Gov. Terry McAuliffe bypassed the legislature and signed an executive order to allow violent and non-violent felons to vote, a measure that affects over 200,000 people in the state. A felon who’s completed his sentence, supervised released, probation, or parole as of April 22, is eligible to vote.
From the Richmond Times-Dispatch (emphasis added):
Today’s order applies to nonviolent and violent felons – a significant departure from a policy embraced in recent years by Democrat and Republican governors to remove the societal obstacles felons face upon completing their sentences.
“Under the Constitution of Virginia, the governor has the authority to ‘remove political disabilities consequent upon conviction’ for felonies’,” according to a confidential draft of research for the order obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Virginia Republican party chairman John Whitbeck said the governor “could easily have excluded those who have committed heinous acts of violence from this order, yet he chose not to. His decision to issue a blanket restoration, without regard to the nature of the crimes committed doesn’t speak of mercy. Rather, it speaks of political opportunism.”
Do you think violent convicted felons should have the right to vote?