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North Carolina > Elections And Election Laws > Conduct of Primaries and Elections (§ § 163-128 through 163-225) Article 18A. Presidential Preference Primary Act (§ § 163-213.1 through 163-217)

§ 163-213.2. Primary to be held; date; qualifications and registration of voters.

Overview of Statute

Section mandates the procedure for the presidential primary election.


On the Tuesday after the first Monday in March, 2020, and every four years thereafter, the voters of this State shall be given an opportunity to express their preference for the person to be the presidential candidate of their political party.

Any person otherwise qualified who will become qualified by age to vote in the general election held in the same year of the presidential preference primary shall be entitled to register and vote in the presidential preference primary. Such persons may register not earlier than 60 days nor later than the last day for making application to register under G.S. 163-82.6 prior to the said primary. In addition, persons who will become qualified by age to register and vote in the general election for which the primary is held, who do not register during the special period may register to vote after such period as if they were qualified on the basis of age, but until they are qualified by age to vote, they may vote only in primary elections.

(1971, c. 225; 1975, c. 744; c. 844, s. 18; 1977, c. 19; c. 661, s. 7; 1983, c. 331, s. 5; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 927, s. 1; 1987, c. 457, s. 3; 1991, c. 689, s. 15(a); 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1032, s. 6; 1999-424, s. 7(j); 2013-381, s. 35.1; 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-21, s. 3; 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)

Definition [political party]

The term “political party” means any political party organized or operating in this State, whether or not that party is recognized under the provisions of G.S. 163A-950. A special definition of “political party organization” that applies only in Part 2 of this Article is set forth in G.S. 163A-1475. An affiliated party committee is deemed a political party for this Article as set forth in G.S. 163A-1416 and G.S. 163A-1417.

§ 163A-1411 (76). Definitions.

Definition [State]

“State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

§ 163A-1336 (5). Definitions.

Definition [person]

The term “person” means any business entity, corporation, insurance company, labor union, or professional association.

§ 163A-1411 (72). Definitions.

Definition [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.

§ 163A-1411 (30). Definitions.

Definition [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.

§ 163A-1095 (4). Definition

Definition [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.

§ 163A-1411 (9). Definitions.

Definition [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.

§ 163A-1475 (2). Definitions.