Voting Rights Restored for 13,000 Felons in Virginia

By: - August 23, 2016 12:00 am

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Monday that he has restored voting rights to 13,000 felons.

Virginia is one of 48 states that have laws that restrict the voting rights of those who land in prison in one fashion or another — although many are rethinking those laws.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, originally sought to restore the voting rights of 200,000 felons before the November election with an executive order. But his authority to do that was challenged, and the Virginia Supreme Court said he couldn’t restore voting rights en masse — only on a case-by-case basis.

Since then, the governor has used an autopen to restore voting rights individually to those who have been released from prison. 

An estimated 5.9 million Americans will be unable to vote in the 2016 presidential elections because of their felony criminal record.

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Rebecca Beitsch

Rebecca Beitsch writes about energy and the environment for Stateline. She covered state government in Missouri and North Dakota, writing about politics and policy for NewsRadio KMOX, the Columbia Missourian and the Bismarck Tribune.