Can a Felon Vote in North Dakota?

North Dakota is geographically found on the upper mid-part of the US with a population of 757,952 as of 2016. Ancient European explorers assumed that it was part of Minnesota, Canada but it proved to be under the borders of the USA. North Dakota became an official state in 1889.

In 2015, a total of 1,795, both male and female inmates, were collected in North Dakota. Although it was not elaborated what percent is a male or a female, it was clearly stated that 97% percent of those sentenced to life imprisonment were male and only 3% were female.

For the past decades, several activists have fought for democracy because they believed that everyone was entitled to vote. Currently, elections are advancing and only a democratic country will mandate its citizen to vote freely. Voting is the fundamental role of the people in democracy.

Can Felons Vote in North Dakota?

The state of North Dakota only does not allow offenders convicted in felony to vote inside the prison. These felons are forfeited to participate in political elections, no matter what the nature of the offense is.

A felon in North Dakota under legal incarceration forfeits voting rights. However, felons under parole and probation are given consent to register.

A felon, not yet legally convicted retains his or her right to vote even inside the prison. An offender convicted for felony only restores his or her civil rights after release.

Unlike other states, North Dakota automatically restores the rights of citizenship of the offender. The state does not extend the forfeiture of the rights of these felons.

How Can Felons Restore Voting Right in North Dakota?

Felons can restore their voting rights within a shorter period than other states. However, there are legalities imposed by the state to fully gain one’s civil rights.

  • Felons must hold a certificate of discharge authorized by the court of justice. The certificate of discharge conveys that loss of rights is only valid during terms of incarceration.
  • Upon restoring the offender’s civil rights, he or she must be a qualified voter. The offender needs legal documents that support his citizenship and age.
  • The offender can present these documents for registration.

In North Dakota, an individual who was once convicted under felony will not suffer any more in any kind of forfeited rights once he completes his sentence.

Sources

http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/38

https://www.nd.gov/docr/media/stats/factsheet/2015_FACT_SHEET.pdf

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