I'm no lawyer, but here's what I can find from the State Board of Elections Statute regarding sample ballots:
§ 163-165.2. Sample ballots.
(a) County Board to Produce and Distribute Sample Ballots. - The
county board of elections shall produce sample ballots, in all the
necessary ballot styles of the official ballot, for every election
to be held in the county. The sample ballots shall be given an
appearance that clearly distinguishes them from official ballots.
The county board shall distribute sample ballots to the chief
judge of every precinct in which the election is to be conducted.
The chief judge shall post a sample ballot in the voting place and
may use it for instructional purposes. The county board of
elections may use the sample ballot for other informational
(b) Document Resembling an Official Ballot to Contain
Disclaimer. - No person other than a board of elections shall
produce or disseminate a document substantially resembling an
official ballot unless the document contains on its face a
prominent statement that the document was not produced by a board
of elections and is not an official ballot.
(2001-460, s. 3, effective January 1, 2002)
And here's a piece of paid literature being distributed at early polling places around Winston-Salem by paid people for a brand new PAC called the Winston-Salem Black Political Action Committee:
People have actually been carrying them into the polling places and trying to turn them in as their ballots, which speaks, i believe, to their resemblance to actual ballots. Never mind that nowhere on this piece of paper does the word "sample" appear. The words "official ballot" sure do. Prominently, one might say. Like, right at the top.
Where did this formerly blank ballot come from? Who is the Winston-Salem Black PAC? Why didn't they file the organizational reports that were due this week?
Why doesn't Rob Coffman, head of Forsyth County Elections, find anything wrong with any of this?
If you'd like to give him a call, here's his number: (336) 703-2801.
or drop him an email: FORSYTH.firstname.lastname@example.org
This is just so wack that I don't know what to do.