163-107.1. Petition in lieu of payment of filing fee.

(a) Any qualified voter who seeks nomination in the party primary of the political party with which he affiliates may, in lieu of payment of any filing fee required for the office he seeks, file a written petition requesting him to be a candidate for a specified office with the appropriate board of elections, State, county or municipal.

(b) If the candidate is seeking the office of United States Senator, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or any State executive officer, the petition must be signed by 10,000 registered voters who are members of the political party in whose primary the candidate desires to run, except that in the case of a political party as defined by G.S. 163-96(a)(2) which will be making nominations by primary election, the petition must be signed by five percent (5%) of the registered voters of the State who are affiliated with the same political party in whose primary the candidate desires to run, or in the alternative, the petition shall be signed by no less than 8,000 registered voters regardless of the voter's political party affiliation, whichever requirement is greater. The petition must be filed with the State Board of Elections not later than 12:00 noon on Monday preceding the filing deadline before the primary in which he seeks to run. The names on the petition shall be verified by the board of elections of the county where the signer is registered, and the petition must be presented to the county board of elections at least 15 days before the petition is due to be filed with the State Board of Elections. When a proper petition has been filed, the candidate's name shall be printed on the primary ballot.

(c) County, Municipal and District Primaries. - If the candidate is seeking one of the offices set forth in G.S. 163-106(c) but which is not listed in subsection (b) of this section, or a municipal or any other office requiring a partisan primary which is not set forth in G.S. 163-106(c) or (d), he shall file a written petition with the appropriate board of elections no later than 12:00 noon on Monday preceding the filing deadline before the primary. The petition shall be signed by five percent (5%) of the registered voters of the election area in which the office will be voted for, who are affiliated with the same political party in whose primary the candidate desires to run, or in the alternative, the petition shall be signed by no less than 200 registered voters regardless of said voter's political party affiliation, whichever requirement is greater. The board of elections shall verify the names on the petition, and if the petition is found to be sufficient, the candidate's name shall be printed on the appropriate primary ballot. Petitions for candidates for member of the U.S. House of Representatives, District Attorney, and members of the State House of Representatives from multi-county districts or members of the State Senate from multi-county districts must be presented to the county board of elections for verification at least 15 days before the petition is due to be filed with the State Board of Elections, and such petition must be filed with the State Board of Elections no later than 12:00 noon on Monday preceding the filing deadline. The State Board of Elections may adopt rules to implement this section and to provide standard petition forms.

(d) Nonpartisan Primaries and Elections. - Any qualified voter who seeks to be a candidate in any nonpartisan primary or election may, in lieu of payment of the filing fee required, file a written petition signed by five percent (5%) of the registered voters in the election area in which the office will be voted for with the appropriate board of elections. Any qualified voter may sign the petition. The petition shall state the candidate's name, address and the office which he is seeking. The petition must be filed with the appropriate board of elections no later than 60 days prior to the filing deadline for the primary or election, and if found to be sufficient, the candidate's name shall be printed on the ballot. (1975, c. 853; 1977, c. 386; 1985, c. 563, s. 13; 1996, 2nd Ex. Sess., c. 9, s. 12; 2001-403, s. 7; 2002-158, s. 11; 2013-381, s. 22.1.)