Article 5.

Precinct Election Officials.

163-41. Precinct chief judges and judges of election; appointment; terms of office; qualifications; vacancies; oaths of office.

(a) Appointment of Chief Judge and Judges. - At the meeting required by G.S. 163-31 to be held on the Tuesday following the third Monday in August of the year in which they are appointed, the county board of elections shall appoint one person to act as chief judge and two other persons to act as judges of election for each precinct in the county. Their terms of office shall continue for two years from the specified date of appointment and until their successors are appointed and qualified, except that if a nonresident of the precinct is appointed as chief judge or judge for a precinct, that person's term of office shall end if the board of elections appoints a qualified resident of the precinct of the same party to replace the nonresident chief judge or judge. It shall be their duty to conduct the primaries and elections within their respective precincts. Persons appointed to these offices must be registered voters and residents of the county in which the precinct is located, of good repute, and able to read and write. Not more than one judge in each precinct shall belong to the same political party as the chief judge.

The term "precinct official" shall mean chief judges and judges appointed pursuant to this section, and all assistants appointed pursuant to G.S. 163-42, unless the context of a statute clearly indicates a more restrictive meaning.

No person shall be eligible to serve as a precinct official, as that term is defined above, who holds any elective office under the government of the United States, or of the State of North Carolina or any political subdivision thereof.

No person shall be eligible to serve as a precinct official who is a candidate for nomination or election.

No person shall be eligible to serve as a precinct official who holds any office in a state, congressional district, county, or precinct political party or political organization, or who is a manager or treasurer for any candidate or political party, provided however that the position of delegate to a political party convention shall not be considered an office for the purpose of this subsection.

The chairman of each political party in the county where possible shall recommend two registered voters in each precinct who are otherwise qualified, are residents of the precinct, have good moral character, and are able to read and write, for appointment as chief judge in the precinct, and he shall also recommend where possible the same number of similarly qualified voters for appointment as judges of election in that precinct. If such recommendations are received by the county board of elections no later than the fifth day preceding the date on which appointments are to be made, it must make precinct appointments from the names of those recommended. Provided that if only one name is submitted by the fifth day preceding the date on which appointments are to be made, by a party for judge of election by the chairman of one of the two political parties in the county having the greatest numbers of registered voters in the State, the county board of elections must appoint that person.

If the recommendations of the party chairs for chief judge or judge in a precinct are insufficient, the county board of elections by unanimous vote of all of its members may name to serve as chief judge or judge in that precinct registered voters in that precinct who were not recommended by the party chairs. If, after diligently seeking to fill the positions with registered voters of the precinct, the county board still has an insufficient number of officials for the precinct, the county board by unanimous vote of all of its members may appoint to the positions registered voters in other precincts in the same county who meet the qualifications other than residence to be precinct officials in the precinct, provided that where possible the county board shall seek and adopt the recommendation of the county chairman of the political party affected. In making its appointments, the county board shall assure, wherever possible, that no precinct has a chief judge and judges all of whom are registered with the same party. In no instance shall the county board appoint nonresidents of the precinct to a majority of the three positions of chief judge and judge in a precinct.

If, at any time other than on the day of a primary or election, a chief judge or judge of election shall be removed from office, or shall die or resign, or if for any other cause there be a vacancy in a precinct election office, the chairman of the county board of elections shall appoint another in his place, promptly notifying him of his appointment. If at all possible, the chairman of the county board of elections shall consult with the county chairman of the political party of the vacating official, and if the chairman of the county political party nominates a qualified voter of that precinct to fill the vacancy, the chairman of the county board of elections shall appoint that person. In filling such a vacancy, the chairman shall appoint a person who belongs to the same political party as that to which the vacating member belonged when appointed. If the chairman of the county board of elections did not appoint a person upon recommendation of the chairman of the party to fill such a vacancy, then the term of office of the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall expire upon the conclusion of the next canvass held by the county board of elections under this Chapter, and any successor must be a person nominated by the chairman of the party of the vacating officer.

