163-127.3. Panel to conduct the hearing on a challenge.

Upon filing of a challenge, a panel shall hear the challenge, as follows:

(1) Single county. - If the district for the office subject to the challenge covers territory in all or part of only one county, the panel shall be the county board of elections of that county.

(2) Multicounty but less than entire State. - If the district for the office subject to the challenge contains territory in more than one county but is less than the entire State, the Board shall appoint a panel within two business days after the challenge is filed. The panel shall consist of at least one member of the county board of elections in each county in the district of the office. The panel shall have an odd number of members, no fewer than three and no more than five. In appointing members to the panel, the Board shall appoint members from each county in proportion to the relative total number of registered voters of the counties in the district for the office. If the district for the office subject to the challenge covers more than five counties, the panel shall consist of five members with at least one member from the county receiving the notice of candidacy or petition and at least one member from the county of residency of the challenger. The Board shall, to the extent possible, appoint members affiliated with different political parties in proportion to the representation of those parties on the county boards of elections in the district for the office. The Board shall designate a chair for the panel. A meeting of the Board to appoint a panel under this subdivision shall be treated as an emergency meeting for purposes of G.S. 143-318.12.

(3) Entire State. - If the district for the office subject to the challenge consists of the entire State, the panel shall be the Board. (2006-155, s. 1.)