Friday, April 28, 2023 - 00:00

State Board Updates Voter Registration Applications with New Language About Individuals Convicted of Felonies

Raleigh, NC
Apr 28, 2023

This press release was updated May 2, 2023, to include links to the new Spanish-language voter registration applications.


The State Board of Elections has updated the state's voter registration applications to comply with Friday’s N.C. Supreme Court ruling regarding the voting rights of individuals convicted of felonies. The court ruled that North Carolinians convicted of felonies must complete their sentences—including any period of probation, post-release supervision, or parole—before they regain their right to vote.

The State Board is urging all county boards of elections and all groups that conduct voter registration drives to print and use the new forms immediately to ensure that no ineligible individual registers to vote.

For county boards of elections and voters:

For groups conducting voter registration drives:

The State Board is working with its printing vendor to print copies of the new voter registration applications to be sent to the county boards of elections, government agencies that provide voter registration services, and third-party organizations that conduct registration drives.

“The State Board is committed to ensuring that all laws and court orders are followed and to provide copies of the new forms as quickly as possible to everyone who needs them,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “In the meantime, copies of the new voter registration applications are available on the State Board’s website for printing."

Friday’s N.C. Supreme Court ruling means any individual convicted of a felony cannot register or vote until their sentence is complete, including any periods of probation, post-release supervision, or parole. A lower court had ruled in an earlier stage of the case that anyone who was not in prison or jail for a felony conviction could register to vote and vote, provided they were otherwise eligible. Today’s decision reverses that lower-court ruling.

As a result of the Supreme Court ruling, the State Board will receive lists of people currently serving felony sentences from the N.C. Department of Adult Correction and U.S. Department of Justice and forward them to the county boards of elections to cancel the registrations of anyone who is now ineligible. 

As always, existing NCDMV customers may submit a voter registration application online. Learn more at Complete Your Registration Online Through the DMV. The State Board also will work with the DMV to update the language on the online application to comply with the court order.

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