North Carolina judges: More felony offenders can now vote
RALEIGH, N.C. (WWAY( — A three-judge panel of Wake County Superior Court entered a preliminary injunction Monday to restore voting rights to all North Carolinians on felony probation, parole, or post-release supervision.
It is estimated that more than 55,000 people were convicted in North Carolina state or federal court and are on probation, post-release supervision, or parole.
Several civil rights groups and ex-offenders sued lawmakers and state officials in 2019, saying restrictions created in the 1970s are unconstitutional. The law says felons can register once they complete all aspects of their sentence, including probation and parole.
Attorneys for the State Board are reviewing the decision and will consider the written ruling upon its release.
The State Board of Elections says, “This means county boards of elections across North Carolina must immediately begin to permit such individuals to register to vote. State Board staff will work as quickly as possible to update communication materials and all forms and documents to comply with the order.”
They continue, “Staff are also working with the Department of Public Safety to update data the State Board receives regarding individuals who are ineligible to register to vote due to a felony conviction. This data is used for voter roll list maintenance and automated checks of new registrants.”