CHAPTER 10 – ELECTION DAY MATTERS

 

SUBCHAPTER 10A - GENERAL BALLOT ROTATION RULES FOR PRIMARY ELECTION BALLOTS

 

08 ncac 10A .0101          REQUIREMENTS FOR EQUIPMENT VENDORS

08 NCAC 10A .0102          LIST OF QUALIFIED VOTING SYSTEMS

08 NCAC 10A .0103          CANDIDATE NAMES TO BE ROTATED FOR PAPER BALLOTS AND SOME VOTING

SYSTEMS

08 NCAC 10A .0104          ROTATION NOT REQUIRED FOR MAIL-IN ABSENTEE BALLOTS

08 NCAC 10A .0105          REPLACEMENT VOTING SYSTEMS MUST PERMIT CANDIDATE NAME ROTATION

08 NCAC 10A .0106          SIGNIFICANT ADDITIONAL EXPENSE

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 163-22; 163-140(c)(3); 163-160; 163-160.1;

Temporary Adoption Eff. May 1, 2000;

Temporary Adoption Expired on December 10, 2000;

Recodified from 08 NCAC 10 to 08 NCAC 10A Eff. April 15, 2002.

 

SUBCHAPTER 10b – VOTING, VOTING PLACES AND PRECINCT OFFICIALS' DUTIES AND TASKS

 

08 ncac 10B .0101          TASKS AND DUTIES OF PRECINCT OFFICALS AT VOTING PLACES

(a)  This Rule a Summary - The provisions of this Section provide a nonexclusive summary of the tasks and duties given to officials under G.S. 163. The legal duty is contained, not in this Rule, but in G.S. 163. For purposes of this Chapter, unless otherwise noted, the term "precinct officials" shall mean chief judge, precinct judge, assistants, emergency election-day assistants, and ballot counters. Observers are not precinct officials and shall not act or presume to act on behalf of a county board of elections. Observers shall only be allowed in partisan or ABC elections and are not legally authorized in any non-partisan election involving either candidates or issues. 

(b)  Tasks of Precinct Chief Judge - Precinct Chief Judges, in accordance with election statutes, within the Rules of the State Board of Elections, and under the supervision of the county board of elections, shall have the following tasks to perform as to each primary or election. Where the precinct chief judge does not have the exclusive statutory mandate to perform a task or duty, a precinct judge may be designated to perform such task or duty.

(1)           Attend an instructional meeting presented by the county board of elections prior to each primary or election as required by G.S. 163-46.

(2)           Upon learning that any parent, spouse, child, or sibling has filed for elective office, to inform the county board of elections so that the provisions of the law prohibiting a precinct official from serving in an election with a close relative as a candidates can be followed.

(3)           Inform the county board of elections if any blood relative of kinship of first cousin or nearer or a parent in-law, child in-law or sibling in-law is a precinct official/worker serving with you in the same precinct, and not to serve with that relative in the same precinct.  Also inform the county board of elections of any relationship, as described in the previous sentence, that you may have with an emergency election-day assistant and not serve with that person in the same precinct.

(4)           Prior to day of the primary or election, receive and review from the county board the precinct observer list and promptly make any objection for good cause to the county board as provided in G.S. 163-45.

(5)           Receive, prior to the election or primary, sample ballots from the county board of elections, and to post a sample ballot at the voting place prior to opening on the primary or election day as set out in G.S. 163-165.2.

(6)           Promptly notify the county board of elections of any sickness, emergency, or other circumstances that will or might prevent the person from performing as precinct chief judge on a primary or election day.

(7)           Receive, prior to the day of the primary or election, from the county board of elections any security keys or codes as to any voting systems or units that are to be operated at the precinct.

(8)           Prior to the opening of the polls, administer to any precinct official, not previously sworn, the oath of office as set out in G.S. 163-41.

(9)           Prior to the opening of the polls, to ensure there is open means of phone/radio communication between the voting place and the county board of elections office or director.

(10)         If at the time of opening the voting place, a judge has not appeared, to appoint another person to act as precinct judge, until the chairman of the county board of elections appoints a replacement as set out in G.S. 163-41, or ratifies the selection of the chief judge.

(11)         Be present at the voting place at 6:00 a.m., and ensure the prompt opening of the polls at 6:30 a.m. as mandated by G.S. 163-166 and any Rules promulgated under that statute.

(12)         Respond to any voter's request to have assistance to vote as set out in the provisions of G.S. 163-166.8(b).

(13)         Ensure the continued arrangement of the voting enclosure as required in G.S. 163-166.2.

(14)         Supervise the orderly closing of the voting place at 7:30 p.m. in compliance with procedures set out in G.S. 163-166.10 and any rules promulgated under that statute.

(15)         Handle challenges made on election or primary day in accordance with G.S. 163-87, and to conduct the hearing upon said challenge in accordance with G.S. 163-88.

