TO AMEND THE NORTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION TO ALLOW APPELLATE COURT JUSTICES AND JUDGES ADEQUATE TIME TO FULFILL THEIR JUDICIAL DUTIES BEFORE RUNNING FOR ELECTION, AND TO IMPROVE ELECTION ADMINISTRATION BY INCREASING FROM SIXTY TO NINETY DAYS THE WINDOW WHERE A SPECIAL ELECTION IS REQUIRED TO FILL A VACANCY IN THE OFFICES OF SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE AND DISTRICT ATTORNEY, AND TO MAKE CONFORMING STATUTORY CHANGES.
Subject to approval by the voters at the November 6, 2012, general election, amends Section 19 of Article IV of the North Carolina Constitution (Constitution), effective upon certification and applying to vacancies occurring on or after the 60th day before November 6, 2012, to provide that all vacancies in the offices of chief justice, justices of the supreme court, and judges of the court of appeals are to be filled by appointment of the Governor. Additionally provides that the appointees are to hold their office’s until the second election that is held for members of the General Assembly after the vacancy occurs at which time elections to fill the vacancies are to be held. Increases the window of time for holding a special election to fill all vacancies covered under Article IV of the Constitution from 60 to 90 days, except as otherwise provided under Article IV of the Constitution. Makes a conforming change.
Provides that the following changes are effective with respect to vacancies occurring on or after the 60th day before November 6, 2012, only if the proposed constitutional amendment is approved by the qualified voters of the state.
Makes conforming changes to GS 163-9 (filling vacancies in state and district judicial offices), 163-10 (filling vacancy in office of district attorney), and 163-327.1 (rules when vacancies for superior court judge are to be voted on). Amends GS 163-329(a) and 163-329(b1) to limit their respective provisions governing the filling of vacancies to apply only to vacancies created in the office of judge of superior court (was, applied to office of justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of appeals, or judge of superior court). Makes a conforming change to GS 163-329(b1) (method for vacancy election).
Repeals GS 163-278.64A (special participation provisions for candidates in vacancy elections).
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