AN ACT TO PLACE THE BURDEN OF PROOF ON THE CHALLENGER WHEN A CHALLENGE TO A CANDIDATE IS FILED.
Amends GS 163-127.5 to shift the burden of proof regarding a challenged candidacy. Places the burden of proof on the challenger to show by a preponderance of the evidence of the whole record that the candidate is not qualified for the office, rather than requiring the candidate to show he or she is qualified for the office. Authorizes the hearing panel to require the candidate or the challenger to present evidence as to where the candidate resides if the challenge is based upon a question of residency, addressing the candidate's abandonment of a first domicile with intent not to return, acquisition of a new domicile by actual residence and intent to make the newer domicile permanent (current law requires the candidate to show such evidence). Adds that the evidence can include testimony by the candidate.
Amends GS 163-127.4, which sets procedures for the panel to hear challenges to candidacy. Makes conforming changes to require rather than permit the challenger to present evidence at the hearing. Makes a technical correction.
Applies to any challenges that arise on or after the date the act becomes law.
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