159-61. Bond referenda; majority required; notice of referendum; form of ballot; canvass.

(a) If a bond order is to take effect upon approval of the voters, the affirmative vote or a majority of those who vote thereon shall be required.

(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, only on a date permitted by G.S. 163-287. 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. Several bond orders or other matters may be voted upon at the same referendum.

(c) The clerk shall publish a notice of the referendum at least twice. The first publication shall be not less than 14 days and the second publication not less than seven days before the last day on which voters may register for the referendum. The notice shall state the date of the referendum, the maximum amount of the proposed bonds, the purpose of the bonds, a statement that taxes will or may be levied for the payment thereof, and a statement as to the last day for registration for the referendum under the election laws then in effect.

(d) The form of the question as stated on the ballot shall be in substantially the following words:

"Shall the order authorizing $ ______ bonds plus interest for (briefly stating the purpose) and providing that additional taxes may be levied in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds be approved?

[ ] YES

[ ] NO"

(e) The board of elections shall canvass the referendum and certify the results to the governing board. The governing board shall then certify and declare the result of the referendum and shall publish a statement of the result once, with the following statement appended:

"Any action or proceeding challenging the regularity or validity of this bond referendum must be begun within 30 days after

____________________________________

(date of publication)

____________________________________

(title of governing board)"

The statement of results shall be filed in the clerk's office and inserted in the minutes of the board. (1917, c. 138, s. 22; 1919, c. 178, s. 3(22); c. 291; C.S., s. 2948; 1921, c. 8, s. 1; Ex. Sess. 1921, c. 106, s. 1; 1927, c. 81, ss. 22, 23, 25-27, 29; 1949, c. 497, ss. 2, 4; 1953, c. 1065, ss. 1, 2; 1971, c. 780, s. 1; 1973, c. 494, s. 9; 2013-200, s. 4; 2013-381, s. 10.26; 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-146, ss. 3.1(a), (b), 6.1.)