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“Once a person has served their time, they should not be made to continue paying for their past mistakes.”

—Desmond Meade, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition

If you are convicted of a FELONY: you temporarily lose your right to vote.

In NC, you automatically get back your right to vote after you serve your sentence. You just register and vote like any eligible voter (see below for registration info), and you don’t need a special document that says your rights are restored.

Thanks to a 2022 legal victory for justice-involved voters, more voters who have felony convictions can now vote. If you have finished your sentence, you CAN register and vote EVEN IF ANY of the following apply:

  • You are serving a term of extended probation, parole, or post-release supervision;
  • You still have outstanding fines, fees, or restitution as a result of your felony conviction.

If you have questions about your specific circumstances, please contact:

If you have been charged with a FELONY but not convicted, you do NOT lose your right to vote.

If you are convicted of a MISDEMEANOR: you do not lose your right to vote.

You can register and vote, even if you’re in jail.

If you already requested your ballot, see instructions here on how to complete and mail your ballot. 

You can submit your voter registration and request an absentee ballot together. Use the Absentee Ballot Request Online Portal or complete and mail an Absentee Ballot Request Form to your county board of elections. You must mail your absentee ballot request form at least a week before the election. Provide an address on your registration form and absentee request where you can receive mail – either the jail, your home, or the home of a near relative who can help you vote (spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild).


Register Online or by Mail

✔️ GET a paper registration form from the county Board of Elections or a public library, or download your Voter Registration Form here. If you have an NC-issued Driver’s License or DMV-issued ID card, you can register to vote online. Learn more about how to register to vote online here.

✔️ MAIL or deliver the form to your county board of elections at least 25 days before Election Day. Find your county board here.

✔️ CONFIRM your registration online here or look for a postcard in the mail from your county showing your registration was received and other info.

Same-Day Registration and Voting

Not locked up? You can register to vote in-person at any Early Voting site in your county – and vote there, too. You can only do this during Early Voting (NOT on Election Day). Find your Early Voting locations and more here.

To register, bring one form of ID with your name and current address, such as a utility bill, vehicle registration, or any letter, bill, NC driver’s license, or document from a local, state, or federal government agency.

Other Questions?

For the latest on where or how to vote, call 888-OUR-VOTE.

Click here for the downloadable version of this resource that you can print and hand out to folks in your community.