Gov. Terry McAuliffe will announce today that he has restored the rights of more than 13,000 felons on a case-by-case basis, two sources said. During a noon ceremony at the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial on Capitol Square, the governor also is expected to detail his rights-restoration process for other felons who have completed their terms. In a 4-3 ruling on July 22, the Supreme Court of Virginia struck down as unconstitutional McAuliffe’s April 22 executive order that restored voting and other civil rights to about 206,000 felons who had completed their terms. The court ordered the Virginia Department of Elections to cancel the registration of all felons who had been “invalidly registered” under McAuliffe’s actions.
The governor had promised to swiftly restore rights a second time for the roughly 13,000 ex-offenders who registered to vote under his order before the Supreme Court’s ruling. His office termed Monday’s event a “major restoration of rights announcement.”
As yet unanswered is how McAuliffe’s new actions and procedures will affect a series of complications that resulted from the rights restoration dispute.
The Virginia commissioner of elections said Friday that it’s up to Richmond officials to decide how to handle the candidacy of a felon who won and subsequently lost the right to vote and ran for office as a result of the governor’s now-overturned restoration order.