Are Felons Allowed to Vote in North Carolina?

In the United States, citizens (18 years of age or older) have an opportunity to voice their opinion and vote for their beliefs in order to contribute to our democracy and hold elected government officials accountable for their actions. Our right to vote effects multiple aspects of our lives, from education and housing to health care and immigration. Now that the midterm elections have come and gone, up next is the presidential election of 2020.

When it comes to people who have been convicted of a felony offense, most of them assume they no longer have their voting privileges. Fortunately, that is not the case in most states across the country.

In North Carolina, ex-felons can restore their voting rights once they complete all supervised release (i.e. prison term, parole, or probation). On the other hand, those who have been convicted of a felony, currently incarcerated, or currently serving parole or probation will temporarily lose their voting rights. Attempting to register to vote while behind bars or on parole is a Class I felony offense, punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 24 months.

Once you have finished your sentence and parole or probation requirements are met, you must re-register to vote in the county where you resided after your discharge. It is recommended to request a Certificate of Forfeited Rights of Citizenship from your releasing officer. Although you do not need this document to re-register, should you experience any difficulties, it will help re-exert your right to vote.

To register again, go to the state of North Carolina’s voter registration website and download an application. You must complete and submit the application 30 days before the upcoming election.

Whether you are facing a felony offense or you’re a felon looking for employment, our Raleigh criminal defense attorneys at Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh are committed to either helping you avoid conviction or getting your record expunged. We understand how important your right to vote is, which is why we will do our best to protect your rights and future.

If you have been charged with a felony in Raleigh, contact us and discuss your case with our experienced legal team today.


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