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Public Comment Period Set for Proposed Changes to Rules About Election Protests and Recounts

The State Board of Elections is proposing temporary amendments to rules governing election protests and recounts so that post-election proceedings are completed in a timely fashion. The rules would be in effect on a temporary basis, to ensure that they can become effective before the general election.

Gaps in the current timelines for election protests and recounts can lead to unnecessary delays in the final certification of elections. In recent years, election protest decisions and appeals have led to delays in certification for weeks, or even months, after an election. Such delays could be especially problematic in a presidential election, because federal law sets a strict deadline for states to certify their selection of presidential electors, in advance of the Electoral College meeting.

If adopted by the State Board and approved by the Rules Review Commission, the temporary amendments would be in place for the 2024 general election.

Information and links to the three proposed temporary rules are below:

  1. Actions of County Boards as to Election Protests (08 NCAC 02 .0110) requires county boards of elections to hold a preliminary consideration meeting within two business days after a protest is filed and issue a written decision within two business days of that meeting. Currently, there are no deadlines in the rules. This amendment also shortens the deadline to issue a written decision following a hearing from five business days to three.
  2. First Recount (08 NCAC 09 .0107) requires county boards of elections to schedule the first recount to begin within three business days of the demand for a recount.
  3. Secondary Recounts (08 NCAC 09 .0110) requires county boards to schedule any hand recounts to start within two business days of a demand for a hand recount.

How to Make a Comment

The public comment period on these proposed changes opens Tuesday, June 18, and closes on July 11, 2024.

Members of the public may comment on the rules in any of the following ways through July 11.

Comments will be compiled and provided to the State Board before its final consideration of the proposed temporary rules amendments, which will take place at a public meeting after the end of the comment period. The Rules Review Commission would then consider the proposed rules.

For more information about the rulemaking process, please visit Rulemaking.