NC State Board of Elections

RALEIGH — The State Board of Elections is encouraging prospective candidates for the Office of Sheriff to complete mandatory forms verifying that they have no prior felony convictions or felony expungements.

The required forms are now available on the NC Department of Justice website. Once completed, candidates for sheriff will obtain a disclosure statement, which is required for filing for office.

A new state law requires sheriff candidates and appointees to verify that they have no prior felony convictions or expungements of felony convictions.

Candidate filing for 2022 sheriff contests runs from Dec. 6 to Dec. 17.

Prospective candidates should start completing the forms at least a month before filing. Each candidate must fill out separate forms from the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts and the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission.

The sheriffs’ commission alone estimates two to three weeks for their form to be processed, so time is of the essence in completing these forms.

The person filing for sheriff must give the disclosure statement to their county board of elections when they file. The filing process is not complete until a person submits the disclosure statement.

“Individuals wanting to file for the office of sheriff should complete the required forms in a timely manner,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board. “The State Board and county boards will work with candidates to ensure filing runs smoothly.”

Under a new state law, a person is not eligible to serve as a sheriff in North Carolina if they have been convicted of a felony, even if they’ve completed their sentence or had the conviction expunged from their record.

A person who receives an unconditional pardon of innocence for their felony may file for the office of sheriff or be appointed to that office.

The law also removed the requirement that a candidate for sheriff be a resident of the county for at least a year before the general election.

As part of the process for completing the disclosure statement, the Commission must conduct a criminal background check. The disclosure statement and supporting documentation will not be public records.

The person filing for sheriff must give the disclosure statement to their county board of elections when they file. The filing process is not complete until a person submits the disclosure statement.

The disclosure statement is valid for filing for 90 days after issuance. Individuals intending to file for sheriff during the December 2021 filing period must submit the disclosure statement.

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