News & Politics

Hillary Ally McAuliffe to Restore Voting Rights to 13K Virginia Felons

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is introduced by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe at a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

On Monday, Hillary Clinton ally and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe will announce that he has restored the voting rights of 13,000 felons on a “case-by-case” basis, after the legislature and state Supreme Court stopped even more grandiose “voting rights” efforts.

Only one month ago, the state’s Supreme Court stopped McAuliffe’s efforts to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 felons.

Republicans, incensed that it covered violent and nonviolent offenders alike, said the move was really a bid to add Democrat-friendly voters to the rolls ahead of November’s presidential elections, when the governor’s close friend and political ally, Hillary Clinton, will be on the ballot.

Republicans also found the McAuliffe administration had mistakenly restored rights to 132 sex offenders still in custody and to several convicted murderers on probation in other states.

The Republicans in the legislature successfully took the governor to court for attempting  to restore rights to all 200,000 felons rather than on a case by case basis. The court ordered 13,000 of those felons back on the voter rolls since they had already register to vote.

McAuliffe responded to the court order by promising that he would sign each of the 13,000 orders individually (with an autopen) within one week (within two weeks, he planned to have all 200,000 individually signed).

The announcement of the 13,000 “new voters” will be made at the Civil Rights Memorial on Capitol Square. Anonymous sources say that McAuliffe will announce that the 13,000 felons are free to register to vote.

The ACLU is cheering on McAuliffe’s move.  “We think it’s the right thing to do, and we’re hopeful it will get done in time for people to be able to register before the deadline,” she said.