Constitutional amendment would strip governor of ability to restore voting rights

virginia general assembly senateThis afternoon, the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee reported a constitutional amendment to automatically restore the rights of non-violent felons while stripping the governor from his power to restore rights on a case-by-case basis, thus forever barring other felons from being able to participate in the electoral process.

Senator Tommy Norment’s (R-James City County) SJR 223 now incorporates four other proposed constitutional amendments, in spite of objections from some of the other patrons.

Said Senator Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), “This attempt to limit the powers of the Governor to restore voting rights is nothing short of shameful.”

Said Senator Rosalyn Dance (D-Petersburg), “These are individuals trying to pick up the pieces, get on with their lives and become productive members of society. Our job is to create an environment where they have the opportunity to do so as fully ​integrated members of their communities.”

Said Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), “This final package does not represent the spirit of the individual amendments that were proposed. My proposed constitutional amendments aimed to restore voting rights to anyone who has paid their dues to society. The version that passed not only cherry picks who gets their rights restored, but strips the Governor of the power to restore rights to the rest.”

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