143-318.13. Electronic meetings; written ballots; acting by reference.

(a) Electronic Meetings. - If a public body holds an official meeting by use of conference telephone or other electronic means, it shall provide a location and means whereby members of the public may listen to the meeting and the notice of the meeting required by this Article shall specify that location. A fee of up to twenty-five dollars ($25.00) may be charged each such listener to defray in part the cost of providing the necessary location and equipment.

(b) Written Ballots. - Except as provided in this subsection or by joint resolution of the General Assembly, a public body may not vote by secret or written ballot. If a public body decides to vote by written ballot, each member of the body so voting shall sign his or her ballot; and the minutes of the public body shall show the vote of each member voting. The ballots shall be available for public inspection in the office of the clerk or secretary to the public body immediately following the meeting at which the vote took place and until the minutes of that meeting are approved, at which time the ballots may be destroyed.

(c) Acting by Reference. - The members of a public body shall not deliberate, vote, or otherwise take action upon any matter by reference to a letter, number or other designation, or other secret device or method, with the intention of making it impossible for persons attending a meeting of the public body to understand what is being deliberated, voted, or acted upon. However, this subsection does not prohibit a public body from deliberating, voting, or otherwise taking action by reference to an agenda, if copies of the agenda, sufficiently worded to enable the public to understand what is being deliberated, voted, or acted upon, are available for public inspection at the meeting.

(d) Except as provided in G.S. 166A-19.24(b)(6), this section shall not apply to remote meetings conducted in accordance with this section even if all members of the public body are participating remotely. (1979, c. 655, s. 1; 2020-3, s. 4.31(c).)