Virginia Reestablishes the Voting Rights to Convicts

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The Virginia Governor has issued an extensive executive order, re-establishing the right to vote over 200,000 convicts.

In the United States, many states confine the voting rights of the people who are convicted of serious crimes upon their release. The Critics say that the policies are unjust and that they disproportionately affect the black men.

Governor Terry McAuliffe said that the step was meant to aid undo state’s long history of attempting to suppress black vote.

Almost 6 million Americans can’t vote because they’re convicted of a felony – that is typically a charge which carries a prison sentence of over 1 year.

The Activists said that the Gov. McAuliffe’s order to reinstate the voting rights is biggest of its kind in the United States.

“Too often in both our distant & recent history, the politicians have used their authority to restrict people’s ability to participate in our democracy,” said Gov. McAuliffe.

Virginia Reestablishes the Voting Rights to Convicts

Governor McAuliffe’s action is believed to be the biggest of its kind (Image via BBC)

Gov. McAuliffe also said the he had consulted the legal experts who are determined that he’d the authority to bring back the voting rights. Yet, his action is likely to be confronted by the Republican-led legislature.

Virginia is measured as a swing state in upcoming presidential election & the step to develop the voting rights of the people who’re convicted of felonies could benefit the Democrats.

Gov. McAuliffe is also a close ally of Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee for president.

“The singular purpose of Terry McAuliffe’s governorship is to elect Clinton president of US,” said William J Howell, the Virginia House Speaker. “This office has always been a stepping stone to a job in Clinton’s cabinet.”

Under order, those involved now will also be able to run for the public office, serve on jury & become a notary public. To register to vote, they must not be in a prison, on probation or on parole.

The Laws confining the voting rights of convicted people of felonies differ across the United States.

3 states – Iowa, Kentucky & Florida – block the people who are convicted of felonies from voting permanently. In the meantime, 2 states – Maine & Vermont – have no such restrictions on the people who are convicted of the felonies.

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