AN ACT TO CREATE THE EMERGENCY ELECTION FUND AND TO REQUIRE THAT ALL PRIVATE MONETARY DONATIONS FOR THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS, COUNTY BOARDS OF ELECTIONS, AND BOARDS OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS BE MAINTAINED AND DISBURSED BY THE EMERGENCY ELECTION AUTHORITY.
Enacts GS 163-22(s) concerning the State Board of Elections (State Board), and GS 163-33(17) concerning county boards of elections, explicitly denying statutory authority under the Chapter to the State Board or county boards to accept private monetary donations or in-kind contributions for conducting elections or employing individuals on a temporary basis. Amends GS 163-37 denying statutory authority for county boards of commissioners to do the same.
Enacts GS 163-29, establishing an emergency election fund consisting of all private monetary donations received to conduct elections or employ individuals under GS Chapter 163 on a temporary basis, as well as legislative appropriations. Requires private monetary donations to be made directly to the emergency election fund. Establishes the nine-member North Carolina Emergency Election Authority (Authority), with five members appointed by the Governor and four members appointed by the NCGA. States member qualifications, including registration as a voter in North Carolina. Specifically disqualifies registered lobbyists. Provides for five-year terms and bars serving more than two successive terms. Provides for member removal and vacancies. Charges the Authority with maintaining the emergency election fund and authorizing any disbursements made from the fund. Sets parameters for disbursement from the fund to the State Board or county boards, limiting disbursements to either (1) when a state of emergency has been declared pursuant to state law or (2) when the county board of commissioners of more than one-third of the counties adopts a resolution stating that the county board of elections lacks sufficient funds to properly administer the upcoming election, with the resolution delivered to the Authority within the time period specified. Bars disbursal in a manner that provides partisan advantage. Requires any in-kind contribution received by the State Board, county boards, or county board of commissioners to be approved by the Authority before being used in conducting an election. Solely authorizes the Authority to fundraise, submit applications for grants, or otherwise solicit funds for the emergency election fund, with any funds received required to be deposited into the fund to be disbursed pursuant to the statute. Authorizes the Authority to adopt rules for dispersing funds and approving the use of in-kind contributions.
Provides for staggered terms of initial Authority members as specified, with eligibility to serve one additional five-year term.
Effective October 1, 2021.
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