SUBCHAPTER III. ELECTION AND ELECTION LAWS.

Article 15.

Time of Primaries and Elections.

Part 1. Time of Primaries and Elections.

§ 163A-700.  Time of regular elections and primaries.

(a)        Unless otherwise provided by law, elections for the officers listed in the tabulation contained in this section shall be conducted in all election precincts of the territorial units specified in the column headed "Jurisdiction" on the dates indicated in the column headed "Date of Election." Unless otherwise provided by law, officers shall serve for the terms specified in the column headed "Term of Office."

(b)        On Tuesday next after the first Monday in March 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.

(c)        On Tuesday next after the first Monday in November in the year 1968, and every four years thereafter, or on such days as the Congress of the United States shall direct, an election shall be held in all of the election precincts of the State for the election of electors of President and Vice-President of the United States. The number of electors to be chosen shall be equal to the number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which this State may be entitled. Presidential electors shall not be nominated by primary election; instead, they shall be nominated in a State convention of each political party as defined in G.S. 163A-950 unless otherwise provided by the plan of organization of the political party; provided, that in the case of a candidate for President of the United States who has qualified to have his name printed on the general election ballot as an unaffiliated candidate under G.S. 163A-1005, that candidate shall nominate presidential electors. One presidential elector shall be nominated from each congressional district and two from the state-at-large, and in addition, the State convention of each party and the unaffiliated candidate shall each nominate first and second alternate electors who shall serve if their slate is elected as provided by G.S. 163A-1226 and if there is a vacancy as provided by G.S. 163A-1229.

(d)       If primaries for the State Senate or State House of Representatives are temporarily moved from the date provided in subsection (b) of this section for any election year, all primaries shall be held on the same day.

OFFICE                JURISDICTION  DATE OF ELECTION          TERM OF OFFICE

 

Governor               State                      Tuesday next after the Four years, from

                                                            first Monday in November     first day of January

                                                            1968 and every four years       next after election

                                                            thereafter

Lieutenant             State                      Tuesday next after the Four years, from

Governor                                             first Monday in November     first day of January

                                                            1968 and every four years       next after election

                                                            thereafter

Secretary of          State                      Tuesday next after the Four years, from

State                                                    first Monday in November     first day of January

                                                            1968 and every four years       next after election

                                                            thereafter

Auditor                 State                      Tuesday next after the Four years, from

                                                            first Monday in November     first day of January

                                                            1968 and every four years       next after election

                                                            thereafter

Treasurer               State                      Tuesday next after the Four years, from

                                                            first Monday in November     first day of January

                                                            1968 and every four years       next after election

                                                            thereafter

Superintendent      State                      Tuesday next after the Four years, from

of Public                                              first Monday in November     first day of January

Instruction                                           1968 and every four years       next after election

                                                            thereafter

Attorney

General                  State                      Tuesday next after the Four years, from

                                                            first Monday in November     first day of January

                                                            1968 and every four years       next after election

                                                            thereafter

Commissioner       State

of

Agriculture                                          Tuesday next after the Four years, from

                                                            first Monday in November     first day of January

                                                            1968 and every four years       next after election

                                                            thereafter

Commissioner       State

of                                                         Tuesday next after the Four years, from

Labor                                                   first Monday in November     first day of January

                                                            1968 and every four years       next after election

                                                            thereafter

Commissioner       State

of                                                         Tuesday next after the Four years, from

Insurance                                             first Monday in November     first day of January

                                                            1968 and every four years       next after election

                                                            thereafter

All other State       State                      Tuesday next after the Four years, from

officers whose                                     first Monday in November     first day of January

terms last for                                       1968 and every four years       next after election

four years                                            thereafter

All other State       State                      Tuesday next after the Two years, from

officers whose                                     first Monday in November     first day of January

terms are not                                       1968 and every two years       next after election

specified by law                                  thereafter

State Senator         Senatorial              Tuesday next after the Two years

                           district                   first Monday in November

                                                         1968 and every two years

                                                         thereafter

Member of State   Representative      Tuesday next after the Two years

House of               district                   first Monday in November

Representatives                                   1968 and every two years

                                                            thereafter

Justices and           State                      Except as provided in             Eight years, from

