McAuliffe announces process for case-by-case restoration of former-felons’ civil rights
Speaking at a press conference at the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial in Richmond, the Governor announced that he has already restored the rights of nearly 13,000 Virginians who had previously registered to vote before the court’s ruling stripped them of their rights.
The Governor also announced the detailed process he will use to evaluate the cases of individuals who may qualify to have their rights restored based on the objective criteria he has established.
“Restoring the rights of Virginians who have served their time and live, work and pay taxes in our communities is one of the pressing civil rights issues of our day,” said Governor McAuliffe. “I have met these men and women and know how sincerely they want to contribute to our society as full citizens again.
“The process I have announced today fully complies with the Virginia Supreme Court’s order and the precedent of governors before me. It also reflects the clear authority the Governor possesses to use his own discretion to restore rights of people who have served their time.
“The history of civil rights in Virginia has at times been a difficult one. Opponents have often succeeded in delaying or undermining efforts to move our Commonwealth forward – but in the end progress has always prevailed. This time will be no different.
“It is my hope that the approach we announced today marks the end of the partisan battles that have been waged over this issue so that every Virginian leader can play a role in welcoming these individuals back to society and building a Commonwealth of greater justice, equality and opportunity for every family.”
Today the administration launched a new web portal (www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/ror) for Virginians to access more information about the process and how it impacts them.