For Limon Sykes, voting for the first time signified the start of a new life.
The 67-year-old had been in and out of jail most of his life, but his right to vote was restored in time for the Nov. 4 election. He decided to vote early, on Thursday.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that about 70 former convicts have been taken to voting sites by the Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and the Winston-Salem Black Political Action Committee. The effort was spearheaded by Darryl Hunt, who served 18 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit.
Hunt said the biggest obstacle in getting ex-offenders to the polls is ignorance. He said many believe their right to vote cannot be restored. But in North Carolina, felons regain the right after completing their sentence.