL ELECTION DATES

SECTION 10.1.  G.S. 163?287 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?287.  Special elections; procedure for calling.

(a)        Any municipality county, municipality, or any special district shall have authority to call special elections as permitted by law. Prior to calling a special election, the city council or the governing body of the county, municipality, or special district shall adopt a resolution specifying the details of the election, and forthwith deliver the resolution to the appropriatelocal board of elections. The resolution shall call on the local board of elections to conduct the election described in the resolution and shall state the date on which the special election is to be conducted. The special election may be held only at the same time as any other State, county or municipal primary, election or special election or referendum, but may not otherwise be held within the period of time beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the date of any other primary, election, special election or referendum held for that city or special district.general election or at the same time as the primary election in any even?numbered year.

(b)        Legal notice of the special election shall be published no less than 45 days prior to the special election. The local board of elections shall be responsible for publishing the legal notice. The notice shall state the date and time of the special election, the issue to be submitted to the voters, and the precincts in which the election will be held. This paragraph subsection shall not apply to bond elections.

(c)        The last sentence of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to any special election related to the public health or safety, including a vacancy in the office of sheriff or a bond referendum for financing of health and sanitation systems, if the governing body adopts a resolution stating the need for the special election at a time different from any other State, county, or municipal general election or the primary in any even?numbered year.

(d)        The last sentence of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to municipal incorporation or recall elections pursuant to local act of the General Assembly.

(e)        The last sentence of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to municipal elections to fill vacancies in office pursuant to local act of the General Assembly where more than six months remain in the term of office, and if less than six months remain in the office, the governing board may fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term notwithstanding any provision of a local act of the General Assembly.

(f)         This section shall not impact the authority of the courts or the State Board to order a new election at a time set by the courts or State Board under this Chapter.

SECTION 10.2.  Article 1 of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

§ 163?3.  Special elections.

Special elections shall be called as permitted by law and conducted in accordance with G.S. 163?287.

SECTION 10.3.  G.S. 18B?601(f) reads as rewritten:

“(f)       Election Date. – The board of elections shall conduct and set the date for the alcoholic beverage election, which may not be sooner than 60 days nor later than 120 days from the date the request was received from the governing body or the petition was verified by the board.election in accordance with G.S. 163?287. No alcoholic beverage election may be held on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November of an even?numbered year.

SECTION 10.4.  G.S. 63?80(c) reads as rewritten:

“(c)       Following the joint public hearing but prior to the adoption by a unit of local government of any resolution creating a special airport district, the governing body of such unit may submit the question of the unit’s participation in a special airport district to the qualified voters of such unit. The form of the question as stated on the ballot shall be in substantially the following words:

“Shall the governing body of _______________________ approve ______________’s participation in the proposed _____________________ special airport district?

[ ] YES            [ ] NO”

If a majority of the qualified voters of the unit who vote thereon approve such participation, the governing body of such unit may adopt a resolution creating the particular special airport district. The election shall be conducted in accordance with G.S. 163?287 and the results thereof certified, declared and published in the same manner as bond elections within the unit.”

SECTION 10.5.  G.S. 63?87 reads as rewritten:

“§ 63?87.  Bond elections.

Elections for the purpose of authorizing the levy of taxes for the issuance of bonds shall be called by the district board and shall be conducted in accordance with G.S. 163?287 and the results canvassed by the boards of elections having jurisdiction within the participating units. Such results shall be certified to the district board and such board shall certify and declare the result of the election and publish a statement of the result once as provided in the Local Government Bond Act.”

SECTION 10.6.  G.S. 69?25.1 reads as rewritten:

“§ 69?25.1.  Election to be held upon petition of voters.

Upon the petition of thirty?five percent (35%) of the resident freeholders living in an area lying outside the corporate limits of any city or town, which area is described in the petition and designated as “________________________ Fire District,” the board of county
(Here insert name)

commissioners of the county shall call an a special election in said district for the purpose of submitting to the qualified voters therein the question of levying and collecting a special tax on all taxable property in said district, of not exceeding fifteen cents (15¢) on the one hundred dollars ($100.00) valuation of property, for the purpose of providing fire protection in said district. The county tax office shall be responsible for checking the freeholder status of those individuals signing the petition and confirming the location of the property owned by those individuals. Unless specifically excluded by other law, the provisions of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes concerning petitions for referenda and special elections shall apply. If the voters reject the special tax under the first paragraph of this section, then no new election may be held under the first paragraph of this section within two years on the question of levying and collecting a special tax under the first paragraph of this section in that district, or in any proposed district which includes a majority of the land within the district in which the tax was rejected.

Upon the petition of thirty?five percent (35%) of the resident freeholders living in an area which has previously been established as a fire protection district and in which there has been authorized by a vote of the people a special tax not exceeding ten cents (10¢) on the one hundred dollars ($100.00) valuation of property within the area, the board of county commissioners shall call an a special election in said area for the purpose of submitting to the qualified voters therein the question of increasing the allowable special tax for fire protection within said district from ten cents (10¢) on the one hundred dollars ($100.00) valuation to fifteen cents (15¢) on the one hundred dollars ($100.00) valuation on all taxable property within such district. Elections Special elections on the question of increasing the allowable tax rate for fire protection shall not be held within the same district at intervals less than two years.”

SECTION 10.7.  G.S. 69?25.2 reads as rewritten:

“§ 69?25.2.  Duties of county board of commissioners regarding conduct of elections; cost of holding.

The board of county commissioners, after consulting with the county board of elections, shall set a date for the special election in accordance with G.S. 163?287 by resolution adopted. The county board of elections shall hold and conduct the election in the district. The county board of elections shall advertise and conduct said election, in accordance with the provisions of this Article and with the procedures prescribed in Chapter 163 governing the conduct of special and general elections. No new registration of voters shall be required, but the deadline by which unregistered voters must register shall be contained in the legal advertisement to be published by the county board of elections. The cost of holding the election to establish a district shall be paid by the county, provided that if the district is established, then the county shall be reimbursed the cost of the election from the taxes levied within the district, but the cost of an election to increase the allowable tax under G.S. 69?25.1 or to abolish a fire district under G.S. 69?25.10 shall be paid from the funds of the district.”

SECTION 10.8.  G.S. 105?465 reads as rewritten:

“§ 105?465.  County election as to adoption of local sales and use tax.

The board of elections of any county, upon the written request of the board of county commissioners, or upon receipt of a petition signed by qualified voters of the county equal in number to at least fifteen percent (15%) of the total number of votes cast in the county, at the last preceding election for the office of Governor, shall call a special election for the purpose of submitting to the voters of the county the question of whether a one percent (1%) sales and use tax will be levied.

The special election shall be held under the same rules applicable to the election of members of the General Assembly. No new registration of voters shall be required. All qualified voters in the county who are properly registered not later than 21 days (excluding Saturdays and Sundays) prior to the election shall be entitled to vote at the election. The county board of elections shall give at least 20 days’ public notice prior to the closing of the registration books for the special election.

The county board of elections shall prepare ballots for the special election. The question presented on the ballot shall be “FOR one percent (1%) local sales and use tax on items subject to State sales and use tax at the general State rate and on food” or “AGAINST one percent (1%) local sales and use tax on items subject to State sales and use tax at the general State rate and on food”.

The county board of elections shall fix the date of the special election, election on a date permitted by G.S. 163?287, except that the special election shall not be held on the date or within 60 days of any biennial election for county officers, nor within one year from the date of the last preceding special election under this section.”

SECTION 10.9.  G.S. 105?473(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       The board of elections of any county, upon the written request of the board of county commissioners thereof, or upon receipt of a petition signed by qualified voters of the county equal in number to at least fifteen percent (15%) of the total number of votes cast in the county at the last preceding election for the office of Governor, shall call a special election for the purpose of submitting to the voters of the county the question of whether the levy of a one percent (1%) sales and use tax theretofore levied should be repealed.

The special election shall be held under the same rules and regulations applicable to the election of members of the General Assembly. No new registration of voters shall be required. All qualified voters in the county who are properly registered not later than 21 days (excluding Saturdays and Sundays) prior to the election shall be entitled to vote at said election. The county board of elections shall give at least 20 days’ public notice prior to the closing of the registration books for the special election.

The county board of elections shall prepare ballots for the special election which shall contain the words “FOR repeal of the one percent (1%) local sales and use tax levy,” and the words “AGAINST repeal of the one percent (1%) local sales and use tax levy,” with appropriate squares so that each voter may designate his vote by his cross (X) mark.

The county board of elections shall fix the date of the special election; election on a date permitted by G.S. 163?287; provided, however, that the special election shall not be held on the day of any biennial election for county officers, nor within 60 days thereof, nor within one year from the date of the last preceding special election held under this section.”

SECTION 10.10.  G.S. 105?507.1(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       Resolution. – The board of commissioners of a county may direct the county board of elections to conduct an advisory referendum within the county on the question of whether a local sales and use tax at the rate of one?half percent (1/2%) may be levied in accordance with this Part. The election shall be held on a date jointly agreed upon by the boards and shall be held in accordance with the procedures of G.S. 163?287. The board of commissioners shall hold a public hearing on the question at least 30 days before the date the election is to be held.”

SECTION 10.11.  G.S. 105?509(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b)      Resolution. – The board of trustees of the regional public transportation authority may, if all of the conditions listed in this subsection have been met, direct the respective county board or boards of elections to conduct an advisory referendum within the special district on the question of whether a local sales and use tax at the rate of one?half percent (1/2%) may be levied within the district in accordance with this Part. The tax may not be levied without voter approval. The election shall be held on a date jointly agreed upon by the authority, the county board or boards of commissioners, and the county board or boards of elections and shall be held on a date permitted by and in accordance with the procedures of G.S. 163?287. An election to authorize the levy of a tax under this Part may be held only on one of the following dates: (i) Tuesday after the first Monday of November in the even?numbered year, the date of the general election under G.S. 163?1, (ii) the date of the primary election in the even?numbered year under G.S. 163?1(b), (iii) Tuesday after the first Monday in November of the odd?numbered year, or (iv) a date in September or October of the odd?numbered year as listed in G.S. 163?279(a)(2), (3), or (4) but only if at least one municipality in the county is holding a primary or election on that date.The conditions are as follows:

(1)        The board of trustees has obtained approval to conduct a referendum by a vote of the following:

a.         A majority vote of each of the county boards of commissioners within the special district, if it is a multicounty special district.

b.         A majority of the county board of commissioners within the special district, if it is a single?county special district.

(2)        A public hearing is held on the question by the board or boards of commissioners at least 30 days before the date the election is to be held.”

SECTION 10.12.  G.S. 105?510(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b)      Resolution. – The board of trustees of the regional transportation authority may, if all of the conditions listed in this subsection have been met, direct the respective county board or boards of elections to conduct an advisory referendum within the special district on the question of whether a local sales and use tax at the rate of one?half percent (1/2%) may be levied within the district in accordance with this Part. The tax may not be levied without voter approval. The election shall be held on a date jointly agreed upon by the authority, the county board or boards of commissioners, and the county board or boards of elections and shall be held on a date permitted by and in accordance with the procedures of G.S. 163?287. An election to authorize the levy of a tax under this Part may be held only on one of the following dates: (i) Tuesday after the first Monday of November in the even?numbered year, the date of the general election under G.S. 163?1, (ii) the date of the primary election in the even?numbered year under G.S. 163?1(b), (iii) Tuesday after the first Monday in November of the odd?numbered year, or (iv) a date in September or October of the odd?numbered year as listed in G.S. 163?279(a)(2), (3), or (4) but only if at least one municipality in the county is holding a primary or election on that date. The conditions are as follows:

(1)        The board of trustees has obtained approval to conduct a referendum by a vote of the following:

a.         A majority vote of both of the county boards of commissioners within the special district, if it is a multicounty special district.

b.         A majority of the county board of commissioners within the special district, if it is a single?county special district.

(2)        A public hearing is held on the question by the board or boards of commissioners at least 30 days before the date the election is to be held.”

SECTION 10.13.  G.S. 105?511.2(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       Resolution. – The board of commissioners of a county may direct the county board of elections to conduct an advisory referendum within the county on the question of whether a local sales and use tax at the rate of one?quarter percent (1/4%) may be levied in accordance with this Part. The election shall be held on a date jointly agreed upon by the boards and shall be held on a date permitted by and in accordance with the procedures of G.S. 163?287. An election to authorize the levy of a tax under this Part may be held only on one of the following dates: (i) Tuesday after the first Monday of November in the even?numbered year, the date of the general election under G.S. 163?1, (ii) the date of the primary election in the even?numbered year under G.S. 163?1(b), (iii) Tuesday after the first Monday in November of the odd?numbered year, or (iv) a date in September or October of the odd?numbered year as listed in G.S. 163?279(a)(2), (3), or (4) but only if at least one municipality in the county is holding a primary or election on that date. The board of commissioners shall hold a public hearing on the question at least 30 days before the date the election is to be held.”

SECTION 10.14.  G.S. 105?537(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b)      Vote. – The board of county commissioners may direct the county board of elections to conduct an advisory referendum on the question of whether to levy a local sales and use tax in the county as provided in this Article. The election shall be held on a date jointly agreed upon by the board of county commissioners and the board of elections and shall be held in accordance with the procedures of G.S. 163?287.”

SECTION 10.15.  G.S. 106?343 reads as rewritten:

“§ 106?343.  Appropriations by counties; elections.

The several boards of county commissioners in the State are hereby expressly authorized and empowered to make such appropriations from the general funds of their county as will enable them to cooperate effectively with the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Federal Department of Agriculture in the eradication of tuberculosis in their respective counties: Provided, that if in 10 days after said appropriation is voted, one fifth of the qualified voters of the county petition the board of commissioners to submit the question of tuberculosis eradication or no tuberculosis eradication to the voters of the county, said commissioners shall submit such questions to said voters. Said election shall be held and conducted under the rules and regulations provided for holding stock?law elections in G.S. 68?16, 68?20 and 68?21.G.S. 163?287. If at any such election a majority of the votes cast shall be in favor of said tuberculosis eradication, the said board shall record the result of the election upon its minutes, and cooperative tuberculosis eradication shall be taken up with the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Federal Department of Agriculture. If, however, a majority of the votes cast shall be adverse, then said board shall make no appropriation.”

SECTION 10.16.  G.S. 115C?501(h) reads as rewritten:

“(h)       To Annex or Consolidate Areas or Districts from Contiguous Counties and to Provide a Supplemental School Tax in Such Annexed Areas or Consolidated Districts. – An election may be called in any districts or other school areas, from contiguous counties, as to whether the districts in one county shall be enlarged by annexing or consolidating therewith any adjoining districts, or other school area or areas from an adjoining county, and if a special or supplemental school tax is levied and collected in the districts of the county to which the territory is to be annexed or consolidated, whether upon such annexation or consolidation there shall be levied and collected in the territory to be annexed or consolidated the same special or supplemental tax for schools as is levied and collected in the districts in the other county. If such election carries, the said special or supplemental tax shall be collected pursuant to G.S. 115C?511 and remitted to the local school administrative unit on whose behalf such special and supplemental tax is already levied: Provided, that notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 115C?508, if the notice of election clearly so states, and the election shall be held prior to August 1, the annexation or consolidation shall be effective and the tax so authorized shall be levied and collected beginning with the fiscal year commencing July 1 next preceding such elections.levied.

SECTION 10.17.  G.S. 115C?501 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

(j)       All elections called under this section shall be conducted in accordance with G.S. 163?287.

SECTION 10.18.  G.S. 115D?33(d) reads as rewritten:

“(d)      All elections shall be held in the same manner as elections held under Article 4, Chapter 159, of the General Statutes, the Local Government Bond Act, and may be held at any time fixed by the tax?levying authority of the administrative area or proposed administrative area of the institution for which such election is to be held.shall be held on a date permitted by G.S. 163?287.

SECTION 10.19.  G.S. 115D?35(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       Formal requests for elections on the question of authority to appropriate nontax revenues or levy special taxes, or both, and to issue bonds, when such elections are to be held for the purpose of establishing an institution, shall be originated and submitted only in the following manner:

(1)        Proposed multiple?county administrative areas: Formal requests for elections may be submitted jointly by all county boards of education in the proposed administrative area, or by petition of fifteen percent (15%) of the number of qualified voters of the proposed area who voted in the last preceding election for Governor, to the boards of commissioners of all counties in the proposed area, who may shall fix the time for such election by joint resolution on a date permitted by G.S. 163?287, which shall be entered in the minutes of each board.

(2)        Proposed single?county administrative area: Formal requests shall be submitted by the board of education of any public school administrative unit within the county of the proposed administrative area or by petition of fifteen percent (15%) of the number of qualified voters of the county who voted in the last preceding election for Governor, to the board of commissioners of the county of the proposed administrative area, who may shall fix the time for such election by resolution on a date permitted by G.S. 163?287, which shall be entered in the minutes of the board.”

SECTION 10.20.  G.S. 130A?69 reads as rewritten:

“(a)       If after a sanitary district has been created or the provisions of this Part have been made applicable to a sanitary district, a petition signed by not less than fifteen percent (15%) of the resident freeholders within any territory contiguous to and adjoining the sanitary district may be presented to the sanitary district board requesting annexation of territory described in the petition. The sanitary district board shall send a copy of the petition to the board of commissioners of the county or counties in which the district is located and to the Department. The sanitary district board shall request that the Department hold a joint public hearing with the sanitary district board on the question of annexation. The Secretary and the chairperson of the sanitary district board shall name a time and place for the public hearing. The chairperson of the sanitary district board shall publish a notice of public hearing once in a newspaper or newspapers published or circulating in the sanitary district and the territory proposed to be annexed. The notice shall be published not less than 15 days prior to the hearing. If after the hearing, the Commission approves the annexation of the territory described in the petition, the Department shall advise the board or boards of commissioners of the approval. The board or boards of commissioners shall order and provide for the holding of a special election in accordance with G.S. 163?287 upon the question of annexation within the territory proposed to be annexed.

(b)        If at or prior to the public hearing, a petition is filed with the sanitary district board signed by not less than fifteen percent (15%) of the freeholders residing in the sanitary district requesting an election be held on the annexation question, the sanitary district board shall send a copy of the petition to the board or boards of commissioners who shall order and provide for the submission of the question to the voters within the sanitary district. This election may be held on the same day as the election in the territory proposed to be annexed, and both elections and registrations may be held pursuant to a single notice. A majority of the votes cast is necessary for a territory to be annexed to a sanitary district.

(c)        The election shall be held by the county board or boards of elections as soon as possiblein accordance with G.S. 163?287 after the board or boards of commissioners orders the election. The cost of the election shall be paid by the sanitary district. Registration in the area proposed for annexation shall be under the same procedure as G.S. 163?288.2.

