Following NC court ruling, advocates work to register affected felons to vote

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A recent court order expands the voting rights of some felons in North Carolina.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections said this ruling gives voting rights to about 3,400 additional people.

Criminal justice reform advocates, including Cumberland County Commissioner Charles Evans, passed out fliers near Murchison Road in Fayetteville on Tuesday in an effort to get felons registered to vote.

“If we are not registered to vote, we can’t say who goes into the White House, the statehouse or city, or the county commission that’s going to change our lives,” Evans said.

Evans has felonies on his record for charges that he said were related to an addiction.  

“I’m a convicted felon,” Evans said. “I saw how difficult it was for me to get into school, how it was to get housing, how hard it was for me to get jobs and just to be accepted as a regular individual.”

“People aren’t educated on voting, especially convicted felons,” said Marvin Price with Life is Worth Living – Project Fresh Start. “Our purpose and our intent here today is to get that word out – you can vote, you do have the right to vote, those rights can be restored.”

The group will continue signing people up and hand-delivering the forms until the Oct. 9 deadline.

“You don’t let anybody dictate who you are or where you go,” Evans said. “What you do is take care of yourself, register to vote, continue to do things that are right, and apply yourself in a manner that you’re ok with yourself.”

Not everyone agrees with the changes.

Earlier in the month, Michael Whately, chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, said it’s “outrageous” for judges to change the election rules when voting has already started.

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