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Should a convicted felon be a Sheriff? You'll decide in November


Raleigh (NEWS RELEASE) - When North Carolina voters go to the polls on November 2, they will find more than candidates’ names on their ballots. They also will be voting on a constitutional amendment that could affect the names on future ballots.

The 2010 General Assembly approved a measure (Session Law 2010-49) that would ban convicted felons from serving as sheriffs in North Carolina.

The proposed amendment to Article VII, Section 2 of the North Carolina Constitution would add language stating that individuals convicted of a felony in North Carolina or any other state would be ineligible to serve as a sheriff in North Carolina whether or not his or her rights of citizenship have been restored.

The General Assembly also approved the language that voters will see on the ballot this fall as they consider this constitutional amendment:

Constitutional amendment providing that no person convicted of a felony may serve as Sheriff.

The Constitutional Amendments Publication Commission, chaired by Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall, has approved language for an official explanation of the proposed amendment that can be provided to voters to assist them in understanding the amendment.

Secretary Marshall urges voters to take time to consider the amendment.

“The Constitution of North Carolina belongs to the people of North Carolina. As with every proposed constitutional amendment, the voters have an important opportunity here to carefully consider this proposed change and cast their ballots according to the facts and to their personal beliefs.”

Here is the official explanation adopted by the Commission:

The North Carolina Constitution says that voters must elect a county Sheriff. It does not say who is eligible to serve as county Sheriff.

The proposed Amendment to the Constitution says who is not eligible to serve as a county Sheriff. The Amendment says that convicted felons are not eligible to serve as county Sheriff.

A convicted felon is someone who has been found guilty or who has pled guilty to a serious crime called a felony. A felony is a crime that may lead to imprisonment. A person convicted of a felony may lose certain rights. For example, a person who is convicted of a felony may lose the right to vote, the right to carry a firearm, and other privileges.

If the majority of voters vote “FOR” for the Amendment, a convicted felon will not be eligible to be a County Sheriff in North Carolina.

If the majority of voters vote “AGAINST” the Amendment, a convicted felon will be eligible to be a County Sheriff in North Carolina.

This explanation was provided to each North Carolina county board of elections. For copies, people may contact their county board of elections, the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office, or visit the Secretary of State’s Office online at

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.



A constitutional amendment should not be necessary. During the election process any felony would most likely become public. Adding the amendment I believe would only open another loop hole for political games. For example, what if a corrupt sheriff is in office and frames any opponent that may run against him for a felony making that person ineligible to run for office?

Convicted Felon

Wouldn't the fact that he/she is a convicted felon stop them from doing their job? A convicted felon does not have the right to bear arms. So, then we will be making an exception to this rule also!?!?

Why is it necessary to

Why is it necessary to legislate common sense?

your kidding right

So if I am a convicted felon I can be a cop? Is that why our cops keep getting busted? Wow I feel safe now glad I have my dogs!

Why not let a convicted

Why not let a convicted felon be sheriff? If he is not one when he is elected, he will probably become on before his term expires. There are too many less serious crimes that are considered felonies. I say as long as the crime in not a violent one, let them be considered.

Allowed the Felons in Bladen

Maybe we can get a side note added to this for Bladen County only that it become a law that a convicted felon can't help anyone run for sheriff, or clerk of court, or for DA. Look at the choices that we have had this time around,

DA....choice of someone who allows felons to run their campaign or
someone who allowed a felons to go free, (maybe this was a master plan turn them loose to work for the other guy)

Clerk of Court....easy choice, we had already voted the other one out once before.

Sheriff....again choice of someone who allows felons to run their campaign or someone who's mother in law did a felony in his behalf and gets away with it (too bad it wasn't in Robeson County, they charged somone over there with a felony for voting twice for themselves)

School Board, going to stay the same except for one who didn't want it any more, people are happy, things going good and they deserve a pat on the back and hope that Bruce enjoys his "retirement".

County Commissioners, looks like one new one and one new "old" one putting us back like a couple of years ago, the real cleaning there will start in 2 years hopefully with a total flushing at that time.

A lot of races are now over or were never there, this said that they were doing there job, thanks to those without someone running against them.

NC House, if you live in Bladen County you had better vote Bladen County or we will never get anything again, if we lose this seat to Cumberland County we will never get it back, Think Folks.

That said and done, the sheriff and DA races are the hot ones for us, and the sad part of that is that they are screwed up worse that anything I have ever seen, well almost, Bladen County could have Rex and RC, oh thats right we have Dowless and Levi.