Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Saturday he already has begun restoring the voting rights of convicted felons one-by-one, after the state Supreme Court rescinded his executive action granting voting rights en masse to more than 200,000 people convicted of serious crimes.
“Last night I instructed my staff to comply with the court’s order and individually restore the rights of the more than 13,000 Virginians who had successfully registered to vote following my April 22nd executive order,” Mr. McAuliffe said in an email to supporters. “Soon they will have their rights back and will be able to have a voice in their society once and for all.”
Mr. McAuliffe, a Democrat and longtime ally of Hillary Clinton, said he also has ordered his staff to start working through “the entire list of more than 200,000 Virginians whom we have identified as eligible to have their rights restored according to the criteria I have set.”
“We will work around the clock if necessary to make sure every Virginian who has served his or her time and reentered society in search of a second chance can access the rights that are fundamental to being an American,” the governor said.
In a move with huge implications for the presidential election, the state Supreme Court late Friday (July 22 ruled against Mr. McAuliffe’s earlier executive orders to restore the voting rights of convicted felons, saying the governor had exceeded his authority under the state constitution.