The Prosecution of the Alamance Five

Voting Rights

Case Summary

Filed 06/08/2018
Updated 06/06/2024

In cases that highlighted the intersection between our justice system reform and voting rights work, Southern Coalition for Social Justice represented five individuals who were charged in Alamance County, North Carolina, with voting while ineligible due to criminal convictions.

We filed motions to dismiss the charges on the grounds that the statute allowing the state to seek felony convictions without proving knowledge or fraudulent intent was unconstitutionally enacted with racial animus and the intent to suppress the African-American vote. All of the felony charges were dismissed when our clients entered Alford pleas to misdemeanor obstruction of justice.

Why it's Important

The law that the "Alamance Five" was prosecuted under represents the last relics of Jim Crow measures meant to disenfranchise Black people and impede their efforts to help North Carolinians access the ballot. For more than 145 years, the voices of North Carolinians with felony convictions, many Black North Carolinians, were chilled by the selective and arbitrary enforcement of the law. The law has since been ruled unconstitutional.

Other Related Cases

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SCSJ filed this challenge to several North Carolina voting restrictions presenting an undue burden on voters during the COVID-19 pandemic on behalf of two organizations and eight voters.

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Democracy N.C. v. Hirsch

SCSJ brought this challenge in 2023 to new restrictions on Same-Day Registration in North Carolina on behalf of three voting non-profits with assistance from co-counsel Steptoe LLP.

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N.C. A. Philip Randolph Institute v. N.C. State Board of Elections

Southern Coalition for Social Justice challenged North Carolina’s Jim Crow-era strict liability felony voting law in 2020 on behalf of the North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute, with assistance from co-counsel from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

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