§ 163-275. Certain acts declared felonies.
Overview of Statute
Section enumerates conduct which shall be classified and considered as a class I felony.
Any person who shall, in connection with any primary, general or special election held in this State, do any of the acts or things declared in this section to be unlawful, shall be guilty of a Class I felony. It shall be unlawful:
(1) For any person fraudulently to cause that person’s name to be placed upon the registration books of more than one election precinct or fraudulently to cause or procure that person’s name or that of any other person to be placed upon the registration books in any precinct when registration in that precinct does not qualify the person to vote legally therein, or to impersonate falsely another registered voter for the purpose of voting in the stead of the other voter.
(2) For any person to give or promise or request or accept at any time, before or after any such primary or election, any money, property or other thing of value whatsoever in return for the vote of any elector.
(3) For any person who is an election officer, a member of an election board or other officer charged with any duty with respect to any primary or election, knowingly to make any false or fraudulent entry on any election book or any false or fraudulent returns, or knowingly to make or cause to be made any false statement on any ballot, or to do any fraudulent act or knowingly and fraudulently omit to do any act or make any report legally required of that person.
(4) For any person knowingly to swear falsely with respect to any matter pertaining to any primary or election.
(5) For any person convicted of a crime which excludes the person from the right of suffrage, to vote at any primary or election without having been restored to the right of citizenship in due course and by the method provided by law.
(6) For any person to take corruptly the oath prescribed for voters.
(7) For any person with intent to commit a fraud to register or vote at more than one precinct or more than one time, or to induce another to do so, in the same primary or election, or to vote illegally at any primary or election.
(8) For any chief judge or any clerk or copyist to make any entry or copy with intent to commit a fraud.
(9) For any election official or other officer or person to make, certify, deliver or transmit any false returns of any primary or election, or to make any erasure, alteration, or conceal or destroy any election ballot, book, record, return or process with intent to commit a fraud.
(10) For any person to assault any chief judge, judge of election or other election officer while in the discharge of duties in the registration of voters or in conducting any primary or election.
(11) For any person, by threats, menaces or in any other manner, to intimidate or attempt to intimidate any chief judge, judge of election or other election officer in the discharge of duties in the registration of voters or in conducting any primary or election.
(12) For any chief judge, judge of election, member of a board of elections, assistant, marker, or other election official, directly or indirectly, to seek, receive or accept money or the promise of money, the promise of office, or other reward or compensation from a candidate in any primary or election or from any source other than such compensation as may be provided by law for that person’s services.
(13) For any person falsely to make or present any certificate or other paper to qualify any person fraudulently as a voter, or to attempt thereby to secure to any person the privilege of voting, including declarations made under this Chapter, G.S. 130A-93.1(c), and G.S. 161-10(a)(8).
(14) For any officer to register voters and any other individual to knowingly and willfully receive, complete, or sign an application to register from any voter contrary to the provisions of G.S. 163-82.4.
(15) Reserved for future codification purposes.
(16) For any person falsely to make the certificate provided by G.S. 163-229(b)(2).
(17) For any person, directly or indirectly, to misrepresent the law to the public through mass mailing or any other means of communication where the intent and the effect is to intimidate or discourage potential voters from exercising their lawful right to vote.
(18) For any person, knowing that a person is not a citizen of the United States, to instruct or coerce that person to register to vote or to vote.
(19) To counterfeit, sell, lend to, or knowingly permit the use of, by one not entitled thereto, a form of photo identification provided in G.S. 163-166.16 for the purposes of voting.
(1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1979, c. 539, s. 4; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, ss. 27, 28; 1981, cc. 63, 179; 1985, c. 562, s. 5; 1987, c. 565, s. 14; c. 583, s. 7; 1989, c. 770, s. 38; 1991, c. 727, s. 1; 1993, c. 553, s. 68; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 58(d)-(g); 1999-424, s. 7(i); 2007-391, s. 17(a); 2013-381, s. 3.4; 2014-111, s. 15(c); 2015-264, s. 26; 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-144, s. 3.2(c), 3.2(d); 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)
- Unlawful Acts
1. Definition for individual
The term “individual” means a single individual or more than one individual.
2. Definition for mass mailing
The term “mass mailing” means any mailing by United States mail or facsimile to 20,000 or more households, cumulative per election, in a statewide election or 2,500 households, cumulative per election, in any other election.
3. Definition for Compensation
Compensation. – Any money, thing of value, or economic benefit conferred
on or received by any covered person or filing person in return for services
rendered or to be rendered by that covered person or filing person or another.
This term does not include campaign contributions properly received and,
reported as required by Article 23 of this Chapter.
4. Definition for United States
“United States,” used in the territorial sense, means the several states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
5. Definition for made
A contribution is “made” during regular session if the check or other instrument is dated during the session, or if the check or other instrument is delivered to the limited contributee during session, or if the limited contributor pledges during the session to deliver the check or other instrument at a later time.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Definition for person
The term “person” means any business entity, corporation, insurance company, labor union, or professional association.
10. 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.
11. 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.)
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
North Carolina Cases
Case Name: Aycock v. Padgett
Citation: 134 N.C. App. 164, 516 S.E.2d 907
Case PDF: Aycock v. Padgett
Case Summary: Public allegation that political candidate was not a resident of the town in which he was running for office was not "libelous per se", even though the allegation accused candidate of a committing a felony.
Case Name: State v. Hines
Citation: 122 N.C. App. 545, 471 S.E.2d 109
Case PDF: State v. Hines
Case Summary: Statute prohibiting "intimidation" of election official discharging his duties was not unconstitutionally vague or overbroad. Members of county boards of elections are "election officers" for purpose of applying statute prohibiting intimidation of those officers. Review allowed 344 N.C. 634, 477 S.E.2d 47 Review improvidently allowed 345 N.C. 627, 481 S.E.2d 85