163A-774. Director of elections to county board of elections; appointment; compensation; duties; dismissal.

(a) In the event a vacancy occurs in the office of county director of elections in any of the county boards of elections in this State, the county board of elections shall submit the name of the person it recommends to fill the vacancy, in accordance with provisions specified in this section, to the Executive Director of the State Board who shall issue a letter of appointment. A person shall not serve as a director of elections if he:

(1) Holds any elective public office;

(2) Is a candidate for any office in a primary or election;

(3) Holds any office in a political party or committee thereof;

(4) Is a campaign chairman or finance chairman for any candidate for public office or serves on any campaign committee for any candidate;

(5) Has been convicted of a felony in any court unless his rights of citizenship have been restored pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 13 of the General Statutes of North Carolina;

(6) Has been removed at any time by the State Board following a public hearing; or

(7) Is a member or a spouse, child, spouse of child, parent, sister, or brother of a member of the county board of elections by whom he would be employed.

(b) Appointment, Duties; Termination. - Upon receipt of a nomination from the county board of elections stating that the nominee for director of elections is submitted for appointment upon majority selection by the county board of elections the Executive Director shall issue a letter of appointment of such nominee to the chairman of the county board of elections within 10 days after receipt of the nomination, unless good cause exists to decline the appointment. The Executive Director may delay the issuance of appointment for a reasonable time if necessary to obtain a criminal history records check sought under G.S. 143B-968. The Executive Director shall apply the standards provided in G.S. 163A-7 in determining whether a nominee with a criminal history shall be selected. If the Executive Director determines a nominee shall not be selected and does not issue a letter of appointment, the decision of the Executive Director of the State Board shall be final unless the decision is, within 10 days from the official date on which it was made, deferred by the State Board. If the State Board defers the decision, then the State Board shall make a final decision on appointment of the director of elections and may direct the Executive Director to issue a letter of appointment. If an Executive Director issues a letter of appointment, the county board of elections shall enter in its official minutes the specified duties, responsibilities and designated authority assigned to the director by the county board of elections. The specified duties and responsibilities shall include adherence to the duties delegated to the county board of elections pursuant to G.S. 163A-769. A copy of the specified duties, responsibilities and designated authority assigned to the director shall be filed with the State Board. In the event the Executive Director is recused due to an actual or apparent conflict of interest from rendering a decision under this section, the chair and vice-chair of the State Board shall designate a member of staff to fulfill those duties.

(c) Compensation of Directors of Elections. - Compensation paid to directors of elections in all counties maintaining full-time registration (five days per week) shall be in the form of a salary in an amount recommended by the county board of elections and approved by the Board of County Commissioners and shall be commensurate with the salary paid to directors in counties similarly situated and similar in population and number of registered voters.

The Board of County Commissioners in each county, whether or not the county maintains full-time or modified full-time registration, shall compensate the director of elections at a minimum rate of twelve dollars ($12.00) per hour for hours worked in attendance to his or her duties as prescribed by law, including rules and regulations adopted by the State Board. In addition, the county shall pay to the director an hourly wage of at least twelve dollars ($12.00) per hour for all hours worked in excess of those prescribed in rules and regulations adopted by the State Board, when such additional hours have been approved by the county board of elections and such approval has been recorded in the official minutes of the county board of elections.

In addition to the compensation provided for herein, the director of elections to the county board of elections shall be granted the same vacation leave, sick leave, and petty leave as granted to all other county employees. It shall also be the responsibility of the Board of County Commissioners to appropriate sufficient funds to compensate a replacement for the director of elections when authorized leave is taken.

(d) Duties. - The director of elections may be empowered by the county board of elections to perform such administrative duties as might be assigned by the board and the chairman. In addition, the director of elections may be authorized by the chairman to execute the responsibilities devolving upon the chairman provided such authorization by any chairman shall in no way transfer the responsibility for compliance with the law. The chairman shall remain liable for proper execution of all matters specifically assigned to him by law.

The county board of elections shall have authority, by resolution adopted by majority vote, to delegate to its director of elections so much of the administrative detail of the election functions, duties, and work of the board, its officers and members, as is now, or may hereafter be vested in the board or its members as the county board of elections may see fit: Provided, that the board shall not delegate to a director of elections any of its quasi-judicial or policy-making duties and authority. Such a resolution shall require adherence to the duties delegated to the county board of elections pursuant to G.S. 163A-769. Within the limitations imposed upon the director of elections by the resolution of the county board of elections the acts of a properly appointed director of elections shall be deemed to be the acts of the county board of elections, its officers and members.

(e) Training and Certification. - The State Board shall conduct a training program consisting of four weeks for each new county director of elections. The director shall complete that program. Each director appointed after May 1995 shall successfully complete a certification program as provided in G.S. 163A-889(b) within three years after appointment or by January 1, 2003, whichever occurs later. (1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1971, c. 1166, s. 2; 1973, c. 859, s. 1; 1975, c. 211, ss. 1, 2; c. 713; 1977, c. 265, s. 21; c. 626, s. 1; c. 1129, s. 1; 1981, cc. 84, 221; 1983, c. 697; 1985, c. 763; 1991, c. 338, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 16; 1995, c. 243, s. 1; 1999-426, s. 7(a); 2001-319, ss. 1(a), 1(b), 11; 2004-203, s. 58; 2009-541, ss. 3, 4(a); 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-13, s. 1(e).)