163-294. Determination of election results in cities using nonpartisan primaries.

(a) In cities whose elections are nonpartisan and who use the nonpartisan primary and election method, there shall be a primary to narrow the field of candidates to two candidates for each position to be filled if, when the filing period closes, there are more than two candidates for a single office or the number of candidates for a group of offices exceeds twice the number of positions to be filled. If only one or two candidates file for a single office, no primary shall be held for that office and the candidates shall be declared nominated. If the number of candidates for a group of offices does not exceed twice the number of positions to be filled, no primary shall be held for those offices and the candidates shall be declared nominated.

(b) In the primary, the two candidates for a single office receiving the highest number of votes, and those candidates for a group of offices receiving the highest number of votes, equal to twice the number of positions to be filled, shall be declared nominated. In both the primary and election, a voter should not mark more names for any office than there are positions to be filled by election. If two or more candidates receiving the highest number of votes each received the same number of votes, the board of elections shall determine their relative ranking by lot, and shall declare the nominees accordingly. The canvass of the primary shall be held on the seventh day following the primary. In accepting the filing of complaints concerning the conduct of an election, a board of elections shall be subject to the rules concerning Sundays and holidays set forth in G.S. 103-5.

(c) In the election, the names of those candidates declared nominated without a primary and those candidates nominated in the primary shall be placed on the ballot. The candidate for a single office receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected. Those candidates for a group of offices receiving the highest number of votes, equal in number to the number of positions to be filled, shall be elected. If two candidates receiving the highest number of votes each received the same number of votes, the board of elections shall determine the winner by lot. (1971, c. 835, s. 1; 1991, c. 341, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 553, s. 4; 2001-460, s. 6; 2003-278, s. 10(h).)