The deadline to register to vote in primary elections June 14 passed at midnight, but time hasn’t run out for felons who have applied but await verification that their civil rights were restored under the order signed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe on April 22. State Elections Commissioner Edgardo Cortes advised local registrars on Monday that, if someone filed a complete registration application by the deadline but doesn’t have their rights verified until later, “that applicant has met the applicable close-of-books deadline and should be processed for participation in the June 14 primary election.” Almost 4,000 people had registered to vote successfully by May 17 under the governor’s restoration order, which General Assembly Republicans sued on Monday to overturn.
The commissioner’s advisory reinforced the approach taken by Richmond Registrar J. Kirk Showalter, who was awaiting confirmation Monday for more than 400 felons who registered to vote after the governor’s order but were not listed in a database by the secretary of the commonwealth for having their rights restored.
“They submitted an application by the deadline,” Showalter said. “Just because we don’t know whether or not their rights were restored, we have to sit on it until we find out.” “That would go up to and including Election Day,” she added.
Even on Election Day, people awaiting verification should go to the appropriate poll and use a provisional ballot to vote, Showalter said. “That gives me another week for the (secretary of the commonwealth) to get back to me,” she said.