MORRISVILLE, N.C. (07/27/2022) — In a historic voting rights expansion, effective July 27th, 2022, any North Carolina resident not currently incarcerated is immediately eligible to register and vote. This includes those currently on probation, parole, or post-release supervision, marking the largest expansion of voting rights in our state since the 26th Amendment was ratified in 1971.
Nearly 60,000 North Carolinians now have the ability to make their voices and votes heard, providing a chance to rise in their power and choose the Senators, judges, sheriffs, and school board members who directly impact their communities and their lives. Since 1997, 23 states have moved towards restoring the voting rights of individuals who have been convicted of felonies. Today, North Carolina joins those ranks and stands on the right side of progress and history.
Cheryl Carter, Co-Executive Director of Democracy North Carolina, calls this historic expansion of voting rights a turning point for ballot access in North Carolina, and for the South as a whole.
“When you take away a person’s vote, you take away their voice and ability to advocate for the elected officials, policies, and practices that best serve themselves and their communities. Felony disenfranchisement denies an entire group of people the right to fight against policies that are created to disadvantage them, so they’re trapped in a cycle of marginalization.
One of the first people I registered to vote during my organizing days was a 70-year-old Black man who had been off probation and parole for more than 30 years. No one told him during that time that he could re-register and vote. On that day, there were tears of relief and today I remember and honor him. We are grateful to our partners at Forward Justice that have unlocked the vote for thousands of North Carolinians.”
Learn more about the history of felony disenfranchisement at UnlockOurVoteNC.org.
Democracy North Carolina is a nonpartisan organization that uses research, organizing, and advocacy to strengthen democratic structures, build power among disenfranchised communities, and inspire confidence in a transformed political process that works for all. Learn more at democracync.org.