§ 163-278.22. Duties of State Board.
It shall be the duty and power of the State Board:
(1) To prescribe forms of statements and other information required to be filed by this Article, to furnish such forms to the county boards of elections and individuals, media or others required to file such statements and information, and to prepare, publish and distribute or cause to be distributed to all candidates at the time they file notices of candidacy a manual setting forth the provisions of this Article and a prescribed uniform system for accounts required to file statements by this Article.
(2) To accept and file any information voluntarily supplied that exceeds the requirements of this Article.
(3) To develop a filing, coding, and cross-indexing system consonant with the purposes of this Article.
(4) To make statements and other information filed with it available to the public at a charge not to exceed actual cost of copying.
(5) To preserve reports and statements filed under this Article. Such reports and statements, after a period of two years following the election year, may be transferred to the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Office of Archives and History, and shall be preserved for a period of 10 years.
(6) To prepare and publish such reports as it may deem appropriate.
(7) To make investigations to the extent the State Board deems necessary with respect to statements filed under the provisions of this Article and with respect to alleged failures to file any statement required under the provisions of this Article or Article 22M of [this Chapter of] the General Statutes and, upon complaint, signed and sworn under oath or affirmation, by any registered voter, with respect to alleged violations of any part of this Article or Article 22M of [this Chapter of] the General Statutes. All investigations shall be confidential, and no investigation shall be initiated more than four years from the earliest of the following dates:
a. The facts constituting the violation are known to the State Board or county board with jurisdiction.
b. The facts constituting the violation can be determined from the public record.
c. The complainant knew or should have known of the conduct upon which the complaint is based.
(7a) To request and receive confidential recommendations from the State Ethics Commission regarding the appropriateness of a criminal referral of campaign finance violations.
(8) After investigation and receipt of the confidential recommendations regarding the appropriateness of a criminal referral for campaign finance violations, to report apparent violations by candidates, political committees, referendum committees, legal expense funds, individuals or persons to the proper district attorney as provided in G.S. 163-278.27.
(9) To prescribe and furnish forms of statements and other material to the county boards of elections for distribution to candidates and committees required to be filed with the county boards.
(10) To instruct the chairman and director of elections of each county board as to their respective duties and responsibilities relative to the administration of this Article.
(11) To require appropriate certification of delinquent or late filings from the county boards of elections and to execute the same responsibilities relative to such reports as provided in G.S. 163-278.27.
(12) To assist county boards of elections in resolving questions arising from the administration of this Article.
(13) To require county boards of elections to hold such hearings, make such investigations, and make reports to the State Board as the State Board deems necessary in the administration of this Article.
(14) To calculate, assess, and collect civil penalties pursuant to this Article.
(15) To establish a process for determination as to whether communication is an expenditure, independent expenditure, or electioneering communication prior to the airing or distribution of that communication when so requested by an individual or person producing a communication. The responsibility for the determination may be delegated to the Executive Director. If the responsibility is delegated to the Executive Director, the process established by the State Board shall require a written determination by the Executive Director to include stated findings and an opportunity for immediate appeal to the State Board of the determination by the Executive Director. (1973, c. 1272, s. 1; 1975, c. 798, s. 8; 1977, c. 626, s. 1; 1979, c. 500, ss. 9, 12, 13; c. 1073, s. 18; 1995, c. 243, s. 1; 1997-515, s. 7(e); 2002-159, s. 35(n); 2007-349, ss. 2, 3; 2010-170, s. 6; 2015- 241, s. 14.30(s); 2016-125, 4th Ex. Sess., s. 5(k); 2017-6, ss. 2, 3, 7(k); 2018-146, ss. 3.1(a), (b), 4.2(b), 4.11(c).)