Sunday, July 14

Felons In NC (Not in Jail/Prison) May Register and Vote, Says NC Court

[Scott Pelkey / Acme News]

ASHEBORO N.C. – The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently ordered a lower court’s ruling to go into effect which allows felons who are not in jail or prison to register and vote.

The court’s ruling went into effect on July 27th, 2022, allowing an individual serving a felony sentence who is not in jail or prison to register and vote. Previously, North Carolina law barred a person serving a felony sentence from being able to register or vote until they completed their felony sentence which included probation, post-release supervision, or parole.

According to voter records 117 residents of Randolph County show as being removed from the voter rolls due to felony convictions, however it is unknown how many felons have never registered to vote due to the previous restrictions.

Earlier this year, a North Carolina superior court determined that denying voting rights to people serving their felony sentences outside of jail or prison violates the state constitution. That decision has been appealed; however, while it is on appeal, the North Carolina Court of Appeals has ordered that the decision should go into effect as of July 27, 2022.

For now, anyone serving a felony sentence that has been released from prison or jail is eligible to register and vote. Anyone in jail or prison for a felony conviction remains ineligible to register or vote, and anyone in jail awaiting trial for a felony but has not yet been convicted, retains their voting rights.

As of July 27, the State Board will update its website and voter registration forms and other voting-related documents to reflect this new information on felon eligibility. The agency will update this information upon any further order of the courts.