By GARY D. ROBERTSON
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Tens of thousands of people in North Carolina serving punishments for felony convictions but who aren’t behind bars can now register to vote and cast ballots. The change comes following an appeals court ruling. The State Board of Elections said the expanded scope of who can register and vote begins Wednesday. A law meant to prevent felons from having voting rights restored while they are on probation, parole or post-release supervision is before the state Supreme Court. Meanwhile, a lower court ruling that prevented these registrations from being fulfilled essentially expired Tuesday. About 56,000 people could be affected.