(a) Unless otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation or in an agreement valid under G.S. 55-7-31, directors are elected by a plurality of the votes cast by the shares entitled to vote in the election at a meeting at which a quorum is present.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, shareholders do not have a right to cumulate their votes for directors unless the articles of incorporation so provide.
(c) A statement included in the articles of incorporation that "[all] [a designated voting group of] shareholders are entitled to cumulate their votes for directors" (or words of similar import) means that the shareholders designated are entitled to multiply the number of votes they are entitled to cast by the number of directors for whom they are entitled to vote and cast the product for a single candidate or distribute the product among two or more candidates.
(d) Shares otherwise entitled to vote cumulatively may not be voted cumulatively at a particular meeting unless:
(1) The meeting notice or proxy statement accompanying the notice states conspicuously that cumulative voting is authorized; or
(2) A shareholder or proxy who has the right to cumulate his votes announces in open meeting, before voting for directors starts, his intention to vote cumulatively; and if such announcement is made, the chair shall declare that all shares entitled to vote have the right to vote cumulatively and shall announce the number of votes represented in person and by proxy, and shall thereupon grant a recess of not less than one hour nor more than four hours, as he shall determine, or of such other period of time as is unanimously then agreed upon.
(e) Shareholders of a corporation incorporated in this State shall have the right to cumulate their votes for directors if
(1) The corporation was in existence prior to July 1, 1957, under a charter which does not grant the right of cumulative voting and at the time of the election the stock transfer book of such corporation discloses, or it otherwise appears, that there is at least one stockholder who owns or controls more than one-fourth of the voting stock of such corporation (shares represented at a meeting by revocable proxy relating to that meeting or adjourned meetings thereof shall not be deemed shares "controlled" within the meaning of this subsection), or if
(2) The corporation was incorporated on or after July 1, 1957, and before July 1, 1990,
unless, when the stock transfer books are closed or at the record date fixed to determine the shareholders entitled to receive notice of and to vote at the meeting of shareholders, the corporation is a public corporation as defined in G.S. 55-1-40(18a). This right to vote cumulatively may be denied or limited by amendment to the articles of incorporation, but no such amendment shall be made when the number of shares voting against the amendment would be sufficient to elect a director by cumulative voting if such shares are entitled to be voted cumulatively for the election of directors. (Rev., ss. 1183, 1184; 1907, c. 457, s. 1; 1909, c. 827, s. 1; C.S., s. 1173; 1945, c. 635; G.S., s. 55-110; 1951, c. 265, s. 2; 1953, c. 722; 1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1959, c. 768; c. 1316, s. 23; 1963, c. 1065; 1969, c. 751, ss. 34, 35; 1985, c. 419; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 801, s. 45; 1989, c. 265, s. 1; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1024, s. 12.11; 1991, c. 645, ss. 16(b), 19.)