Election Schedules

Election Schedules

Election Event Date Set by Statute

During odd-numbered years, the schedule for election dates are:

November Municipal Election: Tuesday after the first Monday in November (nonpartisan plurality

During even-numbered years, the schedule for election event dates are:

Statewide Primary: varies

Second Primary: 

  • set 7 weeks after Statewide primary if no federal contest requires a second primary
  • set 10 weeks after Statewide primary if any federal context requires a second primary

Statewide General Election: Tuesday after the first Monday in November

Special Elections (GS 163-287)

Any county, municipality, or any special district shall have authority to call special elections. In setting the date the special election may be held only as follows:

  • At the same time as any other State or county general election.
  • At the same time as the primary election in any even-numbered year.
  • At the same time as any other election requiring all the precincts in the county to be open.
  • At the same time as a municipal general election, if the special election is within the jurisdiction of the municipality only.

Special Election Exceptions

The restriction on setting a special election shall not apply to any special election related to the public health or safety, including:

  • a vacancy in the office of sheriff or
  • a bond referendum for financing of health and sanitation systems, if the governing body adopts a resolution stating the need for the special election at a time different from any other State, county, or municipal general election or the primary in any even-numbered year.

The restriction on setting a special election shall not apply to municipal incorporation or recall elections.

The restriction on setting a special election shall not apply to municipal elections to fill vacancies in office pursuant to local act of the General Assembly where more than six months remain in the term of office.

The restriction on setting a special election shall not impact the authority of the courts or the State Board to order a new election at a time set by the courts or State Board.