Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe has restored full voting rights of 200,000 convicted felons in his state.
“It is a historic day for democracy in Virginia and across our nation,” said Tram Nguyen, co-executive director of the New Virginia Majority, a progressive activist group. “The disenfranchisement of people who have served their sentences was an outdated, discriminatory vestige of our nation’s Jim Crow past.”
Republicans are, of course, grumbling, and clutching their pearls.
“It is hard to describe how transparent the Governor’s motives are,” House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) said in a statement. “The singular purpose of Terry McAuliffe’s governorship is to elect Hillary Clinton President of the United States. This office has always been a stepping stone to a job in Hillary Clinton’s cabinet.
Republicans were particularly outraged that the policy doesn’t take into account the violence of the crime, whether the person committed serial crimes, whether they’ve committed crimes since completing their sentence or whether they’ve paid their victims back for medical bills.
“Murder victims don’t get to sit on juries but now the man that killed them will,” said Del. Robert B. Bell (R-Albemarle), who running for attorney general. “A murder victim won’t get to vote, but the man that killed them will. You will have child pornographers, human traffickers, robbers, rapists, murderers eligible to sit on juries and hear criminal cases of people who commit similar crimes.”
They should relax. This means former Governor Robert McDonnell will be able to vote, too!