If any person appointed chief judge shall fail to be present at the voting place at the hour of opening the polls on primary or election day, or if a vacancy in that office shall occur on primary or election day for any reason whatever, the precinct judges of election shall appoint another to act as chief judge until such time as the chairman of the county board of elections shall appoint to fill the vacancy. If such appointment by the chairman of the county board of elections is not a person nominated by the county chairman of the political party of the vacating officer, then the term of office of the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall expire upon the conclusion of the next canvass held by the county board of elections under this Chapter. If a judge of election shall fail to be present at the voting place at the hour of opening the polls on primary or election day, or if a vacancy in that office shall occur on primary or election day for any reason whatever, the chief judge shall appoint another to act as judge until such time as the chairman of the county board of elections shall appoint to fill the vacancy. Persons appointed to fill vacancies shall, whenever possible, be chosen from the same political party as the person whose vacancy is being filled, and all such appointees shall be sworn before acting.

As soon as practicable, following their training as prescribed in G.S. 163-82.24, each chief judge and judge of election shall take and subscribe the following oath of office to be administered by an officer authorized to administer oaths and file it with the county board of elections:

"I, __________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States; that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of North Carolina, and to the constitutional powers and authorities which are or may be established for the government thereof; that I will endeavor to support, maintain and defend the Constitution of said State not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States; that I will administer the duties of my office as chief judge of (judge of election in) ______precinct, __________County, without fear or favor; that I will not in any manner request or seek to persuade or induce any voter to vote for or against any particular candidate or proposition; and that I will not keep or make any memorandum of anything occurring within a voting booth, unless I am called upon to testify in a judicial proceeding for a violation of the election laws of this State; so help me, God."

Notwithstanding the previous paragraph, a person appointed chief judge by the judges of election under this section, or appointed judge of election by the chief judge under this section may take the oath of office immediately upon appointment.

Before the opening of the polls on the morning of the primary or election, the chief judge shall administer the oath set out in the preceding paragraph to each assistant, and any judge of election not previously sworn, substituting for the words "chief judge of" the words "assistant in" or "judge of election in" whichever is appropriate.

(b) Special Registration Commissioners Abolished; Optional Training. - The office of special registration commissioner is abolished. The State Board of Elections and county boards of elections may provide training to persons assisting in voter registration.

(b1) Repealed by Session Laws 1985, c. 387, s. 1.1.

(c) Publication of Names of Precinct Officials. - Immediately after appointing chief judges and judges as herein provided, the county board of elections shall publish the names of the persons appointed in some newspaper having general circulation in the county or, in lieu thereof, at the courthouse door, and shall notify each person appointed of his appointment, either by letter or by having a notice served upon him by the sheriff. Notice may additionally be made on a radio or television station or both, but such notice shall be in addition to the newspaper and other required notice. (1901, c. 89, ss. 8, 9, 16; Rev., ss. 4307, 4308, 4309; C.S., ss. 5928, 5929, 5930; 1923, c. 111, s. 2; 1929, c. 164, s. 18; 1933, c. 165, s. 3; 1947, c. 505, s. 2; 1953, c. 843; c. 1191, s. 3; 1955, c. 800; 1957, c. 784, s. 1; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 435; c. 1223, s. 2; 1975, c. 159, ss. 3, 4; c. 711; c. 807, s. 1; 1979, c. 766, s. 1; c. 782; 1981, c. 628, ss. 1, 2; c. 954, ss. 2, 4; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1265, s. 7; 1983, c. 617, s. 5; 1985, c. 387; c. 563, ss. 9, 10; c. 600, s. 7.1; c. 759, ss. 7, 7.1, 8; 1987, c. 80; c. 491, s. 4.1; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1028, s. 12; 1989, c. 93, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 3; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 734, s. 1.)

 

163-41.1. Certain relatives prohibited from serving together.

(a) The following categories of relatives are prohibited from serving as precinct officials of the same precinct: spouse, child, spouse of a child, sister or brother.

(b) No precinct official who is the wife, husband, mother, father, son, daughter, brother or sister of any candidate for nomination or election may serve as precinct official during any primary or election in which such candidate participates. The county board of elections shall temporarily disqualify any such official for the specific primary or election involved and shall have authority to appoint a substitute official, from the same political party, to serve only during the primary or election at which such conflict exists. (1975, c. 745; 1979, c. 411, s. 2.)

 

163-41.2. Discharge of precinct official unlawful.

