State of North Carolina

North Carolina Felony Disenfranchisement Law

Community Success Initiative v. Moore

Lawsuit filed on behalf of various voting and civil rights groups (Community Success Initiative, Justice Served N.C., North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP and Wash Away Unemployment) and individuals convicted of felonies challenging North Carolina’s felony disenfranchisement law, which denies the right to vote for individuals with past felony convictions who remain on probation, parole or a suspended sentence. Since being released from probation requires the payment of various legal and court fees, re-enfranchisement is often dependent on an individual’s ability to pay these costs. The suit argues that this law violates numerous provisions of the North Carolina Constitution by depriving individuals with prior felony convictions of their right to vote. The state trial court granted injunctive relief allowing all individuals on probation, parole or a suspended sentence due to a prior felony conviction, regardless of if they have completed all monetary obligations related to their conviction, can register to vote in North Carolina. This ruling immediately enfranchised over 55,000 people. The North Carolina Court of Appeals stayed the trial court’s preliminary injunction, blocking the registration of individuals with prior felony convictions, and the North Carolina Supreme Court affirmed. Though individuals with former felony convictions may not register to vote while the case is on appeal, the North Carolina Supreme Court held that those who registered to vote before the preliminary injunction was stayed are still considered registered voters.

Case Documents

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