….”

SECTION 10.21.  G.S. 139?39 reads as rewritten:

“§ 139?39.  Alternative method of financing watershed improvement programs by special county tax.

The board of county commissioners in any county is authorized to call a special election to determine whether it be the will of the qualified voters of the county that they levy and cause to be collected annually, at the same time and in the same manner as the general county taxes are levied and collected, a special tax at a rate not to exceed twenty?five cents (25¢) on each one hundred dollars ($100.00) valuation of property in said county, to be known as a “Watershed Improvement Tax,” the funds therefrom, if the levy be authorized by the voters of said county, to be used for the prevention of flood water and sediment damages, and for furthering the conservation, utilization and disposal of water and the development of water resources. Any special election shall be conducted in accordance with G.S. 163?287.

SECTION 10.22.  G.S. 147?69.6(f) reads as rewritten:

“(f)       The Board of Commissioners of Swain County may direct the Swain County Board of Elections to conduct an advisory referendum on the question of whether any portion of the principal of the Fund should be disbursed to and expended by the county for a particular purpose. The election shall be held on a date jointly agreed upon by the two boards, which may be the same day as any other referendum or election in the county, but may not otherwise be during the period beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the day of any other referendum or election to be conducted by the board of elections and already validly called or scheduled by law. The election shall be held in accordance with the procedures of G.S. 163?287. The question to be presented on the ballot shall disclose the specific purpose proposed for expenditure of the principal investment of the Trust Fund and the amount proposed for expenditure.”

SECTION 10.23.  G.S. 153A?60 reads as rewritten:

“§ 153A?60.  Initiation of alterations by resolution.

The board of commissioners shall initiate any alteration in the structure of the board by adopting a resolution. The resolution shall:

(1)        Briefly but completely describe the proposed alterations;

(2)        Prescribe the manner of transition from the existing structure to the altered structure;

(3)        Define the electoral districts, if any, and apportion the members among the districts;

(4)        Call a special referendum on the question of adoption of the alterations. The referendum shall be held and conducted by the county board of elections. The referendum may be held only on a date permitted by G.S. 163?287. at the same time as any other state, county or municipal primary, election, special election or referendum, or on any date set by the board of county commissioners, provided, that such referendum shall not be held within the period of time beginning 60 days before and ending 60 days after any other primary, election, special election or referendum held in the county.

Upon its adoption, the resolution shall be published in full.”

SECTION 10.24.  G.S. 153A?405(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       If authorized to do so by the concurrent resolutions that established it, a commission may call a referendum on its proposed plan of governmental consolidation. If authorized or directed in the concurrent resolutions, the ballot question may include the assumption of debt secured by a pledge of faith and credit language and may also include the assumption of the right to issue authorized but unissued faith and credit debt language as provided in subsection (b) of this section. The referendum may be held on the same day as any other referendum or election in the county or counties involved, but may not otherwise be held during the period beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the day of any other referendum or election to be conducted by the board or boards of elections conducting the referendum and already validly called or scheduled by law.shall be held in accordance with G.S. 163?287.

SECTION 10.25.  G.S. 158?16 reads as rewritten:

“§ 158?16.  Board of commissioners may call tax election; rate and purposes of tax.

The board of county commissioners in any county is authorized and empowered to call a special election to determine whether it be the will of the qualified voters of said county that they levy and cause to be collected annually, at the same time and in the same manner as the general county taxes are levied and collected, a special tax at a rate not to exceed five cents (5¢) on each one hundred dollars ($100.00) valuation of property in said county, to be known as an “industrial development tax,” the funds therefrom, if the levy be authorized by the voters of said county, to be used for the purpose of attracting new and diversified industries to said county, and for the encouragement of new business and industrial ventures by local as well as foreign capital, and for the purpose of aiding and encouraging the location of manufacturing enterprises, making industrial surveys and locating industrial plants in said county, and for the purpose of encouraging agricultural development in said county. Any special election shall be conducted in accordance with G.S. 163?287.

SECTION 10.26.  G.S. 159?61(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b)      The date of a bond referendum shall be fixed by the governing board, but shall not be more than one year after adoption of the bond order. order, only on a date permitted by G.S. 163?287. The governing board may call a special referendum for the purpose of voting on a bond issue on any day, including the day of any regular or special election held for another purpose (unless the law under which the bond referendum or other election is held specifically prohibits submission of other questions at the same time). A special bond referendum may not be held within 30 days before or 10 days after a statewide primary, election, or referendum, or within 30 days before or 10 days after any other primary, election, or referendum to be held in the same unit holding the bond referendum and already validly called or scheduled by law at the time the bond referendum is called. The clerk shall mail or deliver a certified copy of the resolution calling a special bond referendum to the board of elections that is to conduct it within three days after the resolution is adopted, but failure to observe this requirement shall not in any manner affect the validity of the referendum or bonds issued pursuant thereto. Bond referenda shall be conducted by the board of elections conducting regular elections of the county, city, or special district. In fixing the date of a bond referendum, the governing board shall consult the board of elections in order that the referendum shall not unduly interfere with other elections already scheduled or in process. Several bond orders or other matters may be voted upon at the same referendum.”

SECTION 10.27.  G.S. 160A?103 reads as rewritten:

“§ 160A?103.  Referendum on charter amendments by ordinance.

An ordinance adopted under G.S. 160A?102 that is not made effective upon approval by a vote of the people shall be subject to a referendum petition. Upon receipt of a referendum petition bearing the signatures and residence addresses of a number of qualified voters of the city equal to at least 10 percent of the whole number of voters who are registered to vote in city elections according to the most recent figures certified by the State Board of Elections or 5,000, whichever is less, the council shall submit an ordinance adopted under G.S. 160A?102 to a vote of the people. The date of the special election shall be fixed at on a date permitted by G.S. 163?287. not more than 120 nor fewer than 60 days after receipt of the petition. A referendum petition shall be addressed to the council and shall identify the ordinance to be submitted to a vote. A referendum petition must be filed with the city clerk not later than 30 days after publication of the notice of adoption of the ordinance.”

SECTION 10.28.  G.S. 160A?104 reads as rewritten:

“§ 160A?104.  Initiative petitions for charter amendments.

The people may initiate a referendum on proposed charter amendments. An initiative petition shall bear the signatures and resident addresses of a number of qualified voters of the city equal to at least ten percent (10%) of the whole number of voters who are registered to vote in city elections according to the most recent figures certified by the State Board of Elections or 5,000, whichever is less. The petition shall set forth the proposed amendments by describing them briefly but completely and with reference to the pertinent provisions of G.S. 160A?101, but it need not contain the precise text of the charter amendments necessary to implement the proposed changes. The petition may not propose changes in the alternative, or more than one integrated set of charter amendments. Upon receipt of a valid initiative petition, the council shall call a special election on the question of adopting the charter amendments proposed therein, and shall give public notice thereof in accordance with G.S. 163?287. The date of the special election shall be fixed at on a date permitted by G.S. 163?287. not more than 120 nor fewer than 60 days after receipt of the petition. If a majority of the votes cast in the special election shall be in favor of the proposed changes, the council shall adopt an ordinance amending the charter to put them into effect. Such an ordinance shall not be subject to a referendum petition. No initiative petition may be filed (i) between the time the council initiates proceedings under G.S. 160A?102 by publishing a notice of hearing on proposed charter amendments and the time proceeding under that section have been carried to a conclusion either through adoption or rejection of a proposed ordinance or lapse of time, nor (ii) within one year and six months following the effective date of an ordinance amending the city charter pursuant to this Article, nor (iii) within one year and six months following the date of any election on charter amendments that were defeated by the voters.

The restrictions imposed by this section on filing initiative petitions shall apply only to petitions concerning the same subject matter. For example, pendency of council action on amendments concerning the method of electing the council shall not preclude an initiative petition on adoption of the council?manager form of government.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the submission of more than one proposition for charter amendments on the same ballot so long as no proposition offers a different plan under the same option as another proposition on the same ballot.”

SECTION 10.29.  G.S. 160A?583 reads as rewritten:

“§ 160A?583.  Funds.

The establishment and operation of a transportation authority as herein authorized are governmental functions and constitute a public purpose, and the municipality is hereby authorized to appropriate funds to support the establishment and operation of the transit authority. The municipality may also dedicate, sell, convey, donate or lease any of its interest in any property to the authority. Further, the authority is hereby authorized to establish such license and regulatory fees and charges as it may deem appropriate, subject to the approval of the governing body of the municipality. If the governing body finds that the funds otherwise available are insufficient, it may call a special election without a petition and submit to the qualified voters of the municipality the question of whether or not a special tax shall be levied and/or bonds issued, specifying the maximum amount thereof, for the purpose of acquiring lands, buildings, equipment and facilities and for the operations of the transit authority. Any special election shall be conducted in accordance with G.S. 163?287.

SECTION 10.30.  G.S. 162A?68(d) reads as rewritten:

“(d)      If, at or prior to such public hearing, there shall be filed with the district board a petition, signed by not less than ten per centum (10%) of the qualified voters residing in the district, requesting an election to be held therein on the question of including the political subdivision or unincorporated area, the district board shall certify a copy of such petition to the board or boards of commissioners, and the board or boards of commissioners shall request the county board or boards of elections to submit such question to the qualified voters within the district in accordance with G.S. 163?287 and the other applicable provisions of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes; provided, that the election shall not be held unless the Environmental Management Commission has adopted a resolution approving the inclusion of the political subdivision or unincorporated area in the district.

Notice of such election, which shall contain a statement of the boundaries of the territory proposed to be included in the district and the boundaries of the district after inclusion, shall be given by publication once a week for three successive weeks in a newspaper or newspapers having general circulation within the district, the first publication to be at least 30 days prior to the election.”

SECTION 10.31.  G.S. 162A?77.1 reads as rewritten:

“§ 162A?77.1.  Special election upon the question of the merger of metropolitan sewerage districts into cities or towns.

Any district lying entirely within the corporate limits of a city or town may be merged into such city or town in accordance with the provisions of this section.

The governing body of a city or town, with the approval of the district board, shall call and conduct a special election within such city or town on the question of the merger of the district into the city or town. A vote in favor of such merger shall constitute a vote for such city or town to assume the obligations of the district. Such special election may be called and conducted by the governing body of a city or town upon its own motion after passage of a resolution of the district board requesting or approving the special election. Any special election shall be conducted in accordance with G.S. 163?287.

A new registration of voters shall not be required for the special  election. The special election shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of law applicable to regular elections in the city or town.

If a majority of the votes are in favor of the merger, then:

(1)        All property, real and personal and mixed, including accounts receivable, belonging to such district shall vest in, belong to, and be the property of, such city or town. All district boards are hereby authorized to take such actions and to execute such documents as will carry into effect the provisions and the intent of this section.

(2)        All judgments, liens, rights of liens, and causes of action of any nature in favor of such district shall vest in and remain and inure to the benefit of such city or town.

(3)        All taxes, assessments, sewer charges, and any other debts, charges or fees, owing to such district shall be owed to and collected by such city or town.

(4)        All actions, suits and proceedings pending against, or having been instituted by, such district shall not be abated by this section or by the merger herein provided for, but all such actions, suits, and proceedings shall be continued and completed in the same manner as if merger had not occurred, and such city or town shall be a party to all such actions, suits, and proceedings in the place and stead of the district and shall pay or cause to be paid any judgments rendered against the district in any such actions, suits, or proceedings. No new process need be served in any such action, suit, or proceeding.

(5)        All obligations of the district, including outstanding indebtedness, shall be assumed by such city or town, and all such obligations and outstanding indebtedness shall constitute obligations and indebtedness of such city or town, and the full faith and credit of such city or town shall be deemed to be pledged for the punctual payment of the principal of and the interest on any general obligation bonds or bond anticipation notes of such district, and all the taxable property within such city or town, as well as that formerly located within the district, shall be and remain subject to taxation for such payment.

(6)        All ordinances, rules, regulations, and policies of such district shall continue in full force and effect until repealed or amended by the governing body of such city or town.

(7)        Such district shall be abolished, and shall no longer be constituted a public body or a body politic and corporate, except for the purposes of carrying into effect the provisions and the intent of this section.

If a majority of the votes are against the merger, then such merger shall not be effective unless approved by a majority of the qualified voters who vote thereon in a subsequent special election conducted under authority of this section.

Any action or proceeding in any court to set aside a special election held under authority of this section or the result thereof, or to obtain any other relief upon the ground that such election or any proceeding or action taken with respect to the holding of such election is invalid, must be commenced within 30 days after the day of such special election. After the expiration of such period of limitation, no right of action or defense founded upon the invalidity of the election or the result thereof shall be asserted, nor shall the validity of the election or of the result thereof be open to question in any court upon any ground whatever, except in an action or proceeding commenced within such period.”

SECTION 10.32.  This Part becomes effective January 1, 2014, and applies to special elections held on or after that date.

 

PART 11. POLL OBSERVERS

SECTION 11.1.  G.S. 163?45 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?45.  Observers; appointment.

(a)        The chair of each political party in the county shall have the right to designate two observers to attend each voting place at each primary and election and such observers may, at the option of the designating party chair, be relieved during the day of the primary or election after serving no less than four hours and provided the list required by this section to be filed by each chair contains the names of all persons authorized to represent such chair’s political party. The chair of each political party in the county shall have the right to designate 10 additional at?large observers who are residents of that county who may attend any voting place in that county. The list submitted by the chair of the political party may be amended between the one?stop period under G.S. 163?227.2 and general election day to substitute one or all at?large observers for election day. Not more than two observers from the same political party shall be permitted in the voting enclosure at any time. time, except that in addition one of the at?large observers from each party may also be in the voting enclosure. This right shall not extend to the chair of a political party during a primary unless that party is participating in the primary. In any election in which an unaffiliated candidate is named on the ballot, the candidate or the candidate’s campaign manager shall have the right to appoint two observers for each voting place consistent with the provisions specified herein. Persons appointed as observers must be registered voters of the county for which appointed and must have good moral character. No person who is a candidate on the ballot in a primary or election may serve as an observer or runner in that primary or election. Observers shall take no oath of office.

(b)        Individuals authorized to appoint observers must submit in writing to the chief judge of each precinct a signed list of the observers appointed for that precinct. precinct, except that the list of at?large observers authorized in subsection (a) of this section shall be submitted to the county director of elections. Individuals authorized to appoint observers must, prior to 10:00 A.M. on the fifth day prior to any primary or general election, submit in writing to the chair of the county board of elections two signed copies of a list of observers appointed by them, designating the precinct or at?large status for which each observer is appointed. Before the opening of the voting place on the day of a primary or general election, the chair shall deliver one copy of the list to the chief judge for each affected precinct. precinct, except that the list of at?large observers shall be provided by the county director of elections to the chief judge. The chair shall retain the other copy. The chair, or the chief judge and judges for each affected precinct, may for good cause reject any appointee and require that another be appointed. The names of any persons appointed in place of those persons rejected shall be furnished in writing to the chief judge of each affected precinct no later than the time for opening the voting place on the day of any primary or general election, either by the chair of the county board of elections or the person making the substitute appointment.

If party chairs appoint observers at one?stop sites under G.S. 163?227.2, those party chairs shall provide a list of the observers appointed before 10:00 A.M. on the fifth day before the observer is to observe. At?large observers may serve at any one?stop site.

(c)        An observer shall do no electioneering at the voting place, and shall in no manner impede the voting process or interfere or communicate with or observe any voter in casting a ballot, but, subject to these restrictions, the chief judge and judges of elections shall permit the observer to make such observation and take such notes as the observer may desire.

(d)        Whether or not the observer attends to the polls for the requisite time provided by this section, each observer shall be entitled to obtain at times specified by the State Board of Elections, but not less than three times during election day with the spacing not less than one hour apart, a list of the persons who have voted in the precinct so far in that election day. Counties that use an “authorization to vote document” instead of poll books may comply with the requirement in the previous sentence by permitting each observer to inspect election records so that the observer may create a list of persons who have voted in the precinct so far that election day; each observer shall be entitled to make the inspection at times specified by the State Board of Elections, but not less than three times during election day with the spacing not less than one hour apart.

Instead of having an observer receive the voting list, the county party chair may send a runner to do so, even if an observer has not been appointed for that precinct. The runner may be the precinct party chair or any person named by the county party chair. Each county party chair using runners in an election shall provide to the county board of elections before 10:00 A.M. on the fifth day before election day a list of the runners to be used. That party chair must notify the chair of the county board of elections or the board chair’s designee of the names of all runners to be used in each precinct before the runner goes to the precinct. The runner may receive a voter list from the precinct on the same schedule as an observer. Whether obtained by observer or runner, each party is entitled to only one voter list at each of the scheduled times. No runner may enter the voting enclosure except when necessary to announce that runner’s presence and to receive the list. The runner must leave immediately after being provided with the list.”

SECTION 11.2.  The Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee shall study a bill of rights for election observers to guarantee their right to help assist proper voting while ensuring proper protection for voters and recommend to the General Assembly any legislation it deems advisable. It may make an interim report prior to the date that the General Assembly reconvenes the 2013 Regular Session in 2014 and shall make a final report before the convening of the 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

 

PART 12. ELIMINATION OF PREREGISTRATION

SECTION 12.1.(a)  G.S. 163?82.1(d) is repealed.

SECTION 12.1.(b)  G.S. 163?82.3(a)(5) is repealed.

SECTION 12.1.(c)  G.S. 163?82.4(d) reads as rewritten:

“(d)      Citizenship and Age Questions. – Voter registration application forms shall include all of the following:

(1)        The following question and statement:

a.         “Are you a citizen of the United States of America?” and boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant is or is not a citizen of the United States.

b.         “If you checked ‘no’ in response to this question, do not submit this form.”

(2)        The following questions question and statement:

a.         “Will you be 18 years of age on or before election day?” and boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant will be 18 years of age or older on election day.

b.         “Are you at least 16 years of age and understand that you must be 18 years of age on or before election day to vote?” and boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant is at least 16 years of age and understands that the applicant must be at least 18 years of age or older by election day to vote.

c.         “If you checked ‘no’ in response to both of these questions, this question, do not submit this form.”

SECTION 12.1.(d)  G.S. 163?82.23 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?82.23.  Voter registration at public high schools.

Every public high school shall make available to its students and others who are eligible to register and preregister to vote the application forms described in G.S. 163?82.3, and shall keep a sufficient supply of the forms so that they are always available. A local board of education may, but is not required to, designate high school employees to assist in completing the forms. Only employees who volunteer for this duty may be designated by boards of education.”