(a) No employer may discharge or demote any employee because the employee has been appointed as a precinct official and is serving as a precinct official on election day or canvass day.

(b) An employee discharged or demoted in violation of this section shall be entitled to be reinstated to that employee's former position. The burden of proof shall be upon the employee.

(c) The statute of limitations for actions under this section shall be one year pursuant to G.S. 1-54.

(d) This section does not apply unless the employee provides the employer with not less than 30 days written notice, before the date the leave is to begin, of the employee's intention to take leave to serve as a precinct official.

(e) As used in this section, "precinct official" has the same meaning as in G.S. 163-41(a). (2001-169, s. 1.)

 

163-42. Assistants at polls; appointment; term of office; qualifications; oath of office.

(a) Each county board of elections is authorized, in its discretion, to appoint two or more assistants for each precinct to aid the chief judge and judges. Not more than two assistants shall be appointed in precincts having 500 or less registered voters. Assistants shall be qualified voters of the county in which the precinct is located. When the board of elections determines that assistants are needed in a precinct an equal number shall be appointed from different political parties, unless the requirement as to party affiliation cannot be met because of an insufficient number of voters of different political parties within the county.

In the discretion of the county board of elections, a precinct assistant may serve less than the full day prescribed for chief judges and judges in G.S. 163-47(a).

(b) The chairman of each political party in the county shall have the right to recommend from three to 10 registered voters in each precinct for appointment as precinct assistants in that precinct. If the recommendations are received by it no later than the thirtieth day prior to the primary or election, the board shall make appointments of the precinct assistants for each precinct from the names thus recommended. If the recommendations of the party chairs for precinct assistant in a precinct are insufficient, the county board of elections by unanimous vote of all of its members may name to serve as precinct assistant in that precinct registered voters in that precinct who were not recommended by the party chairs. If, after diligently seeking to fill the positions with registered voters of the precinct, the county board still has an insufficient number of precinct assistants for the precinct, the county board by unanimous vote of all of its members may appoint to the positions registered voters in other precincts in the same county who meet the qualifications other than residence to be precinct officials in the precinct. In making its appointments, the county board shall assure, wherever possible, that no precinct has precinct officials all of whom are registered with the same party. In no instance shall the county board appoint nonresidents of the precinct to a majority of the positions as precinct assistant in a precinct.

(c) In addition, a county board of elections by unanimous vote of all of its members may appoint any registered voter in the county as emergency election-day assistant, as long as that voter is otherwise qualified to be a precinct official. The State Board of Elections shall determine for each election the number of emergency election-day assistants each county may have, based on population, expected turnout, and complexity of election duties. The county board by unanimous vote of all of its members may assign emergency election-day assistants on the day of the election to any precinct in the county where the number of precinct officials is insufficient because of an emergency occurring within 48 hours of the opening of the polls that prevents an appointed precinct official from serving. A person appointed to serve as emergency election-day assistant shall be trained and paid like other precinct assistants in accordance with G.S. 163-46. A county board of elections shall apportion the appointments as emergency election-day assistant among registrants of each political party so as to make possible the staffing of each precinct with officials of more than one party, and the county board shall make assignments so that no precinct has precinct officials all of whom are registered with the same party.

(d) Before entering upon the duties of the office, each assistant shall take the oath prescribed in G.S. 163-41(a) to be administered by the chief judge of the precinct for which the assistant is appointed. Assistants serve for the particular primary or election for which they are appointed, unless the county board of elections appoints them for a term to expire on the date appointments are to be made pursuant to G.S. 163-41. (1929, c. 164, s. 35; 1933, c. 165, s. 24; 1953, c. 1191, s. 3; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, s. 95; c. 1359, ss. 1-3; 1975, c. 19, s. 67; 1977, c. 95, ss. 1, 2; 1981, c. 954, s. 3; 1983, c. 617, s. 4; 1985, c. 563, ss. 8, 8.1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 17; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 554, s. 1; c. 734, s. 2; 2011-31, s. 19.)

 

163-42.1. Student election assistants.

A student of at least 17 years of age at the time of any election or primary in which the student works shall be eligible to be appointed as a student election assistant. To be eligible a student must have all the following qualifications:

(1) Be a United States citizen.

(2) Be a resident of the county in which the student is appointed.