(16)         Be responsible, as mandated by G.S. 163-182.3, for adherence to all rules pertaining to counting, reporting, and transmitting official ballots.

(17)         Be responsible for the maintenance of and appearance of efficient, impartial, and honest election administration at the precinct as required by G.S. 163-166.5(3).

(18)         Be responsible for the maintenance of the voting place buffer zone, and ensure compliance with the same.

(19)         Ensure peace and good order at the voting place as required by G.S. 163-48.

(20)         Ensure that voters are able to cast their votes in dignity, good order, impartiality, convenience, and privacy as required in G.S. 163-166.7(c) and any rules promulgated under that statute.

(21)         If needed, to check or assist in checking the registration of voters at the voting place.

(22)         If ballot counters are needed, receive the list of counters from the county board, or appoint counters if authorized to do so by the county board. Swear in any ballot counters prior to their county votes. Report to the county board of elections the names and addresses of any ballot counters to the county board at the county canvass as set out in G.S. 163-163-43.

(23)         Perform the required legal duties of chief precinct judge/judge or face criminal consequences as set out in G.S. 163-274 (1).   

(24)         Not accept money from candidates, commit fraud, false statements, or false writings in performing election duties, or face the criminal consequences set out in G.S. 163-275(3)(8)(9) and (12).

(c)  Tasks of Precinct Judge- Precinct Judges, in accordance with election statutes, within rules of the State Board of Elections, and under the supervision of the county board of elections, shall have the following tasks to perform as to each primary or election. A precinct judge may be designated to perform tasks and duties of a chief precinct judge, where those duties are not statutorily made exclusive to the chief precinct judge.

(1)           Attend an instructional meeting presented by the county board of elections prior to each primary or election as required by G.S. 163-46.

(2)           Upon learning that any parent, spouse, child, or sibling has filed for elective office, to inform the county board of elections so that the provisions of the law prohibiting a precinct official from serving in an election with a close relative as a candidates can be followed.

(3)           Inform the county board of elections if any blood relative of kinship of first cousin or nearer or a parent in-law, child in-law or sibling in-law is a precinct official/worker serving with you in the same precinct, and not to serve with that relative in the same precinct.  Also inform the county board of elections of any relationship, as described in the previous sentence, that you may have with an emergency election-day assistant and not serve with that person in the same precinct.

(4)           If the chief judge fails to appear at the opening of poll, to appoint, with the other precinct judge, a person to act as chief judge until the chairman of the county board appoints a new chief judge as per G.S. 163-41.

(5)           Promptly notify the county board of elections of any sickness, emergency, or other circumstances that will or might prevent the person from performing as precinct chief judge on a primary or election day.

(6)           Be present at the voting place at 6:00 a.m., and ensure the prompt opening of the polls at 6:30 a.m. as mandated by G.S. 163-166 and any rules promulgated under that statute.

(7)           Perform the required legal duties of chief precinct judge/judge or face criminal consequences as set out in G.S. 163-274 (1).   

(8)           Not accept money from candidates, commit fraud, false statements, or false writings in performing election duties, or face the criminal consequences set out in G.S. 163-275(3)(8)(9) and (12).

(9)           To aid and cooperate with the precinct chief judge, as requested or needed, as to those duties noted in Subparagraphs (12) through (21) of Paragraph (b) of this Rule.

(d)  Tasks of Election Assistants- Election Assistants, in accordance with election statutes, within the rules of the State Board of Elections, and under the supervision of the county board of elections, shall have the following tasks to perform as to each primary or election: Aid the chief judge and other precinct judges in the performances of their tasks and duties as needed or directed.

(1)           Check the registration of voters at the voting place as per G.S. 163-166.7(a).

(2)           Guide voters to voting units or provide voters ballots as per G.S. 163-166.7(b).

(3)           Prior to performing duties and tasks after being duly appointed, take the oath required by G.S. 163-41.

(4)           Promptly notify the county board of elections of any sickness, emergency, or other circumstances that will or might prevent the person from performing as an election assistant on a primary or election day.

(5)           Upon learning that any parent, spouse, child, or sibling has filed for elective office, to inform the county board of elections so that the provisions of the law prohibiting a precinct official from serving in an election with a close relative as a candidates can be followed.

(6)           Inform the county board of elections if any blood relative of kinship of first cousin or nearer or a parent in-law, child in-law or sibling in-law is a precinct official/worker serving with you in the same precinct, and not to serve with that relative in the same precinct.  Also inform the county board of elections of any relationship, as described in the previous sentence, that you may have with an emergency election-day assistant and not serve with that person in the same precinct.

