A ruling that would have allowed 55,000 convicted felons to cast a ballot has been stopped by the State Court of Appeals.
On Aug. 30, a three-judge panel of Wake County Superior Court judges ordered that voting rights be restored to all North Carolinians who were on felony probation, parole or post-release supervision, with going through the process of expunging their convictions. County boards of elections were instructed to begin registering felons to vote. The issue came about due to the Community Success Initiative vs. Moore, referring to Speaker of the House Timothy Moore.
The case was filed in 2019 by a community action organization.
Under state law, all fines, fees, penalties and restitution must be paid before an expungement can be requested and voting rights restored. Community Success claimed in its filing that such penalties disproportionately disenfranchised black voters.
The state appealed the case, and on Friday (today) the higher court stopped implementation of the move ordered by the lower court.
The State Board of Elections issued a statement that it will abide by the Court of Appeals’ ruling, and is working with the Dept. of Public Safety to purge ineligible voters from the rolls.