Judges of the                                       Article 1A of Chapter 7A       first day of January

Appellate                                             of the General Statutes,          next after election

Division                                               at the regular election

                                                            for members of the General

                                                            Assembly immediately

                                                            preceding the termination

                                                            of each regular term

Judges of the         Superior                 At the regular election Eight years, from

superior courts      Court                     for members of the General    first day of January

                              District                  Assembly immediately           after next election

                                                            preceding the termination

                                                            of each regular term

Judges of the         District                  At the regular election Four years, from the

district courts        court                      for members of the General    first day in January

                              district                   Assembly immediately           next after election

                                                            preceding the termination

                                                            of each regular term

District                  District                  At the regular election Four years, from

Attorney                Attorney                for members of the General    first day of January

                              District                  Assembly immediately           next after election

                                                            preceding the termination

                                                            of each regular term

Members of           Congressional        Tuesday next after the Two years

House of               district,                  first Monday in November

Representatives     except as               1968 and every two years

of the Congress     modified               thereafter

of the United         by G.S

States                    163A-970

United States        State                      At the regular election Six years

Senators                                              immediately preceding the

                                                            termination of each

                                                            regular term

County                  County                  At the regular election Two years, from the

Commissioners                                    for members of the General    first Monday in

                                                            Assembly immediately           December next after

                                                            preceding the termination       election

                                                            of each regular term

Clerk of                 County                  At the regular election Four years, from the

superior court                                      for members of the General    first Monday in

                                                            Assembly immediately           December next after

                                                            preceding the termination       election

                                                            of each regular term

Register of            County                  At the regular election Four years, from the

deeds                                                   for members of the General    first Monday in

                                                            Assembly immediately           December next after

                                                            preceding the termination       election

                                                            of each regular term

Sheriff                   County                  At the regular election Four years, from the

                                                            for members of the General    first Monday in

                                                            Assembly immediately           December next after

                                                            preceding the termination       election

                                                            of each regular term

Coroner                 County                  At the regular election Four years, from the

                                                            for members of the General    first Monday in

                                                            Assembly immediately           December next after

                                                            preceding the termination       election

                                                            of a regular term

County                  County                  Tuesday next after the Two years, from the

Treasurer (in                                        first Monday in November     first Monday in

counties in                                           1968 and every two years       December next after

which elected)                                     thereafter                                 election

All other                County                  Tuesday next after the Two years, from the

county officers                                    first Monday in November     first Monday in

to be elected                                        1968 and every two years       December next after

by the people                                       thereafter                                 election

 

(Const., art. 4, s. 24; 1901, c. 89, ss. 1-4, 73, 74, 77; Rev., ss. 4293, 4294, 4296-4299; 1915, c. 101, s. 1; 1917, c. 218; C.S., ss. 5914, 5915, 5917-5920, 6018; 1935, c. 362; 1939, c. 196; 1943, c. 134, s. 4; 1947, c. 505, s. 1; 1951, c. 1009, s. 2; 1953, c. 1191, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; cc. 1264, 1271; 1969, c. 44, s. 80; 1971, c. 170; 1973, c. 793, s. 93; 1977, c. 265, s. 1; c. 661, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 782, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 738, s. 2; 1996, 2nd Ex. Sess., c. 9, s. 2; 2003-434, 1st Ex. Sess., s. 6; 2004-127, s. 12; 2005-425, s. 3.2; 2015-66, s. 3; 2017-3, s. 2; 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-21, s. 1.)

 

§ 163A-701.  Special elections.

Special elections shall be called as permitted by law and conducted in accordance with G.S. 163A-1592.  (2013-381, s. 10.2; 2017-6, s. 3.)

 

§ 163A-702: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-703: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-704: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-705: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-706: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-707: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-708: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-709: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-710: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-711: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-712: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-713: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-714: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-715: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

Part 2. Time of Elections to Fill Vacancies.

§ 163A-716.  Filling vacancies in State executive offices.

