§ 163-287. Special elections; procedure for calling.
(a) Any county, municipality, or any special district shall have authority to call special elections as permitted by law. Prior to calling a special election, 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 local 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. In setting the date, counties, municipalities, and special districts are encouraged to set a date that will result in the highest possible voter turnout. However, the special election may be held only as follows:
(1) At the same time as any other State or county general election.
(2) At the same time as the primary election in any even-numbered year.
(3) At the same time as any other election requiring all the precincts in the county to be open.
(4) At the same time as a municipal general election, if the special election is within the jurisdiction of the municipality only.
(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 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. (1971, c. 835, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, s. 86; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 65; 2011-31, s. 7; 2013-381, s. 10.1; 2014-111, s. 17.5(a); 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)