Registering as a Person in the Criminal Justice System
Update on Voter Eligibility for People Serving Felony Sentences
On April 26, 2022, the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled in CSI v. Moore that expanded eligibility for felons who are not incarcerated will go into effect after the July 26, 2022, second primary and municipal elections. For the May 17 primary and July 26 elections, the same eligibility requirement continues as was in place for elections in 2021.
This means that currently felons who are on probation, post-release supervision, or parole are not eligible to register and vote unless they meet the following conditions:
- They are serving an extended term of probation, post-release supervision, parole;
- Have outstanding monetary obligations; and
- Are not aware of other reasons for the extension of their period of supervision, aside from outstanding monetary obligations.
After the July 26 elections, when the new eligibility rules go into effect, all felons who are not incarcerated will be eligible to register and vote. At that time, the State Board will update the voter registration form and other voting-related documents to reflect the new language about felon eligibility.
Litigation in this matter is ongoing, including a further appeal before the Supreme Court of North Carolina. The State Board will update this information upon further instruction from the courts.
Note: When you are convicted of a misdemeanor in North Carolina, you do not lose your right to vote, even if you are incarcerated.
The regular voter registration deadline is 25 days before an election. Eligible would-be voters who become naturalized U.S. citizens or whose rights of citizenship are restored after serving a felony sentence ahead of Election Day, but after the regular voter registration deadline, may register and vote during early voting or on Election Day.
Visit Register in Person During Early Voting for details on how to register and vote during the early voting period. Or, see Vote in Person on Election Day to learn about casting your ballot on Election Day.