SECTION 12.1.(e)  G.S. 163?82.19(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       Voter Registration at Drivers License Offices. – The Division of Motor Vehicles shall, pursuant to the rules adopted by the State Board of Elections, modify its forms so that any eligible person who applies for original issuance, renewal or correction of a drivers license, or special identification card issued under G.S. 20?37.7 may, on a part of the form, complete an application to register to vote, or to update the voter’s registration if the voter has changed his or her address or moved from one precinct to another or from one county to another, or to preregister to vote. another. The person taking the application shall ask if the applicant is a citizen of the United States. If the applicant states that the applicant is not a citizen of the United States, or declines to answer the question, the person taking the application shall inform the applicant that it is a felony for a person who is not a citizen of the United States to apply to register to vote. Any person who willfully and knowingly and with fraudulent intent gives false information on the application is guilty of a Class I felony. The application shall state in clear language the penalty for violation of this section. The necessary forms shall be prescribed by the State Board of Elections. The form must ask for the previous voter registration address of the voter, if any. If a previous address is listed, and it is not in the county of residence of the applicant, the appropriate county board of elections shall treat the application as an authorization to cancel the previous registration and also process it as such under the procedures of G.S. 163?82.9. If a previous address is listed and that address is in the county where the voter applies to register, the application shall be processed as if it had been submitted under G.S. 163?82.9.

Registration shall become effective as provided in G.S. 163?82.7. Applications to register to vote accepted at a drivers license office under this section until the deadline established in G.S. 163?82.6(c)(2) shall be treated as timely made for an election, and no person who completes an application at that drivers license office shall be denied the vote in that election for failure to apply earlier than that deadline.

All applications shall be forwarded by the Department of Transportation to the appropriate board of elections not later than five business days after the date of acceptance, according to rules which shall be promulgated by the State Board of Elections. Those rules shall provide for a paperless, instant, electronic transfer of applications to the appropriate board of elections. Applications for preregistration to vote shall be forwarded to the State Board of Elections.

SECTION 12.1.(f)  G.S. 163?82.20 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?82.20.  Voter registration at other public agencies.

(a)        Voter Registration Agencies. – Every office in this State which accepts:

(1)        Applications for a program of public assistance under Article 2 of Chapter 108A of the General Statutes or under Article 13 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes;

(2)        Applications for State?funded State or local government programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities, with such office designated by the State Board of Elections; or

(3)        Claims for benefits under Chapter 96 of the General Statutes, the Employment Security Law, is designated as a voter registration agency for purposes of this section.

(b)        Duties of Voter Registration Agencies. – A voter registration agency described in subsection (a) of this section shall, unless the applicant declines, in writing, to register or preregister to vote:

(1)        Distribute with each application for service or assistance, and with each recertification, renewal, or change of address relating to such service or assistance:

a.         The voter registration application form described in G.S. 163?82.3(a) or (b); or

b.         The voter registration agency’s own form, if it is substantially equivalent to the form described in G.S. 163?82.3(a) or (b) and has been approved by the State Board of Elections, provided that the agency’s own form may be a detachable part of the agency’s paper application or may be a paperless computer process, as long as the applicant is required to sign an attestation as part of the application to register or preregister.register.

(2)        Provide a form that contains the elements required by section 7(a)(6)(B) of the National Voter Registration Act; and

(3)        Provide to each applicant who does not decline to register or preregister to vote the same degree of assistance with regard to the completion of the registration application as is provided by the office with regard to the completion of its own forms.

(c)        Provided that voter registration agencies designated under subdivision (a)(3) of this section shall only be required to provide the services set out in this subsection to applicants for new claims, reopened claims, and changes of address under Chapter 96 of the General Statutes, the Employment Security Law.

(d)        Home Registration for Disabled. – If a voter registration agency provides services to a person with disability at the person’s home, the voter registration agency shall provide the services described in subsection (b) of this section at the person’s home.

(e)        Prohibitions. – Any person providing any service under subsection (b) of this section shall not:

(1)        Seek to influence an applicant’s political preference or party registration, except that this shall not be construed to prevent the notice provided by G.S. 163?82.4(c) to be given if the applicant refuses to declare his party affiliation;

(2)        Display any such political preference or party allegiance;

(3)        Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to discourage the applicant from registering or preregistering to vote; or

(4)        Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to lead the applicant to believe that a decision to register or preregister or not to register or preregister has any bearing on the availability of services or benefits.

(f)         Confidentiality of Declination to Register. – No information relating to a declination to register or preregister to vote in connection with an application made at a voter registration agency may be used for any purpose other than voter registration.

(g)        Transmittal From Agency to Board of Elections. – Any voter registration or preregistration application completed at a voter registration agency shall be accepted by that agency in lieu of the applicant’s mailing the application. Any such application so received shall be transmitted to the appropriate board of elections not later than five business days after acceptance, according to rules which shall be promulgated by the State Board of Elections.

(h)        Twenty?Five?Day Deadline for an Election. – Applications to register accepted by a voter registration agency shall entitle a registrant to vote in any primary, general, or special election unless the registrant shall have made application later than the twenty?fifth calendar day immediately preceding such primary, general, or special election, provided that nothing shall prohibit voter registration agencies from continuing to accept applications during that period.

(i)         Ineligible Applications Prohibited. – No person shall make application to register or preregister to vote under this section if that person is ineligible on account of age, citizenship, lack of residence for the period of time provided by law, or because of conviction of a felony.”

SECTION 12.1.(g)  G.S. 115C?81(g1)(1) reads as rewritten:

“(1)      The State Board of Education shall modify the high school social studies curriculum to include instruction in civic and citizenship education. The State Board of Education is strongly encouraged to include, at a minimum, the following components in the high school civic and citizenship education curriculum:

a.         That students write to a local, State, or federal elected official about an issue that is important to them;

b.         Instruction on the importance of voting and otherwise participating in the democratic process, including instruction on voter registration and preregistration;registration;

c.         Information about current events and governmental structure; and

d.         Information about the democratic process and how laws are made.”

SECTION 12.1.(h)  G.S. 115C?47(59) reads as rewritten:

“(59)    To Encourage Student Voter Registration and Preregistration. Registration. – Local boards of education are encouraged to adopt policies to promote student voter registration and preregistration. registration. These policies may include collaboration with county boards of elections to conduct voter registration and preregistration in high schools. Completion and submission of voter registration or preregistration forms shall not be a course requirement or graded assignment for students.”

SECTION 12.1.(i)  The Department of Public Instruction is encouraged to improve outreach to high school students on registering to vote when they are eligible, including the curriculum element on instruction in voter registration already provided by G.S. 115C?47(59) and voter registration in public high schools as already allowed by G.S. 163?82.23.

SECTION 12.1.(j)  This section becomes effective September 1, 2013. All voter preregistrations completed and received by the State Board prior to that date shall be processed and those voters registered, as appropriate.

 

PART 13. “WET INK” ON VOTER REGISTRATION FORMS

SECTION 13.1.  G.S. 163?82.6(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b)      Signature. – The form shall be valid only if signed by the applicant. An electronically captured signature, including signatures on applications generated by computer programs of third?party groups, shall not be valid on a voter registration form, except as provided in Article 21A of this Chapter. An Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, an electronically captured image of the signature of a voter on an electronic voter registration form offered by a State agency shall be considered a valid signature for all purposes for which a signature on a paper voter registration form is used.”

 

PART 14. COMPENSATION FOR VOTER REGISTRATION LIMITED

SECTION 14.1.  G.S. 163?274(a) is amended by adding a new subdivision to read:

(14)    For any person to be compensated based on the number of forms submitted for assisting persons in registering to vote.

 

PART 16. ELIMINATE SAME?DAY VOTER REGISTRATION

SECTION 16.1.  The subsections of G.S. 163?82.6A, other than subsection (e), are repealed.

SECTION 16.1A.  The catch line of G.S. 163?82.6A reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?82.6A.  In?person registration and voting Address and name changes at one?stop sites.”

SECTION 16.2.  G.S. 163?59 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?59.  Right to participate or vote in party primary.

No person shall be entitled to vote or otherwise participate in the primary election of any political party unless that person complies with all of the following:

(1)        Is a registered voter.

(2)        Has declared and has had recorded on the registration book or record the fact that the voter affiliates with the political party in whose primary the voter proposes to vote or participate.

(3)        Is in good faith a member of that party.

Notwithstanding the previous paragraph, any unaffiliated voter who is authorized under G.S. 163?119 may also vote in the primary if the voter is otherwise eligible to vote in that primary except for subdivisions (2) and (3) of the previous paragraph.

Any person who will become qualified by age to register and vote in the general election for which the primary is held, even though not so qualified by the date of the primary, shall be entitled to register for the primary and general election prior to the primary and then to vote in the primary after being registered. Such person may register not earlier than 60 days nor later than the last day for making application to register under G.S. 163?82.6(c) prior to the primary. In addition, persons who will become qualified by age to register and vote in the general election for which the primary is held, who do not register during the special period may register to vote after such period as if they were qualified on the basis of age, but until they are qualified by age to vote, they may vote only in primary elections. Such a person also may register and vote in the primary and general election pursuant to G.S. 163?82.6A(f).

SECTION 16.3.  G.S. 163?82.6(c) reads as rewritten:

“(c)       Registration Deadlines for a Primary or Election. – In order to be valid for a primary or election, except as provided in G.S. 163?82.6A, the form:

(1)        If submitted by mail, must be postmarked at least 25 days before the primary or election, except that any mailed application on which the postmark is missing or unclear is validly submitted if received in the mail not later than 20 days before the primary or election,

(2)        If submitted in person, by facsimile transmission, or by transmission of a scanned document, must be received by the county board of elections by a time established by that board, but no earlier than 5:00 P.M., on the twenty?fifth day before the primary or election,

(3)        If submitted through a delegatee who violates the duty set forth in subsection (a) of this section, must be signed by the applicant and given to the delegatee not later than 25 days before the primary or election, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section.”

SECTION 16.4.  G.S. 163?166.12(b2) reads as rewritten:

“(b2)    Voting When Identification Numbers Do Not Match. – Regardless of whether an individual has registered by mail or by another method, if the individual has provided with the registration form a drivers license number or last four digits of a Social Security number but the computer validation of the number as required by G.S. 163?82.12 did not result in a match, and the number has not been otherwise validated by the board of elections, in the first election in which the individual votes that individual shall submit with the ballot the form of identification described in subsection (a) or subsection (b) of this section, depending upon whether the ballot is voted in person or absentee. If that identification is provided and the board of elections does not determine that the individual is otherwise ineligible to vote a ballot, the failure of identification numbers to match shall not prevent that individual from registering to vote and having that individual’s vote counted. If the individual registers and votes under G.S. 163?82.6A, the identification documents required in that section, rather than those described in subsection (a) or (b) of this section, apply.

SECTION 16.5.  G.S. 163?227.2(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       Any voter eligible to vote by absentee ballot under G.S. 163?226 may request an application for absentee ballots, complete the application, and vote under the provisions of this section and of G.S. 163?82.6A, as applicable.section.

SECTION 16.6.  G.S. 163?283 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?283.  Right to participate or vote in party primary.

No person shall be entitled to vote or otherwise participate in the primary election of any political party unless that person complies with all of the following:

(1)        Is a registered voter.

(2)        Has declared and has had recorded on the registration book or record the fact that the voter affiliates with the political party in whose primary the voter proposes to vote or participate.

(3)        Is in good faith a member of that party.

Notwithstanding the previous paragraph, any unaffiliated voter who is authorized under G.S. 163?119 may also vote in the primary if the voter is otherwise eligible to vote in that primary except for subdivisions (2) and (3) of the previous paragraph.

Any person who will become qualified by age to register and vote in the general election for which the primary is held, even though not so qualified by the date of the primary election, shall be entitled to register while the registration books are open during the regular registration period prior to the primary and then to vote in the primary after being registered, provided however, under full?time and permanent registration, such an individual may register not earlier than 60 days nor later than the last day for making application to register under G.S. 163?82.6(c) prior to the primary. In addition, persons who will become qualified by age to register and vote in the general election for which the primary is held, who do not register during the special period may register to vote after such period as if they were qualified on the basis of age, but until they are qualified by age to vote, they may vote only in primary elections. Such a person also may register and vote in the primary and general election pursuant to G.S. 163?82.6A(f).

SECTION 16.7.  G.S. 163?283.1 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?283.1.  Voting in nonpartisan primary.

Any person who will become qualified by age to register and vote in the general election for which a nonpartisan primary is held, even though not so qualified by the date of the primary, shall be entitled to register for the primary and general election prior to the primary and then to vote in the primary after being registered. Such a person may register not earlier than 60 days nor later than the last day for making application to register under G.S. 163?82.6(c) prior to the primary. Such a person also may register and vote in the primary and general election pursuant to G.S. 163?82.6A(f).

SECTION 16.8.  G.S. 163?330 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?330.  Voting in primary.

Any person who will become qualified by age to register and vote in the general election for which the primary is held, even though not so qualified by the date of the primary, shall be entitled to register for the primary and general election prior to the primary and then to vote in the primary after being registered. Such person may register not earlier than 60 days nor later than the last day for making application to register under G.S. 163?82.6(c) prior to the primary. Such a person also may register and vote in the primary and general election pursuant to G.S. 163?82.6A(f).

 

PART 17. ENHANCE DELIVERY OF MILITARY AND OVERSEAS ABSENTEE BALLOTS FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS WHEN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATING CONVENTIONS CONCLUDE AFTER LABOR DAY

SECTION 17.(a)  G.S. 163?227.3 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?227.3.  Date by which absentee ballots must be available for voting.

(a)        A board of elections shall provide absentee ballots of the kinds needed 60 days prior to the statewide general election in even?numbered years and 50 days prior to the date on which any other election shall be conducted, unless 45 days is authorized by the State Board of Elections under G.S. 163?22(k) or there shall exist an appeal before the State Board or the courts not concluded, in which case the board shall provide the ballots as quickly as possible upon the conclusion of such an appeal. Provided, in a presidential election year, the board of elections shall provide general election ballots no later than three days after nomination of the presidential and vice presidential candidates if that nomination occurs later than 63 days prior to the statewide general election and makes compliance with the 60?day deadline impossible. However, in the case of municipal elections, absentee ballots shall be made available no later than 30 days before an election. In every instance the board of elections shall exert every effort to provide absentee ballots, of the kinds needed by the date on which absentee voting is authorized to commence.

(b)        Second Primary. – The board of elections shall provide absentee ballots, of the kinds needed, as quickly as possible after the ballot information for a second primary has been determined.”

SECTION 17.(b)  G.S. 163?258.9(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       Not later than 60 days before the statewide general election in even?numbered years and not later than 50 days before any other election, the county board of elections shall transmit a ballot and balloting materials to all covered voters who by that date submit a valid military?overseas ballot application, except for a second primary. Provided, in a presidential election year, the board of elections shall provide general election ballots no later than three days after nomination of the presidential and vice presidential candidates if that nomination occurs later than 63 days prior to the statewide general election and makes compliance with the 60?day deadline impossible. However, in the case of municipal elections, absentee ballots shall be made available no later than 30 days before an election. For a second primary which includes a candidate for federal office, the county board of elections shall transmit a ballot and balloting material to all covered voters who by that date submit a valid military?overseas ballot application no later than 45 days before the second primary. For a second primary which does not include a candidate for federal office, the transmission of the ballot and ballot materials shall be as soon as practicable and shall be transmitted electronically no later than three business days and by mail no later than 15 days from the date the appropriate board of elections orders that the second primary be held pursuant to G.S. 163?111. If additional offices are added to the ballot to fill a vacancy occurring after the deadline provided by this subsection, those ballots shall be transmitted as soon as practicable.”

 

PART 18. LIST MAINTENANCE/INTERSTATE AGREEMENTS TO IMPROVE VOTER ROLLS

SECTION 18.1.  G.S. 163?82.14(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       Uniform Program. – The State Board of Elections shall adopt a uniform program that makes a reasonable effort:diligent effort not less than twice each year:

(1)        To remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters, and

(2)        To update the addresses and other necessary data of persons who remain on the official lists of eligible voters.

That program shall be nondiscriminatory and shall comply with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, and with the provisions of the National Voter Registration Act. The State Board of Elections, in addition to the methods set forth in this section, may use other methods toward the ends set forth in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, including address?updating services provided by the Postal Service.Service, and entering into data sharing agreements with other states to cross?check information on voter registration and voting records. Any data sharing agreement shall require the other state or states to comply with G.S. 163?82.10 and G.S. 163?82.10B. Each county board of elections shall conduct systematic efforts to remove names from its list of registered voters in accordance with this section and with the program adopted by the State Board. The county boards of elections shall complete their list maintenance mailing program by April 15 of every odd?numbered year, unless the State Board of Elections approves a different date for the county.”

SECTION 18.2.  The State Board of Elections shall actively seek ways to share and cross?check information on voting records and voter registration with other states to improve the accuracy of voter registration lists, using resources such as the Electronic Registration Information Center and by entering into interstate compacts for this purpose.

SECTION 18.3.  This Part is effective when it becomes law.

 

PART 19. NO MANDATED VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE

SECTION 19.1. G.S. 163?82.25 is repealed.

 

PART 20. VOTER RECORDS ACCESS CLARIFICATION AND CHALLENGES

SECTION 20.1.  G.S. 163?84 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?84.  Time for challenge other than on day of primary or election.

The registration records of each county shall be open to inspection by any registered voter of the county, State, including any chief judge or judge of elections, during the normal business hours of the county board of elections on the days when the board’s office is open. At those times the right of any person to register, remain registered, or vote shall be subject to objection and challenge.”

SECTION 20.2.  G.S. 163?87 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?87.  Challenges allowed on day of primary or election.

On the day of a primary or election, at the time a registered voter offers to vote, any other registered voter of the precinct county may exercise the right of challenge, and when he does so may enter the voting enclosure to make the challenge, but he shall retire therefrom as soon as the challenge is heard.

On the day of a primary or election, any other registered voter of the precinct county may challenge a person for one or more of the following reasons:

(1)        One or more of the reasons listed in G.S. 163?85(c).

(2)        That the person has already voted in that primary or election.

(3)        Repealed by Session Laws 2009?541, s. 16.1(b), effective August 28, 2009.

(4)        If the challenge is made with respect to voting in a partisan primary, that the person is a registered voter of another political party.

The chief judge, judge, or assistant appointed under G.S. 163?41 or 163?42 may enter challenges under this section against voters in the precinct for which appointed regardless of the place of residence of the chief judge, judge, or assistant.

If a person is challenged under this subsection, and the challenge is sustained under G.S. 163?85(c)(3), the voter may still transfer his registration under G.S. 163?82.15(e) if eligible under that section, and the registration shall not be cancelled under G.S. 163?90.2(a) if the transfer is made. A person who has transferred his registration under G.S. 163?82.15(e) may be challenged at the precinct to which the registration is being transferred.”

