A change to the voting rights restoration process in Virginia is getting bipartisan support
Virginia is the only state that permanently disenfranchises anyone convicted of a felony, and allows only the governor to restore that right.
Until recently, Virginia governors of both parties were in agreement about making it easier to restore the voting rights of people who have been convicted of felonies. But the current governor reversed that trend. That's why House Majority Leader Charniele Herring introduced a constitutional amendment to change how that process works.
"The governor with his actions internally has taken us back on voting rights and people getting their voting rights. I think now we have bipartisan support," Herring says. "There are traditionally groups that have been very conservative who have been testifying in favor it and being very supportive. Americans for Prosperity is one of them."
Americans for Prosperity is lobbying Republicans to vote in favor of Herring's amendment. Ben Knotts is legislative director for the conservative-leaning group.
"There are some that want to vote yes on this," Knotts says. "And we are going to work to get them a clear path to do so they can do so in good confidence and this can be a bipartisan victory."
Because the proposal is a constitutional amendment, the governor does not have the power to veto it. Supporters are hopeful the amendment will eventually go to voters as soon as 2026.