Source: Associated Press
Thousands of formerly incarcerated individuals in North Carolina can now register to vote and cast their ballots this November, according to the Associated Press. The expansion of the voter rolls began July 27, allowing people who are on parole to register before the upcoming midterm elections.
The 1973 law regarding felon voting rights in North Carolina has been ruled unconstitutional multiple times by a panel of judges but those rulings have faced further obstacles presented by the NCGOP. Under the struck-down law, felons could not register to vote until after their sentence had ended including parole, probation, or post-release supervision, which can extend years beyond someone’s time actually in a prison.
In March the 1973 law was struck down by a panel of appellate judges who ruled the law unconstitutional because it discriminates against Black residents, and in May the state Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of that decision by NC Republicans; oral arguments have yet to be set and the case remains pending.
While the case is still waiting to be heard by the state Supreme Court, if the panel ruling stands it could potentially affect the outcome of future elections in North Carolina. Roughly 56,000 people would be eligible to register and vote.
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