 

PART 21. CANDIDATE WITHDRAWAL

SECTION 21.1.  G.S. 163?106(e) reads as rewritten:

“(e)       Withdrawal of Notice of Candidacy. – Any person who has filed notice of candidacy for an office shall have the right to withdraw it at any time prior to the close of business on the third business day prior to the date on which the right to file for that office expires under the terms of subsection (c) of this section. If a candidate does not withdraw before the filing deadline, except as provided in G.S. 163?112, his name shall be printed on the primary ballot, any votes for him shall be counted, and he shall not be refunded his filing fee.”

SECTION 21.2.  G.S. 163?294.2(d) reads as rewritten:

“(d)      Any person may withdraw his notice of candidacy at any time prior to the close of business on the third business day prior to the filing deadline prescribed in subsection (c), and shall be entitled to a refund of his filing fee if he does so.”

SECTION 21.3.  G.S. 163?323(c) reads as rewritten:

“(c)       Withdrawal of Notice of Candidacy. – Any person who has filed a notice of candidacy for an office shall have the right to withdraw it at any time prior to the close of business on the third business day prior to the date on which the right to file for that office expires under the terms of subsection (b) of this section.”

 

PART 22. PETITIONS IN LIEU

SECTION 22.1.  G.S. 163?107.1 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?107.1.  Petition in lieu of payment of filing fee.

(a)        Any qualified voter who seeks nomination in the party primary of the political party with which he affiliates may, in lieu of payment of any filing fee required for the office he seeks, file a written petition requesting him to be a candidate for a specified office with the appropriate board of elections, State, county or municipal.

(b)        If the candidate is seeking the office of United States Senator, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or any State executive officer, the petition must be signed by 10,000 registered voters who are members of the political party in whose primary the candidate desires to run, except that in the case of a political party as defined by G.S. 163?96(a)(2) which will be making nominations by primary election, the petition must be signed by ten percent (10%) five percent (5%) of the registered voters of the State who are affiliated with the same political party in whose primary the candidate desires to run, or in the alternative, the petition shall be signed by no less than 10,000 8,000 registered voters regardless of the voter’s political party affiliation, whichever requirement is greater. The petition must be filed with the State Board of Elections not later than 12:00 noon on Monday preceding the filing deadline before the primary in which he seeks to run. The names on the petition shall be verified by the board of elections of the county where the signer is registered, and the petition must be presented to the county board of elections at least 15 days before the petition is due to be filed with the State Board of Elections. When a proper petition has been filed, the candidate’s name shall be printed on the primary ballot.

(c)        County, Municipal and District Primaries. – If the candidate is seeking one of the offices set forth in G.S. 163?106(c) but which is not listed in subsection (b) of this section, or a municipal or any other office requiring a partisan primary which is not set forth in G.S. 163?106(c) or (d), he shall file a written petition with the appropriate board of elections no later than 12:00 noon on Monday preceding the filing deadline before the primary. The petition shall be signed by ten percent (10%) five percent (5%) of the registered voters of the election area in which the office will be voted for, who are affiliated with the same political party in whose primary the candidate desires to run, or in the alternative, the petition shall be signed by no less than 200 registered voters regardless of said voter’s political party affiliation, whichever requirement is greater. The board of elections shall verify the names on the petition, and if the petition is found to be sufficient, the candidate’s name shall be printed on the appropriate primary ballot. Petitions for candidates for member of the U.S. House of Representatives, District Attorney, and members of the State House of Representatives from multi?county districts or members of the State Senate from multi?county districts must be presented to the county board of elections for verification at least 15 days before the petition is due to be filed with the State Board of Elections, and such petition must be filed with the State Board of Elections no later than 12:00 noon on Monday preceding the filing deadline. The State Board of Elections may adopt rules to implement this section and to provide standard petition forms.

(d)        Nonpartisan Primaries and Elections. – Any qualified voter who seeks to be a candidate in any nonpartisan primary or election may, in lieu of payment of the filing fee required, file a written petition signed by ten percent (10%) five percent (5%) of the registered voters in the election area in which the office will be voted for with the appropriate board of elections. Any qualified voter may sign the petition. The petition shall state the candidate’s name, address and the office which he is seeking. The petition must be filed with the appropriate board of elections no later than 60 days prior to the filing deadline for the primary or election, and if found to be sufficient, the candidate’s name shall be printed on the ballot.”

SECTION 22.2.  G.S. 163?325(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b)      Requirements of Petition; Deadline for Filing. – If the candidate is seeking the office of justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Court of Appeals, or superior or district court judge, that individual shall file a written petition with the State Board of Elections no later than 12:00 noon on Monday preceding the filing deadline before the primary. If the office is justice of the Supreme Court or judge of the Court of Appeals, the petition shall be signed by 10,000 8,000 registered voters in the State. If the office is superior court or district court judge, the petition shall be signed by ten percent (10%) five percent (5%) of the registered voters of the election area in which the office will be voted for. The board of elections shall verify the names on the petition, and if the petition and notice of candidacy are found to be sufficient, the candidate’s name shall be printed on the appropriate ballot. Petitions must be presented to the county board of elections for verification at least 15 days before the petition is due to be filed with the State Board of Elections. The State Board of Elections may adopt rules to implement this section and to provide standard petition forms.”

 

PART 23. TIMELY WITHDRAWAL OF PARTY NOMINEE

SECTION 23.1.  G.S. 163?113 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?113.  Nominee’s right to withdraw as candidate.

A person who has been declared the nominee of a political party for a specified office under the provisions of G.S. 163?182.15 or G.S. 163?110, shall not be permitted to resign as a candidate unless, at least 30 days before the general election, prior to the first day on which military and overseas absentee ballots are transmitted to voters under Article 21A of this Chapter, he that person submits to the board of elections which certified his the nomination a written request that he person be permitted to withdraw.”

 

PART 24. BETTER MANAGE PRECINCT SIZES

SECTION 24.1.  The Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee shall study optimal numbers of voters in election precincts so as to reduce overcrowding and long lines and recommend to the General Assembly any legislation it deems advisable. The study shall also examine the size of the polling place itself, its accessibility, and parking availability. It may make an interim report prior to the date that the General Assembly reconvenes the 2013 Regular Session in 2014, and shall make a final report before the convening of the 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

 

PART 25. EARLY VOTING SITES WITHIN A COUNTY

SECTION 25.1.  G.S. 163?227.2(b) and (g) read as rewritten:

“§ 163?227.2.  Alternate procedures for requesting application for absentee ballot; “one?stop” voting procedure in board office.

(b)        Not earlier than the third second Thursday before an election, in which absentee ballots are authorized, in which a voter seeks to vote and not later than 1:00 P.M. on the last Saturday before that election, the voter shall appear in person only at the office of the county board of elections, provided in subsection (g) of this section. A county board of elections shall conduct one?stop voting on the last Saturday before the election until 1:00 P.M. 1:00 P.M. and may conduct it until 5:00 P.M. on that Saturday. That voter shall enter the voting enclosure at the board office through the appropriate entrance and shall at once state his or her name and place of residence to an authorized member or employee of the board. In a primary election, the voter shall also state the political party with which the voter affiliates and in whose primary the voter desires to vote, or if the voter is an unaffiliated voter permitted to vote in the primary of a particular party under G.S. 163?119, the voter shall state the name of the authorizing political party in whose primary he wishes to vote. The board member or employee to whom the voter gives this information shall announce the name and residence of the voter in a distinct tone of voice. After examining the registration records, an employee of the board shall state whether the person seeking to vote is duly registered. If the voter is found to be registered that voter may request that the authorized member or employee of the board furnish the voter with an application form as specified in G.S. 163?227. The voter shall complete the application in the presence of the authorized member or employee of the board, and shall deliver the application to that person.

(g)        Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a county board of elections by unanimous vote of all its members may provide for one or more sites in that county for absentee ballots to be applied for and cast under this section. Every individual staffing any of those sites shall be a member or full?time employee of the county board of elections or an employee of the county board of elections whom the board has given training equivalent to that given a full?time employee. Those sites must be approved by the State Board of Elections as part of a Plan for Implementation approved by both the county board of elections and by the State Board of Elections which shall also provide adequate security of the ballots and provisions to avoid allowing persons to vote who have already voted. The Plan for Implementation shall include a provision for the presence of political party observers at each one?stop site equivalent to the provisions in G.S. 163?45 for party observers at voting places on election day. A county board of elections may propose in its Plan not to offer one?stop voting at the county board of elections office; the State Board may approve that proposal in a Plan only if the Plan includes at least one site reasonably proximate to the county board of elections office and the State Board finds that the sites in the Plan as a whole provide adequate coverage of the county’s electorate. If a county board of elections has considered a proposed Plan or Plans for Implementation and has been unable to reach unanimity in favor of a Plan, a member or members of that county board of elections may petition the State Board of Elections to adopt a plan for it. If petitioned, the State Board may also receive and consider alternative petitions from another member or members of that county board. The State Board of Elections may adopt a Plan for that county. The State Board, in that plan, shall take into consideration factors including geographic, demographic, and partisan interests of that county. Any plan adopted by either the county board of elections or the State Board of Elections under this subsection shall provide for the same days of operation and same number of hours of operation on each day for all sites in that county for that election. The requirement of the previous sentence does not apply to the county board of elections office itself nor, if one?stop voting is not conducted at the county board of elections office, to the reasonably proximate alternate site approved under this subsection.

SECTION 25.2.  G.S. 163?227.2 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

(g2)     Notwithstanding the requirements of subsection (g) and (g1) of this section, for any county board of elections that provided for one or more sites as provided in subsection (g) of this section during the 2010 or 2012 general election, that county shall provide, at a minimum, the following:

(1)      The county board of elections shall calculate the cumulative total number of scheduled voting hours at all sites during the 2012 primary and general elections, respectively, that the county provided for absentee ballots to be applied for and voted under this section. For elections which include a presidential candidate on the ballot, the county shall ensure that at least the same number of hours offered in 2012 is offered for absentee ballots to be applied for and voted under this section through a combination of hours and numbers of one?stop sites during the primary or general election, correspondingly.

(2)        The county board of elections shall calculate the cumulative total number of scheduled voting hours at all sites during the 2010 primary and general elections, respectively, that the county provided for absentee ballots to be applied for and voted under this section. For elections which do not include a presidential candidate on the ballot, the county shall ensure that at least the same number of hours offered in 2010 is offered for absentee ballots to be applied for and voted under this section through a combination of hours and numbers of one?stop sites during the primary or general election, correspondingly.

The State Board of Elections, to ensure compliance with this subsection, may approve a one?stop site in a building that the county board of elections is not entitled under G.S. 163?129 to demand and use as an election?day voting place, but may deny approval if a member of that board presents evidence that other equally suitable sites were available and the use of the sites chosen would unfairly advantage or disadvantage geographic, demographic, or partisan interests of that county.

SECTION 25.3.  G.S. 163?227.2 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

(g3)     A county board of elections by unanimous vote of the board, with all members present and voting, may submit a request to the State Board to reduce the number of hours established in subsection (g2) of this section for a primary or a general election. The reduction shall take effect for that primary or general election only if approved by unanimous vote of the State Board with all members present and voting.

 

PART 26. STANDARDIZE SATELLITE POLLING PLACE APPROVAL

SECTION 26.1.(a)  G.S. 163?130 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?130.  Satellite voting places.

A county board of elections by unanimous vote may, upon approval of a request submitted in writing to the State Board of Elections, establish a plan whereby elderly or disabled voters in a precinct may vote at designated sites within the precinct other than the regular voting place for that precinct. Any approval under this section is only effective for one year and shall be annually reviewed for extension. The State Board of Elections shall approve a county board’s proposed plan if:

(1)        All the satellite voting places to be used are listed in the county’s written request;

(2)        The plan will in the State Board’s judgment overcome a barrier to voting by the elderly or disabled;

(3)        Adequate security against fraud is provided for; and

(4)        The plan does not unfairly favor or disfavor voters with regard to race or party affiliation.”

SECTION 26.1.(b). This section becomes effective January 1, 2014. All plans approved under G.S. 163?130 prior to that date shall be reviewed and adopted in accordance with G.S. 163?130, as amended by this section.

 

PART 27. DELETE REFERENCE TO PRECINCT BOUNDARIES AFTER THE 2000 CENSUS

SECTION 27.1.  G.S. 163?132.1 is repealed.

 

PART 28. REDUCE NEED FOR SECOND PRIMARY

SECTION 28.1.  The Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee shall study the second primary and recommend to the General Assembly any legislation it deems advisable. The study may include the following:

(1)        Whether to go to a plurality method of determining the result of the primary.

(2)        Whether to reduce the current forty percent (40%) threshold.

(3)        Whether to keep the forty percent (40%) threshold but also allow a smaller percentage if the margin between first and second place finisher is substantial.

(4)        Whether to have a different system for different offices such as United States Senator, Governor, and Lieutenant Governor and other offices.

It may make an interim report prior to the date that the General Assembly reconvenes the 2013 Regular Session in 2014, and shall make a final report before the convening of the 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

 

PART 29. CLARIFY STATE BOARD DUTY ON CHARACTERISTICS OF BALLOT

SECTION 29.1.  G.S. 163?165.4 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?165.4.  Standards for official ballots.

The State Board of Elections shall seek to ensure that official ballots throughout the State have all the following characteristics:

(1)        Are readily understandable by voters.

(2)        Present all candidates and questions in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner.

(3)        Allow every voter to cast a vote in every ballot item without difficulty.

(4)        Facilitate an accurate vote count.

(5)        Are uniform in content and format, subject to varied presentations required or made desirable by different voting systems.”

 

PART 30. SIMPLIFY BALLOT RECORDS

SECTION 30.1.  G.S. 163?165(1) reads as rewritten:

“(1)      “Ballot” means an instrument on which a voter indicates a choice so that it may be recorded as a vote for or against a certain candidate or referendum proposal. The term “ballot” may include a paper ballot to be counted by hand, a paper ballot to be counted on an electronic scanner, the face of a lever voting machine, the image on a direct record electronic unit, or aor a paper ballot used on any other voting system.”

SECTION 30.2.  G.S. 163?165 is amended by adding a new subdivision to read:

(5a)     “Paper ballot” means an individual paper document that bears marks made by the voter by hand or through electronic means.

SECTION 30.3.  G.S. 163?165.7(a) and (d) read as rewritten:

“§ 163?165.7.  Voting systems: powers and duties of State Board of Elections.

(a)        Only voting systems that have been certified by the State Board of Elections in accordance with the procedures and subject to the standards set forth in this section and that have not been subsequently decertified shall be permitted for use in elections in this State. Those certified voting systems shall be valid in any election held in the State or in any county, municipality, or other electoral district in the State. Subject to all other applicable rules adopted by the State Board of Elections and, with respect to federal elections, subject to all applicable federal regulations governing voting systems, paper ballots marked by the voter and counted by hand shall be deemed a certified voting system. The State Board of Elections shall certify optical scan voting systems, optical scan with ballot markers voting systems, and direct record electronic voting systems if any of those systems meet all applicable requirements of federal and State law. The State Board may certify additional voting systems only if they meet the requirements of the request for proposal process set forth in this section and only if they generate either a paper ballot or a paper record by which voters may verify their votes before casting them and which provides a backup means of counting the vote that the voter casts. Those voting systems may include optical scan and direct record electronic (DRE) voting systems.systems that produce a paper ballot. In consultation with the Office of Information Technology Services, the State Board shall develop the requests for proposal subject to the provisions of this Chapter and other applicable State laws. Among other requirements, the request for proposal shall require at least all of the following elements:

(1)        That the vendor post a bond or letter of credit to cover damages resulting from defects in the voting system. Damages shall include, among other items, any costs of conducting a new election attributable to those defects.

(2)        That the voting system comply with all federal requirements for voting systems.

(3)        That the voting system must have the capacity to include in voting tabulation district returns the votes cast by voters outside of the voter’s voting tabulation district as required by G.S. 163?132.5G.

(4)        With respect to electronic voting systems, that the voting system generate a paper record ballot of each individual vote cast, which paper record ballot shall be maintained in a secure fashion and shall serve as a backup record for purposes of any hand?to?eye count, hand?to?eye recount, or other audit. Electronic systems that employ optical scan technology to count paper ballots shall be deemed to satisfy this requirement.

(5)        With respect to DRE voting systems, that the paper record ballot generated by the system be viewable by the voter before the vote is cast electronically, and that the system permit the voter to correct any discrepancy between the electronic vote and the paper record ballot before the vote is cast.

(d)        Subject to the provisions of this Chapter, the State Board of Elections shall prescribe rules for the adoption, handling, operation, and honest use of certified voting systems, including all of the following:

(1)        Procedures for county boards of elections to utilize when recommending the purchase of a certified voting system for use in that county.

(2)        Form of official ballot labels to be used on voting systems.

(3)        Operation and manner of voting on voting systems.

(4)        Instruction of precinct officials in the use of voting systems.

(5)        Instruction of voters in the use of voting systems.

(6)        Assistance to voters using voting systems.

(7)        Duties of custodians of voting systems.

(8)        Examination and testing of voting systems in a public forum in the county before and after use in an election.

(9)        Notwithstanding G.S. 132?1.2, procedures for the review and examination of any information placed in escrow by a vendor pursuant to G.S. 163?165.9A by only the following persons:

a.         State Board of Elections.

b.         Office of Information Technology Services.

c.         The State chairs of each political party recognized under G.S. 163?96.

d.         The purchasing county.

Each person listed in sub?subdivisions a. through d. of this subdivision may designate up to three persons as that person’s agents to review and examine the information. No person shall designate under this subdivision a business competitor of the vendor whose proprietary information is being reviewed and examined. For purposes of this review and examination, any designees under this subdivision and the State party chairs shall be treated as public officials under G.S. 132?2.

(10)      With respect to electronic voting systems, procedures to maintain the integrity of both the electronic vote count and the paper record.ballot. Those procedures shall at a minimum include procedures to protect against the alteration of the paper record ballot after a machine vote has been recorded and procedures to prevent removal by the voter from the voting enclosure of any paper record or copy of an individually voted paper ballot or of any other device or item whose removal from the voting enclosure could permit compromise of the integrity of either the machine count or the paper record.ballot.

….”

SECTION 30.4.  G.S. 163?166.7(c) reads as rewritten:

“(c)       The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules for the process of voting. Those rules shall emphasize the appearance as well as the reality of dignity, good order, impartiality, and the convenience and privacy of the voter. Those rules, at a minimum, shall include procedures to ensure that all the following occur:

(1)        The voting system remains secure throughout the period voting is being conducted.

(2)        Only properly voted official ballots or paper records of individual voted ballots are introduced into the voting system.

