§ 163-166.3. Limited access to the voting enclosure.
Overview of Statute
Section restricts photography of any voter or voting forum, in addition to restricting access to voting enclosure unless person is qualified.
(a) Persons Who May Enter Voting Enclosure.–During the time allowed for voting in the voting place, only the following persons may enter the voting enclosure:
(1) An election official.
(2) An observer appointed pursuant to G.S. 163-45.
(3) A runner appointed pursuant to G.S. 163-45, but only to the extent necessary to announce that runner’s presence and to receive the voter list as provided in G.S. 163-45.
(4) A person seeking to vote in that voting place on that day but only while in the process of voting or seeking to vote.
(5) A voter in that precinct while entering or explaining a challenge pursuant to G.S. 163-87 or G.S. 163-88.
(6) A person authorized under G.S. 163-166.8 to assist a voter but, except as provided in subdivision (7) of this section, only while assisting that voter.
(7) Minor children of the voter under the age of 18, or minor children under the age of 18 in the care of the voter, but only while accompanying the voter and while under the control of the voter.
(8) Persons conducting or participating in a simulated election within the voting place or voting enclosure, if that simulated election is approved by the county board of elections.
(9) Any other person determined by election officials to have an urgent need to enter the voting enclosure but only to the extent necessary to address that need.
(b) Photographing Voters Prohibited.–No person shall photograph, videotape, or otherwise record the image of any voter within the voting enclosure, except with the permission of both the voter and the chief judge of the precinct. If the voter is a candidate, only the permission of the voter is required. This subsection shall also apply to one-stop sites under G.S. 163-227.2, 163-227.5, and 163-227.6. This subsection does not apply to cameras used as a regular part of the security of the facility that is a voting place or one-stop site.
(c) Photographing Voted Ballot Prohibited.–No person shall photograph, videotape, or otherwise record the image of a voted official ballot for any purpose not otherwise permitted under law.
(2001-460, s. 3; 2005-428, s. 1(b); 2007-391, s. 23; 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-144, s. 3.4(b); 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)
1. Definition for Voting place
“Voting place” means the building or area of the building that contains the voting enclosure.
2. Definition for Official ballot
“Official ballot” means a ballot that has been certified by the State Board of Elections and produced by or with the approval of the county board of elections. The term does not include a sample ballot or a specimen ballot.
3. Definition for Voting enclosure
“Voting enclosure” means the room within the voting place that is used for voting.
4. Definition for day
The term “day” means calendar day.
5. Definition for board
The term “board” means the State Board with respect to all candidates for State, legislative, and judicial offices and the county board of elections with respect to all candidates for county and municipal offices. The term means the State Board with respect to all statewide referenda and the county board of elections conducting all local referenda.
6. Definition for Board
Board. – Any State board, commission, council, committee, task force,
authority, or similar public body, however denominated, created by statute or
executive order, as determined and designated by the State Board, except for
those public bodies that have only advisory authority.
7. Definition for person
The term “person” means any business entity, corporation, insurance company, labor union, or professional association.
8. Definition for Ballot
(Effective until January 1, 2018 or September 1, 2019 – see note) “Ballot” means an instrument on which a voter indicates that voter’s choice for a ballot item so that it may be recorded as a vote for or against a certain candidate or referendum proposal. The term “ballot” may include a paper ballot to be counted by hand, a paper ballot to be counted on an electronic
scanner, the face of a lever voting machine, the image on a direct record electronic unit, or a ballot used on any other voting system.
(Effective January 1, 2018 or September 1, 2019 – see note) “Ballot” means an instrument on which a voter indicates that voter’s choice for a ballot item so that it may be recorded as a vote for or against a certain candidate or referendum proposal, and is evidenced by an individual paper document that bears marks made by the voter by hand or through electronic
means, whether preprinted or printed in the voting enclosure.
9. Definition for election
The term “election” means any general or special election, a first or second primary, a run-off election, or an election to fill a vacancy. The term “election” shall not include any local or statewide referendum.
10. Definition for Election
“Election” means the event in which voters cast votes in ballot items concerning proposals or candidates for office in this State or the United States. The term includes primaries, general elections, referenda, and special elections.
11. Definition for candidate
The term “candidate” means any individual who, with respect to a public office listed in G.S. 163A-1411(80), has taken positive action for the purpose of bringing about that individual’s nomination, retention, or election to public office. Examples of positive action include any of the following:
a. Filing a notice of candidacy, filing a notice to be retained, or a petition requesting to be a candidate.
b. Being certified as a nominee of a political party for a vacancy.
c. Otherwise qualifying as a candidate in a manner authorized by law.
d. Making a public announcement of a definite intent to run for public office in a particular election.
e. Receiving funds or making payments or giving the consent for anyone else to receive funds or transfer anything of value for the purpose of bringing about that individual’s nomination or election to office. Transferring anything of value includes incurring an obligation to transfer anything of value. Status as a candidate for the purpose of this Article continues if the individual is receiving contributions to repay loans or cover a deficit or is making expenditures to satisfy obligations from an election already held. Special definitions of “candidate” and “candidate campaign committee” that apply only in Part 2 of this Article are set forth in G.S. 163A-1475.
12. Definition for Candidate
“Candidate” means any individual who, with respect to a public office listed in G.S. 163A-1411(80), has filed a notice of candidacy, notice of retention, or a petition requesting to be a candidate, or has been certified as a nominee of a political party for a vacancy, or has otherwise qualified as a candidate in a manner authorized by law, or has filed a statement of organization under G.S. 163A-1412 and is required to file periodic financial disclosure statements under G.S. 163A-1418.