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What if No Candidates File? An Election without Candidates?

January 5, 2016

There is an open seat—District 2—on the board of county commissioners, up for election.  It will be voted on in November, along with other county offices (like sheriff and school board), district offices (like state senate and district attorney), and … Continued

The Candidate’s Pledge under North Carolina Law

September 2, 2015

Want to run for elective office in North Carolina—state legislature, governor, county commissioner, sheriff, or some other office?  For most offices you’ll have to run in the primary election of your party.  (A few offices—mainly city councils and school boards—are … Continued

Municipal Elections–Odd Year and Odd Man Out

July 7, 2015

Update January 2017:  In Session Law 2016-109, section 5, enacted July 22, 2016, the General Assembly expressed its intent “to provide for even-numbered year municipal elections, effective with the 2020 election cycle.”  It directed the Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee … Continued

Removing Elected Board Members From Office

February 4, 2015

The need to remove an elected member of a local governing board—the city council, the board of county commissioners, or the board of education—may arise when it is discovered that the board member is for some reason disqualified from holding … Continued

Determining the Pay for the New Sheriff

January 6, 2015

A new sheriff has been elected.  What will his salary be?  Must he be paid what the old sheriff was being paid, or can he be paid less? Here is one way to read the statutes:  the new sheriff must … Continued

When to Hold a Referendum: Restrictions and Limitations

September 3, 2014

The 2013 North Carolina General Assembly enacted numerous major election law changes—the introduction of a photo ID requirement to vote, the elimination of same-day registration and voting, the end of straight-ticket voting, and many others. There was a lot to … Continued

Election Day Voting vs. Early Voting in North Carolina

August 5, 2014

There are two distinct ways to cast your ballot in person in North Carolina. The first is traditional election-day voting at your assigned precinct polling place. The other is what has commonly come to be called early voting at one … Continued

Running for Office: The Hatch Act is Nearly Dead

March 12, 2014

When an employee of a city or county wants to run for elective office, three legal considerations have traditionally leapt to mind—North Carolina’s criminal conflicts of interest statute, the state’s common law principle of incompatibility of office, and the federal … Continued

Who We Vote For in North Carolina

January 7, 2014

When we cast our votes in North Carolina, we elect candidates to lots of offices.  With what is sometimes referred to as the “long ballot,” we vote more than 5,000 fellow citizens into office. Who are they?  For the most … Continued