X

Important Reminder for Candidates filing at the State Board of Elections


  • For all candidates filing at the State Board of Elections: Remember that our office location has changed.
  • We are now located downtown at 430 North Salisbury Street, in the Dobbs Building. For directions and parking instructions to our building, please click here.
     

Candidate Filing Information


When to file:
  • Candidate filing for most 2020 contests begins on December 2, 2019 at noon and ends on December 20, 2019 at noon.
  • More information including filing fees and the updated notice of candidacy form will be made available in November. 
  • Some county offices, such as Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor, will file during a different filing period.  
  • Please check with your county for information about filing fees and dates for county specific contests.
     
About the 2020 Elections

The date of the general election is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. To determine the nominee for certain contests, there is a primary election on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. If there is no clear party nominee in certain contests following the partisan primary election, there may be a second primary for that contest, either on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 (if no contest for federal office in the state requires a second primary), or Tuesday, May 12, 2020 (if one or more contests for federal office in the state requires a second primary). 
 

Notice of Candidacy


Each person seeking to become a candidate must file a notice of candidacy with the proper board of elections. The State Board provides a Notice of Candidacy form.
 

Filing Fees & Where to File


  • Filing fees are generally 1% of base salary.
  • Associated statutes can be found here.

Reminder: The following offices must file at their County Board of Elections:

  • State Senate
  • State Representative
  • Soil & Water
  • Clerk of Court
  • County offices such as Sheriff, Register of Deeds, Board of Education and County Commissioner
   Search     
Enter Search Value:
- without any prefix or suffix to find all records where a column contains the value you enter, e.g. Net
- with | prefix to find all records where a column starts with the value you enter, e.g. |Network
- with | suffix to find all records where a column ends with the value you enter, e.g. Network|
- with | prefix and suffix to find all records containing the value you enter exactly, e.g. |Network|

OfficeSorted By Office In Ascending OrderWhere to FileSalaryFiling Fee
Agriculture Commissioner

NC State Board of Elections

$133,365$1,334
Associate Justice, State Supreme Court

NC State Board of Elections

$152,843$1,528
Attorney General

NC State Board of Elections

$133,365$1,334
Chief Justice, State Supreme Court

NC State Board of Elections

$156,915$1,569
Clerk of Court (Avery County)

 Avery County Board of Elections

$95,000$950
Clerk of Court (Davidson County)

Davidson County Board of Elections

$115,000$1,150
Clerk of Court (Forsyth County)

Forsyth County Board of Elections

$127,500$1,275
Clerk of Court (Henderson County)

Henderson County Board of Elections

$105,000$1,050
County Offices such as Sheriff, Register of Deeds, Board of Education and County Commissioner

County Board of Elections

(Contact County)(Contact County)
District Attorney

NC State Board of Elections

$134,048$1,340
Governor

NC State Board of Elections

$150,969$1,510
Insurance Commissioner

NC State Board of Elections

$133,365$1,334
Judge, District Court

NC State Board of Elections

$122,020$1,220
Judge, State Court of Appeals

NC State Board of Elections

$146,521$1,465
Judge, Superior Court

NC State Board of Elections

$138,617$1,386
Labor Commissioner

NC State Board of Elections

$133,365$1,334
Lieutenant Governor

NC State Board of Elections

$133,365$1,334
Secretary of State

NC State Board of Elections

$133,365$1,334
Soil and Water (files in June/July)

County Board of Elections

Set rate not based on salary$5.00
State Auditor

NC State Board of Elections

$133,365$1,334
State Representative

County Board of Elections

$13,951$140
State Senator

County Board of Elections

$13,951$140
State Treasurer

NC State Board of Elections

$133,365$1,334
Superintendent of Public Instruction

NC State Board of Elections

$133,365$1,334
U.S. Representative

NC State Board of Elections

$174,000$1,740
US Senator

NC State Board of Elections

$174,000$1,740

Filing Jurisdiction & Filing Period


Candidates for the following office types must file their Notice of Candidacy with the State Board of Elections: 

  • National offices
  • State offices
  • Superior court judge
  • District court judge
  • District attorney

Candidates for office of NC State Senator, State House Representative and all county and local offices must file their notice of candidacy with their county board of elections. 

