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Republicans Say McAuliffe is Trying to Rig Election by Restoring Voting Rights

Associated Press

Governor Terry McAuliffe’s effort to restore voting rights to former felons is attracting some criticism from Republicans, who say the move a politically motivated effort to help his friend Hillary Clinton win the White House. 

On the campaign trail in Fredericksburg this weekend, Donald Trump raised the issue of the governor’s effort to restore voting rights to former felons. Just mentioning the name Terry McAuliffe prompted a round of boos.

“Hillary Clinton is banking on her friend Terry McAuliffe on getting thousands of violent felons to the voting booths in an effort to cancel out the votes of both law enforcement and crime victims."

Republicans are ready to make the case that McAuliffe is trying to rig the election, an argument that fits into a narrative Trump has been pushing about the election for weeks. Geoff Skelley at the University of Virginia Center for Politics says the politics of the issue are about demographics. 

“Republicans obviously have viewed this as a partisan move from the beginning in that if you look at the makeup of the felon population in Virginia, a large percentage of it is African American."

In a written statement issued shortly after the governor’s announcement, Republican House Speaker Bill Howell said the General Assembly will carefully review the governor’s process to determine if they believe he followed legal requirements.

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