163-112. Death of candidate before primary; vacancy in single office.

(a) Death of One of Two Candidates within 30 Days after the Filing Period Closes. - If at the time the filing period closes, only two persons have filed notice of candidacy for nomination by a political party to a single office, and one of the candidates dies within 30 days after the filing period closes, then the proper board of elections shall, upon notice of the death, reopen the filing period for that party contest, for an additional three days. Should no candidate file during the three days, the board of elections shall certify the remaining candidate as the nominee of his party as provided in G.S. 163-110.

(b) Death of One of More Than Two Candidates within 30 Days after the Filing Period Closes. - If at the close of the filing period more than two candidates have filed for a single-seat office, and within 30 days after the filing period closes the board of elections receives notice of a candidate's death, the board shall immediately open the filing period for that party contest, for three additional days in order for candidates to file for that office. The name of the deceased candidate shall not be printed on the ballot.

In the event a candidate's death occurs more than 30 days after the closing of the original filing period, the names of the remaining candidates shall be printed on the ballot. If the ballots have been printed at the time death occurs, the ballots shall not be reprinted and any votes cast for a deceased candidate shall not be counted or considered for any purpose. In the event the death of a candidate or candidates leaves only one candidate, then such candidate shall be certified as the party's nominee for that office.

(c) Vacancy in Group Offices within 30 Days after the Filing Period Closes. - If at the time the filing period closes more persons have filed notice of candidacy for nomination by a political party to an office constituting a group than there are positions to be filled, and a candidate or candidates die within 30 days after the filing period closes, and there remains only the number of candidates equal to or fewer than the number of positions to be filled, the appropriate board of elections shall reopen the filing period for that party contest, for three days for that office. Should no persons file during the three-day period, then those candidates already filed shall be certified as the party nominees for that office.

(d) Vacancy in Group Offices More Than 30 Days after the Filing Period Closes. - In the event a candidate or candidates death occurs more than 30 days after the original filing period closes for an office constituting a group, then regardless of the number of candidates filed for nomination, the board of elections shall be governed as follows:

(1) If the ballots have not been printed at the time the board of elections receives notice of the death, the deceased candidate's name shall not be printed on the ballot.

(2) If the ballots have been printed at the time the board of elections receives notice of the death, the ballots shall not be reprinted but votes cast for the deceased candidate shall not be counted for any purpose.

(3) In the event the death of a candidate or candidates results in the number of candidates being equal to or less than the number of positions to be filled for that office, then the remaining candidates shall be certified as the party nominees for that office and no primary shall be held for that office.

(4) If death or disqualification of candidates results in the number of candidates being less than the number of positions to be filled for that office, then the appropriate party executive committee shall, in accordance with G.S. 163-114, make nominations of persons equal to the number of positions to be filled and no primary shall be held and those names shall be printed on the general election ballot.(1959, c. 1054; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1981, c. 434; 1993, c. 553, s. 60; 2001-466, s. 1(f); 2003-278, s. 4; 2003-434, 1st Ex. Sess., s. 5(e); 2004-127, s. 13.)