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CSI V. Moore Update – April 2022

April 26, 2022

Newest Court Order in North Carolina’s Felony Disenfranchisement Case Puts Advocates One Step Closer to Restoring Voting Rights to People with Past Felony Convictions

The North Carolina Court of Appeals partially granted defendants’ request to stay an order expanding voting rights, but that ruling only extends through the upcoming primary elections. After that, people with prior felony convictions must be allowed to register and vote.

RALEIGH, NC This morning, in a 2-1 decision, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued a ruling that partially granted legislative leaders request for a stay in the CSI v. Moore case; but, in a victory for Plaintiffs, however, this stay only remains in place for the May 17 and July 26 primary elections and maintains Plaintiffs original injunction against any felony disenfranchisement based on fees and fines. After these Primary elections, the Court of Appeals ordered, the State Board of Elections (SBOE) must fully implement the trial court’s March 28th final judgment and order, which found that the state’s existing felony disenfranchisement law is unconstitutional and ruled that all individuals living in community with prior felony convictions must be allowed to register and vote, impacting more than 56,000 individuals right to vote. 

While plaintiffs and advocates were advocating for a full denial of the request for a stay at the Court of Appeals – and are continuing to press for full review by the North Carolina Supreme Court –they say that this most recent ruling moves them one step closer to the full restoration of voting rights for community members who have been directly impacted by the criminal legal system. Kat Roblez, staff attorney with Forward Justice explained, “We are glad to see that individuals on community supervision for a felony conviction will soon be able to register, and to vote in the November general election. Early Voting in person for the North Carolina primary election begins this Thursday, April 28th. Any community members who have had involvement with the justice system with questions about your right to vote can contact our dedicated hotline at 877-880-8683 and get up to date information at https://unlockourvotenc.org as our Plaintiffs’ fight for free and fair access to the ballot continues.”  

More information: After the trial court’s March 28th order that unlocked the votes of thousands, defendants for the State filed an appeal and requested a stay of the order, seeking to block the restoration of voting rights for over 56,000 people who live, work, and pay taxes in our communities. 

You can view a copy of the order here.
A language guide on discussing these issues using people-centered language can be found here.

Contact: Brittany Cheatham, Forward Justice bcheatham@forwardjustice.org

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