As the Richmond Times Dispatch reports, Governor Terry McAuliffe today signed an order to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 convicted felons in Virginia. The order applies to nonviolent and violent felons, and according to a confidential draft of research for the order obtained by the Richmond Times Dispatch, is authorized under the Constitution of Virginia. Why this surprising announcement now? As Reuters says, the “move that could help the Democratic nominee in November’s presidential election.“
In other words Hillary’s elections chances just jump thanks to the support of convicted criminals as at least one state allowed them to vote. Expect many more states to follows.
McAuliffe tweeted a photo of himself signing the order in the state capital of Richmond, surrounded by members of his administration and others. “Virginia will no longer build walls and barriers to the ballot box – we will break them down,” McAuliffe said in a message on his Twitter account.
— Terry McAuliffe (@GovernorVA) April 22, 2016
McAuliffe tweeted a photo of himself signing the order in the state capital of Richmond, surrounded by members of his administration and others.
“Under the Constitution of Virginia, the governor has the authority to remove political disabilities consequent upon conviction for felonies. Using this authority, the governor has issued an order restoring civil rights to a large number of Virginians currently disenfranchised for a felony conviction.”
The times adds that effective today, the order applies to “any felon who has completed any term of incarceration and completed any period of supervised release, probation or parole, for any and all felony convictions.”
McAuliffe is a friend and supporter of Hillary Clinton, and while state Republicans are not currently criticizing the idea as a whole, they are criticizing the fact that violent felons were included in the order, saying that including felons speaks to the political opportunism that accompanies such an order.
Republican John Whitbeck said that while mercy requires second chances, there are limits.
“Governor McAuliffe could easily have excluded those who have committed heinous acts of violence from this order, yet he chose not to. His decision to issue a blanket restoration, without regard to the nature of the crimes committed doesn’t speak of mercy. Rather, it speaks of political opportunism.”
* * *