Election legislation roundup: General Assembly of North Carolina

As of May 28, members of the General Assembly of North Carolina, which includes the North Carolina House of Representatives and the North Carolina State Senate, have passed three bills related to election administration since the beginning of the year. Of those three bills, legislators passed one during the week of May 22-28. Democrats sponsored the bill. The bill is:   

  • NC H229: Stagger/Extend Terms of Town Officers/Halifax, Rep. Michael Wray (D). 
    • As introduced, this bill amends the charter for the town of Halifax to establish four-year staggered terms for the mayor and commissioners, align municipal elections with the general election in odd-numbered years, and elect these positions on a nonpartisan plural basis in accordance with uniform municipal election procedures. The bill also provides for the upcoming election schedule.

Of the three bills passed this year, three have been enacted. This is three more than this point a year ago. Republicans sponsored two bills, while Democrats sponsored one. The bills are: 

  • NC H229: See above bullet point for more information.
  • NC H88: Omnibus Local Elections, Reps. Brian Biggs (R), John Faircloth (R), and Jonathan Hardister (R). 
    • As amended, this bill:
      • Specifies procedures and requirements for filling a partisan vacancy on the Guilford County Board of Education.
      • Specifies that the Ashe County Board of Education will consist of five members, serving staggered four-year terms, elected on a partisan basis; and outlines nomination procedures and that the start of their term is the first Monday in December after the election.
      • Specifies that the Cabarrus County Board of Education will be elected on a partisan basis and that Board member terms begin on the first Monday in December after the election.
      • Specifies that the Henderson County Board of Public Education will consist of seven members, elected on a partisan basis, for staggered four-year terms.
      • Outlines nomination procedures for Board candidates and specifies implementation of staggered terms.
      • Click the hyperlinked bill number above for more information.
  • NC H27: Elect Thomasville City Bd. of Ed, Reps. Larry Potts (R) and Samuel Watford (R).
    • As introduced, this bill establishes the Thomasville City Board of Education as an nonpartisan elected board composed of five members with staggered five-year terms.

From May 22-28, legislators passed nine bills related to election administration nationally. As of May 28, South Dakota legislators have passed the most bills this year with 18, while legislators in 19 states have passed none. The state with the most enacted bills is Tennessee with 17, while 20 states have enacted none.

The General Assembly of North Carolina is scheduled to be in session from Jan. 11 to Aug. 31 this year. In 2022, North Carolina legislators passed three election-related bills, two in the state Senate and one in the state House. One of the bills from the state Senate was enacted into law. North Carolina is a divided government, meaning neither party holds trifecta control.

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