Individual orders have gone out re-restoring voting rights for some 13,000 former felons in Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Monday. Included with each mailing: A voter registration form. This first round of new restorations covered most of the people who, following McAuliffe’s mass restoration order in April, registered to vote in Virginia. A few of those cases remained under review as of Monday, the administration said. The state Supreme Court nullified McAuliffe’s April order a month ago, agreeing with GOP legislative leaders who had sued the governor over an unconstitutional exercise of his restoration powers. Only individual orders are valid, the court said.
With individual orders now done for nearly all the people who registered to vote, McAuliffe said his administration will turn its attention now to as many as 200,000 more people he initially hoped to cover via mass orders. They will be prioritized by earliest date of release, and those who request restoration will jump to the front of the line, McAuliffe said.
The administration’s review process will closely resemble, officials said, the one used prior to April’s mass restoration. It includes checks with eight state agencies to be sure felons completed their sentences and aren’t under state supervision, Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson said.
He hasn’t actually sign these new orders, though, they are printed with his signature already in place.
Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. “Tommy” Norment, R-James City, said in a statement following the governor’s announcement Monday that he was “pleased Gov. McAuliffe has complied with the decision of the Supreme Court of Virginia.”