Part 2. County Boards of Elections.

163A-766. County boards of elections; appointments; terms of office; qualifications; vacancies; oath of office; instructional meetings.

(a) In every county of the State there shall be a county board of elections, to consist of four persons of good moral character who are registered voters in the county in which they are to act. Two of the members of the county board of elections shall be of the political party with the highest number of registered affiliates, and two shall be of the political party with the second highest number of registered affiliates, as reflected by the latest registration statistics published by the State Board. In 2017, members of county boards of elections shall be appointed by the State Board on the second Tuesday in July. In 2019, members of county boards of elections shall be appointed by the State Board on the last Tuesday in June and every two years thereafter, and their terms of office shall continue for two years from the specified date of appointment and until their successors are appointed and qualified.

(b) No person shall be eligible to serve as a member of a county board of elections who holds any elective office under the government of the United States, or of the State of North Carolina or any political subdivision thereof.

No person who holds any office in a state, congressional district, county or precinct political party or organization, or who is a campaign manager or treasurer of any candidate or political party in a primary or election, shall be eligible to serve as a member of a county board of elections, provided however that the position of delegate to a political party convention shall not be considered an office for the purpose of this section.

(c) No person shall be eligible to serve as a member of a county board of elections who is a candidate for nomination or election.

No person shall be eligible to serve as a member of a county board of elections who is the wife, husband, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, mother, mother-in-law, father, father-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew of any candidate for nomination or election. Upon any member of the board of elections becoming ineligible, that member's seat shall be declared vacant. This paragraph only applies if the county board of elections is conducting the election for which the relative is a candidate.

(d) The State chair of each political party shall have the right to recommend to the State Board three registered voters in each county for appointment to the board of elections for that county. If such recommendations are received by the State Board 15 or more days before the last Tuesday in June 2017, and each two years thereafter, it shall be the duty of the State Board to appoint the county boards from the names thus recommended.

Whenever a vacancy occurs in the membership of a county board of elections for any cause the State chair of the political party of the vacating member shall have the right to recommend two registered voters of the affected county for such office, and it shall be the duty of the State Board to fill the vacancy from the names thus recommended.

At the meeting of the county board of elections required by G.S. 163A-767 to be held on Tuesday following the third Monday in July in the year of their appointment the members shall take the following oath of office:

"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, not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States; and that I will well and truly execute the duties of the office of member of the ____ County Board of Elections to the best of my knowledge and ability, according to law; so help me God."

At the first meeting in July annually, the county boards shall organize by electing one of its members chair and one of its members vice-chair, each to serve a one-year term as such. In the odd-numbered year, 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 the even-numbered year, 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.

Each member of the county board of elections shall attend each instructional meeting held pursuant to G.S. 163A-822, unless excused for good cause by the chair of the board, and shall be paid the sum of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per day for attending each of those meetings. (1901, c. 89, ss. 6, 11; Rev., ss. 4303, 4304, 4305; 1913, c. 138; C.S., ss. 5924, 5925, 5926; 1921, c. 181, s. 1; 1923, c. 111, s. 1; c. 196; 1933, c. 165, s. 2; 1941, c. 305, s. 1; 1945, c. 758, ss. 1, 2; 1949, c. 672, s. 1; 1953, c. 410, ss. 1, 2; c. 1191, s. 2; 1955, c. 871, s. 1; 1957, c. 182, s. 1; 1959, c. 1203, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1969, c. 208, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, s. 7; c. 1094; c. 1344, s. 4; 1975, c. 19, s. 66; c. 159, s. 1; 1981, c. 954, s. 1; 1983, c. 617, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 472, s. 4; 1997-211, s. 1; 2016-125, 4th Ex. Sess., s. 5(h); 2017-6, ss. 2, 3, 7(h).)