(3) Be enrolled in a secondary educational institution, including a home school as defined in G.S. 115C-563(a), with an exemplary academic record as determined by that institution.

(4) Be recommended by the principal or director of the secondary educational institution in which the student is enrolled.

(5) Have the consent of a parent, legal custodian, or guardian.

The county board of elections may appoint student election assistants, following guidelines which shall be issued by the State Board of Elections. No more than two student election assistants shall be assigned to any voting place. Every student election assistant shall work under the direct supervision of the election judges. The student election assistants shall attend the same training as a precinct assistant, shall be sworn in the same manner as a precinct assistant, and shall be compensated in the same manner as precinct assistants. The county board of elections shall prescribe the duties of a student election assistant, following guidelines which shall be issued by the State Board of Elections. Under no circumstances may students ineligible to register to vote be appointed and act as precinct judges or observers in any election. The date of birth of a student election assistant shall be kept confidential. (2003-278, s. 1; 2004-127, s. 17(e).)

 

163-43. Ballot counters; appointment; qualifications; oath of office.

The county board of elections of any county may authorize the use of precinct ballot counters to aid the chief judges and judges of election in the counting of ballots in any precinct or precincts within the county. The county board of elections shall appoint the ballot counters it authorizes for each precinct or, in its discretion, the board may delegate authority to make such appointments to the precinct chief judge, specifying the number of ballot counters to be appointed for each precinct. A ballot counter must be a resident of the county in which the precinct is located.

No person shall be eligible to serve as a ballot counter, who holds any elective office under the government of the United States, or of the State of North Carolina or any political subdivision thereof.

No person shall be eligible to serve as a ballot counter, who serves as chairman of a state, congressional district, county, or precinct political party or political organization.

No person who is the wife, husband, mother, father, son, daughter, brother or sister of any candidate for nomination or election may serve as ballot counter during any primary or election in which such candidate qualifies.

No person shall be eligible to serve as a ballot counter who is a candidate for nomination or election.

Upon acceptance of appointment, each ballot counter shall appear before the precinct chief judge at the voting place immediately at the close of the polls on the day of the primary or election and take the following oath to be administered by the chief judge:

"I, ___________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States; that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of North Carolina, and to the constitutional powers and authorities which are or may be established for the government thereof; that I will endeavor to support, maintain and defend the Constitution of said State not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States; that I will honestly discharge the duties of ballot counter in ______ precinct, __________County for primary (or election) held this day, and that I will fairly and honestly tabulate the votes cast in said primary (or election); so help me, God."

The names and addresses of all ballot counters serving in any precinct, whether appointed by the county board of elections or by the chief judge, shall be reported by the chief judge to the county board of elections at the county canvass following the primary or election. (1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1981, c. 954, s. 5; 1985, c. 563, s. 10.1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 18; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 734, s. 3.)

 

163-44. Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 793, s. 13.

 

163-45. Observers; appointment.

(a) The chair of each political party in the county shall have the right to designate two observers to attend each voting place at each primary and election and such observers may, at the option of the designating party chair, be relieved during the day of the primary or election after serving no less than four hours and provided the list required by this section to be filed by each chair contains the names of all persons authorized to represent such chair's political party. The chair of each political party in the county shall have the right to designate 10 additional at-large observers who are residents of that county who may attend any voting place in that county. The list submitted by the chair of the political party may be amended between the one-stop period under G.S. 163-227.2 and general election day to substitute one or all at-large observers for election day. Not more than two observers from the same political party shall be permitted in the voting enclosure at any time, except that in addition one of the at-large observers from each party may also be in the voting enclosure. This right shall not extend to the chair of a political party during a primary unless that party is participating in the primary. In any election in which an unaffiliated candidate is named on the ballot, the candidate or the candidate's campaign manager shall have the right to appoint two observers for each voting place consistent with the provisions specified herein. Persons appointed as observers must be registered voters of the county for which appointed and must have good moral character. No person who is a candidate on the ballot in a primary or election may serve as an observer or runner in that primary or election. Observers shall take no oath of office.