If the office of Governor or Lieutenant Governor shall become vacant, the provisions of G.S. 147-11.1 shall apply. If the office of any of the following officers shall be vacated by death, resignation, or otherwise than by expiration of term, it shall be the duty of the Governor to appoint another to serve until his successor is elected and qualified: Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Labor, and Commissioner of Insurance. Each such vacancy shall be filled by election at the first election for members of the General Assembly that occurs more than 60 days after the vacancy has taken place, and the person chosen shall hold the office for the remainder of the unexpired four-year term: Provided, that when a vacancy occurs in any of the offices named in this section and the term expires on the first day of January succeeding the next election for members of the General Assembly, the Governor shall appoint to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term of the office.

Upon the occurrence of a vacancy in the office of any one of these officers for any of the causes stated in the preceding paragraph, the Governor may appoint an acting officer to perform the duties of that office until a person is appointed or elected pursuant to this section and Article III, Section 7 of the State Constitution, to fill the vacancy and is qualified.  (1901, c. 89, ss. 4, 73; Rev., s. 4299; C.S., s. 5920; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1983, c. 324, s. 1; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 920, s. 5; 2017-6, s. 3.)

 

§ 163A-717.  Filling vacancies in State and district judicial offices.

(a)        Vacancies occurring in the offices of Justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Court of Appeals, and judge of the superior court for causes other than expiration of term shall be filled by appointment of the Governor. An appointee to the office of Justice of the Supreme Court or judge of the Court of Appeals shall hold office until January 1 next following the election for members of the General Assembly that is held more than 60 days after the vacancy occurs, at which time an election shall be held for an eight-year term and until a successor is elected and qualified.

(b)        Except for judges specified in the next paragraph of this subsection, an appointee to the office of judge of superior court shall hold his place until the next election for members of the General Assembly that is held more than 60 days after the vacancy occurs, at which time an election shall be held to fill the unexpired term of the office.

Appointees for judges of the superior court from any district:

(1)        With only one resident judge; or

(2)        In which no county is subject to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965,

shall hold the office until the next election of members of the General Assembly that is held more than 60 days after the vacancy occurs, at which time an election shall be held to fill an eight-year term.

(c)        When the unexpired term of the office in which the vacancy has occurred expires on the first day of January succeeding the next election for members of the General Assembly, the Governor shall appoint to fill that vacancy for the unexpired term of the office.

(d)       Vacancies in the office of district judge which occur before the expiration of a term shall not be filled by election. Vacancies in the office of district judge shall be filled in accordance with G.S. 7A-142.  (1901, c. 89, ss. 4, 73; Rev. s. 4299; C.S., s. 5920; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1969, c. 44, s. 81; 1979, c. 494; 1981, c. 763, s. 3; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 920, s. 6; 1995, c. 98, s. 1; 1996, 2nd Ex. Sess., c. 9, s. 21; 2017-6, s. 3.)

 

§ 163A-718.  Filling vacancy in office of district attorney.

Any vacancy occurring in the office of district attorney for causes other than expiration of term shall be filled by appointment of the Governor. An appointee shall hold his place until the next election for members of the General Assembly that is held more than 60 days after the vacancy occurs, at which time an election shall be held to fill the unexpired term of the office: Provided, that when the unexpired term of the office in which the vacancy has occurred expires on the first day of January succeeding the next election for members of the General Assembly, the Governor shall appoint to fill that vacancy for the unexpired term of the office.  (1901, c. 89, ss. 4, 73; Rev., s. 4299; C.S., s. 5920; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 47, s. 2; 1977, c. 265, s. 2; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 920, s. 7; 2017-6, s. 3.)

 

§ 163A-719.  Filling vacancies in the General Assembly.

(a)        If a vacancy shall occur in the General Assembly by death, resignation, or otherwise than by expiration of term, the Governor shall immediately appoint for the unexpired part of the term the person recommended by the political party executive committee provided by this section. The Governor shall make the appointment within seven days of receiving the recommendation of the appropriate committee. If the Governor fails to make the appointment within the required period, he shall be presumed to have made the appointment and the legislative body to which the appointee was recommended is directed to seat the appointee as a member in good standing for the duration of the unexpired term.

(b)        If the district consists solely of one county and includes all of that county, the Governor shall appoint the person recommended by the county executive committee of the political party with which the vacating member was affiliated when elected, it being the party executive committee of the county which the vacating member was resident.