(e)  Tasks of Emergency Election –Day Assistant-Emergency Election-Day Assistants, in accordance with election statutes, within the rules of the State Board of Elections, and under the supervision of the county board of elections, shall have the following tasks to perform as to each primary or election:

(1)           To be prepared prior to and on the day of a primary or election to serve, on short notice given by the county board of elections, to travel to and work at any voting place within the county.

(2)           Perform all the tasks and duties of an election assistant as set out in Paragraph (d) of this Rule.

(3)           Promptly notify the county board of elections of any sickness, emergency, or other circumstances that will or might prevent the person from performing as an election assistant on a primary or election day.

(4)           Upon learning that any parent, spouse, child, or sibling has filed for elective office, to inform the county board of elections so that the provisions of the law prohibiting a precinct official from serving in an election with a close relative as a candidates can be followed.

(5)           Inform the county board of elections if any blood relative of kinship of first cousin or nearer or a parent in-law, child in-law or sibling in-law is a precinct official/worker serving with you in the same precinct, and not to serve with that relative in the same precinct.  Also inform the county board of elections of any relationship, as described in the previous sentence, that you may have with an emergency election-day assistant and not serve with that person in the same precinct.

(f)  Tasks of Ballot Counters - All ballot counters, in accordance with election statutes, with the rules of the State Board of Elections and under supervision of the county board of elections, shall perform all the following. There is no requirement to have ballot counters appointed or used by a county board of elections unless they are needed.

(1)           After appointment, to appear at the poll immediately at close of the polls and to be prepared to count ballots under the direction and control of the chief and other precinct judges.

(2)           To be sworn into office, by the precinct chief judge prior to starting counting.

(3)           Upon learning that any parent, spouse, child, or sibling has filed for elective office, to inform the county board of elections so that the provisions of the law prohibiting a precinct official from serving in an election with a close relative as a candidates can be followed.

(4)           Inform the county board of elections if any blood relative of kinship of first cousin or nearer or a parent in-law, child in-law or sibling in-law is a precinct official/worker serving with you in the same precinct, and not to serve with that relative in the same precinct.  Also inform the county board of elections of any relationship, as described in the previous sentence, that you may have with an emergency election-day assistant and not serve with that person in the same precinct.

(g)  General duties of all Precinct Officials - All precinct officials, in accordance with election statutes, with the rules of the State Board of Elections and under the supervision of the county board of elections, shall perform all of the following:

(1)           Count votes when votes are required to be counted at the voting place, G.S. 163-182.2;

(2)           Make an unofficial report of returns to the county board of elections, G.S. 163- 182.2;

(3)           Certify the integrity of the vote and the security of the official ballots at the voting place, G.S. 163-182.2;

(4)           Return official ballots and equipment to the county board of elections, G.S. 163- 182.2;

(5)           Ensure that the voting system remains secure throughout the period voting is being conducted;

(6)           Ensure that only properly voted official ballots are introduced into the voting system;

(7)           Ensure that, except as provided by G.S. 163-166.9, no official ballots leave the voting enclosure during the time voting is being conducted there;

(8)           Ensure that all improperly voted official ballots are returned to the precinct officials and marked as spoiled;

(9)           Ensure that voters leave the voting place promptly after voting;

(10)         Ensure that voters not clearly eligible to vote in the precinct but who seek to vote there are given proper assistance in voting a provisional official ballot or guidance to another voting place where they are eligible to vote;

(11)         Ensure that information gleaned through the voting process that would be helpful to the accurate maintenance of the voter registration records is recorded and delivered to the county board of elections;

(12)         Ensure that registration records are kept secure;

(13)         Ensure that party observers are given access as provided by G.S. 163-45 to current information about which voters have voted;

(14)         Aid any voter, as needed, in curbside voting as provided for in G.S. 163-166.9;

(15)         Provide Spanish ballot instructions as needed to voters, when such instructions are required to be available by law. Direct all language needs which can not be handled at the precinct to the county board office;

(16)         Register and help, at the voting place, those persons eligible to register and vote on election day as allowed by G.S. 163-254 and G.S. 163-82.6(d);

(17)         Promptly report to the county board of elections, any physical or mental ailment, impairment, or deterioration that may adversely affect the performance of an election related task or duty. Report any such conditions known in any other precinct officials to the county board;

(18)         Promptly report any violation of election laws or regulations to the chief judge, or to the county board of elections if the chief precinct judge is involved in the violation;

(19)         Provide any person who requests it any information on how to contact the county director of elections, the county board of elections, or the office of the State Board of Elections; and

(20)         Work and stay at the voting place, at all times during the voting day, until closure. By prior agreement with the county board of elections and pursuant to G.S. 163-42, election assistants and emergency election-day assistants may work less than the entire voting day.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 163-22; 163-166.6;

Temporary Adoption Eff. April 15, 2002;

Eff. August 1, 2004.

08 ncac 10B .0102          SETTING UP POLLING PLACE PRIOR TO VOTING

(a)  The Chief Judge, Judges, and Assistants shall arrive at the voting place no later than 6:00 a.m. on the day of the election.

