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October 19, 2021

Court orders voting rights for felons on Community Supervision

 

Due to a court order, anyone who is not in jail or prison for a felony conviction is now eligible to register and vote in North Carolina. This includes people on probation, parole, or post-release supervision. People who are in prison or jail for a felony conviction are not eligible to register and vote.

 

On Aug. 23, 2021, a three-judge panel of North Carolina Superior Court entered a preliminary injunction requiring that any person on community supervision (including parole, probation, or post-release supervision) for a felony conviction be permitted to register and vote. A written order has not yet been issued by the court. The court indicated that the order was to take effect as of Monday, Aug. 23, 2021.

 

This order means that any person who is serving a felony sentence outside the custody of a jail or prison for a state or federal felony conviction is eligible to register and vote as of Aug. 23. Individuals who are in prison or jail for a felony conviction are not eligible to register and vote. Voters who were previously removed due to a felony conviction and are now eligible to register under the court order must still re-register to vote.

 

As background, on Sept. 4, 2020, a North Carolina Superior Court entered an injunction requiring that individuals serving an extended term of probation, parole, or post-release supervision solely because of outstanding monetary obligations (fines, fees, or restitution) be permitted to register and vote. This order expands that injunction to people who were convicted in North Carolina state or federal court and are serving their sentence on community supervision, such as probation, post-release supervision, or parole.

 

To register to vote, complete the voter registration form at https://s3.amazonaws.com/dl.ncsbe.gov/Voter_Registration/NCVoterRegForm_06W.pdf and mail or hand-deliver it to your county board of elections office by 25 days prior to the election. If you are a DMV customer, you may register to vote online at https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/offices-ser-vices/online/Pages/voter-registration-application.aspx.

For more information, contact the State Board of Elections at www.ncsbe.gov or 1-866-522-4723 (toll-free).

If you have questions about the particular circumstances of your community supervision, please contact your probation officer. If you have further questions about your restoration of rights, the following organizations can assist you:

Forward Justice, http://www.forwardjustice.org/, Email: vote@forwardjustice.org, Toll-Free Phone: 877-880-8683, 877-880-VOTE.
or
North Carolina Second Chance Alliance, http://www.ncsecondchance.org/

 

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