(3)        Except as provided by G.S. 163?166.9, no official ballots leave the voting enclosure during the time voting is being conducted there. The rules shall also provide that during that time no one shall remove from the voting enclosure any paper record or copy of an individually voted ballot or of any other device or item whose removal from the voting enclosure could permit compromise of the integrity of either the machine count or the paper record.

(4)        All improperly voted official ballots or paper records of individual voted ballots are returned to the precinct officials and marked as spoiled.

(5)        Voters leave the voting place promptly after voting.

(6)        Voters not clearly eligible to vote in the precinct but who seek to vote there are given proper assistance in voting a provisional official ballot or guidance to another voting place where they are eligible to vote.

(7)        Information gleaned through the voting process that would be helpful to the accurate maintenance of the voter registration records is recorded and delivered to the county board of elections.

(8)        The registration records are kept secure. The State Board of Elections shall permit the use of electronic registration records in the voting place in lieu of or in addition to a paper pollbook or other registration record.

(9)        Party observers are given access as provided by G.S. 163?45 to current information about which voters have voted.

(10)      The voter, before voting, shall sign that voter’s name on the pollbook, other voting record, or voter authorization document. If the voter is unable to sign, a precinct official shall enter the person’s name on the same document before the voter votes.”

SECTION 30.5.  G.S. 163?182.1(b)(1) reads as rewritten:

“(1)      Provide for a sample hand?to?eye count of the paper ballots or paper records of a statewide ballot item in every county. The presidential ballot item shall be the subject of the sampling in a presidential election. If there is no statewide ballot item, the State Board shall provide a process for selecting district or local ballot items to adequately sample the electorate. The State Board shall approve in an open meeting the procedure for randomly selecting the sample precincts for each election. The random selection of precincts for any county shall be done publicly after the initial count of election returns for that county is publicly released or 24 hours after the polls close on election day, whichever is earlier. The sample chosen by the State Board shall be of one or more full precincts, full counts of mailed absentee ballots, full counts of one or more one?stop early voting sites, or a combination. The size of the sample of each category shall be chosen to produce a statistically significant result and shall be chosen after consultation with a statistician. The actual units shall be chosen at random. In the event of a material discrepancy between the electronic or mechanical count and a hand?to?eye count, the hand?to?eye count shall control, except where paper ballots or records have been lost or destroyed or where there is another reasonable basis to conclude that the hand?to?eye count is not the true count. If the discrepancy between the hand?to?eye count and the mechanical or electronic count is significant, a complete hand?to?eye count shall be conducted.”

SECTION 30.6.  G.S. 163?182.2(b)(1a) reads as rewritten:

“(1a)     For optical scan and direct record electronic voting systems, and for any other voting systems in which ballots are counted other than on paper by hand and eye, those rules shall provide for a sample hand?to?eye count of the paper ballots or paper records of a sampling of a statewide ballot item in every county. The presidential ballot item shall be the subject of the sampling in a presidential election. If there is no statewide ballot item, the State Board shall provide a process for selecting district or local ballot items to adequately sample the electorate. The State Board shall approve in an open meeting the procedure for randomly selecting the sample precincts for each election. The random selection of precincts for any county shall be done publicly after the initial count of election returns for that county is publicly released or 24 hours after the polls close on election day, whichever is earlier. The sample chosen by the State Board shall be of one or more full precincts, full counts of mailed absentee ballots, and full counts of one or more one?stop early voting sites. The size of the sample of each category shall be chosen to produce a statistically significant result and shall be chosen after consultation with a statistician. The actual units shall be chosen at random. In the event of a material discrepancy between the electronic or mechanical count and a hand?to?eye count, the hand?to?eye count shall control, except where paper ballots or records have been lost or destroyed or where there is another reasonable basis to conclude that the hand?to?eye count is not the true count. If the discrepancy between the hand?to?eye count and the mechanical or electronic count is significant, a complete hand?to?eye count shall be conducted. The sample count need not be done on election night.”

SECTION 30.7.  G.S. 163?227.2(e1) reads as rewritten:

“(e1)     If a county uses a voting system with retrievable ballots, that county’s board of elections may by resolution elect to conduct one?stop absentee voting according to the provisions of this subsection. In a county in which the board has opted to do so, a one?stop voter shall cast the ballot and then shall deposit the ballot in the ballot box or voting system in the same manner as if such box or system was in use in a precinct on election day. At the end of each business day, or at any time when there will be no employee or officer of the board of elections on the premises, the ballot box or system shall be secured in accordance with a plan approved by the State Board of Elections, which shall include that no additional ballots have been placed in the box or system. Any county board desiring to conduct one?stop voting according to this subsection shall submit a plan for doing so to the State Board of Elections. The State Board shall adopt standards for conducting one?stop voting under this subsection and shall approve any county plan that adheres to its standards. The county board shall adhere to its State Board?approved plan. The plan shall provide that each one?stop ballot shall have a ballot number on it in accordance with G.S. 163?230.1(a2), or shall have an equivalent identifier to allow for retrievability. The standards shall address retrievability in one?stop voting on direct record electronic equipment where no paper ballot is used.

SECTION 30.8.  Any direct record electronic (DRE) voting systems currently certified by the State Board of Elections which do not use paper ballots shall be decertified and shall not be used in any election held on or after January 1, 2018. Decertification of a DRE voting system that does not use paper ballots may not be appealed to the Superior Court of Wake County pursuant to G.S. 163?165.7(b).

SECTION 30.9.  This Part becomes effective January 1, 2018.

 

PART 31. ORDER OF PARTIES ON THE BALLOT

SECTION 31.1.  G.S. 163?165.6(d) reads as rewritten:

“(d)      Order of Party Candidates on General Election Official Ballot. – Candidates in any ballot item on a general election official ballot shall appear in the following order:

(1)        Nominees of political parties that reflect at least five percent (5%) of statewide voter registration, according to the most recent statistical report published by the State Board of Elections, in alphabetical order by party beginning with the party whose nominee for Governor received the most votes in the most recent gubernatorial election, and in alphabetical order within the party.

(2)        Nominees of other political parties, in alphabetical order by party and in alphabetical order within the party.

(3)        Unaffiliated candidates, in alphabetical order.”

 

PART 32. VOTE THE PERSON NOT THE PARTY

SECTION 32.1.  G.S. 163?165.6(e) reads as rewritten:

“(e)       No Straight?Party Voting. – Each official ballot shall not contain any place that allows a voter with one mark to vote for the candidates of a party for more than one office. be arranged so that the voter may cast one vote for a party’s nominees for all offices except President and Vice President. A vote for President and Vice President shall be cast separately from a straight?party vote. The official ballot shall be prepared so that a voter may cast a straight?party vote, but then make an exception to that straight?party vote by voting for a candidate not nominated by that party or by voting for fewer than all the candidates nominated by that party. Instructions for general election ballots shall clearly advise voters of the rules in this subsection and of the statutes providing for the counting of ballots.

SECTION 32.2.  G.S. 163?182.1(a)(7) is repealed.

 

PART 33. REGULATE EXTENSION OF CLOSE OF POLLS

SECTION 33.1.  G.S. 163?166.01 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?166.01.  Hours for voting.

In every election, the voting place shall be open at 6:30 A.M. and shall be closed at 7:30 P.M. In extraordinary circumstances, the county board of elections may direct that the polls remain open until 8:30 P.M. If the polls are delayed in opening for more than 15 minutes, or are interrupted for more than 15 minutes after opening, the State Board of Elections may extend the closing time by an equal number of minutes. As authorized by law, the State Board of Elections shall be available either in person or by teleconference on the day of election to approve any such extension. If any voter is in line to vote at the time the polls are closed, that voter shall be permitted to vote. No voter shall be permitted to vote who arrives at the voting place after the closing of the polls.

Any voter who votes after the statutory poll closing time of 7:30 P.M. by virtue of a federal or State court order or any other lawful order, including an order of a county board of elections, shall be allowed to vote, under the provisions of that order, only by using a provisional official ballot. Any special provisional official ballots cast under this section shall be separated, counted, and held apart from other provisional ballots cast by other voters not under the effect of the order extending the closing time of the voting place. If the court order has not been reversed or stayed by the time of the county canvass, the total for that category of provisional ballots shall be added to the official canvass.”

 

PART 34. ASSISTANCE TO VOTER

SECTION 34.1.  The Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee shall study ways to improve protections for persons requiring assistance in voting places and recommend to the General Assembly any legislation it deems advisable. It may make an interim report prior to the date that the General Assembly reconvenes the 2013 Regular Session in 2014 and shall make a final report before the convening of the 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

 

PART 35. DATE OF PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY

SECTION 35.1.  G.S. 163?213.2 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?213.2.  Primary to be held; date; qualifications and registration of voters.

On the Tuesday after the first Monday in May, 1992, and every four years thereafter, the voters of this State shall be given an opportunity to express their preference for the person to be the presidential candidate of their political party.party, except that if South Carolina holds its presidential primary before the 15th day of March, the North Carolina presidential preference primary shall be held on the Tuesday after the first South Carolina presidential preference primary of that year.

Any person otherwise qualified who will become qualified by age to vote in the general election held in the same year of the presidential preference primary shall be entitled to register and vote in the presidential preference primary. Such persons may register not earlier than 60 days nor later than the last day for making application to register under G.S. 163?82.6 prior to the said primary. In addition, persons who will become qualified by age to register and vote in the general election for which the primary is held, who do not register during the special period may register to vote after such period as if they were qualified on the basis of age, but until they are qualified by age to vote, they may vote only in primary elections.”

SECTION 35.2.  G.S. 163?213.4 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?213.4.  Nomination by State Board of Elections.

By the first Tuesday in February of the year preceding No later than 90 days preceding the North Carolina presidential preference primary, the chair of each political party shall submit to the State Board of Elections a list of its presidential candidates to be placed on the presidential preference primary ballot. The list must be comprised of candidates whose candidacy is generally advocated and recognized in the news media throughout the United States or in North Carolina, unless any such candidate executes and files with the chair of the political party an affidavit stating without qualification that the candidate is not and does not intend to become a candidate for nomination in the North Carolina Presidential Preference Primary Election. The State Board of Elections shall prepare and publish a list of the names of the presidential candidates submitted. The State Board of Elections shall convene in Raleigh on the first Tuesday in March preceding the presidential preference primary election. At the meeting required by this section, the State Board of Elections shall nominate as presidential primary candidates all candidates affiliated with a political party, recognized pursuant to the provisions of Article 9 of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes, who have been submitted to the State Board of Elections. Immediately upon completion of these requirements, the Board shall release to the news media all such nominees selected. Provided, however, nothing shall prohibit the partial selection of nominees prior to the meeting required by this section, if all provisions herein have been complied with.”

 

PART 36. ADDITIONAL CANDIDATES ON PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY BALLOT

SECTION 36.1.  G.S. 163?213.4 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?213.4.  Nomination by State Board of Elections.

By the first Tuesday in February of the year preceding the North Carolina presidential preference primary, the chair of each political party shall submit to the State Board of Elections a list of its presidential candidates to be placed on the presidential preference primary ballot. The list must be comprised of candidates whose candidacy is generally advocated and recognized in the news media throughout the United States or in North Carolina, unless any such candidate executes and files with the chair of the political party an affidavit stating without qualification that the candidate is not and does not intend to become a candidate for nomination in the North Carolina Presidential Preference Primary Election. The State Board of Elections shall prepare and publish a list of the names of the presidential candidates submitted. The State Board of Elections shall convene in Raleigh on the first Tuesday in March preceding the presidential preference primary election. At the meeting required by this section, the State Board of Elections shall nominate as presidential primary candidates all candidates affiliated with a political party, recognized pursuant to the provisions of Article 9 of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes, who have been submitted to the State Board of Elections. Additionally, the State Board of Elections, by vote of at least three of its members in the affirmative, may nominate as a presidential primary candidate any other person affiliated with a political party that it finds is generally advocated and recognized in the news media throughout the United States or in North Carolina as candidates for the nomination by that party. Immediately upon completion of these requirements, the Board shall release to the news media all such nominees selected. Provided, however, nothing shall prohibit the partial selection of nominees prior to the meeting required by this section, if all provisions herein have been complied with.”

 

PART 38. REPEAL POLITICAL PARTIES FINANCING FUND, JUDICIAL ELECTIONS FUND, AND VOTER?OWNED ELECTIONS FUND

SECTION 38.1.(a)  Article 22D of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is repealed, except that G.S. 163?278.69 is repealed effective upon exhaustion of the funds for publication of the Judicial Voter Guide.

SECTION 38.1.(b)  Article 22J of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is repealed.

SECTION 38.1.(c)  Article 22B of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is repealed.

SECTION 38.1.(d)  G.S. 84?34 reads as rewritten:

“§ 84?34.  Membership fees and list of members.

Every active member of the North Carolina State Bar shall, prior to the first day of July of each year, pay to the secretary?treasurer an annual membership fee in an amount determined by the Council but not to exceed three hundred dollars ($300.00), plus a surcharge of fifty dollars ($50.00) for the implementation of Article 22D of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes, and every member shall notify the secretary?treasurer of the member’s correct mailing address. Any member who fails to pay the required dues by the last day of June of each year shall be subject to a late fee in an amount determined by the Council but not to exceed thirty dollars ($30.00). All dues for prior years shall be as were set forth in the General Statutes then in effect. The membership fee shall be regarded as a service charge for the maintenance of the several services authorized by this Article, and shall be in addition to all fees required in connection with admissions to practice, and in addition to all license taxes required by law. The fee shall not be prorated: Provided, that no fee shall be required of an attorney licensed after this Article shall have gone into effect until the first day of January of the calendar year following that in which the attorney was licensed; but this proviso shall not apply to attorneys from other states admitted on certificate. The fees shall be disbursed by the secretary?treasurer on the order of the Council. The fifty?dollar ($50.00) surcharge shall be sent on a monthly schedule to the State Board of Elections. The secretary?treasurer shall annually, at a time and in a law magazine or daily newspaper to be prescribed by the Council, publish an account of the financial transactions of the Council in a form to be prescribed by it. The secretary?treasurer shall compile and keep currently correct from the names and mailing addresses forwarded to the secretary?treasurer and from any other available sources of information a list of members of the North Carolina State Bar and furnish to the clerk of the superior court in each county, not later than the first day of October in each year, a list showing the name and address of each attorney for that county who has not complied with the provisions of this Article. The name of each of the active members who are in arrears in the payment of membership fees shall be furnished to the presiding judge at the next term of the superior court after the first day of October of each year, by the clerk of the superior court of each county wherein the member or members reside, and the court shall thereupon take action that is necessary and proper. The names and addresses of attorneys so certified shall be kept available to the public. The Secretary of Revenue is hereby directed to supply the secretary?treasurer, from records of license tax payments, with any information for which the secretary?treasurer may call in order to enable the secretary?treasurer to comply with this requirement.

The list submitted to several clerks of the superior court shall also be submitted to the Council at its October meeting of each year and it shall take the action thereon that is necessary and proper.”

SECTION 38.1.(e)  G.S. 105?159.1 is repealed.

SECTION 38.1.(f)  G.S. 105?159.2 is repealed.

SECTION 38.1.(g)  G.S. 163?278.5 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?278.5.  Scope of Article; severability.

The provisions of this Article apply to primaries and elections for North Carolina offices and to North Carolina referenda and do not apply to primaries and elections for federal offices or offices in other States or to non?North Carolina referenda. Any provision in this Article that regulates a non?North Carolina entity does so only to the extent that the entity’s actions affect elections for North Carolina offices or North Carolina referenda.

The provisions of this Article are severable. If any provision is held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the invalidity does not affect other provisions of the Article that can be given effect without the invalid provision.

This section applies to Articles 22B, 22D, 22E, 22F, 22G, 22H, 22J, and 22M of the General Statutes to the same extent that it applies to this Article.”

SECTION 38.1.(h)  G.S. 163?278.13(e) reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?278.13.  Limitation on contributions.

(e)        Except as provided in subsections (e2), (e3), and (e4) of this section, this This section shall not apply to any national, State, district or county executive committee of any political party. For the purposes of this section only, the term “political party” means only those political parties officially recognized under G.S. 163?96.”

SECTION 38.1.(i)  G.S. 163?278.13(e2) is repealed.

SECTION 38.1.(j)  G.S. 163?278.13(e4) is repealed.

SECTION 38.1.(k)  G.S. 163?278.23 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?278.23.  Duties of Executive Director of Board.

This section applies to Articles 22B, 22D, 22E, 22F, 22G, 22H, and 22M of the General Statutes to the same extent that it applies to this Article.”

SECTION 38.1.(l)  G.S. 163?278.99E(d) is repealed effective upon exhaustion of the funds for publication of the Judicial Voter Guide in G.S. 163?278.69.

SECTION 38.1.(m)  The State Board of Elections shall use the money in the North Carolina Public Campaign Fund to only publish Judicial Voter Guides as described in G.S. 163?278.69 until the funds have been exhausted.

SECTION 38.1.(n)  The secretary?treasurer of the North Carolina State Bar shall remit any payments of the fifty?dollar ($50.00) surcharge payable for the taxable year January 1, 2013, to the State Board of Elections, and the State Board of Elections must credit the funds received to the North Carolina Public Campaign Fund.

SECTION 38.1.(o)  The State Board of Elections shall notify the Revisor of Statutes when the funds have been exhausted for publication of the Judicial Voter Guide.

SECTION 38.1.(p)  Subsection (d) of this section is effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2013. The fifty percent (50%) of the funds directed to be paid in 2013 under G.S. 163?278.41(c) in 2013 shall be disbursed as provided by law. Unexpended funds shall remain in the reserve until December 31, 2013, at which time those funds shall revert to the General Fund. The remainder of this section becomes effective July 1, 2013.

 

PART 39. EXPEDITE VOTER LIST MAINTENANCE

SECTION 39.1.(a)  G.S. 163?33 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?33.  Powers and duties of county boards of elections.

The county boards of elections within their respective jurisdictions shall exercise all powers granted to such boards in this Chapter, and they shall perform all the duties imposed upon them by law, which shall include the following:

(14)      To make forms available for near relatives or personal representatives of a deceased voter’s estate to provide signed statements of the status of a deceased voter to return to the board of elections of the county in which the deceased voter was registered. Forms may be provided, upon request, to any of the following: near relatives, personal representatives of a deceased voter’s estate, funeral directors, or funeral service licensees.

