AN ACT to create open judicial elections with party designations for the court of appeals.


The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:


SECTION 1.  G.S. 163‑165.5 reads as rewritten:

"§ 163‑165.5.  Contents of official ballots.

Each official ballot shall contain all the following elements:

(1)        The heading prescribed by the State Board of Elections. The heading shall include the term "Official Ballot".

(2)        The title of each office to be voted on and the number of seats to be filled in each ballot item.

(3)        The names of the candidates as they appear on their notice of candidacy filed pursuant to G.S. 163‑106 or G.S. 163‑323, or on petition forms filed in accordance with G.S. 163‑122. No title, appendage, or appellation indicating rank, status, or position shall be printed on the official ballot in connection with the candidate's name. Candidates, however, may use the title Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms. Nicknames shall be permitted on an official ballot if used in the notice of candidacy or qualifying petition, but the nickname shall appear according to standards adopted by the State Board of Elections. Those standards shall allow the presentation of legitimate nicknames in ways that do not mislead the voter or unduly advertise the candidacy. In the case of candidates for presidential elector, the official ballot shall not contain the names of the candidates for elector but instead shall contain the nominees for President and Vice President which the candidates for elector represent. The State Board of Elections shall establish a review procedure that local boards of elections shall follow to ensure that candidates' names appear on the official ballot in accordance with this subdivision.

(4)        Party designations in partisan ballot items.items and in nonpartisan ballot items as required by G.S. 163‑323(h).

(5)        A means by which the voter may cast write‑in votes, as provided in G.S. 163‑123. No space for write‑ins is required unless a write‑in candidate has qualified under G.S. 163‑123 or unless the ballot item is exempt from G.S. 163‑123.

(6)        Instructions to voters, unless the State Board of Elections allows instructions to be placed elsewhere than on the official ballot.

(7)        The printed title and facsimile signature of the chair of the county board of elections."

SECTION 2.  G.S. 163‑323 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

"(h)       A candidate for Judge of the Court of Appeals, at the time of filing the notice of candidacy under this section, shall indicate on the notice of candidacy the political party recognized under Article 9 of this Chapter with which that candidate is affiliated or any unaffiliated status. The certificate required by subsection (d) of this section shall verify the party designation or unaffiliated status, and the verified party designation or unaffiliated status shall be included on the ballot."

SECTION 3.  This act is effective when it becomes law and applies to elections held on or after that date.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 29th day of September, 2015.



                                                                    s/  Philip E. Berger

                                                                         President of the Senate



                                                                    s/  Tim Moore

                                                                         Speaker of the House of Representatives






                                                                         Pat McCrory




Approved __________.m. this ______________ day of ___________________, 2015