Rulemaking

General Overview

Under N.C.G.S. § 163-22, the State Board of Elections has general supervision over the primaries and elections in North Carolina. It also may make rules regarding elections and campaign finance provided they do not contradict the law. When rules are proposed, a public comment period and a public hearing about the rule takes place.

The Rules Review Commission reviews rules that the State Board adopts for compliance with the requirements in Chapter 150B. For more about the Rules Review Commission, including a list of date of their upcoming meetings, visit NC Office of Administrative Hearings.

To be added to the list of interested parties for rule-making conducted by the State Board of Elections:

Email: legal@ncsbe.gov
Mail: PO Box 27255 Raleigh NC 27611-7255

Rules in Progress

Campaign Finance Rules 

The State Board of Elections invites public comment on proposed campaign finance rules addressing processes for North Carolina political committees or referendum committees that fail to file a campaign finance disclosure report by the statutory deadline. Information on the two proposed permanent rules and the amendment to existing rule 08 NCAC 21 .0201, as well as how to submit comments, are available below.

After the public comment period and public hearing, the State Board will adopt final versions of the rules, and the Rules Review Commission will then review them for compliance with the requirements in Chapter 150B.

 

Proposed Rule 08 NCAC 21 .0206. Requesting a Waiver of a Civil Late Penalty 

Rule text: Proposed Rule 08 NCAC 21 .0206. Requesting a Waiver of a Civil Late Penalty

Brief description: Proposed Rule 08 NCAC 21 .0206 defines the process by which a candidate or treasurer requests a good cause waiver of a civil late penalty assessed by the State Board under G.S. § 163-278.34. A waiver request shall be filed with the State Board within 60 days of service of the notice of penalty assessment. All waiver requests shall be filed using the State Board’s form and be signed and notarized. The proposed rule also outlines when a waive request may be reconsidered by the State Board. This rule has a proposed effective date of January 1, 2023. 

How to submit a written comment:  

Comment period ends: Friday, October 14, 2022.

Public Hearing: A virtual public hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, September 19, 2022. How to join the public hearing: 

Proposed Rule 08 NCAC 21 .0207. Procedures for Committees with Missing Reports 

Rule text: Proposed Rule 08 NCAC 21 .0207. Procedures for Committees with Missing Reports

Brief description: Proposed Rule 08 NCAC 21 .0207 outlines the notices to be provided and the opportunity to submit a written explanation prior to the State Board imposing additional civil remedies under G.S. § 163-278.34(c) for a failing to file a given report. If a political committee or referendum committee fails to file a missing reporting within 30 days of service of the notice of penalty assessment, the State Board shall issue a notice of noncompliance. If the missing report is not filed within 30 days of service of the notice of noncompliance, the committee shall be referred to the State Bord for further action under G.S. § 163-278.34(c). If a committee fails to file the missing report within 30 days of the State Board’s order, the committee’s status shall be changed from active to suspended. While suspended, the committee shall not receive any contributions or make any expenditures except for the payment of any civil penalties or forfeiture. This rule has a proposed effective date of April 1, 2023.

How to submit a written comment:  

Comment period ends: Friday, October 14, 2022.

Public Hearing: A virtual public hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, September 19, 2022. How to join the public hearing: 

Amendment to Rule 08 NCAC 21 .0201. Committee Accounts. 

Amendment text: Amendment Rule 08 NCAC 21 .0201. Committee Accounts

Brief description: As part of these proposed changes, the State Board is proposing to amend Rule 08 NCAC 21 .0201 to delete language in paragraph (b), elements of which will be modified and incorporated in Rule 08 NCAC 21 .0207. This rule has a proposed effective date of April 1, 2023. 

How to submit a written comment:  

Comment period ends: Friday, October 14, 2022.

Public Hearing: A virtual public hearing will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, September 19, 2022. How to join the public hearing: 

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Tasks and Duties of Precinct Officials/Updates Regarding Election Observers

The public comment period has ended on two temporary administrative rules related to tasks and duties of precinct officials at polling places and the appointment process and conduct of election observers. Information on the two proposed temporary rules is below.