(b) Individuals authorized to appoint observers must submit in writing to the chief judge of each precinct a signed list of the observers appointed for that precinct, except that the list of at-large observers authorized in subsection (a) of this section shall be submitted to the county director of elections. Individuals authorized to appoint observers must, prior to 10:00 A.M. on the fifth day prior to any primary or general election, submit in writing to the chair of the county board of elections two signed copies of a list of observers appointed by them, designating the precinct or at-large status for which each observer is appointed. Before the opening of the voting place on the day of a primary or general election, the chair shall deliver one copy of the list to the chief judge for each affected precinct, except that the list of at-large observers shall be provided by the county director of elections to the chief judge. The chair shall retain the other copy. The chair, or the chief judge and judges for each affected precinct, may for good cause reject any appointee and require that another be appointed. The names of any persons appointed in place of those persons rejected shall be furnished in writing to the chief judge of each affected precinct no later than the time for opening the voting place on the day of any primary or general election, either by the chair of the county board of elections or the person making the substitute appointment.

If party chairs appoint observers at one-stop sites under G.S. 163-227.2, those party chairs shall provide a list of the observers appointed before 10:00 A.M. on the fifth day before the observer is to observe. At-large observers may serve at any one-stop site.

(c) An observer shall do no electioneering at the voting place, and shall in no manner impede the voting process or interfere or communicate with or observe any voter in casting a ballot, but, subject to these restrictions, the chief judge and judges of elections shall permit the observer to make such observation and take such notes as the observer may desire.

(d) Whether or not the observer attends to the polls for the requisite time provided by this section, each observer shall be entitled to obtain at times specified by the State Board of Elections, but not less than three times during election day with the spacing not less than one hour apart, a list of the persons who have voted in the precinct so far in that election day. Counties that use an "authorization to vote document" instead of poll books may comply with the requirement in the previous sentence by permitting each observer to inspect election records so that the observer may create a list of persons who have voted in the precinct so far that election day; each observer shall be entitled to make the inspection at times specified by the State Board of Elections, but not less than three times during election day with the spacing not less than one hour apart.

Instead of having an observer receive the voting list, the county party chair may send a runner to do so, even if an observer has not been appointed for that precinct. The runner may be the precinct party chair or any person named by the county party chair. Each county party chair using runners in an election shall provide to the county board of elections before 10:00 A.M. on the fifth day before election day a list of the runners to be used. That party chair must notify the chair of the county board of elections or the board chair's designee of the names of all runners to be used in each precinct before the runner goes to the precinct. The runner may receive a voter list from the precinct on the same schedule as an observer. Whether obtained by observer or runner, each party is entitled to only one voter list at each of the scheduled times. No runner may enter the voting enclosure except when necessary to announce that runner's presence and to receive the list. The runner must leave immediately after being provided with the list. (1929, c. 164, s. 36; 1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; c. 871, s. 7; 1959, c. 616, s. 2; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, ss. 14, 94; 1977, c. 453; 1991, c. 727, s. 3; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 19; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 688, s. 1; c. 734, s. 4.1; 2005-428, s. 1(a); 2007-391, s. 22; 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2013-381, s. 11.1.)

 

163-46. Compensation of precinct officials and assistants.

The precinct chief judge shall be paid the state minimum wage for his services on the day of a primary, special or general election. Judges of election shall each be paid the state minimum wage for their services on the day of a primary, special or general election. Assistants, appointed pursuant to G.S. 163-42, shall each be paid the state minimum wage for their services on the day of a primary, special or general election. Ballot counters appointed pursuant to G.S. 163-43 shall be paid a minimum of five dollars ($5.00) for their services on the day of a primary, general or special election. If an election official is being paid an hourly wage or daily fee on an election day and the official is performing additional election duties away from the assigned precinct voting place, the official shall not be entitled to any additional monies for those services, except for reimbursable expenses in performing the services.

If the county board of elections requests the presence of a chief judge or judge at the county canvass, the chief judge shall be paid the sum of twenty dollars ($20.00) per day and judges shall be paid the sum of fifteen dollars ($15.00) per day. If the county board of elections requests a precinct official, including chief judge or judge, to personally deliver official ballots or other official materials to the county board of elections, the precinct official shall be paid the sum of twenty dollars ($20.00) per day and judges shall be paid the sum of fifteen dollars ($15.00) per day.