(b)  The Chief Judge shall administer the oath to Judges and Assistants who have not taken the oath.

(c)  The Chief Judge shall assign tasks regarding the set up of the polling place to ensure the participation of judges and assistants of each represented party. The tasks and duties assigned shall adhere to the rules and orders promulgated by the State Board of Elections.  At least one official shall be directed by the Chief Judge to manage curbside voting and facilitate the process for voters with special needs.

(d)  The Chief Judge or designated official shall ensure that the telephone or other approved communications device is working.

(e)  The members of the County Board of Elections shall ensure that each voting system is delivered to the voting place and placed in the custody of the Chief Judge or designated official within three days before the election with the ballot labels or other necessary identifiers already in place on each unit.   Keys and other security devices necessary for the operation of the voting system shall be delivered to the Chief Judge in a sealed container.  Together, a board member or agent of the County Board of Elections and the Chief Judge or designated official shall inspect the contents of the sealed container to ensure that all necessary mechanisms are provided to the Chief Judge.  All numbers stamped on the keys and security devices should correspond to the number of the voting units.  Together they shall also ensure that the ballots are correctly in position and that no votes have been cast or recorded on any unit, and that the units are in good working order.  Voting tabulating units should be locked and sealed (or otherwise secured in the manner recommended by the manufacturer) and should remain that way until the polls are closed.

(f)  The Chief Judge, with the cooperation of at least one official of the other major political party shall verify the delivery of all election supplies, records and equipment necessary for the conduct of the election.

(g)  The Chief Judge shall ensure that all applicable instructions, signs, and sample ballots are posted around the polling place, including signs designating the voting place, the buffer zone, temporary and/or permanent accessible parking, and the curbside voting area.

(h)  The Chief Judge shall ensure that the polling place is arranged to provide private spaces so voters may cast votes unobserved.  The Chief Judge shall also ensure that there is continual adequate space and furniture for separate areas for voter registration records, ballot distribution, and private discussions with voters concerning irregular situations.  The voting enclosure must be set up so that all equipment and furniture can be generally seen.  The exterior of the voting units and every part of the voting enclosure shall be in plain view of the Chief Judge and Judges.

(i)  The door to the voting place/enclosure should be sufficiently wide to accommodate voters in wheelchairs.  The door width, hardware, and thresholds shall comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) or shall be made to comply on election day.  The County Board of Elections must approve any plan that would cause a deviation in the set up and arrangement of the voting enclosure.  For example, generally the door into the voting place/enclosure should be the same door used to exit the voting place/enclosure.  However, if by doing so the flow of voters is disturbed, a separate door may be used to exit the voting place/enclosure.  If a separate door is used, it should be in plain view of the Chief Judge, Judges, and Assistants so that no unauthorized persons may enter the voting enclosure through the exit door.

(j)  The Chief Judge shall assign a Judge or Assistant to provide demonstrations to voters, upon request, in the proper use of the voting system.

(k)  At the Chief Judge's request at 6:30 a.m. (according to the official timepiece used by the Chief Judge), one of the Judges shall announce that the polls are open and shall state the hour at which they will be closed.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 163-22; 163-165.5;

Temporary Adoption Eff. April 15, 2002;

Eff. August 1, 2004;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. January 3, 2017.

 

08 NCAC 10B .0103          VOTING PROCEDURES

(a)  From the time the polls are opened until the precinct count has been completed, the returns signed, and the results declared, no person shall take or remove from the voting enclosure election supplies and materials, including official ballots, containers of official ballots, provisional official ballots, spoiled ballots, the pollbook or voter authorization slip(s), the registration record(s) or any voting units or devices that are part of the voting system, except as authorized by law to accommodate curbside voters.  Provisions for secure removal of election supplies and materials at any time would be permissible under the emergency management plan of a county board of elections in the cases of natural or man-made emergencies.

(b)  A person seeking to vote shall enter the voting enclosure at the voting place through the designated entrance and shall clearly communicate the person's name and place of residence to one of the judges of election.  In some cases, the precinct judge may prompt the voter to provide this information. In a primary election, the voter shall also state the political party with which the voter affiliates and in whose primary the voter desires to vote, or if the voter is an unaffiliated voter permitted to vote in the primary of a particular party, the voter shall state the name of the authorizing political party in whose primary the voter wishes to vote.  This information, including the political party's primary in which the voter elected to participate, provided by the voter shall be recorded in the precinct pollbook or on the voter authorization slip.  The judge or assistant to whom the voter gives this information shall announce the name and residence of the voter so that the information may be heard by the necessary officials and observers.  After examining the precinct registration records, the judge or assistant shall state whether the person seeking to vote is registered.  The precinct judge or assistant shall not presume the identity/name, address, or party affiliation of any person seeking to vote.