SECTION 39.1.(b)  G.S. 163?82.14(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b)      Death. – The Department of Health and Human Services shall furnish free of charge to the State Board of Elections every month, in a format prescribed by the State Board of Elections, the names of deceased persons who were residents of the State. The State Board of Elections shall distribute every month to each county board of elections the names on that list of deceased persons who were residents of that county. The Department of Health and Human Services shall base each list upon information supplied by death certifications it received during the preceding month. Upon the receipt of those names, each county board of elections shall remove from its voter registration records any person the list shows to be dead. Each county board of elections shall also remove from its voter registration records a person identified as deceased by a signed statement of a near relative or personal representative of the estate of the deceased voter. The county board need not send any notice to the address of the person so removed.”

SECTION 39.2.  Article 13A of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

§ 90?210.25C.  Notification forms for deceased voters.

(a)        At the time funeral arrangements are made, a funeral director or funeral service licensee is encouraged to make available to near relatives of the deceased a form upon which the near relative may report the status of the deceased voter to the board of elections of the county in which the deceased was a registered voter.

(b)        A funeral director or funeral service licensee may obtain forms for reporting the status of deceased voters from the county board of elections.

SECTION 39.3.  This Part becomes effective October 1, 2013.

 

PART 41. CAMPAIGN FINANCE ELECTRONIC REPORTING

SECTION 41.1.  The Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee shall study requiring campaign finance reports to be filed electronically and any issues with implementation of such a requirement, and recommend to the General Assembly any legislation it deems advisable. It may make an interim report prior to the date that the General Assembly reconvenes the 2013 Regular Session in 2014, and shall make a final report before the convening of the 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

 

PART 42. CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS

SECTION 42.1.  Effective for contributions made on or after January 1, 2014, G.S. 163?278.13(a), (b), and (c) read as rewritten:

“§ 163?278.13.  Limitation on contributions.

(a)        No individual, political committee, or other entity shall contribute to any candidate or other political committee any money or make any other contribution in any election in excess of four thousand dollars ($4,000) five thousand dollars ($5,000) for that election.

(b)        No candidate or political committee shall accept or solicit any contribution from any individual, other political committee, or other entity of any money or any other contribution in any election in excess of four thousand dollars ($4,000) five thousand dollars ($5,000) for that election.

(c)        Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, it shall be lawful for a candidate or a candidate’s spouse, parents, brothers and sistersspouse to make a contribution to the candidate or to the candidate’s treasurer of any amount of money or to make any other contribution in any election in excess of four thousand dollars ($4,000) five thousand dollars ($5,000) for that election.”

SECTION 42.2.  G.S. 163?278.13 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

(a1)     Effective for each odd?numbered calendar year beginning in 2015, the dollar amount of the contribution limitation established by subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this subsection shall be increased as provided in this subsection. On July 1 of each even?numbered year, the State Board of Elections shall calculate from data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor Register the percent difference between the price index for the July 1 of the previous even?numbered year. That percentage increase shall be multiplied by the previous dollar amount contribution limit, that number added to the previous dollar amount contribution limit, and the total shall become effective with respect to contributions made or accepted on or after January 1 of the next odd?numbered year. If the amount after adjustment is not a multiple of one hundred dollars ($100.00), the total shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of one hundred dollars ($100.00). As used in this subsection the term “price index” means the average over a calendar year of the Consumer Price Index (all items – United States city average) published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The revised amount of the dollar limit of contributions shall remain in effect for two calendar years until the next adjustment is made. The State Board of Elections shall publish the revised amount in the North Carolina Register and shall notify the Reviser of Statutes who shall adjust the dollar amounts in subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section.

SECTION 42.3. G.S. 163?278.13(e3) is repealed.

 

PART 43 USE OF BUILDING FUNDS

SECTION 43.1.  G.S. 163?278.19B(4) reads as rewritten:

“(4)      The donations deposited in the separate segregated bank account for the political party headquarters building fund will be spent only to purchase a principal headquarters building, to construct a principal headquarters building, to renovate a principal headquarters building, to pay a mortgage on a principal headquarters building, or to repay donors if a principal headquarters building is not purchased, constructed, or renovated. renovated, or to pay building rent or monthly or bimonthly utility expenses incurred to operate the principal headquarters building. Donations deposited into that account shall be used solely for the purposes set forth in the preceding sentence, and specifically shall not be used for headquarters rent, utilities, or equipment other than fixtures.fixtures, personnel compensation, or travel or fundraising expenses or requirements of any kind. Notwithstanding the above, personnel compensation and in?kind benefits may be paid to no more than three personnel whose functions are primarily administrative in nature, such as providing accounting, payroll, or campaign finance reporting services, for the party and whose job functions require no more than ten percent (10%) of work time to be spent on political advocacy each calendar year.

 

PART 44. STAND BY YOUR AD

SECTION 44.1.  G.S. 163?278.39A is repealed.

SECTION 44.2.  G.S. 163?278.39(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b)      Size Requirements. – In a print media advertisement covered by subsection (a) of this section, the height of all disclosure statements required by that subsection shall constitute at least five percent (5%) of the height of the printed space of the advertisement, provided that the type shall in no event be less than 12 points in size. In an advertisement in a newspaper or a newspaper insert, the total height of the disclosure statement need not constitute five percent of the printed space of the advertisement if the type of the disclosure statement is at least 28 points in size. If a single advertisement consists of multiple pages, folds, or faces, the disclosure requirement of this section applies only to one page, fold, or face. In a television advertisement covered by subsection (a) of this section, the visual disclosure legend shall constitute four percent (4%) of vertical picture height in size. size, and where the television advertisement that appears is paid for by a candidate or candidate campaign committee, the visual disclosure legend shall appear simultaneously with an easily identifiable photograph of the candidate for at least two seconds. In a radio advertisement covered by subsection (a) of this section, the disclosure statement shall last at least two seconds, provided the statement is spoken so that its contents may be easily understood.”

 

PART 45. State board of elections

SECTION 45.1.(a)  G.S. 163?19(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       The State Board of Elections shall consist of five registered voters whose terms of office shall begin on May 1, 1969, and shall continue for four years, and until their successors are appointed and qualified. The Governor shall appoint the members of this Board and likewise shall appoint their successors every four years at the expiration of each four?year term. No person may serve more than two consecutive four?year terms.

SECTION 45.1.(b)  This section is effective when it becomes law and applies to members appointed on or after that date.

 

PART 47. TIGHTENING OF LOBBYING BUNDLING

SECTION 47.1.(a)  G.S. 163?278.13C reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?278.13C.  Campaign contributions prohibition.

(a)        No lobbyist may make a contribution as defined in G.S. 163?278.6 to a candidate or candidate campaign committee as defined in G.S. 163?278.38Z when that candidate meets any of the following criteria:

(1)        Is a legislator as defined in G.S. 120C?100.

(2)        Is a public servant as defined in G.S. 138A?3(30)a. and G.S. 120C?104.

(b)        No lobbyist may do any of the following with respect to a candidate or candidate campaign committee described in subdivisions (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section:

(1)        collectCollect a contribution or multiple contributions from one or multiple more contributors,contributors intended for that candidate or candidate campaign committee.

(2)        takeTake possession of such a contribution or multiple contributions, contributions intended for that candidate or candidate campaign committee.

(3)        or transfer Transfer or deliverdeliver the a collected contribution or multiple contributions to the intended recipient.candidate or candidate campaign committee. This section shall apply only to contributions to a candidate or candidate campaign committee as defined in G.S. 163?278.38Z when that candidate is a legislator as defined in G.S. 120C?100 or a public servant as defined in G.S. 138A?3(30)a.

(c)        This section shall not apply to a lobbyist, who has filed a notice of candidacy for office under G.S. 163?106 or Article 11 of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes or has been nominated under G.S. 163?114 or G.S. 163?98, making a contribution to that lobbyist’s candidate campaign committee.

(d)        For purposes of this section, the term “lobbyist” shall mean an individual registered as a lobbyist under Chapter 120C of the General Statutes.”

SECTION 47.1.(b)  This section becomes effective October 1, 2013, and applies to contributions made on or after that date.

 

PART 48. CANDIDATE SPECIFIC COMMUNICATIONS

SECTION 48.1.  Article 22G of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is repealed.

SECTION 48.2.  G.S. 163?278.5 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?278.5.  Scope of Article; severability.

The provisions of this Article apply to primaries and elections for North Carolina offices and to North Carolina referenda and do not apply to primaries and elections for federal offices or offices in other States or to non?North Carolina referenda. Any provision in this Article that regulates a non?North Carolina entity does so only to the extent that the entity’s actions affect elections for North Carolina offices or North Carolina referenda.

The provisions of this Article are severable. If any provision is held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the invalidity does not affect other provisions of the Article that can be given effect without the invalid provision.

This section applies to Articles 22B, 22D, 22E, 22F, 22G, 22H, 22J, and 22M of the General Statutes to the same extent that it applies to this Article.”

SECTION 48.3.  G.S. 163?278.23 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?278.23.  Duties of Executive Director of Board.

This section applies to Articles 22B, 22D, 22E, 22F, 22G, 22H, and 22M of the General Statutes to the same extent that it applies to this Article.”

SECTION 48.4. Article 22H of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is repealed.

 

PART 49. VOTING IN INCORRECT PRECINCT

SECTION 49.1.  G.S. 163?55 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163?55.  Qualifications to vote; exclusion from electoral franchise.

(a)        Residence Period for State Elections. – Every person born in the United States, and every person who has been naturalized, and who shall have resided in the State of North Carolina and in the precinct, ward, or other election district precinct in which the person offers to vote for 30 days next preceding an election, shall, if otherwise qualified as prescribed in this Chapter, be qualified to vote in any election held in this State. the precinct in which the person resides. Removal from one precinct, ward, or other election district precinct to another in this State shall not operate to deprive any person of the right to vote in the precinct, ward, or other election district precinct from which he the person has removed until 30 days after the person’s removal.

Except as provided in this Chapter, the following classes of persons shall not be allowed to vote in this State:

(1)        Persons under 18 years of age.

(2)        Any person adjudged guilty of a felony against this State or the United States, or adjudged guilty of a felony in another state that also would be a felony if it had been committed in this State, unless that person shall be first restored to the rights of citizenship in the manner prescribed by law.

(b)        Precincts and Election Districts.Precincts. – For purposes of qualification to vote in an election, a person’s residence in a precinct, ward, or election districtprecinct shall be determined in accordance with G.S. 163?57. When an election district encompasses more than one precinct, then for purposes of those offices to be elected from that election district a person shall also be deemed to be resident in the election district which includes the precinct in which that person resides. An election district may include a portion of a county, an entire county, a portion of the State, or the entire State. When a precinct has been divided among two or more election districts for purposes of elections to certain offices, then with respect to elections to those offices a person shall be deemed to be resident in only that election district which includes the area of the precinct in which that person resides. Qualification to vote in referenda shall be treated the same as qualification for elections to fill offices.

(c)        Elections. – For purposes of the 30?day residence requirement to vote in an election in subsection (a) of this section, the term “election” means the day of the primary, second primary, general election, special election, or referendum.”

SECTION 49.3.  G.S. 163?166.11(5) reads as rewritten:

“(5)      The county board of elections shall count the individual’s provisional official ballot for all ballot items on which it determines that the individual was eligible under State or federal law to vote.vote, except that the ballot shall not be counted if the voter did not vote in the proper precinct under G.S. 163?55, including a central location as provided by that section.

SECTION 49.4  G.S. 163?182.2(a)(4) reads as rewritten:

“(4)      Provisional official ballots shall be counted by the county board of elections before the canvass. If the county board finds that an individual voting a provisional official ballot is not eligible to vote in one or more ballot items on the official ballot, the board shall not count the official ballot in those ballot items, but shall count the official ballot in any ballot items for which the individual is eligible to vote. Eligibility shall be determined by whether the voter is registered in the county as provided in G.S. 163?82.1 and whether the voter is qualified by residency to vote in the election district precinct as provided in G.S. 163?55 and G.S. 163?57. If a voter was properly registered to vote in the election by the county board, no mistake of an election official in giving the voter a ballot or in failing to comply with G.S. 163?82.15 or G.S. 163?166.11 shall serve to prevent the counting of the vote on any ballot item the voter was eligible by registration and qualified by residency to vote.”

 

PART 50. ELECTIONEERING COMMUNICATION

SECTION 50.1.  G.S. 163?278.6(8j) reads as rewritten:

“(8j)     The term “electioneering communication” means any broadcast, cable, or satellite communication, or mass mailing, or telephone bank that has all the following characteristics:

a.         Refers to a clearly identified candidate for elected office.

b.         Is In the case of the general election in November of the even?numbered year is aired or transmitted after September 7 of that year, and in the case of any other election is aired or transmitted within 60 days of the time set for absentee voting to begin pursuant to G.S. 163?227.2 in an election for that office.

c.         May be received by either:

1.         50,000 or more individuals in the State in an election for statewide office or 7,500 or more individuals in any other election if in the form of broadcast, cable, or satellite communication.

2.         20,000 or more households, cumulative per election, in a statewide election or 2,500 households, cumulative per election, in any other election if in the form of mass mailing or telephone bank.”

 

PART 51. ELIMINATE INSTANT?RUNOFF FOR LATE JUDICIAL VACANCIES

SECTION 51.1.  G.S. 163?329(b1) reads as rewritten:

“(b1)    Method for Vacancy Election. – If a vacancy for the office of justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Court of Appeals, or judge of the superior court occurs more than 60 days before the general election and after the opening of the filing period for the primary, then the State Board of Elections shall designate a special filing period of one week for candidates for the office. If more than two candidates file and qualify for the office in accordance with G.S. 163?323, then the Board shall conduct the election for the office as follows:

(1)        When the vacancy described in this section occurs more than 63 days before the date of the second primary for members of the General Assembly, a special primary shall be held on the same day as the second primary. The two candidates with the most votes in the special primary shall have their names placed on the ballot for the general election held on the same day as the general election for members of the General Assembly.

(2)        When the vacancy described in this section occurs less than 64 days before the date of the second primary, a general election for all the candidates shall be held on the same day as the general election for members of the General Assembly and the results shall be determined on a plurality basis as provided by G.S. 163?292.the “instant runoff voting” method shall be used to determine the winner. Under “instant runoff voting,” voters rank up to three of the candidates by order of preference, first, second, or third. If the candidate with the greatest number of first?choice votes receives more than fifty percent (50%) of the first?choice votes, that candidate wins. If no candidate receives that minimum number, the two candidates with the greatest number of first?choice votes advance to a second round of counting. In this round, each ballot counts as a vote for whichever of the two final candidates is ranked highest by the voter. The candidate with the most votes in the second round wins the election. If more than one seat is to be filled in the same race, the voter votes the same way as if one seat were to be filled. The counting is the same as when one seat is to be filled, with one or two rounds as needed, except that counting is done separately for each seat to be filled. The first count results in the first winner. Then the second count proceeds without the name of the first winner. This process results in the second winner. For each additional seat to be filled, an additional count is done without the names of the candidates who have already won. In multi?seat contests, the State Board of Elections may give the voter more than three choices.

(3)        If two or more candidates receiving the highest number of votes each receive the same number of votes, the board of elections shall resolve the tie in accordance with G.S. 163?182.8.

 

PART 52. IDENTIFYING PROVISIONAL BALLOTS AS SUCH

SECTION 52.1.  Article 14A of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

§ 163?166.11A.  Notation on provisional ballot.

Whenever a voter is permitted to vote a provisional ballot, the election official issuing the ballot shall annotate in writing or other means on the ballot that it is a provisional ballot.

 

PART 53. ELECTION CYCLE AND REPORTING CHANGES

SECTION 53.1.(a)  G.S. 163?278.13(d) reads as rewritten:

“(d)      For the purposes of this section, the term “an election” means the period of time from January 1 of an odd?numbered year through anythe day of the primary, the day after the primary through the day of the second primary, or the day after the primary through December 31 of the next even?numbered year,general election in which the candidate or political committee may be involved, without regard to whether the candidate is opposed or unopposed in the election, except that where a candidate is not on the ballot in a second primary, that second primary is not “an election” with respect to that candidate.”

SECTION 53.1.(c)  This section becomes effective January 1, 2014.

 

PART 54. DEFINITION OF POLITICAL COMMITTEE IN CAMPAIGN FINANCE ACT

SECTION 54.1.  The Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee shall study establishing a threshold for the creation of a political committee and recommend to the General Assembly any legislation it deems advisable. It may make an interim report prior to the date that the General Assembly reconvenes the 2013 Regular Session in 2014, and shall make a final report before the convening of the 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

 

PART 55. ALTER CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTING SCHEDULE

SECTION 55.1.  The Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee shall study conforming political committees, electioneering communications, and independent expenditures reporting schedules to similar dates and information, and recommend to the General Assembly any legislation it deems advisable. It may make an interim report prior to the date that the General Assembly reconvenes the 2013 Regular Session in 2014, and shall make a final report before the convening of the 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

 

PART 56. DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR MEDIA ADVERTISEMENTS

SECTION 56.1.  G.S. 163?278.39(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       Basic Requirements. – It shall be unlawful for any sponsor to sponsor an advertisement in the print media or on radio or television that constitutes an expenditure, independent expenditure, electioneering communication, or contribution required to be disclosed under this Article unless all the following conditions are met:

(1)        It bears the legend or includes the statement: “Paid for by ______________ [Name of candidate, candidate campaign committee, political party organization, political action committee, referendum committee, individual, or other sponsor].” In television advertisements, this disclosure shall be made by visual legend.

(2)        The name used in the labeling required in subdivision (1) of this subsection is the name that appears on the statement of organization as required in G.S. 163?278.7(b)(1) or G.S. 163?278.12C(a).

(3)        Repealed by Session Laws 2001?353, s. 5, effective August 10, 2001.

(4)        The sponsor states in the advertisement its position for or against a ballot measure, provided that this subdivision applies only if the advertisement is made for or against a ballot measure.

(5)        In a print media advertisement supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates, the sponsor states whether it is authorized by a candidate. The visual legend in the advertisement shall state either “Authorized by [name of candidate], candidate for [name of office]” or “Not authorized by a candidate.” This subdivision does not apply if the sponsor of the advertisement is the candidate the advertisement supports or that candidate’s campaign committee.

(6)        In a print media advertisement that identifies a candidate the sponsor is opposing, the sponsor discloses in the advertisement the name of the candidate who is intended to benefit from the advertisement. This subdivision applies only when the sponsor coordinates or consults about the advertisement or the expenditure for it with the candidate who is intended to benefit.

(7)        In a print media advertisement supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates that is an independent expenditure, the sponsor discloses the names of the individuals or persons making the five largest donations to the sponsor within the six?month period prior to the purchase of the advertisement if those donations are required to be reported under G.S. 163?278.12.

(8)        In a print media advertisement that is an electioneering communication, the sponsor discloses the names of the individuals or person making the five largest donations to the sponsor within the six?month period prior to the purchase of the advertisement if those donations are required to be reported under G.S. 163?278.12C.

