163-165.5. Contents of official ballots.

(a) Except as provided in this section, each official ballot shall contain all the following elements:

(1) The heading prescribed by the State Board of Elections. The heading shall include the term "Official Ballot".

(2) The title of each office to be voted on and the number of votes allowed in each ballot item.

(3) The names of the candidates as they appear on their notice of candidacy filed pursuant to G.S. 163-106 or G.S. 163-323, or on petition forms filed in accordance with G.S. 163-122. No title, appendage, or appellation indicating rank, status, or position shall be printed on the official ballot in connection with the candidate's name. Candidates, however, may use the title Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms. Nicknames shall be permitted on an official ballot if used in the notice of candidacy or qualifying petition, but the nickname shall appear according to standards adopted by the State Board of Elections. Those standards shall allow the presentation of legitimate nicknames in ways that do not mislead the voter or unduly advertise the candidacy. In the case of candidates for presidential elector, the official ballot shall not contain the names of the candidates for elector but instead shall contain the nominees for President and Vice President which the candidates for elector represent. The State Board of Elections shall establish a review procedure that local boards of elections shall follow to ensure that candidates' names appear on the official ballot in accordance with this subdivision.

(4) Party designations in partisan ballot items and in nonpartisan ballot items as required by G.S. 163-323(h).

(5) A means by which the voter may cast write-in votes, as provided in G.S. 163-123. No space for write-ins is required unless a write-in candidate has qualified under G.S. 163-123 or unless the ballot item is exempt from G.S. 163-123.

(6) Instructions to voters, unless the State Board of Elections allows instructions to be placed elsewhere than on the official ballot.

(7) The printed title and facsimile signature of the chair of the county board of elections.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, an official ballot created and printed by use of a voting system in the voting enclosure shall be counted if all of the following apply:

(1) Each of the following are printed on that official ballot:

a. The date of the election.

b. The precinct name or a unique identification code associated with that ballot style.

c. The choices made by the voter for all ballot items in which the voter cast a vote.

(2) The electronic display of the voting system seen by the voter contains all of the information required by subsection (a) of this section.

(3) The voter is capable of reviewing the printed official ballot, and voiding that ballot, prior to casting that voter's ballot.

(4) The voter's choices in and on the electronic display are removed prior to the next voter using that voting equipment. (2001-460, s. 3; 2003-209, s. 1; 2007-391, s. 10; 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2015-103, s. 4(b); 2015-292, s. 1.)