(c)  If the person is found to be registered and is not challenged, or if the challenge is overruled, the responsible judge of election shall provide the voter with each official ballot the voter is entitled to vote.  In a primary election the voter shall be allowed to vote the political party ballot(s) the voter is entitled to vote and no others, except non-partisan ballots.  Unaffiliated voters may choose to participate in only one party's primary and no others on the same day.  In the case of a second primary, unaffiliated voters who participated in a party's primary in the first primary may only vote that party's ballot in the second primary.  However, if an unaffiliated voter did not participate in the first primary, the voter may choose which party's primary to participate in during the second primary. Note that unaffiliated voter participation in party primaries is subject to authorization by the respective state party executive committees.  Unaffiliated voters who are otherwise qualified may always participate in non-partisan primaries. 

(d)  If the person is found to not be registered to vote in the precinct, the responsible judge of election shall inform the person of the fail-safe voting process.  First, based on information provided by the person the responsible judge shall determine whether or not the person may be eligible to vote an official provisional ballot.  The person is eligible to vote an official provisional ballot if the person resides in the precinct and either:

(1)           is a registered voter in the county and has moved into the precinct 30 days or more prior to the election and has not reported the change to the board of elections; or

(2)           claims to have applied for voter registration in the county but there is no record of the person's name on the registration records; or

(3)           was removed from the list, but the person maintains continuous eligibility within the county; or

(4)           disputes the voting districts (and ballots) to which the person has been assigned.

(e)  If the person is found to not be registered to vote in the precinct and the responsible judge of election learns from the person that the person resides in a different precinct, the responsible judge shall provide the person with adequate information in order to direct the person to the proper voting place.

(f)  It is the duty of the chief judge and judges to gather any voter information regarding changes of name and address in order to assist the county board of elections in updating voter records.  If the county board of elections has identified a voter's record pursuant to law to gather additional information, the responsible judge shall require the voter to update the information. 

(g)  It is the duty of the chief judge and judges to give any voter any technical information the voter desires in regard to ballot items.  In response to questions asked by the voter, the chief judge and judges shall communicate to the voter only technical information necessary to enable the voter to vote the ballot.

(h)  The Chief Judge shall assign two precinct officials, one from each political party if possible, to keep the pollbook or other voting record and to keep the registration list.  The names of all persons voting shall be checked on the registration record and entered on the pollbook or other voting record.  In an election where observers may be appointed each voter's party affiliation shall be entered in the proper column of the pollbook or other approved record opposite the voter's name. The designated official shall make each entry at the time the ballots are handed to the voter.  The information about the voter's political party registration shall be obtained from the registration record and not from the voter.

(i)  The chief judge, judges, and assistants must ensure that registration records are kept secure and do not leave the voting enclosure for any purpose.  Properly designated observers are entitled to obtain a list of the persons who have voted in the precinct so far in that election day at least at the following times:  10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.  Counties using authorization to vote documents as opposed to traditional pollbooks may comply with the requirement by permitting each observer to inspect election records so that the observer may create a list of persons who have voted in the precinct. A party may designate more than two observers for each precinct, but only two may serve in the voting place at the same time. Observers may serve in shifts, as long as the shifts are at least four hours long and the persons serving in the shifts have been properly appointed as observers.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 163-22; 163-166.7; 163-119;

Temporary Adoption Eff. April 15, 2002;

Eff. August 1, 2004.

 

08 ncac 10b .0104          LEAVING THE VOTING ENCLOSURE, SPOILED OR INCOMPLETE BALLOTS

(a)  When the voter has been presented with the official ballots by the judge, the voter shall be deemed to have begun the act of voting, and the voter shall not leave the voting enclosure until the voter has finalized the act of voting by performing whatever action is necessary to cause the act of voting to be finalized. On receiving the ballots, the voter shall immediately retire alone to one of the voting booths unless the voter is entitled to assistance and without any undue delay, the voter shall mark the ballots. The voter shall return any unvoted ballot(s) to the precinct officials.

(b)  If a voter spoils or damages a ballot, the voter may obtain another upon returning the spoiled or damaged ballot to the chief judge or other designated official.  A voter shall not be given a replacement ballot until the voter has returned the spoiled or damaged ballot.  The voter shall not be permitted to receive more than three replacement ballots.  The chief judge shall deposit each spoiled or damaged ballot in the container provided for that purpose.

(c)  When the voter has marked the ballot the voter shall ensure the ballot(s) are cast.  If the voter has been challenged and the challenge has been overruled, before casting the ballot(s), the voter shall write the voter's name on each of the ballot so they may be identified in the event the voter's right to vote is again questioned.  After casting the ballots in the proper manner, the voter shall immediately leave the voting enclosure unless the voter is one of the persons authorized by law to remain within the enclosure for purposes other than voting.

