§ 163-231. Voting absentee ballots and transmitting them to the county board of elections.
Overview of Statute
Section stipulates absentee voting procedure and requires the ballot to be returned to the issuing county board upon completion.
(a) Procedure for Voting Absentee Ballots.–In the presence of two persons who are at least 18 years of age, and who are not disqualified by G.S. 163-226.3(a)(4) or G.S. 163-237(b1), the voter shall do all of the following:
(1) Mark the voter’s ballots, or cause them to be marked by that person in the voter’s presence according to the voter’s instruction.
(2) Fold each ballot separately, or cause each of them to be folded in the voter’s presence.
(3) Place the folded ballots in the container-return envelope and securely seal it, or have this done in the voter’s presence.
(4) Make the application printed on the container-return envelope according to the provisions of G.S. 163-229(b) and make the certificate printed on the container-return envelope according to the provisions of G.S. 163-229(b).
(5) Require those two persons in whose presence the voter marked that voter’s ballots to sign the application and certificate as witnesses and to indicate those persons’ addresses. Failure to list a ZIP code does not invalidate the application and certificate.
(6) Do one of the following:
a. Have the application notarized. The notary public may be the person in whose presence the voter marked that voter’s ballot.
b. Have the two persons in whose presence the voter marked that voter’s ballots to certify that the voter is the registered voter submitting the marked ballots.
Alternatively to the prior paragraph of this subsection, any requirement for two witnesses shall be satisfied if witnessed by one notary public, who shall comply with all the other requirements of that paragraph. The notary shall affix a valid notarial seal to the envelope, and include the word “Notary Public” below his or her signature.
The persons in whose presence the ballot is marked shall at all times respect the secrecy of the ballot and the privacy of the absentee voter, unless the voter requests assistance and that person is otherwise authorized by law to give assistance. When thus executed, the sealed container-return envelope, with the ballots enclosed, shall be transmitted in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section to the county board of elections which issued the ballots.
(b) Transmitting Executed Absentee Ballots to County Board of Elections.–The sealed container-return envelope in which executed absentee ballots have been placed shall be transmitted to the county board of elections who issued those ballots as follows:
(1) All ballots issued under the provisions of this Article and Article 21A of this Chapter shall be transmitted by mail or by commercial courier service, at the voter’s expense, or delivered in person, or by the voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian and received by the county board not later than 5:00 p.m. on the day of the statewide primary or general election or county bond election. Ballots issued under the provisions of Article 21A of this Chapter may also be electronically transmitted.
(2) If ballots are received later than the hour stated in subdivision (1) of this subsection, those ballots shall not be accepted unless one of the following applies:
a. Federal law so requires.
b. The ballots issued under this Article are postmarked and that postmark is dated on or before the day of the statewide primary or general election or county bond election and are received by the county board of elections not later than three days after the election by 5:00 p.m.
c. The ballots issued under Article 21A of this Chapter are received by the county board of elections not later than the end of business on the business day before the canvass conducted by the county board of elections held pursuant to G.S. 163-182.5.
(c) For purposes of this section, “Delivered in person” includes delivering the ballot to an election official at a one-stop voting site under G.S. 163-227.2, 163-227.5, and 163-227.6 during any time that site is open for voting. The ballots shall be kept securely and delivered by election officials at that site to the county board of elections office for processing.
(1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1971, c. 1247, s. 3; 1973, c. 536, s. 1; 1977, c. 469, s. 1; 1979, c. 799, s. 5; 1985, c. 562, ss. 1, 2; 1987, c. 583, ss. 1, 2; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 991, s. 4; 1999-455, s. 11; 2009-537, ss. 6, 8(a); 2011-182, s. 5; 2013-381, s. 4.4; 2014-111, s. 11; 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-144, s. 3.4(j); 2018-146, s. 4.8; 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)
- Absentee Ballot
1. Definition for day
The term “day” means calendar day.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Definition for 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.
5. Definition for person
The term “person” means any business entity, corporation, insurance company, labor union, or professional association.
6. 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.
7. Definition for Office
(4) Office. – The elected office for which the candidate has filed or petitioned.
(2006-155, s. 1; 2006-259, s. 48(a); 2017-6, s. 3.)
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Definition for Business
Business. – Any of the following organized for profit:
b. Business trust.
e. Joint venture.
i. Vested trust.
j. Every other business interest, including ownership or use of land for
11. Definition for accepted
A contribution is “accepted” during regular session if the check or other instrument is dated during the session, or if the limited contributee receives the check or other instrument during session and does not return it within 10 days, or agrees during session to receive the check or other instrument at a later time.
§ 163A-1426. Limitation on fund-raising during legislative session. (a) Definitions (5)
North Carolina Cases
Case Name: Owens v. Chaplin (Petition to Rehear)
Citation: 48 S.E.2d 37, 229 N.C. 797
Case PDF: Owens v. Chaplin (Petition to Rehear)
Case Summary: Doubtful statements of challenged electors not sufficient to overcome certificate of notary.