Virginia Prevents 350,000 Released Felons From Being Able To Vote

Virginia is one of four states that permanently takes away voting rights from anyone who has a felony conviction, and the voting rights can only be restored by appealing directly to Virginia’s governor. That means that about 350,000 people who have been released from prison have been disenfranchised under the felony statute, about 242,000 of whom are African American, according to Colorlines. While Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) streamlined the restoration of voting rights for felons by processing the applications within 60 days instead of waiting months, voting rights organizations say McDonnell should eliminate the process so that released felons have their voting rights automatically restored.