The chairman of the county board of elections, along with the director of elections, shall conduct an instructional meeting prior to each primary and general election which shall be attended by each chief judge and judge of election, unless excused by the chairman, and such precinct election officials shall be paid the sum of fifteen dollars ($15.00) for attending the instructional meetings required by this section.

In its discretion, the board of county commissioners of any county may provide funds with which the county board of elections may pay chief judges, judges, assistants, and ballot counters in addition to the amounts specified in this section. Observers shall be paid no compensation for their services.

A person appointed to serve as chief judge, or judge of election when a previously appointed chief judge or judge fails to appear at the voting place or leaves his post on the day of an election or primary shall be paid the same compensation as the chief judge or judge appointed prior to that date.

For the purpose of this section, the phrase "the State minimum wage," means the amount set by G.S. 95-25.3(a). For the purpose of this section, no other provision of Article 2A of Chapter 95 of the General Statutes shall apply. (1901, c. 89, s. 42; Rev., s. 4311; C.S., s. 5932; 1927, c. 260, s. 2; 1931, c. 254, s. 16; 1933, c. 165, s. 3; 1935, c. 421, s. 1; 1939, c. 264, s. 1; 1941, c. 304, s. 1; 1945, c. 758, s. 3; 1947, c. 505, s. 11; 1951, c. 1009, s. 1; 1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; 1957, c. 182, s. 2; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1969, c. 24; 1971, c. 604; 1973, c. 793, ss. 15, 16, 94; 1977, c. 626, s. 1; 1979, c. 403; 1981, c. 796, ss. 1, 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 20; 1995, c. 243, s. 1; 2001-398, s. 5; 2003-278, s. 3.)

 

163-47. Powers and duties of chief judges and judges of election.

(a) The chief judges and judges of election shall conduct the primaries and elections within their respective precincts fairly and impartially, and they shall enforce peace and good order in and about the place of registration and voting. On the day of each primary and general and special election, the precinct chief judge and judges shall remain at the voting place from the time fixed by law for the commencement of their duties there until they have completed all those duties, and they shall not separate nor shall any one of them leave the voting place except for unavoidable necessity.

(b) On the day of an election or primary, the chief judge shall have charge of the registration list for the purpose of passing on the registration of persons who present themselves at the polls to vote.

(c) The chief judge and judges shall hear challenges of the right of registered voters to vote as provided by law.

(d) The chief judge and judges shall count the votes cast in their precincts and make such returns of the same as is provided by law.

(e) The chief judge and judges shall make such an accounting to the chairman of the county board of elections for ballots and for election supplies as is required by law.

(f) The chief judge and judges of election shall act by a majority vote on all matters not assigned specifically by law to the chief judge or to a judge. (1901, c. 89, s. 41; Rev., s. 4312; C.S., s. 5933; 1933, c. 165, s. 3; 1939, c. 263, s. 31/2; 1947, c. 505, s. 3; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, s. 17; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 4.)

 

163-48. Maintenance of order at place of registration and voting.

The chief judge and judges of election shall enforce peace and good order in and about the place of registration and voting. They shall especially keep open and unobstructed the place at which voters or persons seeking to register or vote have access to the place of registration and voting. They shall prevent and stop improper practices and attempts to obstruct, intimidate, or interfere with any person in registering or voting. They shall protect challenger and witnesses against molestation and violence in the performance of their duties, and they may eject from the place of registration or voting any challenger or witness for violation of any provisions of the election laws. They shall prevent riots, violence, tumult, or disorder.

In the discharge of the duties prescribed in the preceding paragraph of this section, the chief judge and judges may call upon the sheriff, the police, or other peace officers to aid them in enforcing the law. They may order the arrest of any person violating any provision of the election laws, but such arrest shall not prevent the person arrested from registering or voting if he is entitled to do so. The sheriff, police officers, and other officers of the peace shall immediately obey and aid in the enforcement of any lawful order made by the precinct election officials in the enforcement of the election laws. The chief judge and judges of election of any precinct, or any two of such election officials, shall have the authority to deputize any person or persons as police officers to aid in maintaining order at the place of registration or voting. (1901, c. 89, s. 72; Rev., s. 4376; C.S., s. 5977; 1955, c. 871, s. 4; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 21.)

 

163-49 through 163-53. Reserved for future codification purposes.