Skip to main content

You are here

The racist origins of voting bans for 'returning citizens'

By: 
Billy Corriher

Alamance County District Attorney Pat Nadolski filed criminal charges against 12 people who voted while they were ineligible because they were on probation or parole. Eight of them are black in a county where African Americans make up only 19 percent of the population. (Image is a still from this video.)

Twelve people in Alamance County, North Carolina, could go on trial as soon as next month for the crime of voting while ineligible. One of them, Whitney Brown, is arguing that the state's longstanding ban on people voting while on probation or parole for a felony conviction is discriminatory and unconstitutional. Brown makes the case that the ban was enacted by white supremacist legislators in 1900 with the goal of erasing African-American voters' gains in political power after the Civil War.