Western Journal recently reported Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order restoring voting rights to convicted felons.
Virginia Republicans responded to McAuliffe’s executive order almost immediately with a plan to file a lawsuit. According to Alanna Durkin Richer of the Associated Press, “Republican lawmakers in Virginia will file a lawsuit challenging Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision to allow more than 200,000 convicted felons to vote in November, GOP leaders said Monday.”
Republicans claim McAuliffe overstepped his authority in a rush to help his friend, Hillary Clinton, win the swing state in November’s general election for president.
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Senate Republican Leader Thomas Norment said in a statement, “Gov. McAuliffe’s flagrant disregard for the Constitution of Virginia and the rule of law must not go unchecked.” Republicans contend the governor does not have the authority to sweepingly restore the voting rights for the whole population of convicted felons and that those decisions must be done on a case by case basis.
The governor’s spokesman Brian Coy said in a statement, “The governor is disappointed that Republicans would go to such lengths to continue locking people who have served their time out of their democracy … These Virginians are qualified to vote and they deserve a voice, not more partisan schemes to disenfranchise them.”
According to Richer, “The governor’s order enables every Virginia felon to vote, run for public office, serve on a jury and become a notary public if they have completed their sentence and finished any supervised release, parole or probation requirements as of April 22. The administration estimates this population to include about 206,000 people. In the future, the governor will act month by month to restore the rights of felons who complete all these requirements.”
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