If an advertisement described in this section is jointly sponsored, the disclosure statement shall name all the sponsors.”

 

PART 57. STUDY ELIMINATION OF 48?HOUR REPORT

SECTION 57.1.  The Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee shall study the elimination of the 48?hour campaign finance report provided by G.S. 163?278.9(4a), and recommend to the General Assembly any legislation it deems advisable. It may make an interim report prior to the date that the General Assembly reconvenes the 2013 Regular Session in 2014, and shall make a final report before the convening of the 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

 

PART 59. raffles by candidates or political committees

SECTION 59.1.  G.S. 14?309.15(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       It is lawful for any nonprofit organization or association, recognized by the Department of Revenue as tax?exempt pursuant to G.S. 105?130.11(a), or for any bona fide branch, chapter, or affiliate of such organization, candidate, political committee, and for any government entity within the State, to conduct raffles in accordance with this section. Any person who conducts a raffle in violation of any provision of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. Upon conviction that person shall not conduct a raffle for a period of one year. It is lawful to participate in a raffle conducted pursuant to this section. It shall not constitute a violation of State law to advertise a raffle conducted in accordance with this section. A raffle conducted pursuant to this section is not “gambling”. For the purpose of this section, “candidate” and “political committee” have the meaning provided by Article 22A of Chapter 163A of the General Statutes, who have filed organization reports under that Article, and who are in good standing with the appropriate board of elections. Receipts and expenditures of a raffle by a candidate or political committee shall be reported in accordance with Article 22A of Chapter 163A of the General Statutes, and ticket purchases are contributions within the meaning of that Article.

 

PART 60. SEVERABILITY AND EFFECTIVE DATE

SECTION 60.1.  If any provision of this act or its application is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this act that can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are severable.

SECTION 60.2.  This Part is effective when it becomes law. Except as provided herein, the remainder of this act becomes effective January 1, 2014.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 26th day of July, 2013.

 

 

s/  Philip E. Berger

President Pro Tempore of the Senate

 

 

s/  Thom Tillis

Speaker of the House of Representatives

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________

Pat McCrory

Governor

Bill repeals public campaign matching funds

Filed today by House Elections co-chair David Lewis
House Bill 297 Matching Funds Repeal Main Page

Short Title:        Matching Funds Repeal. (Public)
Sponsors: Representative Lewis.
Referred to:  

 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT to remove the matching funds provisions of the public campaign act and the voter‑owned election act and to make conforming and related changes.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. G.S. 163‑278.62(18) is repealed.

SECTION 2. G.S. 163‑278.66(a) is repealed.

SECTION 3. G.S. 163‑278.67 is repealed.

SECTION 4. G.S. 163‑278.64(d)(2) reads as rewritten:

“(2)      From the filing of a declaration of intent through the end of the qualifying period, a candidate may accept only qualifying contributions, contributions under ten dollars ($10.00) from North Carolina voters, and personal and family contributions permitted under subdivision (4) of this subsection. The total contributions the candidate may accept during this period shall not exceed the maximum qualifying contributions for that candidate. In addition to these contributions, the candidate may only expend during this period the remaining money raised pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection and possible matching funds received pursuant to G.S. 163‑278.67.subsection. Except for personal and family contributions permitted under subdivision (4) of this subsection, multiple contributions from the same contributor to the same candidate shall not exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00).”

SECTION 5. G.S. 163‑278.64(d)(3) reads as rewritten:

“(3)      After the qualifying period and through the date of the general election, the candidate shall expend only the funds the candidate receives from the Fund pursuant to G.S. 163‑278.65(b)(4) plus any funds remaining from the qualifying period and possible matching funds.period.

SECTION 6. G.S. 163‑278.64A(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       Participation Provisions Modified. — Candidates involved in elections described in G.S. 163‑329 may participate in the Fund subject to the provisions of G.S. 163‑278.64 as modified by this section. The Board shall adapt other provisions of this Article, including G.S. 163‑278.67, Article to those elections.”

SECTION 7. G.S. 163‑278.65(b)(2) reads as rewritten:

“(2)      Contested primaries. — No funds shall be distributed except as provided in G.S. 163‑278.67.distributed.

SECTION 8. G.S. 163‑278.96(17) is repealed.

SECTION 9. G.S. 163‑278.99A(a) is repealed.

SECTION 10. G.S. 163‑278.99B is repealed.

SECTION 11. G.S. 163‑278.98(e)(2) reads as rewritten:

“(2)      From the filing of a declaration of intent through the end of the qualifying period, a candidate may accept only qualifying contributions, contributions under ten dollars ($10.00) from North Carolina voters, in‑kind party contributions as permitted in subdivision (4) of this subsection, and personal and family contributions permitted under subdivision (4a) of this subsection. The total contributions the candidate may accept during this period shall not exceed the maximum qualifying contributions for that candidate. In addition to these contributions, the candidate may only expend during this period the remaining money raised pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection and possible matching funds received pursuant to G.S. 163‑278.99B.subsection. If the candidate has any remaining money that was raised as contributions before August 1 of the year before the election, the candidate may not expend that money after filing the declaration of intent, except for purposes permitted under subdivision (2), (3), (6), (7), or (8) of G.S. 163‑278.16B(a).”

SECTION 12. G.S. 163‑278.98(e)(3) reads as rewritten:

“(3)      After the qualifying period and through the date of the general election, the candidate shall cease campaign‑related fund‑raising activities and shall expend only the funds the candidate receives from the Fund pursuant to G.S. 163‑278.99(b) plus any funds remaining from the qualifying period and possible matching funds.period.

SECTION 13. G.S. 163‑278.99(b)(2) reads as rewritten:

“(2)      Contested primaries. — No funds shall be distributed except as provided in G.S. 163‑278.99B.distributed.

SECTION 14. G.S. 163‑278.13(e4) is repealed.

SECTION 15. This act is effective when it becomes law.

Redistricting hearing

WRAL is streaming the hearing by a three-member panel of judges appointed by the state Supreme Court on the 2011 redistricting.

The judges, appointed by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarah Parker, are Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul C. Ridgeway, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Joseph N. Crosswhite of Statesville and Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Alma L. Hinton of Halifax County.

Partisan judicial elections

House Bill 65 — Restore Partisan Judicial Elections was introduced today.

H65 Main Page

Short Title:        Restore Partisan Judicial Elections. (Public)
Sponsors: Representatives Iler, R. Brown, Riddell, and Jones (Primary Sponsors).
Referred to:

 

 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT to restore partisan judicial elections.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. Subchapter X (Article 25) of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is repealed.

SECTION 2. G.S. 163‑106(c) reads as rewritten:

“(c)       Time for Filing Notice of Candidacy. — Candidates seeking party primary nominations for the following offices shall file their notice of candidacy with the State Board of Elections no earlier than 12:00 noon on the second Monday in February and no later than 12:00 noon on the last business day in February preceding the primary:

Governor

Lieutenant Governor

All State executive officers

Justices of the Supreme Court, Judges of the Court of Appeals

Judges of the superior courts

Judges of the district courts

United States Senators

Members of the House of Representatives of the United States

District attorneys

Candidates seeking party primary nominations for the following offices shall file their notice of candidacy with the county board of elections no earlier than 12:00 noon on the second Monday in February and no later than 12:00 noon on the last business day in February preceding the primary:

State Senators

Members of the State House of Representatives

All county offices.”

SECTION 2.1. G.S. 163‑106(f) reads as rewritten:

“(f)       Candidates required to file their notice of candidacy with the State Board of Elections under subsection (c) of this section shall file along with their notice a certificate signed by the chairman of the board of elections or the director of elections of the county in which they are registered to vote, stating that the person is registered to vote in that county, if the candidacy is for superior court judge and the county contains more than one superior court district, stating the superior court district of which the person is a resident, stating the party with which the person is affiliated, and that the person has not changed his affiliation from another party or from unaffiliated within three months prior to the filing deadline under subsection (c) of this section. In issuing such certificate, the chairman or director shall check the registration records of the county to verify such information. During the period commencing 36 hours immediately preceding the filing deadline the State Board of Elections shall accept, on a conditional basis, the notice of candidacy of a candidate who has failed to secure the verification ordered herein subject to receipt of verification no later than three days following the filing deadline. The State Board of Elections shall prescribe the form for such certificate, and distribute it to each county board of elections no later than the last Monday in December of each odd‑numbered year.”

SECTION 2.2. G.S. 163‑106.1 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

(j) No person may file a notice of candidacy for superior court judge unless that person is at the time of filing the notice of candidacy a resident of the judicial district as it will exist at the time the person would take office if elected. No person may be nominated as a superior court judge under G.S. 163‑114 unless that person is at the time of nomination a resident of the judicial district as it will exist at the time the person would take office if elected. This subsection implements Section 9(1) of Article IV of the North Carolina Constitution which requires regular superior court judges to reside in the district for which elected.

SECTION 2.3. G.S. 163‑107.1(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b)      If the candidate is seeking the office of United States Senator, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or any State executive officer, the petition must be signed by 10,000 registered voters who are members of the political party in whose primary the candidate desires to run, except that in the case of a political party as defined by G.S. 163‑96(a)(2) which will be making nominations by primary election, the petition must be signed by ten percent (10%) of the registered voters of the State who are affiliated with the same political party in whose primary the candidate desires to run, or in the alternative, the petition shall be signed by no less than 10,000 registered voters regardless of the voter’s political party affiliation, whichever requirement is greater. If the office is superior court judge or district court judge, the petition shall be signed by ten percent (10%) of the registered voters of the election area in which the office will be voted for.

The petition must be filed with the State Board of Elections not later than 12:00 noon on Monday preceding the filing deadline before the primary in which he seeks to run. The names on the petition shall be verified by the board of elections of the county where the signer is registered, and the petition must be presented to the county board of elections at least 15 days before the petition is due to be filed with the State Board of Elections. When a proper petition has been filed, the candidate’s name shall be printed on the primary ballot.”

SECTION 3. G.S. 163‑106(d) reads as rewritten:

“(d)      Notice of Candidacy for Certain Offices to Indicate Vacancy. — In any primary in which there are two or more vacancies for associate justices for the Supreme Court, two or more vacancies for the Court of Appeals, two or more vacancies for district court judge, or two vacancies for United States Senator from North Carolina, each candidate shall, at the time of filing notice of candidacy, file with the State Board of Elections a written statement designating the vacancy to which he that candidate seeks nomination. A person seeking election for a specialized district judgeship established under G.S. 7A‑147 shall, at the time of filing notice of candidacy, file with the State Board of Elections a written statement designating the specialized judgeship to which the person seeks nomination. Votes cast for a candidate shall be effective only for his nomination to the vacancy for which he that candidate has given notice of candidacy as provided in this subsection.”

SECTION 4. G.S. 163‑107(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)       Fee Schedule. — At the time of filing a notice of candidacy, each candidate shall pay to the board of elections with which he that candidate files under the provisions of G.S. 163‑106 a filing fee for the office he seekssought in the amount specified in the following tabulation:

Office Sought                                                         Amount of Filing Fee

Governor                                                                 One percent (1%) of the annual salary of the office sought

Lieutenant Governor                                                 One percent (1%) of the annual salary of the office sought

All State executive offices                                         One percent (1%) of the annual salary of the office sought

All Justices, Judges, and One percent (1%) of the annual salary of

District Attorneys of the General                              the office sought

Court of Justice

United States Senator                                               One percent (1%) of the annual salary of the office sought

Members of the United States House                        One percent (1%) of the annual salary of

of Representatives                                                   the office sought

State Senator                                                           One percent (1%) of the annual salary of the office sought

Member of the State House of                                  One percent (1%) of the annual salary of

Representatives                                                       the office sought

All county offices not compensated by fees               One percent (1%) of the annual salary of the office sought

All county offices compensated partly                       One percent (1%) of the first annual

by salary and partly by fees                                      salary to be received (exclusive of fees)

The salary of any office that is the basis for calculating the filing fee is the starting salary for the office, rather than the salary received by the incumbent, if different. If no starting salary can be determined for the office, then the salary used for calculation is the salary of the incumbent, as of January 1 of the election year.”

SECTION 5. G.S. 163‑107.1(c) reads as rewritten:

“(c)       County, Municipal and District Primaries. — If the candidate is seeking one of the offices set forth in G.S. 163‑106(c) but which is not listed in subsection (b) of this section, or a municipal or any other office requiring a partisan primary which is not set forth in G.S. 163‑106(c) or (d), he the candidate shall file a written petition with the appropriate board of elections no later than 12:00 noon on Monday preceding the filing deadline before the primary. The petition shall be signed by ten percent (10%) of the registered voters of the election area in which the office will be voted for, who are affiliated with the same political party in whose primary the candidate desires to run, or in the alternative, the petition shall be signed by no less than 200 registered voters regardless of said voter’s political party affiliation, whichever requirement is greater. The board of elections shall verify the names on the petition, and if the petition is found to be sufficient, the candidate’s name shall be printed on the appropriate primary ballot. Petitions for candidates for member of the U.S. House of Representatives, District Attorney, judge of the superior court, judge of the district court, and members of the State House of Representatives from multi‑county districts or members of the State Senate from multi‑county districts must be presented to the county board of elections for verification at least 15 days before the petition is due to be filed with the State Board of Elections, and such petition must be filed with the State Board of Elections no later than 12:00 noon on Monday preceding the filing deadline. The State Board of Elections may adopt rules to implement this section and to provide standard petition forms.”

SECTION 6. G.S. 163‑111(c)(1) reads as rewritten:

“(c)       Procedure for Requesting Second Primary.

(1)        A candidate who is apparently entitled to demand a second primary, according to the unofficial results, for one of the offices listed below, and desiring to do so, shall file a request for a second primary in writing with the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections no later than 12:00 noon on the ninth day (including Saturdays and Sundays) following the date on which the primary was conducted, and such request shall be subject to the certification of the official results by the State Board of Elections. If the vote certification by the State Board of Elections determines that a candidate who was not originally thought to be eligible to call for a second primary is in fact eligible to call for a second primary, the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections shall immediately notify such candidate and permit him to exercise any options available to him within a 48‑hour period following the notification:

Governor,

Lieutenant Governor,

All State executive officers,

Justices, Judges, or District Attorneys of the General Court of Justice,

United States Senators,

Members of the United States House of Representatives,

State Senators in multi‑county senatorial districts, and

Members of the State House of Representatives in multi‑county representative districts.”

SECTION 7. G.S. 163‑114 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163‑114.  Filling vacancies among party nominees occurring after nomination and before election.

If any person nominated as a candidate of a political party for one of the offices listed below (either in a primary or convention or by virtue of having no opposition in a primary) dies, resigns, or for any reason becomes ineligible or disqualified before the date of the ensuing general election, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment according to the following instructions:

Position

President                                                          Vacancy is to be filled by appointment of

Vice President                                                        national executive committee of

political party in which vacancy occurs

Presidential elector or alternate elector              Vacancy is to be filled by appointment of

Any elective State office                                          State executive committee of political

United States Senator                                             party in which vacancy occurs

A district office, including:                                 Appropriate district executive committee of

Member of the United States House                 political party in which vacancy occurs

of Representatives

Judge of district court

District Attorney

State Senator in a multi‑county

senatorial district

Member of State House of

Representatives in a multi‑county

representative district

State Senator in a single‑county                 County executive committee of political

senatorial district                                          party in which vacancy occurs,

Member of State House of                               provided, in the case of the State

Representatives in a single‑county                Senator or State Representative in a

representative district                                   single‑county district where not all the

Any elective county office                                 county is located in that district, then in

voting, only those members of the

county executive committee who reside

within the district shall vote

Judge of superior court in a County executive committee

single‑county judicial of political party in

district where the district which vacancy occurs;

is the whole county or part provided, in the case of

of the county a superior court judge in a

single‑county district where

not all the county is

located in that district,

then in voting, only those

members of the county

executive committee who

reside within the

district shall vote

Judge of superior court in a Appropriate district

multicounty judicial executive committee of

district political party in which

vacancy occurs.

The party executive making a nomination in accordance with the provisions of this section shall certify the name of its nominee to the chairman of the board of elections, State or county, that has jurisdiction over the ballot item under G.S. 163‑182.4. If at the time a nomination is made under this section the general election ballots have already been printed, the provisions of G.S.163‑165.3(c) shall apply. If a vacancy occurs in a nomination of a political party and that vacancy arises from a cause other than death and the vacancy in nomination occurs more than 120 days before the general election, the vacancy in nomination may be filled under this section only if the appropriate executive committee certifies the name of the nominee in accordance with this paragraph at least 75 days before the general election.

In a county which is partly in a multicounty judicial district, in choosing that county’s member or members of the judicial district executive committee for the multicounty district, only the county convention delegates or county executive committee members who reside within the area of the county which is within that multicounty district may vote.

In a county not all of which is located in one congressional district, in choosing the congressional district executive committee member or members from that area of the county, only the county convention delegates or county executive committee members who reside within the area of the county which is within the congressional district may vote.

In a county which is partly in a multi‑county senatorial district or which is partly in a multi‑county House of Representatives district, in choosing that county’s member or members of the senatorial district executive committee or House of Representatives district executive committee for the multi‑county district, only the county convention delegates or county executive committee members who reside within the area of the county which is within that multi‑county district may vote.

An individual whose name appeared on the ballot in a primary election preliminary to the general election shall not be eligible to be nominated to fill a vacancy in the nomination of another party for the same office in the same year.”

SECTION 8. G.S. 138A‑22(d) reads as rewritten:

“(d)      A candidate for an office subject to this Article shall file the statement of economic interest at the same place and in the same manner as the notice of candidacy for that office is required to be filed under G.S. 163‑106 or G.S. 163‑323 within 10 days of the filing deadline for the office the candidate seeks. An individual who is nominated under G.S. 163‑114 after the primary and before the general election, and an individual who qualifies under G.S. 163‑122 as an unaffiliated candidate in a general election, shall file a statement of economic interest with the county board of elections of each county in the senatorial or representative district. An individual nominated under G.S. 163‑114 shall file the statement within three days following the individual’s nomination, or not later than the day preceding the general election, whichever occurs first. An individual seeking to qualify as an unaffiliated candidate under G.S. 163‑122 shall file the statement of economic interest with the petition filed under that section. An individual seeking to have write‑in votes counted for that individual in a general election shall file a statement of economic interest at the same time the candidate files a declaration of intent under G.S. 163‑123. A candidate of a new party chosen by convention shall file a statement of economic interest at the same time that the president of the convention certifies the names of its candidates to the State Board of Elections under G.S. 163‑98.”

SECTION 9. G.S. 163‑22.3 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163‑22.3.  State Board of Elections littering notification.

