Bratcher faces up to 19 months in prison because she did not realize she had actually been stripped of the right to vote. Her lawyer says she’s being punished based on a Jim Crow-era law that was intended to disenfranchise African Americans.
Bratcher was on probation after being convicted of assault and North Carolina law mandates that people convicted of felonies can only vote once they complete their criminal sentences, including probation and parole, entirely.
Documents obtained by the Guardian show that a prosecutor brought charges against Bratcher even though state officials said she may have illegally voted unintentionally. The decision also came after a report in which state officials recognized there were serious problems in the system in place to inform convicted felons of their voting rights.