NCSBE News

27

A reminder about felons and voting

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Felons in North Carolina are prohibited from voting or registering to vote until they’ve completed all terms of their felony sentences, including any probation or parole. It’s a felony to attempt to register or vote while serving a felony sentence.

Once felons complete their sentences or get pardoned, they are eligible to vote and may register. Those convicted of misdemeanors in North Carolina DO NOT lose their voting rights, even if they are incarcerated.

A report on the 2016 general election published by the State Board in April identified 441 cases of voting by suspected active felons in that election. Those suspected felon voters were identified through data audits that match criminal records with voting records, followed by investigations by the State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement. Those cases have either been referred to district attorneys, remain under investigation or have been closed for various reasons.

From the N.C. Constitution, Article VI, Sec. 2:

(3)        Disqualification of felon.  No person adjudged guilty of a felony against this State or the United States, or adjudged guilty of a felony in another state that also would be a felony if it had been committed in this State, shall be permitted to vote unless that person shall be first restored to the rights of citizenship in the manner prescribed by law.

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