Restore My Voting Rights

Virginia's disenfranchisement law is unconstitutional. We aim to change it.
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Editorial: A Constitutional Case Against Felony Disenfranchisement Laws

In the movie “Lincoln”, there’s a scene where “Radical” Republicans are debating Democrats in congressional chambers over whether to abolish slavery with a new constitutional amendment. A speaker from the Democratic Party, arguing against abolition, delivers a rousing speech about how Negroes shouldn’t be emancipated because of the slippery slope of freedom. Once Negroes have freedom, he argued, then they’ll want the right to vote—the prospect of which caused a riotous but bipartisan chorus of disagreement from most of Congress.

States that Deny Millions Of Ex-Felons Voting Rights

Four states permanently disenfranchise ex-felons. In Florida, Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia, it takes a decree by the governor or a clemency board to restore a person's voting rights, and only after a predetermined waiting period and all fines and fees are paid can an individual submit an application.

In Virginia, that waiting period is two years. In Florida, non-violent felons must wait five years before applying for reinstatement; violent felons must wait seven years.

Voting rights restoration for felons falls short again

Less than a week after Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell endorsed it, a proposal to allow automatic restoration of voting rights to nonviolent felons was shot down Monday by a Republican-dominated House of Delegates subcommittee.

Neither McDonnell's support nor that of Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was enough to salvage the measure, which has perennially gone down to defeat in the House.

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Comments on Governor McDonnell’s Request for Automatic Reinstatement of Voting Rights for Nonviolent Felonies

Date Issued: 
Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 09:00

As the plaintiff in a law suit I filed in the United States District Court challenging the disenfranchisement of persons convicted of felonies in Virginia, in which Governor McDonnell is the principal defendant, I feel compelled to comment on McDonnell’s recent request to the General Assembly to pass legislation for automatic restoration of the voting rights of persons convicted of nonviolent felonies.District Court Judge John Gibney has scheduled to hear oral arguments on this case on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 9:30 AM.

In Virginia, 350 Thousand Would-Be Voters Wait for Democracy’s Slow Return

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