Neetu Chandak, DCNF
Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam restored the right to vote, serve on a jury, run for public office and become a notary public for nearly 11,000 people previously convicted of a felony, his office announced Tuesday.
“I believe in second chances and making our Commonwealth more open and accessible to all,” Northam said in a relaease.
Gun possession, however, was not restored for ex-felons. Former Republican Gov. Robert McDonnell made the process easier for non-violent felons in 2013.
Northam’s move comes as Virginia politicians are under fire.
Prominent Democratic politicians called for the governor’s resignation after a resurfaced picture showed one person in a Ku Klux Klan costume and another in blackface appeared on a page set aside for him in his 1984 medical school yearbook. He also faced some heat for his remarks on late-term abortion days before the yearbook picture controversy.
Virginia is not the first state to grant voting rights to convicted felons. Florida voters elected to give back the right to 1.5 million convicted felons in November 2018. House Democrats also introduced a nearly 600-page “For The People Act,” which includes a proposal to restore voting rights for convicted felons who completed their prison sentences.
Northam’s office did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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