The State Board will consider the comments and approve final versions of the rules to submit to the NC Rules Review Commission. 

The proposed changes would be made by temporary rule rather than permanent rule so the rules can be in effect for the November 2022 general election. The need for these rules became apparent after experiences in the May primary election and feedback from county elections officials, and there is insufficient time remaining before the general election to follow the lengthier permanent rulemaking procedures. Temporary rules generally expire 270 days after they are published in the North Carolina Register. The permanent rulemaking process would need to be undertaken next year to keep the rules in the Administrative Code for future years.

Amendment to 08 NCAC 10B .0101 Tasks and Duties of Precinct Officials at Voting Places 

Amendment text: Proposed Amended 08 NCAC 10B .0101.pdf (PDF)
Brief description: This amendment would add a list of prohibited conduct by precinct officials, such as tampering with voting equipment, making statements about personal political views while on duty, failing to abide by elections laws, rules, and policies applicable to precinct officials, and illegally discriminating against voters. This would also apply to one-stop early voting workers.

How to Submit a Written Comment: Comment period ended August 12.

Public hearing: A remote public hearing was held on Thursday, July 28. Download the remote public hearing video (MP4).

A second remote public hearing was held on Thursday, August 11. Download the remote public hearing video (MP4).

Amendment to 08 NCAC 20.0101 Election Observers

Amendment text: Proposed Amended 08 NCAC 20 .0101.pdf  (PDF)
Brief description: This amendment proposes clarifications to the appointment process for precinct-specific observers, one-stop observers, and at-large observers. It would also prohibit observers from using staff-only doors, distributing or posting written materials inside the voting site, or causing a disruption by repeatedly coming and going from the area designated for observers by the county board of elections.

How to Submit a Written Comment: Comment period ended August 12.

Public hearing: A remote public hearing was held on Thursday, July 28. Download the remote public hearing video (MP4).

A second remote public hearing was held on Thursday, August 11. Download the remote public hearing video (MP4).

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Voting Systems Escrow Access

The State Board has adopted two new administrative rules governing the process by which a person, who is authorized by N.C.G.S. § 163-165.7, may gain access to, review, and examine information that voting system vendors place in escrow as a condition of State certification for their voting systems. Such escrowed information includes proprietary and highly sensitive information for certified voting systems, including the source code for voting machines and election management systems and their software.

These rules are designed to ensure that statutorily authorized individuals may review this information without risking the disclosure of proprietary information belonging to vendors or the disclosure of features of voting systems that could be exploited by malicious actors to compromise the integrity of the State’s elections. The rules will be submitted to the North Carolina Rules Review Commission for its consideration as to whether the rules will be codified. 

The text of the adopted rules may be found here:

Authorized Access to Escrow Materials Proposed Rule 08 NCAC 04 .0308 (PDF)

Nondisclosure Agreement for Review of Escrowed Materials Proposed Rule 08 NCAC 04 .0309 (PDF)

How to Submit a Written Comment: Comment period ended May 31, 2022.

Public Hearing: A remote public hearing was held on April 27, 2022, at 10 a.m. Download the remote public hearing video (MP4).

Procedure for Subjecting a Proposed Rule to Legislative Review

If an objection is not resolved prior to the adoption of the rule, a person may also submit written objections to the Rules Review Commission after the adoption of the Rule. If the Rules Review Commission receives written and signed objections after the adoption of the Rule in accordance with N.C.G.S. § 150B-21.3(b2) from 10 or more persons clearly requesting review by the legislature and the Rules Review Commission approves the rule, the rule will become effective as provided in N.C.G.S. § 150B-21.3(b1). The Commission will receive written objections until 5 p.m. on the day following the day the Commission approves the rule. The Commission will receive those objections by mail, delivery service, hand delivery, or facsimile transmission. If you have any further questions concerning the submission of objections to the Commission, please call a Commission staff attorney at (984) 236-1850.