Larry Smith got an odd phone call last week: Someone had filed to throw out his vote, claiming he was a felon serving an active sentence.
Smith, who lives in Stokes County, is no felon. But he was one of 43 people named as a felons ineligible to vote in election complaints filed by Republicans with help from Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign – part of an effort to claim the election results were marred by voter fraud.
The nonprofit Democracy North Carolina, which has urged McCrory to halt the protests, analyzed the names this week. The group found that 18 of them – nearly half – were wrongfully accused of being felons ineligible to vote. Four of them were confused with criminals who happen to have the same name, while others are on probation for misdemeanor convictions like drunk driving.People convicted of misdemeanors do not lose their voting rights, and felons are ineligible to vote only while in prison, on probation or on parole.