163A-2. Membership.

(a) The State Board shall consist of nine individuals registered to vote in North Carolina, appointed by the Governor, as follows:

(1) Four individuals registered with the political party with the highest number of registered affiliates in the State, from a list of six nominees submitted by the State party chairs of that party.

(2) Four individuals registered with the political party with the second highest number of registered affiliates in the State, from a list of six nominees submitted by the State party chairs of that party.

(3) One individual not registered with either the political party with the largest number of registered affiliates in the State or of the political party with the second-largest number of registered affiliates in the State, from a list of two nominees selected by the other eight members of the State Board.

The number of registered affiliates shall be as reflected by the latest registration statistics published by the State Board. The Governor shall make all appointments promptly upon receipt of the list of nominees from each nominating entity and in no instance shall appoint later than 30 days after receipt of the list.

(b) Within 14 days of appointment by the Governor of the eight members appointed under subdivisions (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this section, the eight members shall hold an initial appointment selection meeting for the sole purpose of selecting two nominees who meet the qualifications for appointment under subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section and shall promptly submit those names to the Governor. No additional actions, other than the oath of office, shall be taken by the eight members appointed under subdivisions (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this section at the appointment selection meeting.

(c) Beginning on May 1 of the odd-numbered year, members shall serve for two-year terms.

(d) Members may be removed from the State Board by the Governor, acting in the Governor's discretion. Vacancies created on the State Board by removal from office by the Governor shall be filled in accordance with subsection (e) of this section.

(e) Any vacancy occurring on the State Board shall be filled by an individual meeting the same appointment criteria under subsection (a) of this section as the vacating member. Any vacancy occurring in the State Board shall be filled by the Governor, and the person so appointed shall fill the unexpired term. The Governor shall fill vacancies as follows:

(1) For a vacancy for an appointment under subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of this section, the Governor shall fill the vacancy from a list of two names submitted by the State party chair of the political party with which the vacating member was affiliated if that list is submitted within 30 days of the occurrence of the vacancy.

(2) For a vacancy for an appointment under subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section, the Governor shall fill the vacancy from a list of two names submitted by the remaining members of the State Board if that list is submitted within 30 days of the occurrence of the vacancy. The State Board shall hold a meeting within 21 days of the occurrence of the vacancy for the purpose of selecting two nominees for submission to the Governor to fill the vacancy.

(f) At the first meeting held after any new appointments are made, the members of the State Board shall take the following oath:

"I, ____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States; that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of North Carolina and to the constitutional powers and authorities which are or may be established for the government thereof; that I will endeavor to support, maintain, and defend the Constitution of said State; and that I will well and truly execute the duties of the office of member of the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement according to the best of my knowledge and ability, according to law, so help me God."

(g) At the first meeting held after the appointment of the member under subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section, the State Board shall organize by electing one of its members chair and one of its members vice-chair, each to serve a two-year term as such. In 2017 and every four years thereafter, the chair shall be a member of the political party with the highest number of registered affiliates, as reflected by the latest registration statistics published by the State Board, and the vice-chair a member of the political party with the second highest number of registered affiliates. In 2019 and every four years thereafter, the chair shall be a member of the political party with the second highest number of registered affiliates, as reflected by the latest registration statistics published by the State Board, and the vice-chair a member of the political party with the highest number of registered affiliates.

(h) At the first meeting held after the appointment under subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section, the State Board shall elect one of its members as secretary, to serve a two-year term as such.

(i) No person shall be eligible to serve as a member of the State Board who meets any of the following criteria:

(1) Holds any elective or appointive office under the government of the United States, the State of North Carolina, or any political subdivision thereof.

(2) Holds any office in a political party or organization.

(3) Is a candidate for nomination or election to any office.

(4) Is a campaign manager or treasurer of any candidate in a primary or election.

(5) Has served two full consecutive terms.

(j) No person while serving on the State Board shall do any of the following:

(1) Make a reportable contribution to a candidate for a public office over which the State Board would have jurisdiction or authority.

(2) Register as a lobbyist under Article 8 of this Chapter.

(3) Make written or oral statements intended for general distribution or dissemination to the public at large supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates for public office.

(4) Make written or oral statements intended for general distribution or dissemination to the public at large supporting or opposing the passage of one or more clearly identified referendum or ballot issue proposals.

(5) Solicit contributions for a candidate, political committee, or referendum committee.

(k) State Board members shall receive per diem, subsistence, and travel, as provided in G.S. 138-5 and G.S. 138-6. (2017-6, s. 4(c); 2018-2, s. 8(b); 2018-13, s. 5.)