(c)        If the district consists solely of one county but includes less than all of the county, the Governor shall appoint the person recommended by the county executive committee of the political party with which the vacating member was affiliated when elected, it being the county executive committee of the county which the vacating member was resident, provided that in voting only those county executive committee members who reside in the district shall be eligible to vote.

(d)       If the district consists of more than one county, the Governor shall appoint for the unexpired portion of the term the person recommended by the State House of Representatives district committee or the Senatorial district committee of the political party with which the vacating member was affiliated when elected. In the case where all of a county is included within a district, the county convention or county executive committee of that political party shall elect or appoint at least one member from that county to serve on the State House of Representatives district executive committee or State Senatorial district executive committee. In the case where only part of a county is included within a district, the county convention or county executive committee of that political party shall elect or appoint at least one member from that county to serve on the State House of Representatives district committee or the State Senatorial district committee, but only the delegates to the county convention or the members of the county executive committee who reside in the district may vote in electing the district committee member. When the State House of Representatives district committee or the State Senatorial district committee meets, a member shall be entitled to cast for his county (or the part of his county within the district) one vote for each 300 persons or major fraction thereof residing within that county, or in the case where less than the whole county is in the district one vote for each 300 persons or major fraction thereof residing in that part of the district within the county.

A county convention or county executive committee may elect more than one member to the district committee but in the event that more than one member is selected from that county, then each member shall cast an equal share of the votes allotted to the county.

(e)        No person is eligible for appointment to fill a vacancy in the Senate or the House of Representatives under this section, unless that person would have been qualified to vote as an elector for that office if an election were to be held on the date of appointment. This section is intended to implement the provisions of Section 8 of Article VI of the Constitution.  (1901, c. 89, s. 74; Rev., s. 4298; C.S., s. 5919; 1947, c. 505, s. 1; 1953, c. 1191, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 35; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1265, s. 3; 2007-391, s. 27(b); 2017-6, s. 3.)

 

§ 163A-720.  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 Governor shall appoint from a list of three persons recommended by the State executive committee of the political party with which the vacating member was affiliated when elected if that party executive committee makes recommendations within 30 days of the occurrence of the vacancy. The Governor shall issue 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.  (1913, c. 114, ss. 1, 2; C.S., ss. 6002, 6003; 1929, c. 12, s. 2; 1955, c. 871, s. 6; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1985, c. 759, s. 2; 2013-381, s. 8.1; 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-102, s. 1.)

 

§ 163A-721.  Filling vacancy in United States House of Representatives.

(a)        Special Election. - If at any time after expiration of any Congress and before another election, or if at any time after an election, there shall be a vacancy in this State's representation in the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, the Governor shall issue a writ of election, and by proclamation fix the date on which an election to fill the vacancy shall be held in the appropriate congressional district.

(b)        Nominating Procedures. - If a congressional vacancy occurs beginning on the tenth day before the filing period ends under G.S. 163A-974 preceding the next succeeding general election, candidates for the special election to fill the vacancy shall not be nominated in primaries. Instead, nominations may be made by the political party congressional district executive committees in the district in which the vacancy occurs. The chairman and secretary of each political party congressional district executive committee nominating a candidate shall immediately certify his name and party affiliation to the State Board so that it may be printed on the special election ballots.

If the congressional vacancy occurs before the tenth day before the filing period ends under G.S. 163A-974 prior to the next succeeding general election, the Governor shall call a special primary for the purpose of nominating candidates to be voted on in a special election called by the Governor in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section. Such a primary election shall be conducted in accordance with the general laws governing primaries, except that the opening and closing dates for filing notices of candidacy with the State Board shall be fixed by the Governor in his call for the special primary. The Governor may also fix the absentee voting period for the special election and for the special first primary, but such period shall not be less than 30 days.  (1901, c. 89, s. 60; Rev., s. 4369; C.S., s. 6007; 1947, c. 505, s. 5; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1985, c. 759, ss. 3-5; 2017-6, s. 3.)

 

§ 163A-722: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-723: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-724: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-725: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-726: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-727: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-728: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-729: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-730: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-731: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-732: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-733: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-734: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-735: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-736: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-737: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-738: Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 163A-739: Reserved for future codification purposes.