As the Governor’s race continues to be contested, accusations of felons voting have been filed by the McCrory campaign. It’s important for all parties to understand some basic facts:
- A person convicted of a felon is allowed to vote in North Carolina once they have completed all supervision. A person convicted of a misdemeanor is allowed to vote.
- Anyone who has reviewed arrest and conviction records for recidivism studies or any other purpose knows that accurate matching is often a challenging process and must be done carefully to insure accuracy. Sometimes data has not yet been entered in these systems. Careful individual matching is even more necessary when determining if a person’s period of supervision has ended. Simply conducting a computer run against a single data base – as was done by a board of election staffer – is not a way to insure accuracy.
- A small number of problems have been alleged and some of the ones that have been alleged have already been found to be inaccurate. If there is a legitimate challenge, there is a clear process to follow.
- Allowing people with former records who have completed their sentence is a positive step. It encourages individuals who have committed an offense to become part of our communities.
- North Carolinians do not need to fear that previously convicted persons are improperly voted. This is a concern that has been blown out of proportion. It is damaging to those who have completed their sentences, who are working to rebuild their lives and be engaged in their communities – a process we should all support.