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Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolinians convicted of felonies who have not completed their sentences – including any jail or prison term, as well as any periods of probation, parole, or post-release supervision – are not permitted to register to vote or vote in the state.

On January 1, 2024, a new state law took effect making it a crime to vote while serving a felony sentence, if the voter knows they are not permitted to vote.

Previously, state law made it a crime for a person serving a felony sentence to vote, even if they did not know that was against the law.

An April 22 ruling from the federal district court for the Middle District of North Carolina did not change the current law. Instead, it invalidated the old law that made it a crime to vote while serving a felony sentence, even if the individual was unaware that was against the law.

The effect of this court order is to prohibit the prosecution of anyone who voted while serving a felony sentence prior to January 2024, when the old law was in effect.

“We want to make sure that everyone understands the current law as it pertains to voting by people in the criminal justice system,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “The recent court decision applies to an old law. The current law does not allow someone who is serving a felony sentence to vote. Once they complete their sentence, they are allowed to register and vote in North Carolina.”

Once their period of supervision is over, a person convicted of a felony automatically regains the right to vote. They must still register to vote, even if they were previously registered prior to their felony conviction.

If a person is convicted of a misdemeanor in North Carolina, they do not lose the right to vote.

For more information, see if MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from “click.icptrack.com” claiming to be https://www.ncsbe.gov/registering/who-can-register/registering-person-criminal-justice-system.

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