(d)  No voter shall be permitted to occupy a voting booth already occupied by another voter, provided, however, husbands and wives may occupy the same voting booth if both wish to do so. Excluded from this prohibition are persons lawfully providing assistance.

(e)  When the voter leaves the voting enclosure, whether or not the voter has finalized voting, the voter shall not be permitted to enter the voting enclosure again for the purpose of voting.

(f)  If a voter leaves the voting enclosure and is found not to have finalized the act of voting by pressing the appropriate button or touching the screen in the appropriate space in the case of Direct Record Electronic Voting Machines, by feeding their ballot into the appropriate tabulator in the case of Optical Scan/Marksense and Punchcard Voting Equipment, by pulling the appropriate lever in the case of Lever Voting Machines, or by depositing the paper ballot into the ballot box, the chief judge or judges of election may find, by unanimous vote, that the votes marked by the voter had not been disturbed by any other person and may execute the ballot for the voter who has vacated the voting enclosure.  If the Chief Judge and Judges of election cannot unanimously confirm that the ballot marked by the voter has not been disturbed, the ballot must be marked as spoiled and placed with other spoiled ballots (or in the case of direct record electronic and lever machines, the ballot must be cleared according to the voting system specifications).  The fact that a ballot is only partially and not fully marked shall have no bearing on the decision of the Chief Judge and Judges.  In each instance where this type of incident occurs, the Chief Judge and Judges must document the circumstances and make the information known to the county board of elections.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 163-22; 163-166.7;

Temporary Adoption Eff. April 15, 2002;

Eff. August 1, 2004.

 

08 NCAC 10B .0105          PROCEDURES AT THE CLOSE OF VOTING

(a)  Before each primary and election, the chairman of the county board of elections shall furnish each chief judge written instructions on how ballots shall be marked and counted.  Before starting the counting of ballots in the precinct, the chief judge shall instruct all of the judges, assistants, and ballot counters in how differently marked ballots shall be counted and tallied.

(b)  The Chief Judge shall announce or have it announced that the polls are closed at 7:30 p.m. unless the time has been extended until 8:30 p.m.  Time shall be determined by the same timepiece used to determine the opening of the polls.

(c)  Any person who is in line at the close of polls shall be afforded an opportunity to vote.  A list shall be made, starting at the end of the line and moving forward, of everyone standing in line at the close of polls and anyone whose name is on that list shall be permitted to vote.  No person entering the voting enclosure after the close of polls has been announced, other than those whose names are on the list, shall be permitted to vote under any circumstance.

(d)  The Chief Judge and Judges must subscribe their names to each pollbook.

(e)  Only official ballots shall be voted and counted.  No official ballot shall be rejected because of technical errors in marking it, unless it is impossible to determine the voter's choice under the rules for counting ballots.  Such determination shall be made by the county board of elections if the chief judge and judges are unable to determine the voter's choice, or whether a particular ballot should be counted.

(f)  No person shall purposely deface or tear an official ballot in any manner, and no person, other than the voter, shall purposely erase any name or mark written on a ballot by a voter.

(g)  The Chief Judge, along with a Judge of another political party, shall "close the polls" on each voting unit.  The results sheet from each unit shall be placed in an "Official Precinct Returns Envelope."  As soon as the polls are closed the chief judge and judges shall, without adjournment or postponement, count the ballots.  The counting of ballots at the precinct shall be continuous until completed.  More than one voting unit may be counted at the same time by the precinct officials, assistants, and ballot counters, but the chief judge and judges shall supervise the counting of all units and shall be responsible for them.  From the time the first unit is read or opened and the count of votes begun until the votes are counted and the statement of returns made out, signed, certified and provided to the chief judge or judge responsible for delivering them to the county board office, the precinct chief judge and judges shall not separate, nor shall any one of them leave the voting place except in case of unavoidable necessity as determined by the Chief Judge.

(h)  The counting of the ballots shall be made in the presence of the precinct election officials and witnesses and observers who are present and desire to observe the count.  Observers shall not interfere with the orderly counting of the ballots. As soon as the votes have been counted and the precinct returns certified, the chief judge, or one of the judges selected by the chief judge, shall report the total precinct vote for each ballot item to the witnesses and observers who are present and also by telephone or other electronic means to the county board of elections.  This report shall be unofficial and shall have no binding effect upon the official county canvass to follow.

(i)  The Chief Judge and Judges shall sign the consolidation and accounting sheets and statement of returns and shall place them in the "official precinct returns" envelope or container.

The Chief Judge shall place or cause to be placed by an authorized person under the Chief Judges direction and control:  voter registration documents and information, provisional ballot envelope, payroll information, county board communication devices, unit keys and security devices and the official returns envelope.  The container should be sealed with non-transparent tape of sufficient size to contain signatures. It shall be signed by the Chief Judge and two Judges.

