VA. Governor Restores Right to Vote to Ex-Felons

Cheers today for Virginia Governor Mark Warner who has restored the right to vote to hundreds of Virginians in time for the November election.

Hundreds of ex-convicts will get a chance to vote in the upcoming presidential election, thanks to Gov. Mark R. Warner, who has restored civil rights to more people than anyone else in Virginia’s modern history. Warner, a Democrat, set himself apart from all previous governors this year by restoring civil rights to 1,885 ex-convicts. Warner set the historic mark this summer as people convicted years ago of felonies in Virginia rushed to reclaim their rights in time to vote in the November elections.

If you still need your right restored, go to the state's Web site or call (804) 786-2441.

“Virginia had what may have been the most restrictive restoration-of-rights process of any state in the nation,” Warner said. “I do not believe ex-offenders should face unnecessary hurdles when they are making a positive, good-faith effort to return to productive citizenship.”

Virginia had been one of seven states (Florida is another) that bars former convicts from voting for life:

Most states automatically restore a felon’s right to vote once he or she has completed a sentence, paid fines and made restitution. Virginia is one of only seven states where felons have their voting rights taken away for life. However, the governor has the discretionary power to restore all citizenship rights, except for the right to possess a firearm. Warner simplified the process by streamlining the paper work. In some cases, a 14-page petition was whittled to one page.

There is still bad news in Nebraska for this inmate, crime free for the last 30 years.

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