Voting Rights

New voting opportunities

Starting July 27, 2022, an individual serving a felony sentence who is not in jail or prison may register to vote and vote. An individual must also have resided in North Carolina for at least 30 days prior to the election, be a U.S. citizen, and be at least 18 years old by the next general election.

Previously, under a North Carolina statute, a person serving a felony sentence could not register to vote or vote, whether they were in or out of prison, until they completed that sentence. This meant that felons serving probation, post-release supervision, or parole where not able to register or vote, until they completed their term of supervision.”

Why is this change important? Depending of sentencing, parole can last for a year or a lifetime. As of 2020, 79,000 North Carolina residents were under community supervision. 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. While the decision is currently being appealed, the North Carolina Court of Appeals has ordered the decision be in effect.

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