  • Filing for contests subject to a possible primary election in the March 2020 statewide primary begins at noon on Monday, December 2, 2019 and ends at noon on Friday, December 20, 2019.
  • Filing for soil & water conservation supervisors begins at noon on Monday, June 8, 2020 and ends at noon on Monday, July 6, 2020.
  • Candidates seeking municipal or other local office must check with their county board of elections for the dates of the filing for these offices
     

Candidate's Signature


Each candidate must sign the notice of candidacy in the presence of the chair or secretary of the relevant board of elections. Alternatively, a candidate may have his or her signature on the notice of candidacy acknowledged and certified by a Notary Public, in which case the candidate may mail or have the notice of candidacy delivered by commercial courier service to the appropriate board of elections before the deadline.

In signing the notice of candidacy, the candidate shall either:

  • use his or her legal name (an initial may be used for a middle name, if applicable), and in the candidate’s discretion may also include any nickname by which he or she is commonly known; or
  • provide a signed affidavit that the candidate has been known by a certain nickname for at least five years prior to the date of the affidavit, in which case he or she may sign with the nickname in lieu of the legal first name and any middle initial or name. A candidate may not use a last name other than his or her legal last name.
     

General Candidacy Requirements


Unless otherwise specified, all candidates must be registered to vote in the state, qualified to vote in an election for the office sought, and 21 years old by the date of the general election. The following table lists additional requirements for certain offices.

OfficeAdditional Requirements

U.S. Senate

Candidates must be:

  • at least 30 years of age,
  • a U.S. citizen for at least 9 years, and
  • a resident of the state by the date of the general election.

U.S. Congress

Candidates must be:

  • at least 25 years of age,
  • a U.S. citizen for at least 7 years, and
  • a resident of the state by the date of the general election (a candidate running for U.S. House is not required to be a resident of the congressional district in which the candidate is seeking election).

Governor & Lieutenant Governor

Candidates must be:

  • at least 30 years of age;
  • a citizen of the Unites States for at least five years; and
  • a resident of North Carolina for at least two years by the date of the general election.
  • Candidates must also not have served more than two consecutive terms of the same office.

Council of State

n/a

Attorney General

Candidates must be duly authorized to practice law in the courts of the state.

NC House

Candidates must have resided in the district for one year immediately prior to general election.

NC Senate

Candidates must:

  • be at least 25 years of age and
  • have resided in the state as a citizen for two years and in the district for one year prior to the general election.

Judicial and District Attorney

Candidates must be duly authorized to practice law in the courts of the state.

County and Local

n/a

Only One Office Per Election


No person may file for more than one office for any one election. A person who has filed a notice of candidacy may not subsequently file for any other office when the election is on the same date unless the notice for the first office is withdrawn by the deadline. The withdrawal deadline is December 17, 2019 for candidates who file in December.

 

Candidate's Name on the Ballot


The names of the candidates will appear on the official ballots as they appear on the notice of candidacy. No title, appendage, or appellation indicating rank, status, or position shall be printed on the official ballot in connection with a candidate's name, though candidates may use the title Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms. Legitimate nicknames may be permitted on an official ballot, but only if listed on the notice of candidacy. The nickname, which will appear in parentheses on the ballot, may not mislead voters or unduly advertise the candidacy. If a candidate is providing an affidavit to permit the use of a nickname with his or her legal last name, the affidavit shall include the way the ballot shall list the candidate’s name (as permitted by law) in the event that another candidate with the same last name files for the same office.

The table below provides examples of what is and what is not acceptable for the candidate name on ballot if the candidate’s name is George Eugene Smith.

RuleAllowedNot Allowed

1. A candidate may use either first or middle name before the last name (no nickname affidavit necessary)

  • George Smith
  • Eugene Smith
 

2. A candidate may abbreviate using the first letter of either his first or middle name (but not last name) (no nickname affidavit necessary).

  • G. Smith
  • G. E. Smith
  • George E. Smith
  • G. Eugene Smith
  • George S.
  • G. E. S.