(k)  Consolidation sheets, including the statement of returns for all voted official ballots, shall be completed by adding curbside votes to the totals.  In any precinct using direct record electronic voting equipment, the county board of elections, with the approval of the State Board of Elections, may provide for any paper ballots to be transported upon closing of the polls to the office of the county board of elections for counting.  An accounting form shall be completed that accounts for every used and unused ballot—providing the number of blank ballots received from the board of elections, the number of regular voted ballots, provisional voted ballots, and spoiled ballots.

(l)  Voted provisional ballots must be placed in a sealed envelope or container and the seal must be signed by the Chief Judge and Judges.

(m)  The Chief Judge shall bring (or have delivered by secure means) the results cartridge (or reading) from each unit to the board of elections office.

(n)  All supplies must be collected for return to the board of elections office.  Any items brought into the polling place facility shall be removed upon vacating the polling place.  Precinct Judges shall ensure that the facility is left in the same condition in which it was received for voting purposes.

(o)  Under no circumstance shall voting items be left in the polling place facility out of the custody of the Chief Judge or other designee.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 163-22; 163-166.10;

Temporary Adoption Eff. April 15, 2002;

Eff. August 1, 2004.

 

08 ncac 10b .0106          ELECTION SUPPLIES RETURN

(a)  After an election or primary, all election supplies shall be immediately taken to the county board of elections office.  (b)  Election materials and supplies, used or unused, shall not remain in the custody of the Chief Judge, Judges, or any other person in unsecured locations overnight.  However, if it is not possible for a county board of elections to have all precincts return materials and supplies on the night of the election, the county board of elections must submit a security plan to the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections 30 days prior to the election.  The Executive Director will provide either approval or required modifications to the plan in writing no later than 15 days prior to the election. The board of elections shall have an emergency backup plan that will enable board of elections employees or other authorized persons to retrieve the items from the custody of the Chief Judge and Judges and transport them to the board of elections office. A county board must have an alternative security plan approved by the Executive Director in order to use it.  

(c)  All materials shall be transported with a "chain of custody" form that includes the signatures and times in which the supplies are in the custody of each official.  All supplies, once received at the board of elections, will be verified and signed for by a board of elections representative.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 163-22; 163-166.10;

Temporary Adoption Eff. April 15, 2002;

Eff. August 1, 2004.

 

08 ncac 10b .0107          ASSISTANCE TO VOTERS IN PRIMARIES AND GENERAL ELECTIONS

(a)  In any primary or election, including one-stop absentee voting, a registered voter qualified to vote in the primary or election shall be entitled to assistance in getting to and from the voting booth, entering and exiting the voting booth, and in preparing their ballots in accordance with the following:

(1)           Any assistance rendered must be performed in person, and shall not be allowed by electronic, paper, or mechanical means of communication with a person outside the voting booth, except in circumstances of disabled voters with special needs. The use of electronic, paper, or mechanical devices by the voter, while alone in the voting booth and not in contact with another person outside the voting booth, shall not be considered voting assistance;

(2)           Any voter shall be entitled to assistance from a near relative, as defined in G.S. 163-166.8(a)(1), of his choice. Under no circumstances shall any other relative, friend, guardian, person holding a power of attorney, or any other person be allowed to render assistance except as allowed under G.S. 163-166.8(a)(2) and in Paragraph (b) of this Rule; and

(3)           The person rendering assistance shall not in any manner seek to persuade or induce any voter to cast any vote in any particular way.

(b)  Any voter in any of the following four categories shall be entitled to assistance from any person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer or agent of that employer or officer or agent of the voter's union:

(1)           One who, on account of physical disability, is unable to enter the voting booth without assistance;

(2)           One who, on account of physical disability, is unable to mark his or her ballot without assistance;

(3)           One who, on account of illiteracy, is unable to mark his or her ballot without assistance;

(4)           One who, on account of visual impairment, is unable to enter the voting booth or mark the ballot without assistance.

No precinct official may refuse the voter's choice of the person to assist him, unless the person so named is legally excluded, does not appear at the voting place to assist the voter prior to the close of the polls, or refuses to assist the voter. If the voter's choice of the assisting person cannot be met on the ground(s) set out herein, the voter shall be allowed to make an additional choice until a willing assisting person is available to assist the voter. There shall be no limitation on the number of voters a person can assist, as long as the assisting person is properly chosen by each voter to assist.

(c)  A person seeking assistance in any election shall, upon arriving at the voting place, first request the chief judge to permit him to have assistance, communicating the reasons. If the chief judge determines that the voter is entitled to assistance, the chief judge shall ask the voter to identify the person the voter desires to provide assistance. If that person is not present, the voter is entitled to contact the person and to wait for the person at the voting place, but outside the voting enclosure. When that person is available to assist or is already present to assist, the voter, along with that person, shall present themselves to the chief judge. The chief judge shall thereupon request the person indicated to render the requested aid. In the case of assistance requested at a one-stop voting site, the assistance may be requested and received from any election official available at such site.