At the time an individual files with the State Board of Elections a notice of candidacy pursuant to G.S. 163‑106, 163‑112, 163‑291, 163‑294.2, or 163‑323, or 163‑294.2, is certified to the State Board of Elections by a political party executive committee to fill a nomination vacancy pursuant to G.S. 163‑114, is certified to the State Board of Elections by a new political party as that party’s nominee pursuant to G.S. 163‑98, qualifies with the State Board of Elections as an unaffiliated or write‑in candidate pursuant to Article 11 of this Chapter, or formally initiates a candidacy with the State Board of Elections pursuant to any statute or local act, the State Board of Elections shall notify the candidate of the provisions concerning campaign signs in G.S. 136‑32 and G.S. 14‑156, and the rules adopted by the Department of Transportation pursuant to G.S. 136‑18.”

SECTION 10. G.S. 163‑82.10B reads as rewritten:

“§ 163‑82.10B.  Confidentiality of date of birth.

Boards of elections shall keep confidential the date of birth of every voter‑registration applicant and registered voter, except in the following situations:

(1)        When a voter has filed notice of candidacy for elective office under G.S. 163‑106, 163‑122, 163‑123, or 163‑294.2, or 163‑323, has been nominated as a candidate under G.S. 163‑98 or G.S. 163‑114, or has otherwise formally become a candidate for elective office. The exception of this subdivision does not extend to an individual who meets the definition of “candidate” only by beginning a tentative candidacy by receiving funds or making payments or giving consent to someone else to receive funds or transfer something of value for the purpose of exploring a candidacy.

(2)        When a voter is serving in an elective office.

(3)        When a voter has been challenged pursuant to Article 8 of this Chapter.

(4)        When a voter‑registration applicant or registered voter expressly authorizes in writing the disclosure of that individual’s date of birth.

The disclosure of an individual’s age does not constitute disclosure of date of birth in violation of this section.

The county board of elections shall give precinct officials access to a voter’s date of birth where necessary for election administration, consistent with the duty to keep dates of birth confidential.

Disclosure of a date of birth in violation of this section shall not give rise to a civil cause of action. This limitation of liability does not apply to the disclosure of a date of birth in violation of this subsection as a result of gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing that would otherwise be actionable.”

SECTION 11. G.S. 163‑165.5(3) reads as rewritten:

“§ 163‑165.5.  Contents of official ballots.

Each official ballot shall contain all the following elements:

(3)        The names of the candidates as they appear on their notice of candidacy filed pursuant to G.S. 163‑106 or G.S. 163‑323, or on petition forms filed in accordance with G.S. 163‑122. No title, appendage, or appellation indicating rank, status, or position shall be printed on the official ballot in connection with the candidate’s name. Candidates, however, may use the title Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms. Nicknames shall be permitted on an official ballot if used in the notice of candidacy or qualifying petition, but the nickname shall appear according to standards adopted by the State Board of Elections. Those standards shall allow the presentation of legitimate nicknames in ways that do not mislead the voter or unduly advertise the candidacy. In the case of candidates for presidential elector, the official ballot shall not contain the names of the candidates for elector but instead shall contain the nominees for President and Vice President which the candidates for elector represent. The State Board of Elections shall establish a review procedure that local boards of elections shall follow to ensure that candidates’ names appear on the official ballot in accordance with this subdivision.

….”

SECTION 12. G.S. 163‑278.100(1) reads as rewritten:

“§ 163‑278.100.  Definitions.

As used in this Article, the following terms have the following definitions:

(1)        The term “candidate‑specific communication” means any broadcast, cable, or satellite communication that has all the following characteristics:

a.         Refers to a clearly identified candidate for a statewide office or the General Assembly.

b.         Is aired in an even‑numbered year after the final date on which a Notice of Candidacy can be filed for the office, pursuant to G.S. 163‑106(c) or G.S. 163‑323, G.S. 163‑106(c), and through the day on which the general election is conducted, excluding the time period set in the definition for “electioneering communication” in G.S. 163‑278.80(2)b.

c.         Is targeted to the relevant electorate.

….”

SECTION 13. G.S. 163‑278.110(1) reads as rewritten:

“§ 163‑278.110.  Definitions.

As used in this Article, the following terms have the following definitions:

(1)        The term “candidate‑specific communication” means any mass mailing or telephone bank that has all the following characteristics:

a.         Refers to a clearly identified candidate for a statewide office or the General Assembly.

b.         Is transmitted in an even‑numbered year after the final date on which a Notice of Candidacy can be filed for the office, pursuant to G.S. 163‑106(c) or G.S. 163‑323, G.S. 163‑106(c), and through the day on which the general election is conducted, excluding the time period set in the definition for “electioneering communication” in G.S. 163‑278.90(2)b.

c.         Is targeted to the relevant electorate.

….”

SECTION 14. G.S. 163‑1(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b)      On Tuesday next after the first Monday in May preceding each general election to be held in November for the officers referred to in subsection (a) of this section, there shall be held in all election precincts within the territory for which the officers are to be elected a primary election for the purpose of nominating candidates for each political party in the State for those offices, and nonpartisan candidates as to offices elected under the provisions of Article 25 of this Chapter.offices.

SECTION 15. G.S. 163‑122(c) is repealed.

SECTION 16. G.S. 163‑123(g) reads as rewritten:

“(g)       Municipal and Nonpartisan Elections Excluded. — This section does not apply to municipal elections conducted under Subchapter IX of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes, and does not apply to nonpartisan elections.elections except for elections under Article 25 of this Chapter.

SECTION 17. G.S. 163‑278.64(c) reads as rewritten:

“(c)       Certification of Candidates. — Upon receipt of a submittal of the record of demonstrated support by a participating candidate, the Board shall determine whether or not the candidate has complied with all the following requirements:

(1)        Signed and filed a declaration of intent to participate in this Article.

(2)        Submitted a report itemizing the appropriate number of qualifying contributions received from registered voters, which the Board shall verify through a random sample or other means it adopts. The report shall include the county of residence of each registered voter listed.

(3)        Filed a valid notice of candidacy pursuant to Article 25 10 of this Chapter. Chapter, a valid petition or declaration of intent under Article 11 of this Chapter, or is nominated under G.S. 163‑98.

(4)        Otherwise met the requirements for participation in this Article.

The Board shall certify candidates complying with the requirements of this section as soon as possible and no later than five business days after receipt of a satisfactory record of demonstrated support.”

SECTION 18. G.S. 163‑278.64A is repealed.

SECTION 19. G.S. 105‑159.2(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b)      Returns. — Individual income tax returns must give an individual an opportunity to agree to the allocation of three dollars ($3.00) of the individual’s tax liability to the North Carolina Public Campaign Fund. The Department must make it clear to the taxpayer that the dollars will support a nonpartisan court system, that the dollars will go to the Fund if the taxpayer marks an agreement, and that allocation of the dollars neither increases nor decreases the individual’s tax liability. The following statement must be used to meet this requirement: “Mark ‘Yes’ if you want to designate $3 of taxes to this special Fund for voter education materials and for candidates who accept spending limits. Marking ‘Yes’ does not change your tax or refund.” The Department must consult with the State Board of Elections to ensure that the information given to taxpayers complies with the intent of this section.

The Department must inform the entities it approves to reproduce the return that they must comply with the requirements of this section and that a return may not reflect an agreement or objection unless the individual completing the return decided to agree or object after being presented with the statement required by subsection (b) of this section and, as available background information or instructions, the information required by subsection (c) of this section. No software package used in preparing North Carolina income tax returns may default to an agreement or objection. A paid preparer of tax returns may not mark an agreement or objection for a taxpayer without the taxpayer’s consent.”

SECTION 20.(a) G.S. 84‑34 reads as rewritten:

“§ 84‑34.  Membership fees and list of members.

Every active member of the North Carolina State Bar shall, prior to the first day of July of each year, pay to the secretary‑treasurer an annual membership fee in an amount determined by the Council but not to exceed three hundred dollars ($300.00), plus a surcharge of fifty dollars ($50.00) for the implementation of Article 22D of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes, three hundred dollars ($300.00) and every member shall notify the secretary‑treasurer of the member’s correct mailing address. Any member who fails to pay the required dues by the last day of June of each year shall be subject to a late fee in an amount determined by the Council but not to exceed thirty dollars ($30.00). All dues for prior years shall be as were set forth in the General Statutes then in effect. The membership fee shall be regarded as a service charge for the maintenance of the several services authorized by this Article, and shall be in addition to all fees required in connection with admissions to practice, and in addition to all license taxes required by law. The fee shall not be prorated: Provided, that no fee shall be required of an attorney licensed after this Article shall have gone into effect until the first day of January of the calendar year following that in which the attorney was licensed; but this proviso shall not apply to attorneys from other states admitted on certificate. The fees shall be disbursed by the secretary‑treasurer on the order of the Council. The fifty‑dollar ($50.00) surcharge shall be sent on a monthly schedule to the State Board of Elections. The secretary‑treasurer shall annually, at a time and in a law magazine or daily newspaper to be prescribed by the Council, publish an account of the financial transactions of the Council in a form to be prescribed by it. The secretary‑treasurer shall compile and keep currently correct from the names and mailing addresses forwarded to the secretary‑treasurer and from any other available sources of information a list of members of the North Carolina State Bar and furnish to the clerk of the superior court in each county, not later than the first day of October in each year, a list showing the name and address of each attorney for that county who has not complied with the provisions of this Article. The name of each of the active members who are in arrears in the payment of membership fees shall be furnished to the presiding judge at the next term of the superior court after the first day of October of each year, by the clerk of the superior court of each county wherein the member or members reside, and the court shall thereupon take action that is necessary and proper. The names and addresses of attorneys so certified shall be kept available to the public. The Secretary of Revenue is hereby directed to supply the secretary‑treasurer, from records of license tax payments, with any information for which the secretary‑treasurer may call in order to enable the secretary‑treasurer to comply with this requirement.

The list submitted to several clerks of the superior court shall also be submitted to the Council at its October meeting of each year and it shall take the action thereon that is necessary and proper.”

SECTION 20.(b) Article 22D of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is repealed.

SECTION 20.(c) G.S. 163‑278.5 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163‑278.5.  Scope of Article; severability.

The provisions of this Article apply to primaries and elections for North Carolina offices and to North Carolina referenda and do not apply to primaries and elections for federal offices or offices in other States or to non‑North Carolina referenda. Any provision in this Article that regulates a non‑North Carolina entity does so only to the extent that the entity’s actions affect elections for North Carolina offices or North Carolina referenda.

The provisions of this Article are severable. If any provision is held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the invalidity does not affect other provisions of the Article that can be given effect without the invalid provision.

This section applies to Articles 22B, 22D, 22E, 22F, 22G, 22H, 22J, and 22M of the General Statutes to the same extent that it applies to this Article.”

SECTION 20.(d) G.S. 163‑278.13(e) reads as rewritten:

“(e)       Except as provided in subsections (e2), (e3), (e3) and (e4) of this section, this section shall not apply to any national, State, district or county executive committee of any political party. For the purposes of this section only, the term “political party” means only those political parties officially recognized under G.S. 163‑96.”

SECTION 20.(e) Any unexpended funds from the tax on attorneys under G.S. 163‑278.63(b)(7) and G.S. 84‑34 shall be refunded pro rata.

SECTION 21. This act is effective with respect to primaries and elections held on or after January 1, 2014, except that Section 20(e) shall become effective July 1, 2013.

Big haul expected for caucus fundraiser

Paying –> playing.

Democracy NC keeps the heat on:

Caucus Fundraisers on Eve of Session,
New Records Set in 2012 Election

On the eve of tomorrow’s General Assembly session, you might think legislators are meetings with their constituents, discussing their concerns about what state government should do. Well, that’s not exactly what you get in today’s General Assembly, where many seats cost more than $250,000 to win and money is always on the mind.

Tonight, the NC Republican House Caucus will hold a gala fundraiser at the Cardinal Club with tickets from $150 to $10,000. Because of ethics rules, lobbyists are not allowed to contribute to a legislator’s campaign committees, but they can give to party organizations. The invitation to tonight’s event makes it plain: “Lobbyists registered in North Carolina are not prohibited from contributing to the NC Republican House Caucus.” The underlying message is also clear: Pay up if you want to be a serious player in the session this year.

Other caucuses are doing the same, and have long done so, from both parties. The caucus accounts within the political parties allow legislative leaders to suck in special-interest money all year long and also develop solidarity and discipline among legislators. Each caucus member is expected to donate something from their campaign, and chairs of major committees are expected to put in more, if they want to keep their positions. The millions in the caucus fund then gets spent in several hotly contested races that help the members keep or retake their majority status and power.

As the Democracy North Carolina chart shows, the caucus money system was perfected by Senate Democrats Marc Basnight and Tony Rand, but in their first effort as the incumbent majority, the GOP House and Senate caucuses have broken all records for the amounts of money pulled in and then spent on target races. An article in today’s Charlotte Observer helps explains how the system works.

Turnout in NC in 2012

A really in-depth look at what happened in the last election. Plenty to chew on.

Via Democracy NC:

Analysis of 30 Subgroups of Voters in Each NC County
Profiles Who Participated in the 2012 Election

A detailed analysis of the 4.5 million North Carolina voters participating in last year’s election shows that Republicans turned out their members at a higher rate than Democrats in 65 of the 100 counties.

On the other hand, the percent of black voters who cast a ballot exceeded the turnout rate for registered whites in 64 counties — and 85% of African-American voters are registered as Democrats.

The statewide gap in participation rates for the major parties was 3 percentage points — 73% of registered Republicans voted, compared to 70% of Democrats. But in 21 counties (mostly west of I-85), Republicans outperformed Democrats by more than 7 points; and in 13 counties (mostly in the east), Democrats outdid Republicans by more than 5 percentage points.

More women voted than men in every single county, and seniors over age 65 outnumbered young voters ages 18 to 25 in all but four counties, each with major universities — Orange, Watauga, Pitt and Durham. Young voters had the lowest participation rate of any age group, except in college counties like Jackson, Pasquotank, Scotland and Guilford and in several eastern counties where African Americans are the majority of voters, including Hertford, Northampton, Bertie and Edgecombe.

The voter participation analysis by the nonpartisan election reform group Democracy North Carolina is based on data provided by the counties to the State Board of Elections. (Some figures are adjusted to account for differences in time delays in data collection and posting on the Board’s website.)

Statewide, 68% of the state’s 6.6 million registered voters cast ballots in 2012, but there’s a wide gap in the turnout rate between the best and worst performing counties. Chatham County, where 76% of registered voters cast ballots, ranked first in turnout — as it did in 2008 — while the military-dependent Onslow County ranked last, with a 53% turnout rate.

“It’s fascinating to see all the variations in performance among age, gender, race and party groups in the counties,” said Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina. “Our state has a long history of low participation, going back to the days of the literacy tests and poll tax. Studying high and low performing groups in counties can help communities improve participation and civic life.”

The two groups with the most enthusiasm to vote in 2012 were African-American women and white Republicans; they each posted a 74% turnout rate, well ahead of the 68% statewide rate. “The presidential election was a polarizing, emotional experience for core supporters of both major candidates,” said Hall. “Candidates, parties and interest groups invested in mobilizing voters and helped them understand that their vote was important for themselves and for society.”

Hall said the split results in the 10 counties with the highest turnout reflects North Carolina’s swing state status: Five went for Republican Mitt Romney (Davie, Person, Moore, Greene and Beaufort) and five went for Democrat Barack Obama (Chatham, Warren, Wake, Granville and Hertford).

Although voters unaffiliated with a political party now outnumber registered Democrats or Republicans in 42 counties, they are less engaged and voted at a lower level than members of the major parties in 97 of the 100 counties (the exceptions are Avery, Bertie and Mitchell). Statewide, 60% of unaffiliated voters cast ballots compared to 70% of Democrats and 73% of Republicans.

The impact of the criminal justice system on the African-American community also shows up in the voting data, Hall said. Women cast 54% of the white votes in 2012, but a remarkable 61% of the black votes, largely because so many black men have been convicted of a felony. North Carolina temporarily suspends a person’s right to vote while the person serves a felony sentence, but Hall said many people believe the suspension is permanent. “This is one more area where education is critical and where barriers have a real impact on participation,” he said.

For the county details of who voted, see this spreadsheet: http://democracy-nc.org/downloads/2012TurnoutByCounty.xls

For an overview of statewide turnout, see: http://democracy-nc.org/downloads/NCVoterTurnout2012PR.pdf

2012 Voter Turnout for NC Counties — Some Examples

Chatham, Warren, Wake and Davie: Counties with the highest voter turnout

Onslow, Swain, Robeson and Hoke: Counties with the lowest voter turnout

Warren, Chatham, Wake and Greene: Counties with highest turnout among women

Edgecombe, Wilson, Vance, Pitt and Cumberland: Counties with the largest gap in turnout between women and men

Wake, Chatham, Moore and Davie: Counties with highest turnout for seniors

Cherokee, Gates, Hyde and Robeson: Counties with lowest turnout for seniors

Onslow, Brunswick, Transylvania and Polk: Counties with largest gap between turnout of old and young voters

Warren, Chatham, Person and Granville: Counties with highest turnout for African-American voters

Hoke, Richmond, Gates, Cleveland and Cumberland: Counties where black turnout most exceeds white turnout

Davie, Wake, Johnston and Moore: Counties with highest Republican turnout

Chowan, Nash, Mecklenburg and Buncombe: Counties with the smallest gap between turnout for Republicans and Democrats

Rowan, Forsyth, Harnett and Haywood: Counties with the smallest turnout gap between Republican men and African-American women

Graham, Randolph and Sampson: Counties where Republican turnout exceeded turnout of Unaffiliated voters by more than 20 percentage points

Cross-posted at the Carolina Mercury

The horse race

Been immersed in the horse race coverage. As we start early voting in NC and get closer to Election Day, the speculating goes up to 11. The national pundit corps is starting to troll deeper into state media for clues.
So, the venerable Rob Christensen puts up a post on Under the Dome which says the Romney folks are confident about NC and are sending staff from NC to Ohio. And Politico is all “Boom! NC is over says the N&O.” Of course, their headline, Is NC Cooked?, include the all-important question mark, but it’s out there.
I’m not going to blame Rob, because he’s doing his job, although there is no indication that he knows for an absolute fact that the Romney folks are confident. They might just have decided that they can’t risk losing Ohio and are pouring resources into it, which seems to be the case from everything else I’ve read.
Also, i just the love term “site-leading report.”
The full story, which arrived this am in the N&O is a little more nuanced. The Romney folks are citing a widening lead in the polls. You’d think someone at the N&O would have this page bookmarked. Note that McCain led in the polls all the way up until the votes were counted. Mason-Dixon has McCain up by 3 points going into November.