§ 163-88. Hearing on challenge made on day of primary or election.
Overview of Statute
Section stipulates hearing procedure to be followed upon commencement of the hearing.
(a) A challenge entered on the day of a primary or election shall be heard and decided by the chief judge and judges of election of the precinct in which the challenged registrant is registered before the polls are closed on the day the challenge is made. When the challenge is heard the precinct officials conducting the hearing shall explain to the challenged registrant the qualifications for registration and voting in this State, and shall examine him as to his qualifications to be registered and to vote. If the challenged registrant insists that he is qualified, and if, by sworn testimony, he shall prove his identity with the person in whose name he offers to vote and his continued residence in the precinct since he was registered, one of the judges of election or the chief judge shall tender to him the following oath or affirmation, omitting the portions in brackets if the challenge is heard on the day of an election other than a primary:
“You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you are a citizen of the United States; that you are at least 18 years of age [or will become 18 by the date of the next general election]; that you have [or will have] resided in this State and in the precinct for which registered for 30 days [by the date of the next general election]; that you are not disqualified from voting by the Constitution and laws of this State; that your name is ………., and that in such name you were duly registered as a voter of this precinct; that you are the person you represent yourself to be; [that you are affiliated with the ………. party]; and that you have not voted in this [primary] election at this or any other voting place. So help you, God.”
If the challenged registrant refuses to take the tendered oath, the challenge shall be sustained, and the precinct officials conducting the hearing shall mark the registration records to reflect their decision, and they shall erase the challenged registrant’s name from the pollbook if it has been entered therein. If the challenged registrant takes the tendered oath, the precinct officials conducting the hearing may, nevertheless, sustain the challenge unless they are satisfied that the challenged registrant is a legal voter.
If they are satisfied that he is a legal voter, they shall overrule the challenge and permit him to vote. Whenever any person’s vote is received after having taken the oath prescribed in this section, the chief judge or one of the judges of election shall write on the registration record and on the pollbook opposite the registrant’s name the word “sworn.”
(b) Precinct election officials conducting hearings on challenges on the day of a primary or election shall have authority to administer the necessary oaths or affirmations to all witnesses brought before them to testify to the qualifications of the person challenged.
(c) A letter or postal card mailed by returnable mail and returned by the United States Postal Service purportedly because the person no longer lives at that address or because a forwarding order has expired shall not be admissible evidence in a challenge heard under this section which was made under G.S. 163-87.
(1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1971, c. 1231, s. 1; 1973, c. 1223, s. 6; 1985, c. 380, ss. 1, 1.1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 27; 2017-6, s. 3.; 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)
- Voter Challenge
1. Definition for Voting place
“Voting place” means the building or area of the building that contains the voting enclosure.
2. 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.
3. Definition for day
The term “day” means calendar day.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Definition for person
The term “person” means any business entity, corporation, insurance company, labor union, or professional association.
7. 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.
8. 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.
North Carolina Cases
Case Name: State ex rel. Freeman v. Ponder
Citation: 67 S.E.2d 292
Case PDF: State ex rel. Freeman v. Ponder
Case Summary: In an election for the office of county sheriff, the sheriff was elected but the incumbent refused to accede the office to the sheriff. Here, the citizens brought an action to determine the conflicting claims to the county sheriff election. The returns made by registrars and abstracts of votes for county officers, which was prepared by the county board, was in compliance with the statute and properly admitted as substantive evidence. The court here dismissed the incumbent's challenge for an increased number of peremptory challenges. Holding the general rule existed in statute which specified that the parties could challenge peremptorily six jurors without showing any cause, and such limitation shall be enforced no matter how numerous such parties could be.