Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is looking for a legal work-around to restore voting rights to certain non-violents felons after the weight Gov. Bob McDonnell and he threw behind the cause was insufficient to get legislation to do that through the General Assembly. Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for governor this year, Tuesday announced he’s establishing a committee to examine alternate ways under current law to restore rights to eligible ex-offenders who completed all terms of their sentences. “There are many people in our communities who have committed certain low-level, nonviolent offenses in the past, paid their debts to society, and then gone on to live law-abiding lives” he said in a statement about his Rights Restoration Advisory Committee.
It’s estimated 350,000 Virginians in that category remain without voting rights because Virginia has some of the most restrictive restoration policies in the nation.
McDonnell has made fast-tracking the restoration application process a priority of his administration — he’s returned rights to more than 4,600 people who lost them due to criminal convictions, more than any governor in Virginia history.
That’s the only way a felon can have their rights restored under current state law.