Senate amendment makes the following change to 2nd edition. Changes the effective date of the act to January 1, 2013 (was, January 1, 2012).
Summary date: Jul 3 2012 - View summary
Summary date: Jun 3 2011 - View summary
House committee substitute makes the following changes to 1st edition. Amends the definition of a political party under GS 163-96(a) by lowering the threshold for qualification as a political party to (1) at least one-fourth of one percent (.25%) of the entire vote cast in votes of any group of voters polled in the last preceding general state election for specified offices or (2) at least .25% of registered and qualified voters in the state as of January 1 of the year of the petition, if qualifying by petition, filed with the State Board of Elections. Amends proposed GS 163-122(a1)(2) by requiring that petitions due under the provision be filed with the county board of elections on or before 12:00 noon on the last Friday of June (previously third Friday of July) preceding the general election. Rewrites proposed GS 163-122(a2) to specify the method for calculating the number of signatures needed for candidates seeking election to a partisan office as an unaffiliated candidate, depending on the office sought. Clarifies that proposed GS 163-111.1 (determination of primary results for political parties) applies only to political parties that, as of January 1 of the year that the primary election is held, have less than 10% of the registered voters in the state. Deletes amendments made in previous edition to GS 163-123 concerning write-in candidates. Makes conforming change to title. Makes other technical and clarifying changes. Effective January 1, 2012, and applies to elections held on or after that date.
Summary date: Feb 2 2011 - View summary
Amends GS Chapter 163 to (1) expand the definition of political party, (2) reduce the number of signatures required for unaffiliated candidates to be included on various ballots, (3) exempt certain political parties from most primary election requirements and instead provide that those parties’ candidates be selected by party convention or else by plurality, and (4) repeal the petition requirement for write-in candidates and instead require the filing of a declaration of intent by the candidate.
Definition of a Political Party. Amends the definition of a political party for purposes of state elections under GS 163-96(a) by changing the threshold for qualification as a political party to (1) at least 10,000 votes of any group of voters polled in the last preceding general state election for certain offices or (2) 10,000 registered and qualified voters if qualifying by petition filed with the State Board of Elections (current threshold for latter method of qualification is 2% of the entire votes cast in the most recent election for Governor, or for Governor or presidential electors in the former). Expands eligibility for qualification by voters polled in the last preceding general state election to include not only those voters polled for that group of voters’ candidate for Governor or presidential electors, but also for any other candidate for Council of State for a full term. For qualification as a political party by petition, reduces the number of congressional districts from which registered voters who sign the petition must come from four to three, and adjusts the deadline for filing the petition to the third Friday in July (currently the first day of June).
Unaffiliated Candidate Ballot Eligibility. Rewrites GS 163-122 by repealing subsection (a) and adding three new subsections (a1), (a2), and (a3) that provide specific requirements (namely petition requirements) for a qualified voter to be included as an unaffiliated candidate on a general election ballot, including general elections to a partisan office. Prohibits an individual whose name appears on a primary election ballot from having his name placed on the general election ballot as an unaffiliated candidate for the same office in that year. Details filing procedures and the number of required signatures (according to the office sought) for unaffiliated candidates.
Unaffiliated Candidate Ballot Eligibility in Partisan Municipal Elections. Amends GS 163-296 to change the number of signatures required for an unaffiliated candidate to be placed on a regular municipal ballot to 150 signatures if the municipality has more than 25,000 registered voters or 50 signatures if the municipality has 25,000 or fewer registered voters (current signature requirement is at least 4% of the total number of voters qualified to vote in the municipal election).
Participation in Elections by and Determining Primary Results of Certain Political Parties. Amends GS 163-98 to authorize political parties with less than 10% of the registered voters in the state to become exempt from most of the requirements of the Primary Act (Article 10 of GS Chapter 163). To become exempt, an eligible political party must notify the State Board of Elections by July 1 of an odd-numbered year that the party’s state convention or state executive committee has approved its exemption from the Primary Act. Eligible political parties that choose exemption must select its candidates by party convention, and the political party and its candidates must comply with certain certification and filing requirements in order for the candidates to appear on the appropriate ballot. If an eligible political party does not choose exemption, the results of primary elections for that political party are to be determined by a plurality. Amends GS 163-111 to provide that candidates of political parties with less than 10% of the registered voters in the state are not eligible to participate in second primaries.
Petitions for Write-In Candidates. Amends GS 163-123 by repealing the petition requirement for write-in candidates, and instead requires an applicant for write-in candidacy to file a declaration of intent with the State Board of Elections or the appropriate county board of elections.
Makes other technical and conforming changes. Effective when the act becomes law with respect to all primaries and general elections held on or after that date. However, provides that application of the act to 2011 partisan municipal elections is contingent upon receiving preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prior to July 1, 2011.