Governor McAuliffe announces restoration of rights for over 10,000 people

constitutionToday, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that his administration restored the voting and civil rights of 10,009 individuals. The McAuliffe administration has restored the rights of more Virginians than any other Governor in a four year term.

“I am so proud of the work my team has done processing more than 10,000 of these important requests, and also making key changes to the process to make it more fair and accessible to Virginians,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Restoring the rights of Virginians who have made a mistake and paid the price is one of my Administration’s top priorities and I look forward to continuing to make history on this critical issue.”

Since the beginning of Governor McAuliffe’s term, he has implemented key changes to the restoration of rights process. First, he removed the requirement to pay court fees before submitting a restoration of rights application. Although individuals still have to pay the fees at a later time, it is no longer a barrier in the application process. Second, serious offenders are now required to wait three years instead of five years to apply. Third, the application is now one page long – down from 13 pages. Fourth, criminal records will have a restoration of rights notation once an individual has been restored. Fifth, all drug convictions are now classified as non-violent offenses.

“It is an honor to work with Governor McAuliffe and our talented team to help more Virginians who have made a mistake get a second chance at meaningful and productive lives,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney. “Going forward we will continue to process as many applications as we can and  encourage the Virginians whose rights we restore to use them to the fullest by registering to vote and participating in the democratic process.”

If you or someone you know has been convicted of a felony and served their time, restoration of rights might be available. For more information, call 804-692-0104 or visit commonwealth.virginia.gov.

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