“No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority.”
This is the mandate of Article I, § 2 of the Virginia Constitution. But, how much authority does a Virginia governor really have to restore voting rights to felons? The answer seems to be that a Virginia governor has fairly broad authority to restore voting rights to felons so long as he does so on an individualized basis. The next question becomes: what counts as an individualized basis? That answer may be gleaned from the Virginia Supreme Court’s recent decision not to find Governor McAuliffe in contempt of court for his actions taken in August to restore voting rights to felons.
[Read more…] about Past Prisoners at the Polls: The Legality of Vote Restoration to Felons in Virginia