N.C. felons can register and vote after release

The Hoke County Reentry Council and Community Corrections Administration wants people with felony convictions who are not currently incarcerated to know that under a current court decision, they are eligible to register and vote in elections.

Previously under state law and the state constitution, people serving felony sentences including any period of probation, parole or post release supervision could not register or vote until their sentence ended. However, a three-judge panel appointed to hear a case in Wake County Superior Court this past March issued a majority order declaring that law violates the state constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and Free Election Clause.

“As a result, the majority order will go into effect and all felons who are not incarcerated will be eligible to register and vote,” a press release from Community Corrections Administration said.

“This is a positive result for our clients with felony convictions…They are allowed to vote and now have a voice in the community they reside,” the CCA said in a press release.

The case is still pending litigation at this time, and the North Carolina Supreme Court has decided to hear the appeal directly. However, the North Carolina Supreme Court didn’t extend or modify the North Carolina Court of Appeals’ stay. As a result, the trial court’s majority order went into effect in July.

This means felons in North Carolina who are not incarcerated will be eligible to register and vote, unless a different decision by the N.C. Supreme Court changes that in the future.

Any felons with questions pertaining to their eligibility to register and vote can reach out to the North Carolina State Board of Elections at (919) 814-0770; or locally, contact the Hoke County Reentry Office at 109 N Main St. Suite B in Raeford, or by telephone at (910)565-2299 ext#2 or #3. The NCSBE’s website is located at https://www.ncsbe.gov

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