163-182.15. Certificate of nomination or election, or certificate of the results of a referendum.

(a) Issued by County Board of Elections. - In ballot items within the jurisdiction of the county board of elections, the county board shall issue a certificate of nomination or election, or a certificate of the results of the referendum, as appropriate. The certificate shall be issued by the county board six days after the completion of the canvass pursuant to G.S. 163-182.5, unless there is an election protest pending. If there is an election protest, the certificate of nomination or election or the certificate of the result of the referendum shall be issued in one of the following ways, as appropriate:

(1) The certificate shall be issued five days after the protest is dismissed or denied by the county board of elections, unless that decision has been appealed to the State Board of Elections.

(2) The certificate shall be issued on the tenth day after the final decision of the State Board, unless the State Board has ordered a new election or the issuance of the certificate is stayed by the Superior Court of Wake County pursuant to G.S. 163-182.14.

(3) If the decision of the State Board has been appealed to the Superior Court of Wake County and the court has stayed the certification, the certificate shall be issued five days after the entry of a final order in the case in the Superior Court of Wake County, unless that court or an appellate court orders otherwise.

(4) No certificate of election need be issued for any member of the General Assembly following a contest of the election pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 120.

(b) Issued by State Board of Elections. - In ballot items within the jurisdiction of the State Board of Elections, the State Board of Elections shall issue a certificate of nomination or election, or a certificate of the results of the referendum, as appropriate. The certificate shall be issued by the State Board six days after the completion of the canvass pursuant to G.S. 163-182.5, unless there is an election protest pending. If there is an election protest, the certificate of nomination or election or the certificate of the result of the referendum shall be issued in one of the following ways, as appropriate:

(1) The certificate shall be issued 10 days after the final decision of the State Board on the election protest, unless the State Board has ordered a new election or the issuance of the certificate is stayed by the Superior Court of Wake County pursuant to G.S. 163-182.14.

(2) If the decision of the State Board has been appealed to the Superior Court of Wake County and the court has stayed the certification, the certificate shall be issued five days after the entry of a final order in the case in the Superior Court of Wake County, unless that court or an appellate court orders otherwise.

(3) The certificate shall be issued immediately upon the filing of a copy of the determination of the General Assembly with the State Board of Elections in contested elections involving any elective office established by Article III of the Constitution.

(4) No certificate of election need be issued for any member of the General Assembly following a contest of the election pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 120.

(c) Copy to Secretary of State. - The State Board of Elections shall provide to the Secretary of State a copy of each certificate of nomination or election, or certificate of the results of a referendum, issued by it. The Secretary shall keep the certificates in a form readily accessible and useful to the public.

(d) Determining Results. - In a primary for party nomination, the results shall be determined in accordance with G.S. 163-111. In a general election, the individuals having the highest number of votes for each office shall be declared elected to the office, and the certificate shall be issued accordingly. In a referendum, the ballot proposal receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared to have prevailed, and the certificate shall be issued accordingly. (2001-398, s. 3; 2003-278, s. 10(k); 2005-3, s. 5; 2005-428, s. 13; 2007-391, s. 11; 2007-484, s. 22; 2008-187, s. 33(a).)