3. A candidate may choose to include a suffix (no nickname affidavit necessary).

  • George Smith
  • George Smith, Jr.
  • George Smith III
  • George Smith, Esq.
  • George Smith, MD

4. The ONLY title allowed along with a name is Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms.

  • Mr. George Smith
  • General George Smith
  • Judge George Smith
  • Hon. George Smith

5. If a nickname affidavit is completed, the nickname must either be used in place of the first or middle name, or following the first/middle name in parenthesis. Nicknames that indicate rank, status or position are prohibited. Any shortening of a name as it appears in the voter record, other than abbreviation to the first letter, requires a nickname affidavit (such as “Dave” if the voter registration lists the first name as “David”)

  • George (Joey) Smith
  • George E. (Joey) Smith
  • George Eugene (Joey) Smith
  • Eugene (Joey) Smith
  • Joey Smith
  • George (Da Bomb) Smith
  • George (Vote For Me) Smith
  • George (The Judge) Smith
  • George (Winner) Smith

Disclosure of Felony Conviction


The Notice of Candidacy form provided by the State Board of Elections includes a statement that addresses whether the candidate has ever been convicted of a felony. Candidates are required by law to file a statement that answers the following question: “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” Candidates who answer “yes” to this question must provide the name of the offense, date of conviction, date of restoration of citizenship rights, and the county and state of conviction. Candidates must the Felony Disclosure Form, available on the State Board of Elections’ website (NCSBE.gov), for this purpose. It is a Class I felony for an individual to knowingly provide untrue information in response to this question.

A candidate is not required to disclose a felony conviction if the conviction was dismissed as a result of reversal on appeal or resulted in a pardon of innocence or expungement. A prior felony conviction does not preclude holding elective office if the candidate’s rights of citizenship have been restored.

The notice of candidacy is a public record in the office of the board of elections where the candidate files.

If a candidate fails to complete the felony disclosure statement, the board of elections that accepted the filing will notify the candidate of the omission, at which point the candidate has 48 hours to complete the statement. If a candidate does not complete the statement at the time of filing or within 48 hours after the notice, the individual's filing is not considered complete, the individual's name shall not appear on the ballot as a candidate, and votes for the individual shall not be counted. It is a Class I felony to complete the form knowing that information as to a felony conviction or the restoration of citizenship is untrue.

 

Withdrawal of Candidacy


Any person who has filed a notice of candidacy for an office has the right to withdraw it at any time prior to the close of business on the third business day prior to the date on which the right to file for that office expires. The deadline for withdrawal of notice of candidacy for the following filing period is as follows:

  • Primary filing period: Tuesday, December 17, 2019
  • Soil & water filing period: Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The name of any candidate who does not withdraw by the deadline shall be printed on the primary ballot. Any votes received by that candidate shall be counted. The filing fee will not be refunded.

 

Party Affiliation


No one is permitted to file as a candidate in a party primary unless he or she has been affiliated with that party for at least 90 days as of the date of that person’s filing of notice of candidacy. A person registered as "unaffiliated" is ineligible to file as a candidate in a partisan primary election.

 

Verification by County Board of Elections


Candidates required to file their notice of candidacy with the State Board must file, along with their notice, a certificate signed by the chair of the board of elections or the director of elections of the county in which they are registered to vote. For this reason, candidates required to file their notice of candidacy with the State Board must first have their notice of candidacy verified by their board of elections prior to submitting the notice to the state Board. This certificate, on the second page of the Notice of Candidacy, permits the board of elections to verify that the person seeking candidacy for a non-judicial office is registered to vote in that county, states the party with which the person is affiliated, and has not changed his affiliation from another party or from unaffiliated within 90 days prior to the filing deadline.

 

Candidate Challenges


A challenge to a candidate must be filed with the board of elections that received the notice of candidacy or petition no later than ten business days after the close of the filing period. The challenge must be made in a verified affidavit by a challenger, based on the challenger’s reasonable suspicion or belief of the facts stated. The grounds for filing a challenge are that the candidate does not meet the constitutional or statutory qualifications for the office, including residency.