State Election Laws: Overview of Statutes Regarding Emergency Election Postponement Within the State Page: 4 of 6
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including the state National Guard and reserve components. In exercising those
emergency powers, the executive director shall avoid unnecessary conflict with the
provisions of this chapter of law. N.C. GEN. STAT. 163-27.1 (2004).
Examples of State Statutes That Might Be Employed for Election
Postponement Within the State By Granting the Governor Power
to Suspend State Law In Emergencies
Some states statutes authorize the governor to suspend certain state laws in the event
of an emergency. While these statutes do not specifically mention elections, it is possible
that they might be relied on to support the delay of the general presidential election,
within the respective state, its precincts, districts or counties, in the event of an emergency
or disaster. While not an exhaustive list, the following summaries are provided as
examples of these types of state laws:
Arizona: During a state of war emergency, the governor may suspend the provisions of
any statute prescribing the procedure for conduct of state business, or the orders or rules
of any state agency, if the governor determines and declares that strict compliance would
in any way prevent, hinder or delay mitigation of the effects of the emergency. "State of
war emergency" means the condition that immediately exists whenever the U.S. is
attacked or upon receipt by the state of a warning from the federal government indicating
that such an attack is imminent. ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. @ 26-303(A)(1), 301(15)(2004).
California: During a state of war emergency or a state of emergency, the governor may
suspend any regulatory statute, or statute prescribing the procedure for conduct of state
business, or the orders, rules, or regulations of any state agency where the governor
determines and declares that strict compliance would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay
the mitigation of the effects of the emergency. "State of war emergency" means the
condition which exists immediately, with or without a proclamation thereof by the
governor, whenever the state or U.S. is attacked by an enemy or upon receipt by the state
of a warning from the federal government indicating that such an enemy attack is probable
or imminent. "State of emergency" means the duly proclaimed existence of conditions
of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the state caused
by such conditions as air pollution, fire, flood, storm, epidemic, riot, drought, sudden and
severe energy shortage, plant or animal infestation or disease, the governor's warning of
an earthquake or volcanic prediction, or an earthquake, complications resulting from the
year 2000 problem, or other conditions, other than conditions resulting from a labor
controversy or conditions causing a "state of war emergency," which, by reason of their
magnitude, are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and
facilities of any single county, city and county, or city and require the combined forces of
a mutual aid region or regions to combat, or with respect to regulated energy utilities, a
sudden and severe energy shortage requires extraordinary measures beyond the authority
vested in the California Public Utilities Commission. CAL. Gov'T CODE ANN. 8571,
Illinois: In the event of a disaster, the governor may, by proclamation, declare that a
disaster exists. Upon such proclamation, the governor shall have and may exercise, for
a period not to exceed 30 days, the power to suspend the provisions of any regulatory
statute prescribing procedures for conduct of state business, or the orders, rules and
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State Election Laws: Overview of Statutes Regarding Emergency Election Postponement Within the State, report, October 26, 2004; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc815770/m1/4/: accessed July 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.