Executive order mandating
The Democratic governor’s decision particularly affects black residents of Virginia: 1 in 4 African Americans in the state has been permanently banned from voting because of laws restricting the rights of those with convictions. I want you back as a full citizen of the commonwealth,” Mc Auliffe said. I want you paying taxes, and you can’t be a second-class citizen.” The governor called the instant restoration of rights to these Virginians the natural next step to his incremental streamlining of a process that has already given 18,000 nonviolent felons their rights back.
“Once you have served your time and you’ve finished up your supervised parole. With the signing of Friday’s executive order, Mc Auliffe eliminated the need for an application for violent felons who had completed their sentences up to that moment.
They ended up with 206,000 people no longer in local jails or state prisons.
Republicans were particularly outraged that the policy doesn’t take into account the violence of the crime, whether the person committed serial crimes, whether they’ve committed crimes since completing their sentence or whether they’ve paid their victims back for medical bills. The next governor could easily reverse the designation for future felons by ending the practice that Mc Auliffe began Friday.According to the American Civil Liberties Union, about 5.85 million Americans with felony convictions (and misdemeanors in several states) cannot vote.The Sentencing Project estimates that 1 in 13 African Americans are prohibited from voting.Governors in Kentucky, Florida and Iowa took executive action to restore voting rights to certain ex-offenders, but those orders were rescinded after they left office. Howard said in an interview that Mc Auliffe’s action “buries the last ghost” of the 1902 Virginia convention that produced a constitution mandating a poll tax, literacy test and complicated registration requirements. And, the notion that the Constitution of the Commonwealth could be rewritten via executive order is troubling,” Mark Rubin wrote in a letter at the time.“That convention was set out to install and defend white supremacy in Virginia, and it was incredibly effective.” “This is really the last prop of white supremacy,” he said. Virginia is one of 11 states where ex-offenders cannot vote unless the state gives them an individual exemption, according to the Brennan Center.
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It helped, Cortés said, that the category of felons whose rights Mc Auliffe wanted to restore was so broad.