(d)  Any chief judge, judge, or assistant shall provide assistance to a voter if so requested, except for good cause, unless the election official is prohibited from doing so by his status as the voter's employer, official of the voter's union, or agent of the voter's employer or union. Under no circumstances shall any precinct official or person be assigned to assist a voter who was not specified by the voter.

(e) Conduct of Persons Rendering Assistance. - Anyone rendering assistance to a voter shall be admitted to the voting booth with the person being assisted and shall be governed by G.S. 163-166.8(c). The assisting person shall not do the following:

(1)           Give, present, or display within the vision of the voter, any list of preferred candidates, a marked sample ballot, or any other type of document, item, or display that conveys a choice of candidate(s). unless it was brought to the voting booth by the voter.  An assisting person may respond to an inquiry of a hearing impaired voter in writing if needed, as long as a ballot choice is not communicated to the voter;

(2)           Speak or play within the hearing or vision of the voter, any conversation, communication, or recording that conveys a choice of candidate(s);

(3)           Operate a phone, radio, computer, or any other means of communication while in the voting booth with the voter;

(4)           Communicate to others how the voter voted, unless ordered by a court, or make a memorandum of anything that occurred in the voting booth; and

(5)           Violate any election law set out in G.S. 163 or violate any election rule set out in Title 8 of the NC Administrative Code.

(f)  It shall be presumed that the operation by a voter of any means of communication capable of being received by a voter in the voting booth shall constitute an attempt to receive unlawful voting assistance, except in cases of a disabled voter with special needs.  Upon having reasonable grounds to suspect such communication or operation by the voter, a precinct official may make inquiry and investigate the alleged operation of the communication equipment.  The voter shall be informed of this presumption of unlawful assistance, and the prohibitions contained within G.S. 163-166.8 as to voter assistance. Regardless, any voter suspected of such conduct shall be allowed to vote and cast his or her ballot. 

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 163-22; G.S. 163-166.8;

Temporary Adoption Eff. April 15. 2002;

Eff. August 1, 2004.

 

08 ncac 10B .0108          CURBSIDE VOTING

In any primary or election any qualified voter who is able to travel to the voting place, but because of age, or physical disability and physical barriers encountered at the voting place is unable to enter the voting place or enclosure to vote in person without physical assistance, shall be allowed to vote either in the vehicle conveying such person to the voting place or in the immediate proximity of the voting place under the following restrictions.

(1)           The county board of elections shall have printed and numbered a sufficient supply of affidavits to be distributed to each precinct chief judge which shall be in the following form:

 

Affidavit of Person Voting Outside Voting Place or Enclosure

 

State of North Carolina

County of___________

 

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I am a registered voter in____________________________ precinct. That because of age or physical disability I am unable to enter the voting place to vote in person without physical assistance. That I desire to vote outside the voting place and enclosure. I understand that a false statement as to my condition will be in violation of North Carolina law.

 

__________________                                      ____________________________

Date                                                                       Signature of Voter

                                                                                ____________________________

Address

____________________________

Signature of precinct election official who administered oath;

 

(2)           The chief judge or a judge may designate one of the assistants to attend the voter, or assist the voter himself or herself. Upon arrival outside the voting place, the voter shall execute the affidavit after being sworn by a precinct election official. The ballot(s) shall then be delivered to the voter who shall mark the ballot(s) and hand them to the assisting precinct election official. The ballot(s) shall then be delivered to one of the judges of elections who shall deposit the ballot(s) in the proper boxes. The affidavit shall be delivered to a different judge of election;

(3)           The voter and any assisting person shall be entitled to the same assistance and subject to the same restrictions in marking the ballot as is authorized by G.S. 163-166.8 and 08 NCAC 10B .0107; and

(4)           The affidavit executed by the voter shall be retained by the county board of elections for a period of six months. In those precincts using voting machines, the county board of elections shall furnish paper ballots of each kind for use by persons authorized to vote outside the voting place by this section. In any precinct using direct record electronic voting equipment, the county board of elections, with the approval of the State Board of Elections, may provide for all such paper ballots to be transported upon closing of the polls to the office of the county board of elections for counting. Those ballots may be transported only by the chief judge, judge, or assistant. Upon receipt by the county board of elections, these ballots shall be counted and canvassed in the same manner as one-stop ballots cast under G.S. 163-227.2, except that the count shall commence when the board has received from each precinct either that precinct's ballots or notification that no such ballots were cast. The total for ballots counted by the county board of elections under this subdivision shall be canvassed as if it were a separate precinct.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 163-22;

Temporary Adoption Eff. April 15, 2002;

Eff. August 1, 2004.