With election day inching closer and closer, American democracy has now become even more crucial amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, North Carolina judges brought forth a motion that would allow NC felons to fight to win back their right to vote in the upcoming election this fall.
Unfortunately, the ruling has not been finalized – so things are fair game between now and November. However, this past Friday, a panel of three judges from different areas of the state ruled that part of the state’s felon disenfranchisement law appears to be unconstitutional. The three judges issued a 2-1 ruling stopping the state from enforcing this motion, at least temporarily.
Many people have challenged this, calling out the potential benefits of the motion being passed. Some of these benefits include; a poll tax – which would create money to stimulate the economy and throwing away the era of Jim Crow. Unlike North Carolina, a handful of states allow felons to regain their right to vote once they leave prison. In North Carolina, offenders do not get their rights back until they have finished their entire sentence, including parole and probation. If the challengers of this motion win their lawsuit, it would open up voting rights to around 60,000 North Carolinians.
Many feel that this could be a very important first step in the right direction for voter equality. But the fight is far from over. Just as this motion drew in support, it also was met with uproar, as Republicans reacted with outrage. NC Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley even shared in his disapproval by calling for more conservative judges in the elections ahead.
Could this motion be a turning point in history? Stay tuned with updates and more and be sure to tell me your thoughts below.