Civil Rights Groups File Summary Judgment Motion in case to Restore Voting Rights to Nearly 60,000 North Carolinians Ahead of the November Election

On May 11, 2020, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, Forward Justice and Protect Democracy, filed a motion for summary judgment or for a preliminary injunction on behalf of Community Success Initiative, Justice Served NC, Inc, Wash Away Unemployment, the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, and individuals who have been wrongfully disenfranchised by the State of North Carolina. The motion seeks to restore the voting rights of nearly 60,000 North Carolinians in time for the November 2020 general elections.

“Disenfranchised individuals are denied hope along with their right to vote. They lose hope in the system that has stripped them of their vote and their voice to change it,“ said Corey Purdie Executive Director of Wash Away Employment, a plaintiff in the case. “Perceptions that directly impacted people do not want to vote, or would not vote even if their rights were intact can be easily answered: give people hope and they will want to contribute; give people a voice and they will speak; give people their rights and they will exercise them.”

The filing includes expert reports that provide historical context for the felony-based disenfranchisement scheme in North Carolina, a statistical analysis of the law’s impact, and an analysis of how the law affects political participation and harms communities.

Frank Baumgartner, a professor at UNC Chapel Hill, submitted a report showing that while Black people constitute 21% of the voting age population in North Carolina, they represent 42% of the people disenfranchised while on probation, parole, or post-release supervision. In 44 counties across the state, the disenfranchisement rate for Black people is more than three times the rate for the white population.

“North Carolina’s disenfranchisement of citizens on probation, parole, or post-release supervision is not just incompatible with the time-honored principle of one person, one vote—it is a modern-day incarnation of centuries of race-based oppression in this country, disproportionately shutting Black people and poor people out of our democratic process,” said Farbod Faraji of Protect Democracy.

For more information regarding this case and the motion for summary judgement click here to visit the Community Success Initiative v. Moore case page.